Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 1.4.09, Afternoon

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Yael I., Ruth O. and Ilana D. (reporting)

From 3:30 till 6:00 PM, Hussan, Etzion DCL and Bethlehem - CP 300:  since we had first visited the Vocational School in the middle fo the Industrial Area of Atarot, we started out shift later than usual.

Hussan: at the entrance to Hussan we saw a huge amount of yellow cabs and decided to investigate. It turns out that there is a taxi-strike, because despite the fact that the gasoline prices had just gone up the Palestinian Authority had ordered the fares to be lowered. Meanwhile although many of the drivers were just standing around, some did take passengers whenever a bus from Jerusalem arrived. One of the drivers told us that he was diagnosed with cancer in Hebron and had been told by his physician that he should be treated in the French Hospital in Jerusalem. However, the police denied him a permit, because he was on probation for another year, since he had at some point been caught illegally within Israel. The fax from the doctor and his papers were still at the Beit El DCL. He was told to apply to the police at the Etzion DCL and if this proved unsuccessful, he should try Dalia Bassa and tell her exactly what he had told us.

Etzion DCL:  the DCL in Etzion was empty. We saw a few men with broad smiles exiting and proceeding to their cars. This is the first time we come on a Wednesday and maybe there are less people than on the days we usually come. Only a few men were still waiting to be called in by the Security Services. The place looked very clean and some of the new chairs still had the plastic wrapping. Even the toilets seemed to smell a little less than usual.

Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  the lines at the checkpoint were not very long and workers on their way home passed quickly. After we arrived even a fourth window was opened, before we even had asked for it. Most of the workers were carrying huge bags, which were not checked at all. The cast-away junk of their Jewish employers who were getting rid of their superfluous possessions in their spring cleaning frenzy in preparation of  the Passover  Holiday.

A man in possession of a blue ID approached us. His father lives in Bethlehem and suddenly became very ill. He is a patient of the Bikur Holim hospital and needede instant hospitalization. However, the DCL was closed and the son was unable to get in touch with anyone. The fax he received from the doctor in Bethlehem was with his wife on the other side of the terminal. Dalia Bassa was contacted and it looked as if she would be able to deal with the matter.