Bethlehem (300)

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Clair Oren, Translation: Naomi Gal
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Bethlehem Checkpoint 

09:15 to 10:45

 Four  windows were open and by the end of the shift even 5!

Many people passed today, however, 7 or 8 were rejected and each time in the same way: they were told to step aside and wait for the checking results. A few minutes later they were given back the   document they presented and were told (in Arabic) "Mmnoa" (prevented from entering Israel) and were instructed to go back home. Among those refused entry were men and women, adults and youngsters.

No policeman or a senior officer came out so no explanation was provided.

On the other hand a lot of Palestinians passed and were not required to wait too long because so many windows were operating. In one of them sat a woman-soldier who spoke loudly and irreverently. I remember the look of a respectable old man who had a hard time bearing the humiliation of a small movement of the head indicating he can pass. Even my shy smile and the blessing "Asslam alaykum" did not make it easier for him.

An Ecumenical volunteer whom I met in the past was present today.  This time they did not allow him to stand inside the checkpoint.