Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Sun 7.2.10, Morning
Anat T., Gal L. (reporting)
6:45 Sheikh Saed
Sunday -- many children are on holiday. On arrival we meet the checkpoint commander who was so nice to us a couple of weeks ago -- now he doesn't recognize us, and advises us to stand on the Israeli side.
We are told in conversation with a number of people, including a volunteer Magen David Adom officer for the last five years, that when we are not there there's a long line and everything moves more slowly.
My first visit here -- utterly surrealistic.
We spoke to the 2 or 3 soldiers -- there are rumous that the checkpoint will be open also to vehicles. We also learned that the list of villagers who can cross consists of about 600 men and women.
8:20 Zeitim Crossing
Today's attraction: on descending from our car we saw two policemen on two well-groomed horses pacing up and down along the parking lot, and some 15 young persons (and also some very old) playing hide-and-seek with the policemen. A brief inquiry revealed that these are people without permits trying to enter through a gap in the wall.
As usual, people have different reasons: an elderly woman from Bethlehem who needs to get to her clinic, a 20-year old married man + child seeking employment, a widow with 4 children who was promised a gift of money from acquaintances in Jerusalem, and more.
We crossed the checkpoint and spoke to them, heard their stories, distributed phone numbers and regretted our inability to do more.
When we returned, one corridor was open, and a female soldier who evidently did not understand the purpose of the loudspeaker, was screaming at the top of her voice.
Nasser Nawi, as we know, has been ordered to leave the place after a confrontation with an officer, a young settler, who pointed a gun at Nasser's son. In his absence his wife fills his place, with many children and women in the tent, all pleased that arrests did not take place at the last demonstration.