מאז 2001 אנו משקיפות מדי יום בעשרות מחסומי צה"ל הנמצאים בתוך הגדה, בבקעת הירדן, על גדר ההפרדה, בכבישים ראשיים ובדרכי עפר צדדיות; במשרדי המינהל האזרחי (מת"קים) שם מונפקים לפלסטינים אישורים שונים; בבתי משפט צבאיים בדיונים של עצירים פלסטינים. הצוות שלנו שוהה במחסום ככל הנדרש ועוקב אחרי התנהלות החיילים והפלסטינים, ללא הפרעה. לעיתים, לנוכח יחס בוטה וקשה אל הפלסטינים, יש ואנו מנסות להתערב באמצעות פנייה ישירה אל החיילים או בטלפון למפקדיהם. הדוחות מהתצפיות מתפרסמים באתר זה בעברית ובאנגלית.
Har Adar, Wed 18.4.12, Afternoon
From 14:30 till 17:00 We had heard about the existence of this checkpoint and decided to investigate.
In reality the place is like a hybrid between a gate and a checkpoint. It is located at the end of the main road which runs between the old Har Adar settlement and the new one, very close to the building of the school now under construction and the residences around it. There is no security personnel and next to it are two shabby shelters that look like bus stops. On the gate is a sign which defines the passage as “separation impediment” and a time schedule which announces that the gate will be opened at 14:30, 16:30 and 18:30. On the other side of the gate is a security road and beyond it another two gates the last of which is located within the village of Bidu.
When we arrived at 14:45 a Palestinian worker was sitting under one of the awnings – he had arrived too late and now had to wait almost two hours until the next opening. He told us that whoever enters through this gate, the residents of the enclave of Katana, Bidu, Kubeiba and Beit Iksa is allowed to work in Har Adar and that there are at present about 300 of them. Beforehand there had been up to five hundred workers. Most of them are employed in construction, but some also in household work as cleaners or gardeners in private homes. Work permits are obtained from the employers through the local council. The Palestinians, some of whom have been working in Har Adar for twenty years are not allowed to walk to the gate or around the settlement. The employers take them in their cars to the gate; the contractors take those who work in construction in a van and those who work in cleaning and gardening are taken in private cars. Slowly dozens of Palestinians arrive, some of whom have to wait more than an hour for the gate to open. They just sit and wait there while their homes are within easy walking distance, but impossible to reach.
At 16:30, as expected, the gate was opened. Two Border Police jeeps with armed soldiers and a security vehicle of Har Adar stopped next to each other and another private car of a man in civilian clothes joined the ranks. All the Palestinians stood in a straight line, entered the “sleeve” and proceeded in exemplary order; their permits were checked randomly. After they had crossed one gate, it was closed and the second opened – the entire procedure took ten minutes. Private cars and cabs awaited the workers at the entrance to Bidu.
We remained with some uneasy questions such as:
* What is the security logic in of tightly secured passage of dozens (or maybe hundreds) of Palestinians who beforehand were sitting and walking around near the gate (and the houses nearby) without any supervision?
* Why can’t the gate be opened at least once an hour, so that Palestinians who finish their work at least an hour earlier don’t have to wait unnecessarily?
* What happens in rainy days, or when there is hail (like so often during this last winter) since there is no shelter near the gate?