Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Bethlehem (300), Fri 27.4.12, Morning
:Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300
Summary: Our brave heroes on site neutralized the terrible threat to which we would have been exposed had they alowed an old woman and a little child to cross.
Three inspection stations open, no lines.
The massive presence of security personnel sets the tone.
An old woman arrives, bent, her face wrinkled. She clearly doesn’t understand Hebrew, nor is she impressed by fences, uniforms and weapons. She goes through with great difficulty, but the security personnel stand in her way and order her to return to Bethlehem. She ignores them, mutters “Ibni fi el-Quds,” and tries to pass, but they make clear that she can’t go through without a permit. We try to intervene: “Maybe you could use your discretion with respect to such an old woman?!” They give us the unanswerable reply, “Since you’re taking their side, why don’t you go live with them?”, and escort her back toward Bethlehem.
A similar incident occurs an hour later: A Palestinian, about 40 years old, apparently a businessman, arrives accompanied by his little boy (aged 5), on his way to a meeting in Jerusalem. He doesn’t yet know that, from age 5, a Palestinian child needs a permit, just like an adult. He takes a chance and approaches a guard who appears to have more authority, but without success. He’s forced to send his colleague to the meeting and return home with his son.