From 13:30 till 16:30
The garbage had been collected in the morning in Jebel Mukabr and all the bins were empty, but the accumulated rubbish around them and all over the rest of the village and along the roads had been left untouched.
Was empty – the commander of the Border Police had just arrived in a new model jeep.
We turned off at Zena’s bakery to observe the Sawakhre CP but the Border Police soldiers didn’t allow us even into the long sleeve for pedestrians (we were ‘obstructing’ traffic) and we had to move way back from where it was impossible to see anything.
Some children passed on their way home from school, a bus let some passengers off and a few cars with women drivers (teachers?) were let through the CP.
We drove through Silwan and only spotted one Border Police car and continued to Ras el Amud via the City of where major construction and billboards announce further development of the local . The former Police station has received a facelift and will look beautiful – a tall wall is surrounding the premises to prevent curious eyes from looking at what is going on inside.
In Abu Dis we took the winding security road along the wall, but could not continue till the Pishpash because the road was being painted – our driver exhibited his expertise in the reverse.
We asked the polite soldiers where the road from A-Tur turns towards A-Zayim, how to get to the new detour which has to be made via Issawiya in order to reach A-Tur from the East. They strongly advised us against venturing into Issawiya, because of constant stone throwing. After the checkpoint towards from Ma’aleh Adumim the road to the right has to be taken until a new roundabout where one turns left and where a Border Police jeep is stationed. At the turn-off we asked some friendly Palestinians, who told us to take the main road so as not to have to pass the Checkpoint, but we explained that on the contrary we are interested in the checkpoint.
It is interesting to have to find out by chance that from the one can no longer get to A-Tur, but needs to take a long detour, because the traffic through ‘downtown’ Issawiya is heavy and it takes a long time to go through the entire village with its very narrow and winding alleys.
We stopped at the top near the gas station and watched the Border Police. They were very kind and explained to us that their task is to warn Jews against entering the village. They said there is often trouble and a lot of stone throwing and Jews are advised not to enter, although they cannot ‘officially’ prevent it they strongly recommend not to enter. When asked whether they go inside when there is ‘trouble’ they told us that they only watch on the top and we noted that they do not really scrutinize the cars, but were anxious to stop a very young boy on his way into .
On our way we saw that a metal fence with signs of ‘private property’ and ‘no entry’ now surrounds the entire compound of the Shepherd Hotel. Major Jewish construction will now go up in the middle of the area of the foreign consulates.
In Sheikh Jarrakh we saw no Palestinians or settlers.