Abu Dis, Sheikh Saed, Thu 30.9.10, Morning
Shosh H., Michaela R. (reporting)
General: Closure since onset of Succot. Border police working by the book, in slow motion.
One of the boys, crossing the checkpoint after a long wait, says:
"You have Simchat Torah [the Joy of the Torah]. And what have we got?"
Some 25 are waiting inside the corridor, mostly pupils. Inspection is excruciatingly slow -- documents, bags, and long pauses betwixt and between. Waiting time: 7-10 minutes.
A pregnanat woman who asked to cross without magnometer check is made to wait a long time.
Around 7:30 the turnstile opens and some 10 pupils cross without inspection. Only the very young ones are exempt from inspections.
A line forms again.
A border policeman joins the team -- where was he till now?
A new torment begins: each time the magnometer beeps the pupil is made to remove one more object or one more garment until the policeman is satisfied. In the past, pupils crossed without special attention.
A young woman, accompanied by two more, arrives. She can barely stand, is squirming with pain,sits/crouches while her companions present the documents and bags for inspection. After crossing the checkpoint, the three wait another 10 minutes for the arrival of the ambulance. Is the regulation prohibiting vehicles from crossing, also in emergencies such as this, in accord with the High Court injunction regarding "the fabric of life" of residents of Sheikh Saed?
By 7:50 the line disappears. The last of the pupils are very likely late for school.