Bethlehem (300), Fri 10.5.13, Morning

Observers: 
Efrat B., Clair Oren
10/05/2013
|
Morning

Naomi Gal translation

 

4 windows are open, there’s hardly any queue. The passage is not fast because of the requirement to press the finger on the biometric identifier ... Also in one of the windows a soldier reminds everyone they must show a magnetic card. He Indeed does so politely and even with a smile but he sends one person home to bring the magnetic card. To a comment about the amount of time wasted he responds: "I am sending him just because there is no pressure right now and he will not get stuck for a long time when he comes back.”

Other people who arrived without the magnetic card were not sent back, but were warned that next time they will have to go home and bring the card.

At the beginning of the shift a police officer came out from the inner rooms and bluntly and with great hostility commanded me to stand by the door and not inside the checkpoint, as we usually do. I tried to argue but he threatened to arrest me, to the soldiers who were nearby he said that he doesn’t want me to hear what he was saying to them. I moved a little farther and tried to call the DCO. One of the soldiers told him I was calling and he reacted very angrily and very loudly, so I won’t miss a word: “I don’t care if she calls her grandfather as well!"  
He went back into the inner rooms and I went back to my place, and then the courteous policeman, who turns the checkpoint to a place that’s almost bearable for Palestinians, came out and apologized for the behavior of the police officer, but said that he is the boss and I should stay away for at least some time.

Towards the end of the shift an ecumenical volunteer arrived and reported that only one sleeveinfo-icon is functioning on Bethlehem’s side, and that it took her 25 minutes to pass.

Many Palestinians began to arrive and the courteous policeman stood next to one of the windows and swiftly let Palestinians pass glimpsing their permits, and handling the various problems that arose and they all passed.

As long as there are checkpoints I wish we could duplicate him!