'Anata, Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Wed 20.10.10, Afternoon
2:30 PM till 5:30 PM
We changed our routine somewhat and didn’t go to Sheikh Saed this week. Instead we took the road down from Abu Tor past the newly built Jewish complex into the valley and encountered a great amount of border police on every corner.
We didn’t want to enter the controversial area of Silwan, but nevertheless were hit with a tiny stone, which fortunately didn’t cause too much damage (the car is no longer new). We hurried away and noted that in Ras el-Amud the construction in the old police compound is going apace.
On top of the pillbox near the Pishpash is a new huge instrument, probably in order to survey the surroundings.
We entered the Olive Terminal without being noticed by the soldiers who were scrutinizing a computer.
The cab- drivers offered us rides and had no idea who we were and why we were there.
On the way back (into Israel) there were only a few people in front of us. However a lady who is an Israeli resident in possession of a blue ID card, but had never been past a checkpoint yet had a small knife in her purse. The queue was held up and the woman was shouted at and told that she would be slapped if she didn’t behave. She had been on a condolence visit to a cousin over the green line and had brought a girlfriend along. We were all ordered to pass via another lane and wondered what would happen to the lady in question who had never had to show her bags before – quite incomprehensible.
The metal detector is quite delicate and we even had to remove our watches. After we all had gone through the lady still had not been released and her friend asked us for assistance. We called the soldier, but he didn’t hear us and then the lady came out from another gate. We were thanked profusely, not for doing anything, but for our good intentions.
In A-Zaim it looked as if there were more cars than usual. The grocery store now has been ‘reinforced’ by a kind of cage, apparently after a burglary last month.
The girl soldier at the checkpoint was chatting with a friend and had not noticed from where we had exited. We continued along the old road and marveled at the construction and terrain-leveling which was taking place to construct the new terminal/checkpoint in Anata which will replace Hizme after the apartheid road for the settlers has been completed.
In Sheikh Jarrah there is no longer a tent. Two ‘ecumenicals’, a girl from Sweden and a boy from Finland were chatting and taking pictures. A young inhabitant who remembered us from a former visit was writing a report for UNWRA re ‘women in war situations’ about her feelings of being uprooted and thrown out of her house, but claimed she could not concentrate, sitting on the street with an ‘audience’.
The kids were playing in the street and a young settler walked smack through the circle of sympathizers. Someone asked him whether he has no manners, but he didn’t seem to mind.