Bethlehem, Tue 9.8.11, Morning

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Rachel M., Drora P. (reporting)

 am 6:50   Bethlehem -  Checkpoint 30

    Tisha Be-Av - Rachel's Crossing. 6:50 am

the cars outside gave no indication of what was going on inside:  only one post is open and operating.

People pass in a very thin stream.  It turns out that only one metal detector is working, the rest are idle or in disrepair, with no one to fix them.  After a call to a high-ranking police personage, 2 posts were manned. The soldier previously on duty left.  Here and there lines formed, and someone told us that another machine was operating, but very slowly.  Of course such a situation exacerbates the level of anger, and is accompanied by humiliation, as well as the occasional loss of a day's wages.

With respect to the partly idle machines: we reported last week.  With respect to the unmanned positions, we suspect that tisha be-av has something to do with reduced man power.

Not a few of those inside direct their anger at us, and "advise" us to move to the other side and the middle room to see what is going on there.  And we explain that we are prohibited from entering the other side, and are ashamed of our helplessness to change the situation.

In the rebuilding of the Temple we shall be comforted........