Bethlehem (300)

Natanya Ginsburg

I arrived at the checkpoint at 7.15. Unlike Thursday the road was clear.  Many students went through to Bethlehem,  mainly young women it seemed to me.. One man told me I should come earlier and that there were many people on the Palestinian side but those coming through came through did so  quietly with no signs of the anger and tension of last week. I was told that  the humanitarian gate was not open. No one complained to me.

 Three security guards sat very comfortably on their chairs drinking their coffee. But each one with a cigarette.

After 8.00 many Christians came through on their way to celebrate the holiday of Mary of the Greek Orthodox church. Only two windows were open but the progress was reasonable.

 I left at 9.10 and took a taxi as there is no bus except that for the workers which each time filled up quickly. At the circle my Gett taxi  driver was stopped by three policeman. Why three policeman are needed there at such a time I do not know. First they said that they needed to check his motor and wheels and then he showed them that the car was new. So then they claimed that I did not have the belt on which I did and then they started peeling some extra lining off his windows saying it was illegal. They gave him a report and to me it looked like sheer harassment and had he not been a Jewish Israeli I would have been certain of it. An unpleasant ending to a quiet day.