Bethlehem (300), Fri 17.5.13, Morning
Translation: Bracha B.A.
09:00 – 10:50
There are four positions open and no waiting line. People are arriving in small groups and don't have to wait long.
A soldier approaches us and asks: "Do you remember what happened a week ago?"
"You are not allowed to stand inside the checkpoint. That's what the police commanded decided."
"We've been standing here for years. I want to talk with the checkpoint commander."
The checkpoint commander, a policeman wearing a yarmulke, arrives and informs us that these are new regulations that were made by the regional commander. The Ecumenical Church people are also not allowed to stand in the checkpoint or near it.
We inform him that we are not connected to them.
"I know, but there's been a decision to adhere to these new regulations. That's what the new commander decided, and he's in charge here."
We phoned Hanna Barag who checked the matter and called us back, informing us that she was not informed of any new regulations. We will see next week. This week we stood near the entrance to the checkpoint but not inside, at our usual place. There were no problems, and people, including a large family with a lot of children, passed through. Occasionally people were asked to show a magnetic card or to place a finger of one hand on the machine, but no one was detained.