Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren observing & reporting, Translation: Naomi Gal

Bethlehem Checkpoint


09:00 to 11:15

Very few Palestinians arrived today. A curfew was announced.  Men older than 55 and people with permits pass. Women pass presenting a permit with no age restrictions. There were no children today.

Two  windows were open most of the time.

There was one security guard.

by A high ranking officer, who toured with an entourage, paid  an official visit and asked for my impressions…

I said that the curfew was for today only and that “if everything goes quietly it won’t last”.

A few Palestinians who were too young did arrive. One was 47 years old with a work permit – they told him to come back at 2AM.

Another one, a young businessman, passed. The curfew doesn’t include businessmen from the common industrial areas.

A man around 40 years old arrived, a Palestinian who lives in Australia and came for a few days visit. He wanted to join his wife and daughter who had passed and spend 3 days with them. They checked, he showed his passport, said he is Christian and is not on his way to Al Aqsa Mosque, showed his flight ticket back next week – they explained politely they cannot let him pass but advised him too to come back at 2AM or to pass through another checkpoint (Azzayim).

Two  men were told they are prevented. They were told to wait while they were checking. Within 10 minutes they told one of them that he is prevented and has to go back. The other one waited close to an hour. When I left there was still no answer. The soldier I addressed (look, he has been waiting for a long time and his wife is waiting for him outside. Maybe you could ask them to check again and give a response) said that she is checking and waiting for response.

Two Ecumenical representatives arrived and asked about the curfew.