Bethlehem (300)

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Natanya Ginsburg, Hanna Barag (observers), J.H. (translation)

The last Friday of Ramadan

8:00 Compared to previous years, the traffic from the Palestinian side seems rather light. Permit examinations were thorough and young men under fourteen were prevented from crossing through.
The Palestinian police officers and Palestinian Authority representatives did their best to prevent young men from entering the checkpoint. Have they become accustomed to the occupation?
The line for women extends up the hill, which is difficult for many of the older women. After exiting the checkpoint there’s still a ways to walk to reach the buses, in the heat and under the sun. The path for men is much more comfortable.
Filth is accumulating alongside the walkways.
The shuttle buses operated quickly and efficiently. Part of Hebron Road and adjacent streets were blocked off from Israeli traffic. This allowed buses to travel quickly from the checkpoint to the Old City.
Observing the checkpoint on Fridays during Ramadan accentuates the violence of the occupation, even when there’s no physical or verbal violence perpetrated by the army or police. Freedom of worship? Festive holiday atmosphere?
We had to leave at 10:30 for personal reasons.