Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Thu 18.12.08, Afternoon
15:00 PM, Etzion DCL: thursday is the day allocated for inhabitants of the village Beit Fajar to be received at the DCL. When we arrived, at about 15.00, we met six Palestinians who had no numbers for the queue. Two of them were there to have their finger-prints taken, two for magnetic card renewal, and two to apply for new magnetic cards. Even before we met the Palestinians, one of the soldiers told me that today, after two days of absence soldiers were sent for weekend leave, and that there was therefore only a limited number of soldiers at the checkpoint. According to the army, 100 magnetic cards were issued, but according to the Palestinians only twenty-seven numbers had been distributed since the morning . . . . When we arrived, not one person had received a number except for an elderly man who was waiting for a relation after he had been processed by the civil administration. When we entered the waiting room, the soldier who was at the outside reception window consented to allow everyone to enter, and after about half an hour they all came out. Two had renewed their finger-prints, two their magnetic cards.. The last two had been asked to pay the stamp-duty, because each one was charged 85 NIS for a new magnetic card. We descended to Beit Ummar to congratulate Abed Voum and Jidi on their healthy return from the Haj at Mecca.