Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Fri 3.9.10, Morning
Ora A., Netanya G., Michela R. (reporting), Hila S. (visitor)
Last Fiday of Ramadan
Relative to previous years, many came to the crossing. The number of those turned back also grew.
The narrow corridors ahead of the first checking point are made of police metal barriers arranged so that their "feet" turn inward into the passage, and many people stumble. The security people can see this, they know and yet nothing is done.
A man from Jericho is refused passage despite his "correct" age. We try to inquire and are told that he's forbidden. He has no idea what this is all about and no one bothers to explain. He returns to Jericho, disappointed and angry. He had come because he had heard on the radio about the "permission to pray", otherwise would not have bothered. And now, he's missed two prayers he could have attended in the Jericho mosque.
A number of persons arrive at the checkpoint through the hills, and for this misdemeanor are punished by G., the border policeman, with confiscation of their documents. In addition to being prevented from reaching their destination, they are also made to stand along the metal barrier like naughty children waiting for the occupier to deign to return their documents. After our intervention, the DCO officer, S., asked the b.p. to return the papers. He claimed there was no available terminal now or later, but finally decided it was enough already. The documents were returned one by one, not without individual speeches of reproof.
Our visitor Hila's impressions
At the checkpoint family members keep close together, clinging to each other. It is evident that the fear which accompanies the crossing is not felt by myself alone; nor does it disappear after the many routine daily crossings these Palestinians have to suffer.
A couple with two little girls arrives, each parent with one child. The mother goes to the entry for women, the father to the one for men. The little girl holds his hand and clings to his leg. When he tells her to join her mother, she runs, pushes in front of the woman behind her mother, rushes to grab her mother's hand and looks back at the woman apologetically. Another couple arrives. The woman stays very close to her husband as they approach the entry for men, until they see there's a separate entry for women. She turns towards it apprehensively, fearful to be alone, while he looks at her protectively all the time.