Bethlehem (300)

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Clair Oren, Translation: Naomi Gal


9:15 to 11:00


A celebration for GSS (and probably livelihood for a lawyer and a load for Sylvia ...)

Masses want to pass.  It’s been a long time since I saw so many Palestinians at the CP on a Friday.

For most of the shift 2 windows were open, only at first and toward the end there were 3 windows operating in order to lighten the pressure. People are waiting. One shouts that he waited for an hour. 

An Ecumenical volunteer says it took him 20 minutes to pass from the Palestinian side of the checkpoint to the Israeli side. He related difficult things that happened in the last two weeks. Amongst others he told about a Palestinian who, in one of the busier days, was crushed against the bars and died. (According to H. he died from a fatal heart disease).

I had a long conversation with the senior policeman. In the next few weeks the  procedures will be more stringent due to the tensions in Jerusalem and the surroundings. He said that it’s so slow today because they were severely reprimanded by senior officers because every now and then they opened the gate between the windows and let adults pass without registering them on the computer.

Today GSS detained 9 people (!) in less than two hours! Most of them quite elderly. They let them stand (a couple each time) at the entrance after their documents were taken away and they were asked to wait while the papers were checked. After 10 minutes the documents were returned to them and they were told they were restricted from passing and they have to turn back. The senior policeman said these are GSS orders so there is definitely a reason.

Toward the end of the shift he decided despite everything to open the gate between the windows and let older women pass. The stream of people never ceased.