Abu Dis, Sheikh Saed, Thu 28.1.10, Morning
6:50 Sheikh Saed
We encountered few people on our arrival.
Shortly thereafter, pupils started to arrive, and with them the problems. Generally, children cross this checkpoint without checks, and without lines forming. Today every child is checked, if his bag beeps he's required to lift it to the high counter in front of the guard and show a permit. Some of the little ones had trouble lifting their heavy bags, and the procedure took time. Some did not have a permit, and they were sent home.
The line grew rapidly, although there were few adults. Attempts to negotiate with the the soldier were useless. He was working on his own, and if there were others around, they remained invisible.
At some point he got tired of checking and let the children through without bother, despite the beeps from the magnometer. The arbitrary nature of occupation prevented those pupils who had arrived early from reaching their schools. Had they come later, they would have crossed without impediment.
7:45 The Pishpash
The work has not been completed -- no one seems to be in a hurry. The little ones still have to struggle up the tall steps then down again.