Bethlehem (300), Fri 19.4.13, Morning
9:00 to 10:50
Naomi Gal translation
Three windows are open. Many Palestinians are passing but according to their reports the passing doesn’t take long: they say that there are not many people on the Palestinian side and that it takes about 15 minutes to pass. Towards the end of the shift an ecumenical volunteer passed and reported it took her 25 minutes.
A strange event at the beginning of the shift: an older woman passed along with two men, all of a sudden soldiers run toward her claiming she was not checked in the sleeve on the Palestinians side and had surpassed it (how is that possible?). They took her back, checked her and demanded her to return to the other side and go through the security check. Eventually she came back and crossed over to Jerusalem.
By the end of the shift: a 45 year old man presented his permit and was turned down. When I asked the soldier at the window why he was refused passage, the soldier said that the permit was no longer valid. The man stood there between the windows, probably hoping for a miracle. A few minutes later, a security guard led him into an inner room. 5 minutes later the security guard came out apparently summoned by a soldier in window 1 and asked, "Where is the illegal guy?" They pointed at a disheveled young man 25 years old and led him through the same door to an inner room.
15 minutes later he came out with the two men, wagged his finger, rebuked them, and warned them lest they try again to infiltrate, and followed them to make sure they return to Bethlehem.