Bethlehem, Fri 9.7.10, Morning

Claire O. (reporting)

Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: a very large number of people pass through the checkpoint. But without hold-ups and free from tension. People also report that also on the Bethelehem side of the checkpoint there is no queue. Even so, four inspection stations are open (two on each side). Nevertheless, every now and then people are asked to put their hand on the finger-print machine, and have to do it again and again, but they still pass relatively quickly.

An example of passage refusal :  A Palestinian man and his wife in their fifties arrive. The man, who is polite and and smiling, presents his permit, and says that he has come with his wife, but she is without a permit. Apparently she is Jordanian but doesn't have a visa. The man tries to persuade the soldier, "after-all, she hasn't come to cause an explosion, but just to pray". Even so, he is forced to pass without her.