Bethlehem (300), Fri 6.1.12, Morning
Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: three inspection stations were open, and in station No 2 there was a bullying female soldier, who was loudmouthed and exploited the fact that elderly Palestinian women didn’t understand everything she said (or shouted) to them, and harassed them.
In the beginning I thought I had miss-heard her or that she was talking to the soldier who was with her in the cubicle. Later, I heard her turn to a Palestinian woman after the examination and authorization, and said “100 shekels” . . .then she added “ just kidding”, and this was repeated several times.
She called a woman who didn’t understand how to attach the authorization to the windowpane “good-for-nothing”. To another woman tried to cross with her daughter but didn’t have a permit for her she said “go home, the girl can’t pass, she should go back to her shack”.
When I approached the soldier, she completely ignored me. I went to the civil administration office and lodged a complaint. They wrote down some of the things and promised to deal with them.
Two other soldiers in stations number 1 and 3 did their job quietly and well. The female soldier in station number 2 was trying to relieve her boredom and didn’t understand the extent to which she had lost her humanity.
The international volunteers phoned from the Palestinian side and told me that about 600 Palestinians were waiting when they arrived at 10.00. The also saw a massive police presence there, and were told that the Patriach was expected to pass and therefore there were obstacles.