Bethlehem (300)

Ruth O. and Ilana D. (reporting)


From 6:30 till 8:00 AM



We had never seen as many cars parked outside the CP it was very difficult to find a parking spot. Already from the men on the curb we heard that the passage had been extremely bad that morning and that the men had climbed on top of each other to reach the turnstiles. Inside we saw the pushing crowds, a security guard was chatting with a girl-soldier, the door to her booth was open and despite the fact that five windows were open the crossing was very slow. The girls are sleeping is what the angry Palestinians told us. It was noisy and there was screaming and the sight was terrible. Three members of the Blue and White Human Rights group entered. We asked them what they thought and one of them answered: זה מורכב- it’s complicated. They chatted and laughed for a while with a policeman who did not look at the pushing and shoving crowds and didn’t even consider opening a gate and letting people through and left after about ten minutes. Someone screamed something about the ‘sleeves’ through the loudspeaker and the pressure eased, so apparently the turnstiles had been closed, because we heard ominous noises from the back. A woman who had crossed told us in good English that it had taken her two hours and that the men had even stepped over the heads of the women.

A man was sent back, since the computer showed that he was refused on security grounds. He told us that it is not true and that he returns every day and that they took his papers to check. He claimed he would not need Sylvia, since everything is OK, but in the end reluctantly took her telephone number. Our friend A. from Wallaje who usually exits before 7:00 AM only appeared at 7:30 and said it had taken much longer than usual and that the situation on the other end is horrible since the old commander, a Druze, has been reinstalled about a week ago. He proudly informed us that he finished digging his water cistern and that now he feels much more relaxed, since there is fifty cubes of water in it. Later he called and said that  he would like to have an ‘emergency’ number for  MW, because he is hesitant to wake us up when the situation is like it was today on the other side. He also stated that he and all the others are now totally intimidated and dare not speak up or complain publicly for fear of being ‘punished’ and  not being able to get to work. He explained that a man had said something which didn’t please one of the guards and was forced all the way back in the long, long line that morning. He fears that as of tomorrow the man may no longer be allowed in. He asked us to come more often, since only on Sunday MW women come to CP 300.

When there were less people, three windows were closed. In the car we heard about the attack in Har Nof; we didn’t proceed to the DCL.