בית לחם (300)
The second Friday of Ramadan
9:00 to 11:00
The access road to the checkpoint is closed by the police but you can park on the side of the road. Crowds pass non-stop, women go around (along with older men and children), young men pass through the checkpoint windows or go through the second gate (not the usual gate) directly to the parking lot, where many women are waiting for family members to join them. Occasionally the soldiers try to remove them (some with a shout and a threat, others politely). Later, a senior police officer said, 'It is okay, they can wait here until their men arrive."
The young people who are not allowed to pass are standing aside, per order of the chief policeman, and are expressing their displeasure.
The sight of the crowds being pushed like herds by security forces in order to empty the lot and board the buses is less than thrilling. However the situation is by far better than it was several years ago concerning the percentage of Palestinians whose right to hold their worship is respected. And in fact even better than the rest of the year and as said in other reports - it clarifies further the true purpose of all walls and checkpoints.