Bethlehem (300)

Yehudit Elkana, Natanya Ginsburg (reporting) (Palestinian side); Yael S., Claire Oren (Israelli side)

Second Friday of Ramadan

Yehudit and I arrived at the Palestinian side at about 9 am.  We received a friendly and helpful welcome from both soldiers and commanders.


We were told that last week, probably as a result of the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, there were only just over 6000 people who went through but today, by 9am, 8000 had done so. The passage of people seemed to have gone smoothly and there were not exceptionally long lines.

We did not see many people who were turned back.


We saw some young boys looking very excited standing in the line but afterwards we saw that they had been returned. There were five of them and they were over 12. One of the United Nations officials asked them what the problem was but just then their father came running up. but after some words with the soldiers they were let through.


The women went through with no problem and we were surprised to see 4 women in an earnest conversation with the women soldier. Afterwards she said that they had had a problem and she had tried to help them solve it.

We left at about 10.45 as everything seemed to be going smoothly.

The Israeli side
Today there were more women than last week and also the number of people in general was larger  which led to the usage of the gate which can be seen in this video.

Just at the moment when we were on our way home we met two women, one a Jerusalemite and the other from Hebron who was bringing her son home after having been hospitalized. They had been trying to get back to Hebron and did not know how to get back. The soldier who was standing at the side and eating (when we arrived at one of the windows another guard was smoking), said to me.”If you want to help them, you do so …..I cannot show them", not helping much or showing consideration. Y. took them to the correct gate which led to the Palestinian side and the Jerusalemite told me this was the first time she had gone through.