Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheik Saed, Silwan, Mon 13.6.11, Morning

Ada Gorani, Anat Tueg (reporting) . Translator: Ilil Naveh-Benja


6:45 Sheikh Saed
Today, those passing through the checkpoint are having their names and personal information recorded.  This means that the more people arrive, the longer the line, although it doesn’t ever exceed 10 people.  When things are busy, the checkpoint commander himself pitches in to check IDs, and exempts children and students from this procedure.  Given the situation, we decide not to complain, but rather only to ask the comander why the information is being recorded.  The answer isn’t surprising: it’s important for security surveillance.

Silwan 7:20
Construction has progressed up the street, towards the City of
, instead of down the street as we’d expected.  We’d also heard that the courts have stopped the city’s infrastructure and sidewalk-building initiatives, since they impeded parking for the residents of Ein Helwe


The same publication openly stated that these infrastructural initiatives were sponsored by ELAD primarily for the City of
and its growing suburbs.

The next day, Idit S. sent me an announcement by Shahar Shillo, head of marketing and export for the City of David, stating that an underground tourist path was soon to open underneath the City of David from the Pool of Siloam to the
Davidson Center near the Kotel.  So now things are clearer: despite steadfast denials, it appears that these building initiatives were, after all, intended for the City of
David and its sidewalk expansion.  By the way, the Festival of Light (ongoing until June 22nd) includes an exhibit at this digging site.

8:00  Olive Terminal
The situation is exhausting, even though there aren’t that many people waiting.  In the lane leading to the District Coordination Office (DCO), a woman waits to get an entry permit for tomorrow to Muksad hospital.  We notice, however, a sign in Arabic saying that the DCO is closed today and tomorrow (without explanation). 

The sign is posted on the pass’s side wall (why not on the door itself?).  After an Arabic speaker confirms the sign’s contents, we call the Chamal  - chivil authorities (whose phone number was listed on the sign) and ask what people who need to the DCO should do.  Chamal personnel  think the DCO isn’t closed. Only when we call again, after 15 minutes, do they confirm this, and direct those who need to the DCO to the one at Qalandiya.  We tell the woman, who seems very disappointed.

Wadi Nar (through El Azaria 8:20
El Azaria is filled with lively shops and advertisements.  Read Amira Hess’s weekend article on our website, “From the Press,” and you’ll understand why the situation in this city, contrary to appearances, isn’t good.  Unchecked crime runs rampant and residents are under constant threat. 

At Wadi Nar things remain the same as before, with anticipated traffic changes not yet in effect.  Two dogs volunteer to bark at the checkpoint.  It’s a job that’s passed down to their pups…