Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Tue 30.6.09, Afternoon
Julia W., Rahel W. (reporting)
It was an oppressively hot afternoon. Azariah was unusually crowded for a hot day. We continued on to Wadi Nar and were shocked to see a line up of traffic heading south that extended well back into the village. We could not ever remember such a back up.?
We walked over to the checkpoint, greeted the border police who were manning the place, and asked why the backup. One of them said that one of the Palestinian drivers had hit a woman and they had tried unsuccessfully to apprehend him. They said that that had occurred just five minutes before and were surprised that we didn't notice it. We said that we were too busy trying to estimate the number of cars waiting to get through the checkpoint (a backup which had occurred
much more than 5 minutes ago!). However, we did notice that from the moment they spotted us, traffic started moving and after about 20 minutes, it was moving at a normal pace. While we have often questioned how valuable our presence is at this particular checkpoint, we must note that whenever we get there, traffic starts to move the way it should.
In speaking to the soldiers, we mentioned that there had been some talk about closing down Wadi Nar because it really served no purpose other than to hamper travel between two totally Palestinian areas. They strongly disagreed saying that, even if every other checkpoint in the country was removed, this one would remain "because it keeps the Palestinians from smuggling in weapons to attack Jerusalem".
On our way out, we noticed a new spurt of building at Qedar. We counted at least 10 new houses that have been recently erected and there were bulldozers in the fields near by clearing more land -- apparently for additional building. Unfortunately, we did not have a camera with us, but we will bring one next time around.
So much for "the settlement freeze"!!