Bethlehem (300)

Claire Oren (reporting), Rachel (a guest from Ireland) Translation: Naomi Gal


9:00 to 11:00

Not a typical situation, but this, too, happens: given that there is a checkpoint and there are rules by which soldiers are supposed to act, there was absolutely nothing we could complain about.

The old commander was present, the educated and courteous one. He scurried among the windows, arranging, precipitating, assisting, checking, speaking excellent Arabic, he made sure that everything will be done as best as possible, an experienced and a known soldier is for the best.

At the windows sat soldiers who were quiet and polite. No shouting was heard, no demeaning hand signals. Everything was matter-of-fact.

I reread what I have written, it sounds like army propaganda, but there is nothing here that is not entirely accurate ...!

Quite a few people came from Jordan today. Most of them had a visa in their passport. Those who didn’t have one were checked by phone at the terminal and were able to pass.

Some people came with small children without a title deed (birth certificate) and also a 15-year-old boy without a permit. Each procedure was explained to them patiently, in detail and in a respectful way and they were allowed to pass.

Two older sisters arrived, but only one of them old enough to pass without a permit. The other sister was told she’ll have to return home, but eventually another check was made at the terminal and on the phone and they let her pass.

And thus, all the problems were solved.

A few individuals were unable to pass - two young men who arrived without a permit and a family that none of its members had a permit.

I of course explained to the guest that this is not typical. She was at Qalandiya so she saw different situations as well.