Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren, Translation: Naomi Gal

Eid al-Fitr 10:00 to 11:40

Not a pleasant day at the checkpoint (not that it’s usually pleasant, not that such a place is supposed to be pleasant, but there is always the hope that on a holiday there would be some leniency, accommodation ...). But everything is crawling people complain that on the Bethlehem side of the Checkpoint many people of all ages are waiting. Later, an older man tells me that they open for five minutes and then close for five minutes, and that “it is not right.”

On the Israeli side there is no sense of pressure: the one time that a line was formed I went to the security guard and without letting me finish the sentence he told me that he already asked for another window to be opened. Even before the soldier arrived the line dissolved and everybody passed.

As for the Palestinian side, I turned to headquarters and they promised to check, but apparently did nothing.

Some Palestinians were not allowed to pass because of an expired permit or lack of one. A man of about 50 asked the soldier to let a family member from Jordan to pass even though she didn’t bring the necessary stamp with the passport - to no avail.

A young Palestinian arrived with two small children. She lives in the US and came to visit her father. Once again a document was missing but in the end and after the efforts of the father the entire family passed.