Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Tue 6.7.10, Morning

Michaela R., Anat T. (reporting)

Sheikh Saed

The checkpoint is peaceful. On the way there we met the charming teacher, Mai, who reminds us that two machsom watch women, Yael Y. and Netta A., have been lecturing to a group of American women , guests of her lobby on behalf of the women of Jabel Mukhaber. 

We were unable to get reliable information about whether cars will crossing through Sheikh Saed or through

Sawaharra.  At the checkpoint they claim they will open at Sheikh Saed, but the residents claim that only a small number of them have received permits to cross with their cars at Sawaharra.  We began inquiries with the DCO Envelope, and will report later.

7: 15  Silwan

There is no checkpoint, and we don't stop.

8:00  Zeitim Crossing

Again the metal detector in position 2 beeps at all our little metal objects.  Next week we will check all the other detectors. 

During our visit we complained about a female soldier who never stopped screaming at people in position 3 (the entry to the DCO).  The new commander responded immediately to our phone call and promised to check and reprimand.  We inquired about a machine to refresh biometric prints, and about the hassle of obtaining magnetic cards at the Jericho DCO -- and were told that these matters are under consideration.

8:30  Wadi Nar

We drove through Al-Ezariya and the new road, "a gift to the Palestinian people from the American people."  A wonderful road.  With such a good alternative, it seems unlikely that the Kedar road will be opened to Palestinian traffic.  The only bad part is the climb to Wadi Nar -- too narrow and unsafe.  We wonder if the American people will do anything about it.  The good news, reported by Tz., the very friendly DCO Envelope officer at the checkpoint, is that for the last week Israeli Arabs have been allowed to cross through Wadi Nar to the West Bank.

Like the rest of the DCO officers, he too circulates between the checkpoints, and can be called upon for help.

9:00  Sheikh Jarrah

We were glad to return to the tent in the yard of the Kurd family.  An active group of neighbourhood children are supervised by a group of volunteers; Salah (a resident of the street) and Maisoon (wife of the the demonstrator Nasser) are busy with this "summer camp."

Salah tells us that he and some others decided to keep the children  busy and off the streets where they used to play freely, because the settlers don't hesitate to beat the children.  We were very glad to learn of this initiative, and inquired about the program.  As expected, the means at their disposal are very scant: a day trip to Silwan, the persecuted sister neighbourhood, and another day of a drumming workshop for the children run by the "Samba" drummers.
A suggestion: Are there women prepared to contribute time or money to enrich the Sheikh Jarrah "summer camp" with other activities such as a visit to the Zoo?  Any other ideas?  I have asked Tzvia Shapira about a day at the beach.