Bethlehem, Tue 24.6.08, Morning
06:30, Bethlehem Checkpoint (CP): Four checking posts were open. The lines were long, but not very crowded. A man with a girl of five wearing very thick glasses and a boy of ten were refused passage. While the man argued and presented the different documents in his possession, the line behind him became crowded, and people lost their patience; also, the CP law forbids changing lines. We understood that they were on their way to hospital. We tried to understand what the problem was, but the soldier in the booth would not let us talk to the man, not even to take his phone number, and in order to stress his point, he stopped checking documents altogether. We asked the man to step outside the CP on the Palestinian side and we stepped outside on our side. We managed to shout to him the phone number of our colleague, Yael S., and he indeed called her.
A police officer accompanied by two security men approached us – we were causing havoc in the CP, we were told, not letting the soldiers do their work. It was amazing, especially when in the worst situations in this CP, officers are absent as a rule.
In the meantime we saw the man part with his son who turned and went back, and he himself came out with the little girl. We still don’t know if the boy had to be in the hospital too or just joined his father and sister.
By now, two more checking posts opened, and the lines disappeared in a few minutes.
07:50, Etzion DCL: Closed until Thursday. The reason: a “special training” whatever it means.