Al Nashshash, Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 23.2.09, Morning
7:00 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: five posts were open. A security man said to me with great pride that things were going smoothly that day since there were few people in line. He was ignoring the pressure that had formed on the other side of the gate. Some people told me that it took them and hour and a half to pass. One woman was grateful for the Humanitarian Lane that had opened on the week before. Should that be regarded as a success? From time to time there were some problems at the second post, the machine wasn't working right, or perhaps it was the soldier how had the problems.
7:30 AM, Al Nashshash: no one was there.
7:45 AM, Etzion DCL: few people were waiting. The gate had opened at 8:00 and 12 people entered.
8:10 AM, Beit Ummar: there were several people with various problems. A young man told me that a week earlier he was caught in Beit Shemesh without a permit. A Border police soldier arrested him and took his ID. When he asked him to return his ID, the soldier refused, according to him the soldier burned the ID in front of him and told him to leave. As he started walking again the soldier ran after him and beat him up. That the story, there are no witnesses and according to him a new ID at the Palestinian Authority costs several hundred Shekels. Someone else said that he passed at checkpoint 300 with his work permit on his way home, and was arrested. He has to go to court and he doesn't know where he stands. They told him that he is refused passage, but he hasn't got any papers from the court. He doesn't know what to do, where to go or with whom to talk.
9:00 AM, Nabi Yunis: several people came to us with various problems. Dealing with the paper work took time. The results - time will tell.