Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Silwan, Mon 27.12.10, Afternoon
Chana G., Rahel W. (reporting)
Since Wadi Nar has been so uneventful over these past months, we decided to visit around at some of the other checkpoints in the south of the city.
Very few people going in either direction. Since so few Palestinians get permits to come to Jerusalem, this crossing seems primarily to serve school children.
We were there for only about 20 minutes and during that time, fewer than 20 people crossed through.
We returned to Abu Dis after not having been there for months. The checkpoint at the top of the hill -- opposite the Monastery -- was moved about 100 meters south. We were told by one of the merchants in the area that that happened some months back. There is clearly no passage for automobiles. but the gate was open and there were no guards in sight. When we mentioned this to the merchant, he said that the area on the other side is absolutely closed and even people in dire need of medical treatment can't get through.
We went up to the Cliff Hotel which has become a total wreck. While we were there, several vehicles driven by workmen -- a tiler, and electrician -- passed through. We noticed no change in the Moskowitz settlement. The area has remained unchanged for about two years, but who knows what the future will bring.
After Abu Dis, we drove through Silwan. Unlike previous cases, there was little presence of border police, but there seemed to be a lot of private security guards around. On Tuesday, when we were there, things were calm.