Bethlehem (300), Fri 2.8.13, Morning

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Yehudit Elkana and Hanna Barag (reporting)

Translation: Devorah Kalekin-Fishman


 4th Friday of the Ramadan

There is an endless flow of women and men going to pray. The process is very quick. There is extreme care with regard to the 'ages'.  Young people who succeeded in getting through the first 'filter' at the entrance to the CP were halted at the second control point and sent back. We had the impression that more people are refused entry today than were refused in the past weeks of the Ramadan.. The different people who are refused entry permanently were stopped when they reached the exit  of the CP on the Israeli side. ID's were collected and people were organized in groups. When the group was big enough, they had them leave together and returned the ID's when they left the CP. The soldiers were very careful and made sure that they all had their ID's returned to them.  As one soldier explained to me: 'Afterwards looking for an ID card is a bad story!'


Women went through the CP in the passage made especially for them. This time there was a cooler there, which made it a bit easier for them in the heat of today. As in former weeks today there were also a few women who fainted and needed first aid from the Red Crescent.


During the morning the computers fell and there was  danger of a traffic 'jam'. A police officer who was there foresaw the problem and opened an additional gate at the upper entrance of the CP and prevented delays.


The soldiers behaved well and the administration officers were available to answer questions throughout the time that we were at the CP.


The activities of the Red Crescent people deserve special mention. They were very courteous and seemed to be professional. Their shiny jackets made it possible to identify them clearly as first aid people and their doctor had bars on his shoulder.


Last week's comment about the behavior of the civil society people apparently accomplished  something good, because this time they behaved far better.

The cooperation between the Palestinian and the Israeli officers is important and efficient.