Bethlehem, Fri 15.5.09, Morning
09.00 – 11.30 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: the Bethlehem checkpoint is almost deserted. From time–to-time someone comes-in or goes out. We wonder if there is a closure in force, but we haven’t heard anything on the radio – apparently the radio was turned-off.
A Palestinian asks to enter to Bethlehem in order to visit his mother. The soldier tells him that he can only return on Sunday morning. We try to find-out the reason for this and the soldier answers that that there is a closure until then.The Palestinian decides nevertheless to pass-over to Jerusalem. He will find a way to return home. We think that perhaps the problem is connected to the Pope’s visit . . .”the penny hasn’t yet dropped”. Only at he Humanitarian office we are given the information, that - to our shame - we have entirely forgotten : today is Nakba (Catastrophe) Day for the Arabs (their remembrance day for the catastrophe that befell them when the State of Israel was proclaimed- translator), and a closure has been proclaimed throughout the occupied territories.
Efrat goes to perform some errands in Gush-Etzion and Nabi Yunis.