Bethlehem, Wed 22.7.09, Morning

Dvora P., Idit S. (reporting)

06:15 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  the road from Gilo to the checkpoint  is flooded with workers on their way to work. At the checkpoint four positions are open and traffic is flowing.

07:30 AM – the checkpoint is empty, almost no transients.

The passers by report that passage time is quarter of an hour. At 06:30 it took half an hour.

We encountered two cases of refusals on the contention that they were Shabak blacklisted. One of them has been working for 20 years without problems, but this morning he was sent home. The woman soldier on the checkpoint doesn’t say why, only no passage. His attempts to clarify what he has to do - stayed unanswered.

When we tried to give him a phone number or talk to him, we were told not to interfere by Military Police officer – the same one drove Palestinians away while refusing to bring a DCL officer to clarify the complaints.

Seemingly everything is okay, but these two cases bring home the reality, the uncertainty and the endless dependence on the frame of mind of those in control of the passageways. There is always a security reason to change people’s lives.