9:00 to 10:30
Only one window is open. There's a fairly long line of waiting Palestinians. There is no security guard and no officer.
I turned to the soldier asking him to request the opening of additional windows. His answer: There is no manpower.
A telephone to the Center – they promised to take action but nothing happened for about an hour. Then an officer came out and passed people through the middle gate. People were upset and pushed a little. The soldier was stressed and shouted. Every now and then someone tried to sneak by and then the soldier banged on his window’s glass like crazy and shouted, "Hey, come back at once! Are you insane?"
From the Palestinian side of the checkpoint arrived three Ecumenical volunteers and said that they passed in 20 minutes and that there aren’t a lot of people there. Here, on the Israeli side, a line has formed since only one window was active and the soldier did not waive the biometric test (fingerprint check). One of the volunteers came from South Africa and was interviewed next to the checkpoint for a well-known radio program.
When the officer was positioned and passing people, the soldier suddenly shouted, pointing at one of the oldest women, who was holding an expired permit, and ordered her to go back. He seemed on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The officer calmed him down and accompanied the older woman back to Bethlehem. Was it possible that later I saw her trick them all and pass, or is it just my wishful thinking?