Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 23.3.08, Morning
7:00 Bethlehem crossing: Closure for Purim. In spite of the closure and the fact that almost no one is allowed to cross, there are two windows open. The girl soldiers want to know who we are and we give them information.
A group of Italian pilgrims cross over to Jerusalem to go to church on this Sunday Easter day. We wish them happy Easter and they, having no idea who we are, may well think we represent the Ministry of Tourism!!!
The shrill voices of the female soldiers on the other side disturb the silence of the terminal. They scream into the loudspeakers, or at least that is how it sounds, and in the almost complete silence of today, it rails the nerves.
We leave earlier than usual and decide to pay a visit to Abu Nassim's grocery in Bet Ummar to show solidarity. The road there is beautiful in the spring, but one's heart breaks when one passes by the refugee camp of El Arub and the dusty grocery of Abu Nassim.
Back to Etsion DCL where a soldier's voice screams through the loudspeaker just as in the Bethlehem terminal this morning. We take some new "customers", GSS blacklisted, and towards 10:00 we make our way back to Purim in Jerusalem, celebrated under heavy protection.