Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL

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Sylvia P., Goni Z., Hannah A., Ronit D., Translation: Naomi Gal B


Bethlehem, Etzion DCL 

Bethlehem Checkpoint (Ronit reporting)

06:30 – outside, as usual, it is packed with people and cars. The parking lot was open and we parked without problems. A. our acquaintance sits alone sipping tea. He looks exhausted, but says that today was fine. The fact that he is already out at this time is testimony to the fact. We part with the blessing of a Good Week. 
Inside the hall is full;  five windows are open. A policeman and 2 security guards are standing in the hall. The passage flows and we hear no sounds from the Palestinian side. Those who pass say, too, that today is a good day and that the passage went well and efficiently. 
06:50 – some of the windows and the partition are closed down. Three windows remain open. Even when the hall was full again the passage was flowing with no delays. However, they didn’t allow people to pass if their permit was for 08:00 even when the hall was already empty. 
07:05 – the policeman and the security guards disappeared. The hall was full, but the situation was reasonable. People turn to Sylvia regarding friends or relatives that are restricted and receive instructions about the documents that must be provided in order to submit applications for of restriction

07:25 - we left. Sylvia and Goni continued to Etzion DCO.


Etzion DCL (Goni reporting) 
At DCL as well it was a routine day that seemed reasonable. It wasn’t especially crowded, the machine distributing numbers for a variety of civil administration bureaucracy – was operating today and announced in fluent Arabic which number goes to what window. Ostensibly, like in any boring government office, but, in fact, many of the applicants are here because of a long and painful story, full of harassments that are typical to the bureaucracy of the occupation. 
We listen to the stories and the complaints, carefully separate the details from the emotions involved in the story, and clarify what can be done to remove the restriction and which course of action can be taken.  Between completing the forms, powers of attorney and applications for removal of restriction, we are improving somewhat the little Arabic we speak, trying to mix a bit of humor into the dialogues with the young men, or unravel a Kafkaesque entanglement with a phone call to the people in-charge.  
We accommodated all the applicants this morning and left at 09:30 to our daily mission - to continue and advance the handling of those who are on the “blacklist” in different stages of appeal on the restriction.