בית לחם (300)
Second Friday of Ramadan
9:00 to 11:00
Like last week the access road to the checkpoint is blocked. This time they allowed me to leave the car close to the blockage.
2 windows are open. Only men pass through the checkpoint, the women pass around, although this week as well the number of Palestinians passing is nothing compared to the number of passing during a “normal” Ramadan.
Like a week ago, a huge fan greets those who are passing. Again and again men stand next to the good wind, with a big smile.
The women-soldiers are occasionally busy with the security guards, but there is a soldier and security guard, who are swiftly passing people aged 50 + after a brief glance at their identity cards instead of them standing in queue. Anyway there is hardly any queue.
A few are turned back because they are younger than 50 and do not have a permit.
3 young women from the United Nations arrive. One is on her way to Bethlehem, another one is returning to Jerusalem and the third one remains at the checkpoint. I explain to her about MW, she says she is a volunteer (not an employee of the UN and therefore has no insurance and is not allowed out of the office in Jerusalem. Today, exceptionally, they allowed her to get out for a while). She came for three months because of an urgent need for manpower. I explain to her the required separation between men and women and show her where the women are and she decides to go see. It turns out she had a difficult experience and luckily Hannah was there to rescue her. Hannah arrived at the checkpoint and told me. She will probably write about it in her report.