Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 1.2.09, Morning
7:10 AM, Bethlehem - CP 300: it's cold and rainy and the crowd is smaller than usual. Workers report a crossing of about one hour. Not good, not bad. In spite of the reports in the MW pipeline that people will not be held up because of their handprint, this seems not to have come down to individual cases here. There are indeed several people held back and sent to Etsion to refresh their handprint. Very annoying. Our friend, A, is being held back because of a security blacklisting that has been forced on him. We know him from way back, he is an older person, and this is another example of the maddening irresponsibility of the GSS whose sources seem to be drawn from gossip. This will not work. A second unreasonable case is of a man, accompanying his wife to hospital in Jerusalem, who is in possession of a valid permit for the day, who is being held back for half an hour at least and finally let through.
At 7:40 the terminal seems empty, although voices can be heard on the other side. The crowd there comes through only half an hour later, when the exit hall again fills up.
9:00 AM, Etzion DCL: 66 people are signed up. This does not include the ones who are there for the renewal of their handprint. At 9:30 only 19 people have gone inside, the others are waiting. At least the waiting room is not as cold as the old shack used to be. For the rest, things haven't changed in years.