Beit 'Inun, Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 10.5.10, Morning

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Judy O., Ada G. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

07.00 am,  Bethlehem – Checkpoint 300: three inspection stations are open and there are only a few people in the queue. One can hear that there are a lot of people on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint. Those who have come through are extremely angry and tell us that it took them hours to cross.

Outside, there is a lot of pressure from the crowd of people there. A woman complains that a soldier in the inspection station sits with his feet resting on the window-sill. The people are crowded and pushed towards the gate and no-one opens it.


In the meantime, one of the inspection stations stops working, because the computer broke-down, according to the female soldier. An Ecumenical volunteer confirms that there are many people on the Palestinian side, and the people say that the queue is so long that it stretches to the road, and that the whole crossing is full and crowded with people. A Palestinian says that only two inspection stations are working, and that the soldier in one of them passes two people through and then has a rest, after which he opens it again.


A lot of pressure and confusion is built-up, and continues in the same way.

There is no-one to talk to(about the situation) and telephone-calls to the Humanitarian Center have no effect. At 10:30 someone calls and complains that  he has been waiting for over an hour and the crossing is closed. The Humanitarian Center reports that they checked and the crossing is open. I lodge a complaint.


            07.30 am, Beit Ummar: while chatting to a taxi-driver, he tells us that  that he      invested 200,000 shekels in  buying his taxi, and that he earns (only) a  hundred a day.


08.15  am, Etzion DCL: about thirty people are waiting, most of them for magnetic cards. The soldier is still getting organized and starts receiving people at08.30. A man needs to talk to a policemen because yesterday his permit was taken away, although it was still valid for another three days. At the Bethlehem checkpoint they gave him a sheet of paper on which it was written that he should go today to captain Valal in the police office at Etzion DCL (this is exactly what was written on the paper). The policeman in the DCL says that there is no such a person at Etzion, but there is at Hebron. However, since he has already arrived, he will receive him. To my shame, I did not check later in the day to find-outwhat happened to him.

08.40 am: we continue on our way to Beit 'Inun.


09.00 am, Nabi Yunis:  we have a lively conversation there with a taxi-driver who appreciates our work and our being there.  A slight consolation.