Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Tue 29.6.10, Morning
Since the return of the regular battalion to this checkpoint, it's been calmer, without stupid standoffs. Neverthelss, today each and everyone crossing was recorded, despite the fact that all who cross here are familiar persons and possess blue IDs.
Last time too we saw a group of 5 workers from Nablus who came with a special permit to work in this area. This created confusion, but it was quickly cleared up, and today they cross rapidly.
Alongside cheerful events such as the large march which took place last week in the village, there have also been disturbing events recently in Silwan. This week two of the settlers' guards tried to occupy a home, using tear gas and other police aids, and this caused a riot and civil uprising. The police came and there were many casualties, also, it appears, from live ammunition.
When we arrive the entire top police echelon is there. Best known are Bruno Stein and his deputy Avi Cohen, known to us from Sheikh Jarrah ("Avi Cohen don't lose heart / Occupation will soon depart" apparently they are also responsible for Silwan.
We tried asking a few questions but were referred to the army spokesperson. For today at least no one is checked on entering the street.
8:00 Zeitim Crossing
We had been warned of excessive traffic, but inside it was empty with both corridors open, and we were glad not to have to nudge anyone about this. But when we cross the metal detector, it doesn't stop beeping. We took off our jewelry and our numerous gold teeth, but it continued beeping until the last piece was removed, with the female soldiers scolding us to take it all off.
We called the checkpoint commander to complain and discovered that the efficient Y. has been moved to another post. He promised to speak to the new commander and tell him of the problem with the detector's calibration. And indeed, the new commander called us and left his telephone number.
We'll check the metal detectors next week, because there are metal pieces which cannot be removed, such as teeth braces or rings which no longer slide off.
8:30 Wadi Nar
No serious traffic, perhaps because the soldiers who look bored and indifferent don't bother to stop any of the vehicles for checks. Excellent!
The gate between the Kedar road and the intersection (opposite the grocer's) is closed and locked.
9:00 Sheikh Jarrah
Last week the residents of Sheikh Jarrah agreed to shift the struggle from this location to Silwan in a moving act of collaboration and unity. It's still early and only kids are scampering in the street. The international volunteers are not here; they are on strike.