Beitar, Beitar Illit, Bethlehem (300)
09:30 to 10:30
Ramadan is over and you can again reach the checkpoint by car. There was a fence at the entrance to the parking lot but it was easy to remove.
Surprisingly (for me) the whole checkpoint area is completely deserted. Almost no Palestinians are trying to pass to Jerusalem; perhaps the thought of spending a few hours during the festival that ends the month of Ramadan standing at the checkpoint is not a pleasant one and therefore there are very few people.
The few who did come probably had other purposes; not praying in Al-Aqsa. From a short tour of the Damascus Gate area we saw that most of the shops were closed and there was no sign of the usual hectic traffic on Fridays.
The decreasing stream of people passing at the checkpoint did not make the passage easier. A woman who wanted to pass to the hospital to visit her son passed but her daughter-in-law was refused because she arrived without a permit. The man had been hospitalized for a long time and the women thought that during the holiday the policy of easing the passage would be like throughout the month of Ramadan but the holiday doesn’t count when it comes to procedures, and the daughter-in-law did not pass despite attempts to contact and help.