Bethlehem, Fri 14.5.10, Morning
9:00-10:40 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:
Three booths were functioning. No apparent crowding. Whenever a group of Palestinians formed at booth No. 1 the girl (soldier) would shout: "Seven maftuach", diverting them to the fourth booth (No. 7) but ignoring the fact that this blend of languages confused her clients. In general, there is not much waiting now (particularly since the palm check has been abandoned lately).
2. A New Regulation
A holder of a foreign passport approached me. Her friend remained behind and she was waiting for her for long. They had been notified that a new regulation banned the passage of vehicles to the Israeli side (she works with Bethlehemites) and would need to cross on foot. They stood in different lines. Her line moved rapidly whereas her friend's was stuck. Finally, she also got through. Incomprehensible!
Two girl soldiers approached me. They inquired about my identity and then:
"Why are you seated on this (-a flower planter that knew better times..) "?
"This is a military installation!"
The other soldier reprimanded the first: "don't you see that she is unfocused. Leave her alone!"