Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Nabi Yunis, Mon 7.6.10, Morning
7.00 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: why is today different from all other days?
Apart from the scores of men waiting to picked up by employers, a few came out of the building smiling and saying ‘yom asal.' A woman stopped us to tell us that as she lives close to the Bethehem side of the checkpoint she is usually woken at 5 a.m. by shouting and scuffles. Today all was quiet. There was no obstruction at the checkpoint and it took 5 minutes to get through. She claimed that this was because today the carousels were kept open all the time. Usually they open for a while and then are closed. Inside the building we spoke to two friendly ‘private' guards. According to them "the pressure arises because ‘they' all push into the carousels instead of standing in line and this causes the carousel to jam.' " So why were ‘they' were more organized today?
7:30 am, Hussan: one man was still having difficulty getting permission to enter although his case was already cleared, because his updated records had not been transferred from Ofer to the Etzion DCL. His case is being handled by a lawyer whom we spoke to.
7:45 am, El Khader: Chaya had made an appointment with someone but he did not show
Beit Ummar: a sudden phone call from a man whose 15 year old son had been taken from their home at 3 am! Of course he did not know why nor did he know where they had taken his boy. We gave him the Moked phone number but he also met us at Beit Ummar - obviously in such a stressful state he needed to be sure of personal contact. By this time it was 8.30 am and the Moked office was open so he could speak to them.
We drove on the road under the bridge between Hebron and Halhul. The two entrances to Hebron are open and there were a number of Palestinian cars on this road, with a few Israeli ones. According to drivers whom we asked, the road leads down to the coast, with a checkpoint at Idn, [before Kiryat Gat (?)].
9:15 am, Nabi Yunis: we met with some people on behalf of Sylvia to deal with paperwork.
We also referred two men to the police at Etzion DCL to get a printed report on why they are refused entry.