Bethlehem (300)

Claire Oren, Ida, Translation: Naomi Gal



8:50 to 10:45

A lot of Palestinians are passing, between 4 and 7 windows are open!

The cold did not stop them, the sun was accommodating, many Palestinians crowded at the windows and passed, many of them accompanied by dressed up children, with grins on their faces. The adults smile and greet, the passage is relatively swift and quiet. Occasionally they announce over the PA another open window.

2 older Palestinian are sent home because they forgot their ID card. They both reacted the same way: "I am old, I forgot the card, please let me pass." The soldier and the security guard refused. At my request to involve the checkpoint commander (who often checks if the Palestinian remembers his ID number, and sometimes let them pass) the security guard responded that he was instructed by phone not to pass people who arrive without an ID card. He adds: "If we let him through and later he’ll be checked in the Old City and wouldn’t have an ID card - it will be much worse."

Around five Palestinians arrived at the window and only then found out that their permit had been revoked and they have to go to the DCL since they are prevented.  The security guard did not bother to talk and explain, but only made the slightest condescending movement with his hand indicating people should go back home. On the other hand - he offered sweets to children waiting for their parents. Then he offered a yellow balloon to a little girl who became frightened and did not dare take it. Her father took the balloon and gave it to her and she held it without showing any joy, as if it was a ticking bomb. My friends, their children and grandchildren carry with them many fears…