Bethlehem, Fri 16.9.11, Morning

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Efrat B., Claire Oren. (both reporting). A 'Shatil' member from abroad (guest), Charles K.(translating)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Summary:  children aren’t allowed through (the father has a work permit); a rude female soldier.

Bethlehem checkpoint 300: four booths open, no congestion, according to the Palestinians there’s no waiting on the other side either.

The unfortunate aspects of the shift:  A number of Palestinians with work permits hoped to go through with their son/daughter but weren’t permitted.

A Border Police officer came over to us to see what’s up:
- Everything ok?
- It’s hard to say everything’s ok at the checkpoint…Outside, in the sun, with no fences, everything’s ok…
- But nevertheless, is everything ok?
- Look, one of the annoying things is that Palestinians aren’t allowed to bring their small children to the big city, Jerusalem, on Friday, if they have only a work permit.  Isn’t that simply harassment for its own sake?  Just now a Palestinian wanted to cross with his five-year-old daughter and they didn’t let him.  [It turned out that he was from Hebron.  He had to return to Bethlehem, send his daughter in a taxi to Hebron, and then came back to the checkpoint and crossed to Jerusalem.]
- I also have a five-year-old daughter, and wouldn’t want to be in that situation, says the Border Police officer, in a moment of heartwarming sensitivity.
- So maybe you can press them to change this regulation!  And besides, if you’re asking whether everything’s ok, the female soldier at booth no. 1 is rude, unpleasant, yells.  We’re ashamed of her behavior.  Maybe you can say something to her.

The officer entered the booth, talked to the soldier and left.  Two minutes later the soldier resumed yelling at people.