Bethlehem, Fri 16.4.10, Morning

Efrat B., Claire O. (both reporting)

08.30 -10.30 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  many Palestinians passed through the checkpoint.  At one point, there was a lot of excitement and shouting on the Palestinian side.   We thought that it was because a woman had felt unwell, but it appeared later that a wallet had been stolen. Unusually, the checkpoint commander made a lot of effort to help her: she was a foreign national and shouted in English. She and her companion were instructed how to write a complaint and were told where to deliver it in Jerusalem.


An elderly woman, about seventy years old, arrived and wanted to cross through the checkpoint in order to visit her husband who had been hospitalized the day before in the Augusta - Victoria hospital. It was her bad luck that the permit she had received was valid for only one day:  yesterday. The female soldier in inspection station No1 refused to let her pass, and the same thing happened when she tried her luck at station number 2. The woman alerted us, and told us tearfully that she had travelled  with her husband to the hospital 10 days previously. They had returned home but this condition worsened (he has problems with his kidneys and in his chest), and she returned to the hospital with him yesterday, where it was decided to hospitalize him.


Our request to the checkpoint commander to be considerate and let her pass was unsuccessful, and he displayed not a little hostility to us. We telephoned to Dalia Bassa, and she requested that someone from the hospital should contact her. It was not entirely clear from our conversation with the hospital staff if they would indeed contact Dalia. We waited and nothing happened. Is it possible that the woman summoned up her courage and succeeded to evade the eyes of the soldiers, or that she despaired and returned home ?