Beit 'Inun, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 2.2.09, Morning
06.50 AM, Bethlehem, Checkpoint 300: there are four inspection stations open, and the fifth was closed a few minutes ago.. There is a short queue of about ten people at each station. Everything is progressing, the people come out happy, everything is OK today, even very good, absolutely great , and similar positive comments. A young man – one of the “strangers” coming from Bethlehem side – tells us that the checkpoint was opened at 05.15 and it takes 15 – 25 minutes to get through. Overall, about 1,400 people have come through. By 07.15 everyone has passed through the checkpoint – really exemplary orderliness. . . .
07.50 AM, Etzion DCL: forty people are waiting, and at 08.00 the DCL is opened. The people are told to get in line, with the women and elderly in front; everyone moves into the waiting room.
10.15 AM Etzion DCL: we return to the DCL, and it seems that everyone is still sitting and waiting. The person who is responsible for the list tells me that from 09.00 not even one person has gone in. Only a total of eight people have entered from the morning. What’s happening ? ? There is no soldier at the window, so I phone to the office and complain. Three people are waiting - for the policeman, one for a medical approval, and so-on . . . Miracles never cease ! After just a few minutes, the soldier starts to receive people again and to send them inside. After the person needing to see a policeman, and the one waiting for a medical approval go in, four more people waiting for finger-printing are accepted at my request. In short, the people in the DCL start to work, and I hope it continues like that.
An elderly person who arrives at the DCL is distressed. His son was arrested during the night. Apparently he went for a walk, met a patrol and both he and his friend were arrested. He arrived at the prison, where they refused to talk to him, but told him to phone the number printed on the door. We returned and phoned the number ourselves. The person who answered us told us that he would provide information only to a lawyer. I asked if I could learn only where he was being held, so that I could tell his father. No ! He won’t tell us and he won’t tell the father, only a lawyer. I asked if he (the man on the phone) is a soldier or a policeman. His answer : “As far as you are concerned, I am both a soldier and a policeman, whichever you prefer”.
I asked him for his name, and to whom I can make a complaint. It seems to me that he must give the father an answer to let him know where his son is being held. We phoned to the office of humanitarian defense and the civil administration, and they promised to give the father a speedy answer. I hope he received it.
This morning the guard at the car park of checkpoint 300 didn’t allow Idit to park there. He told her the she didn’t have any right to be there, and that he would call a policeman. He held her up for several long minutes, phoned someone, and then said to Idit : “You can park here, I made a mistake”.