Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Thu 3.6.10, Morning
Shosh H., Michaela R. (reporting)
6:45 Zeitim Crossing
Traffic is flowing in lanes 1 and 2. Most of the time the turnstiles are open, allowing people to arrange their baggage on the x-ray machine when the person in front is already opposite the checking booth, thus making the process more efficient.
The problems, again, arose in lane 3, the children's lane where the turnstile was closed most the time; when opened, it was only for a few seconds, resulting in very slow crossing.
Crossing flows, delays are few and short.
A few minutes after our arrival, the soldiers clustered around us to talk of our views of the flotilla. The conversation went in several directions (the significance of the Wadi Nar checkpoint, occupation, security, human rights and more). What is so striking each time is their profound ignorance of the history and geography of Israel.
This ignorance, together with the sense of eternal victimization and existential dread -- the "all the world is against us" syndrome, frequently expressed during the conversation -- is the source of the extreme and hard-hearted identity of these youngsters.
A heavily pregnant woman carrying an infant was checked by several people and also taken to the booth -- but then sent back.
She has a permit to enter Israel, but not through this checkpoint where only owners of blue IDs may cross. We tried to persuade the soldier to consider her condition and bend the rule just this once but to no avail.
Passengers of a minibus alight, the vehicle is checked, and the passengers return after their papers are checked. The procedure is quick.