Bethlehem (300)

Clair Oren, Ida, Translation: Naomi Gal

8:55 to 10:45

Although there is a curfew, as the checkpoint’s commander confirms, it is open for humanitarian cases. Actually quite a few Palestinians are passing.

Fortunately, the commander at the checkpoint today is favorably known to us for a long time, an educated and courteous man, aware of human rights, as well as a young officer, who we know and respect, too, and who speaks fluent Arabic and is all about a desire to help people, perceiving his role as a service provider. The two security-guards are sitting, snickering and making occasional comments that could be construed as offensive, but cannot actually cause damage when these two commanders are in charge.

I did not open an apologetic rubric on the checkpoints’ teams and have no intention to glorify the occupation, but these two people really deserve all the kind words. The young officer does not rest for a second. Every Palestinian rejected for any reason by the soldier at the checkpoint - the officer is already there, taking a document, checking over the phone and most of the time allowing passage. Palestinians turn to him and he takes care of them immediately. As part of the old debate in MahsomWatch as to what degree we are collaborating with the occupation, just the fact of our presence in the checkpoints testifies to our compliance with the fact that there are checkpoints in the first place, one could argue that this kind of commanders make it almost possible to accept the shameful phenomenon of all these blockages…

No unusual events were recorded. A family arrived with all the necessary paperwork except for those of a 15 years old girl. The same officer had a long conversation with the father and explained to him that while it is possible to let them pass, a policeman might check them in Jerusalem and find out that the girl has no permit (needed for children from the age of 14) – and she might be arrested.