Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Mon 15.6.09, Afternoon

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Yael I., Orit Y., Ilana D. (reporting)

From 3:00 till 6:00 PM

Since we had met at a different venue we approached the OliveTeminal from
French Hill and not via the Mt. Scopus tunnel.

We got a good view of the continued construction of the wall around A-Zaim and inspected the still
closed off entrance to the ‘sunken’ road near the Border Police Hqs where a
civilian guard eyed us very suspiciously and asked what we were doing.

The Olive Passage, which had been overcrowded one morning this week looked
almost empty.

The line of vehicles approaching Maaleh Adumim from the direction of  El
Azariya was extremely long and apparently drivers have been told in no
uncertain terms that they are not allowed to try and squeeze in, because
they all waited patiently to let the stream of settlers returning from work
to  Male Adumim pass. We decided to check the length of the line on our way
back, from the Container, by which time it had evaporated.

We saw the start of the road-widening mentioned, as well as the recent
construction in the new neighborhoods of Kedar, but also some additional new
construction in Kedar-South.

It was hot at the Wadi Nar CP,
a new commander told us to get off the ‘sterileinfo-icon’ area  between the parking lot and the road, but allowed us to come quite close to the CP.

A few yellow transporters had been held up on their
way to Bethlehem, but their papers were returned to them within a few
minutes. On the way to Jerusalem a bus was held up and it took almost 15
minutes, from the time of our arrival until it was sent on its way. It had
blocked our view to the bench on which a young man had been sitting. We had
no idea for how long, but after we had looked at him for a few minutes a
soldiers brought him some water.

We received no satisfying reply to our question re the young man, but the commanders started frantically to make phone calls and after another fifteen minutes he was summoned to the booth
to sign something and receive a white slip (presumably for an appointment
with a ‘captain’) and sent back towards Bethlehem.

We drove back via the Mount of Olives and wondered at the huge Israeli flag
over two buildings along the road, the Pishpash, which looked deserted.

The construction in Ras El-Amud to enlarge the ‘Maaleh Zeitim’ settlement is
continuing apace. We drove via the Old Bethlehem Road and the Road of the
Americas and again overlooked the new construction site of a settlement in
the valley before reaching Sheikh Saed.

Sheikh Sad

We had never been there at this time of the day and found many cars parked along the road all the way to the
CP. Apparently all workers had already returned home and there were no more
Palestinians coming through the CP.

Having seen too much ‘natural growth’ construction for one day, we decided
not to look at Nof Zion  in Jebel Mukabr.