Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren Translation: Naomi Gal

9:15 to 11:15

4 windows are open at the beginning of the shift, one at the end. Most of the time Palestinians are standing and waiting for a short time. One of the soldiers, an energetic officer, knows Arabic well and is making efforts to help even those who have forgotten some document. He consults another document, examines, and explains.

Tourists who arrived from Jordan without a visa are not allowed to pass. One on them complains indignantly that she is 50, just like the lady who passed in front of her. The soldier explains: "Yes, but this lady has a Palestinian identity card while you don’t." There are advantages to a Palestinian ID card!

The circus of prevented continues. Men and women suddenly discover at the checkpoint that from now on they can’t pass, without a reason they know. Usually this “amuses” them and the people surrounding them.  One of the men who used to pass every week was informed three weeks ago he is prevented from entering Israel; he is trying his luck again and discovers that the prevention is still valid. This time he doesn’t even try to argue.

Children in the line for inspection try to lower their caliber. That's how it is - children understand what might help... sometimes it’s better to be considered younger than they are, and other times it’s better for them to be considered older than they really are..