Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren, Translator: Naomi Gal


09:20 to 10:40

Three open windows, a short queue of Palestinians. 2 security guards. At the gate stands an Ecumenical volunteer.

Shortly after I arrived I heard someone tell the guards on the radio "Tell her to get out…” or something along these lines. I didn’t immediately understand this was referred to me but the security guards turned to me and said: 
- Did you hear? 
- What?? 
- You should not be here. You must get out. 
- You know I'm allowed to be here and that I always stand here. 
- There are new procedures and now it’s forbidden. 
- Call the commander and you’ll see that you are wrong. 
- I'm in command here.

When I refused to leave the security guards ordered the soldiers to stop checking and letting people pass. I was furious and of course left (I certainly would not want Palestinians to wait longer because of me). This triggered a wave of laughter, applause and ridicule from the guards.

I called the center; they suggested I talk to the ombudsman. Alon promised to check and get back to me. He indeed called back and said that there must be a new instruction; it is still unclear who gave the order and why. He will find out but doesn’t  promise to get back with an answer today.