Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Tue 15.2.11, Afternoon

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Orit Y., Ruth O. (reporting)








14.00 – 17.00

We entered Sheikh Saed, as we always do, through the turnstile and the narrow sleeveinfo-icon that leads to the seemingly deserted center of the fenced in village. A young man approached us with the usual question: "How are things", when we reversed the question to him he started talking. He is 30 years old, married but has no children. Since he owns a green ID he has no chance to get a working permit. Every once in a while he earns 5 shekels for driving people from one end of the village to the other in his licenseless dilapidated car. It happens that he ends up at the evening with 25 shekels (!). The only member of his family who works is his 65 years old father who has a working permit with a
contractor. The father has 12 children who all depend on him. Lately he had a work accident and has filed a request for compensations with the help of an Israeli Arab lawyer from Um-El Fahem. So far there are no results but expenses. The son is very worried by the lack of income and by the fact that his father has great difficulties in working at his age.  We parted with a heavy heart and wished him a better future.

We returned through the sleeve to the entrance of the check point and were surprised to find out that the turnstile had been locked at our approach. A heavily armed soldier asked us for an exit permit. We told him who we were but he insisted that no one can exit without a permit. "Go back to where you came from", we told him we came from
but he insisted: "I have not seen you entering". It seems we have angered him even more when we said that it his fault not seeing who enters. Then he claimed we have no right to enter Sheikh Saed, again we angered him when we asked where it says that we cannot enter and he answered that we endanger ourselves and he is responsible for our safety. We asked what we are supposed to do now and his prompt answer was "Go back to the village" and that in spite of the dangers he spoke of. After he made a phone call and as villagers who wanted to get back home, stood by the locked turnstile, he pressed the button and we were freed. 

We proceeded along the American road and took a sharp right turn shortly after Zena's bakery, to theCP. A Sawachre t first we did not see anybody. After a while two soldiers asked us what we were doing there, when we explained they lost interest and ignored us. A car came and stopped in front of the gate, the driver left the car and walked about 20 meters to the security check where he had to show his papers, walk back to his car and only then was the gate opened for him to enter his home village. The next car that arrived had to undergo the same procedure. When we asked the second driver whether this was always so and if one cannot present papers without leaving the car, he replied that he presumes this is because of our presence that the soldiers have to prove who is "the boss". Is a proof really necessary?

We went further along the American road, past the Zeitim settlement, from there to Abu Dis where nothing has changed. Also the Olive CP was as empty as usual.

Across the entrance to Maale Adumim we enervated some drivers who followed us and wanted to enter the settlement, when we stopped to let a few of the cars who were standing in a long line in coming from Azaria, to go by.

In Wadi Nar the traffic was going smoothly in all directions.