Bethlehem, Fri 29.5.09, Morning

Claire A. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: though it is a Jewish holiday (Shavuoth), there is no closureinfo-icon for the Arabs. Not many Palestinians are passing, with no obvious problems. Three positions are open.


A very elderly couple come to the position, and the man explains that he is going to pray. Then the woman claims she is going to the Sick Fund clinic. The soldier is confused:


“But he says he is going to pray!”

“And I am going to the clinic.”


Finally he lets her pass too. Apparently he was contemplating whether the woman can go alone to the clinic, or perhaps they are all liars and they both want to pray – or not at all. Or perhaps he was reminded of his grandmother and let her pass.


Another absurd and frequent performance: a girl arrives from the Jerusalem side with her small brother. They are going to visit Grandma in Bethlehem. The little boy is equipped with a permit and is allowed to pass. She, on the other hand, has forgotten to bring Grandma’s electricity bill to prove that she does indeed have a grandmother there. The girl has to return the way she came...