Bethlehem (300), Fri 18.1.13, Morning
Translation: Yael Bassis-Student
Bethlehem checkpoint 9:15 –10:45
Many people go through, without the need to wait on the Jerusalem side. No one was denied passage during our shift. There was a question regarding two women, who presented a permit that in the female soldier's opinion at the booth had expired. She called the officer who inspected the forms, listened, and finally allowed them to go through.
Part of the people are Christians who take advantage of the final days of their permits received for Christmas and the New year. Some have permits valid through Jan.18th. and others until Jan.21st. It is unclear whether the difference in the dates have to do with their church affiliation or simply arbitrariness of the occupation.
When we left we saw the iron gate inside the wall open. A Palestinian told us earlier that Abu-Mazen was due to visit Bethlehem. We did not see Abu-Maze but rather a long convoy escorted by soldiers riding on horses hoisting Israeli flags and inside the cars there were clerics who seemed to have escorted a dignitary maybe of the Armenian church.