Bethlehem (300), Fri 5.7.13, Morning

Claire Oren

Translation: Naomi Gal


9:40 to 11:15


There are many people today throughout the whole shift. 4 windows are open.

A line is formed, unusually, on the Israeli side. According to a report of two young Ecumenical volunteers it took them 20 minutes to get through and there are not many people on the Palestinian side.

On the Israeli side they insist on the biometric checking which is probably what is causing the delay. The police officer came out twice and passed people through the gate between two windows, briefly browsing their permits in order to shorten the wait. In one of the windows there was a problem with the computer and eventually they opened another window.

There were two cases of passage prevention: a man who arrived with his two young daughters and had to go come back the way he came. He did not have a permit.

The second case was of a family: the father crossed with his two daughters and son, but the mother, a young woman who said she had tests at the hospital, was not allowed to pass. It turned out that the permit she had was for the 4th of July and today is the 5th. Nothing helped. The police officer and the deputy commander of the DCO who came on a tour determined that she could not pass and explained to me: 
- You see, she might be caught at the exit from the Malha Mall without a permit and she’ll be defined as an illegal resident. - But she did get a permit for yesterday, meaning she is not a real threat to state security. 
- When you go for tests do you take all the kids with you?

-??? We're in no way in their situation! It is quite natural to combine different needs.

- Yes, we are not in their situation.