Bethlehem, Tue 5.5.09, Morning
06:30 AM, Bethlehem Checkpoint: only one turnstile on the Palestinian side functioned properly; the other one was closed time and again. The explanation: “They” (the Palestinians, who else) had broken one turnstile; later on they managed to “break” another one. And indeed, on our side every thing was nice and calm; lines were not too long, and at times, there were no lines at all. We did hear, though, shouts of anger from the other side.
Of course, there was no “humanitarian” line in those circumstances. A young woman, whom we meet regularly, said that she had to wait for an hour, holding her toddler son in her arms all the time. They are on their way to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment of the boy. She asked the soldiers to let her to the head of the line, but nothing doing, she had to wait like all the others.
Two female soldiers were talking at length on the phone while checking documents. One of them was munching all the while a big chunk of chewing gum, blowing up balloons – it was very expressive.