Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren; Translation: Naomi Gal

Bethlehem Checkpoint

The eve of Yom Kippur and Eid Al Adha



Quite deserted, very few people pass. I dared sit on the edge of an abandoned flowerpot. The officer came out at once and informed me:

-        First of all you have no right to stand inside the checkpoint, and definitely not to sit. You can sit outside or stand by the entrance.

Of course I stood inside the checkpoint, close to the only open window.

Whoever arrived passed without a problem. One Palestinian wanted to know when would he be able to return and if the checkpoint will be closed till after Yom Kippur. The soldier responded that he will be able to pass with his permit whenever he’d like tomorrow.

At 10:10 3 policemen arrived through the checkpoint from Bethlehem pushing a Palestinian while one of the policemen was holding his folded arm behind his back and disappeared with him in one of the interior rooms. There was no one to ask about this man’s fate. At 10:40 a policeman came out and I asked what’s going on.

-        He went wild at the checkpoint, called: “Allahu Akbar” tried to break something and to incite the people who were there to join him.

When I left the checkpoint was completely deserted, the Palestinian was still inside.