Bethlehem

Jul-1-2003
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07.15, checkpoint 300. A short line of
pedestrians is crossing swiftly. A line of cars is checked very
slowly. A car bypassed the line, and a drivers' struggle ensued. As
an "educational punishment", car checking is stopped. The
border policemen are still on from the night shift, and look very
tired. When at 07.30 a new shift of border policemen's arrives, the
cars are let through with reasonable speed. Only one lane for cars
is open for both directions. The other lane opens only when there
is no closureinfo-icon (i.e., almost never). These procedures cannot be
changed. Cars owned by people with blue IDs have no preference in
the line, whereas pedestrians with blue ID's can bypass the queue.
This, according to the commander, was a court decision
(???).

08.15, El-Khadr. No permanent roadblock, just a border police jeep
with a couple of border policemen. Most Palestinians pass without
being checked. The border policemen detain most of the young men,
taking their IDs for checking. About 15 men stand in a line for
approximately 45 min. As soon as they are released, new men are
detained. Some of them are bodily searched. They are not permitted
to smoke. We call N., who is outraged, and says he will send
someone right away to call the border policemen to order, and that
he will not allow humiliation of Palestinians. Unfortunately we had
to leave before he arrived. He invited Machsom Watch members to
meet him and to work together on the issues of human rights and
human respect.

The son of the woman who was seriously wounded in a car accident in
El-Khadr on June 15 came to see us. His mother is out of hospital,
has still problems, but is generally much better. She awaits
physiotherapy in Hadassah Mt. Scopus hospital.