Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren, Translation: Naomi Gal

Bethlehem 04/12/2015 
Clair Oren,  Translation: Naomi Gal

09:15 to 11:15 
There is more traffic today than during the last month and a half. A couple of Ecumenical volunteers who came from Bethlehem report it takes 20 minutes to pass and there were Palestinians who complained about a longer wait.

The security guards on the Jerusalem side regulate the pace of the passage and inform the other side when to stop and when to "stream". Thus opening and closing of windows - 4 open and then one only. They informed me that the soldiers have been working since morning without a break.

Hannah moved me forward to a young woman who is composing a report on what is happening at the checkpoints and about Machsomwatch activities and she asks the questions we are used to answer and thus enables us to again realize the truth of our convictions and the importance of our activities and their short and long term goals... and/or our debates about it all.

Several people arrive without the necessary documents, but nevertheless pass.  The security guard and the commander are checking, using their judgment; they  speak Arabic.

A Palestinian asks if it is possible to be exempt from a fine his friend got while driving him in a 1985 car. Back then there was no obligation to wear security belts in the back and there were no security belts. The Palestinian claims that the law (and the belts) applies only to vehicles from 1987 on, but the policeman who stopped them insisted that nowadays security belts have to be in all cars and imposed upon the driver a fine of several hundred shekels. A request to be tried or contacting a lawyer will cost even more, so I had no idea what to suggest to the youngster.

For all those arriving from Jerusalem today they opened the gate between window 2 and 3, so that they won’t have to squeeze in the carousel where the people waiting to cross to Jerusalem are waiting.