Bethlehem

May-22-2003
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Complete closureinfo-icon today. At Tantur about
ten women were held up. None had a permit. They just wanted to go
to their jobs, but couldn't. BP soldiers polite and calm. Gush
Etzion: The only ones passing were medical staff in a Red
Crescent/Cross (odd combination) car. Everyone else, including
students on their way to Bethlehem U, were refused entry to Area B.
At El Khadre the same. No crossing over from Area B into A. We
asked to cross the dirtheap to speak to the taxi drivers. The
soldiers called their commanders, and we were refused. Students
waiting to go to class at Bethlehem U were also refused, even with
a student card. An old man was standing shocked at the roadblock.
Had worked for 52 years at the American Colony Hotel as doorman. He
needed to go to get a permit to drive through Israel to the airport
on Tuesday. Has a ticket to the US. Can't get through today...
Roadblock 300: Cars passing, obviously with blue ID's. A refreshing
sight was two buses full of Italian tourists, cameras, bags, and
musical instruments strung across their backs, crossing over to
Bethlehem for touring. Two Palestinian buses were waiting for them
on the other side. This must have made their day in the town of the
Nativity. What a break. A few men were standing at the
caravan-turned-interrogation-site. Two guys from Zur Baher, one
with blue ID, and his brother-in-law, with orange ID. The latter
was stopped by an improvised roadblock on their way into Jerusalem
to see a lawyer, and was almost crying at his predicament.