7:00 Zeitim Crossing
The crossing is quiet and very calm. We explain to Tal that this is not a good sign at all -- the quiet is due to the despair of those who no longer try to find work here.
We talk to a young man on the Palestinian side who lives near the checkpoint. He tells us of enormous lines between 4 and 6:30 a.m. He cannot give us precise numbers -- c. 2000 persons at most seems realistic.
7:30 Wadi Nar
Traffic at the checkpoint is lively, but not jammed. During our extended stay: As we walk towards the yellow concrete blocks where we usually stand every week, two border policemen bear down towards us -- A., the checkpoint commander and his tough "bodyguard." They wish to prevent us from getting closer, first with claims such as "I tell you not to get closer" and "this is a closed army area"... We do not get agitated beyond the adrenalin roused by argument, and explain that not only is this not a closed army area, but that it's not even an area within the State of Israel. The argument continues, we call the area B.P. company commander, A., and are told he's at a meeting. We don't give up, get hold of him later and settle the matter (after he has already informed the soldiers that we have permission, but they don't bother to tell us and continue harrassing us).
Finally, we leave, drive along the apartheid road and observe the meteoric construction going on in the Kedar settlement.
We don't find Nasser in the tent. We're told he was injured during the riots there on Saturday -- the religious settlers attacked the tent three times and threw large stones ("rocks"). A Frenchman filming the riot was personally attacked at short range by a religious man with a stone, severely injured, and then disappeared.
A few minutes later Nasser returns. We are amazed that there's no permanent police van in this inflammable spot. We call Brigadier General Bruno Stein, in charge of the area, to complain, and are asked to fax a description of whatever is going on.
To our relief a police van with two policemen arrives within 10 minutes.
From there we proceed to the College of Arts (!) over the road to meet H. who works in the cafeteria (after her husband was evicted from their home close to the protest tent, and lost his new job). We provide her with telephones, support and encouragement. (H. works from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. six days a week, and earns c. NIS 1000 a month.)