Bethlehem, the fourth Friday of the month of Ramadan

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Claire O., Reporting Marcia L,. Translation

 9:15 – 10:45


I arrived early and left early because I had to be home by 12:00.  Unlike last week, Border Patrol soldiers (who stood immediately behind the right turn in the direction of the checkpoint), didn’t stop me or ask anything. They let me continue ahead so I found a parking space relatively close to the checkpoint.

There were few people at the beginning of the observation.  I stood close to the Palestinian exit from the courtyard, the same one they cross to exit the checkpoint. A soldier was interested in what I was doing there.  He, also, had never heard of Machsom Watch.

“If you are looking for something, can I help you?”

“I am not looking for anything; I only want to observe what happens at the checkpoint.”

And that was the end of the conversation. He didn’t send me to any other place, he didn’t tell me that this was a sterileinfo-icon area, etc., as has happened in the past.

Along the entire road, groups of soldiers walked and told jokes among themselves.  There was no visible tension.

The buses waited, one after another, until they filled up and then left. This is much different from the crowding and pushing in years past.

I hope that the Muslim Palestinians will be happy enough to enjoy the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.