Beit 'Inun, Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 26.10.09, Morning

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Gal, Chaya A. (reporting)

06:50 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: five positions are open and long lines at each. An ecumenical tells us at 07:10 that from 05:00 till now 2,315 people have passed. He says that it was a difficult morning, crowded, and the soldiers opened and closed the entrance sporadically, pushing people back.

One of the women soldiers passes people, checking their documents lackadaisically, while lying on her back. Just so. We have encountered this phenomenon many times. We photographed her, not very successfully because she is amost not visible. The deputy commander of police, Itzik Zreihan, comes in response to desperate calls from the security company employees and the woman herself, and wants us to delete the photo. I said we are permitted to photograph. He says: “I am the law here, and it is forbidden. This is a military base, not a checkpoint,” and “I don't know who the Judge Advocate General is.”

07:50 AM,  Etzion DCL:  about 60 people waiting for the DCL to open. Some are waiting for the policeman. On Sunday afternoon the policeman said to us that he would be here on Monday. We told the people: today there is a policeman. When we returned to the DCL at 09:30, people were still waiting for him. We phoned him, and he said: “I'm guarding olive picking. The left have arrived here. There will be no policeman at the DCL today, and perhaps also not tomorrow.” We gave this new information to the waiting people.

08:15 AM, Beit 'Inun:  many cars flying down Route 60, but the children have already crossed on their way to school. At this hour only adults crossing about their business.

08:30 AM, Beit Ummar:  we met a man from the Bereaved Parents' Forum, whose brother was killed by our forces a few years ago. He was holding a permit to enter Israel when suddenly they took it from him. We referred him to Chana Barag - perhaps she could clarify his problem.


09:00 Nabi Yunis:  no one waiting for us there - the first time in years.

09:30 AM, Etzion DCL (again):  they told us there that since morning only one group of 20 people have entered. Inside the DCL and around it, 60 more people are waiting. We said that when they get the magnetic card, it's worthwhile to ask the soldier whether the person is restricted for entry into Israel or blacklisted. They almost laughed at us, explaining that the only way to know whether a man is blacklisted is to obtain an employer who will request a work permit. Till then, the blacklisting won't be revealed. When we said that they should ask at the Palestinian DCL - again we were told that they would only be sent back to this DCL.