'Anata-Shu'afat, Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Thu 31.5.12, Morning
Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)
5:55 Olive Terminal
We were still parking when we noticed an odd event near the permanently locked gate which permits vehicles to cross from the waiting shelter to the roundabout, i.e. from Palestinian to "Israeli" territory. A man climbed the fence on the western side, watched by a big crowd, including two guards and two policemen.
When he landed in the part between two fences, he began searching feverishly for something in the grass and thistles. Having found the object, he climbed back and spoke to the security people. After a few minutes he was sent on his way.
Later he told that he had forgotten his documents in the car and had crossed "not through the checkpoint." After he was caught a friend tossed him the documents but they fell between the two fences. The question arises: why did the man have to climb over the fence instead of someone unlocking the gate for him? Was there no more humane way to let the man meet his friend and collect the documents? Was this just a way of getting even with someone who had tried to cross "not through the checkpoint"? The fact that the man was allowed to continue on his way indicates that there were no security issues involved.
At the checkpoint itself -- no line, and crossing is fast.
Soldiers are sitting around, staring into space, not even glancing at the vehicles. As usual, our arrival disturbs the boredom. "For our safety" the soldiers try to distance us, this time the reason being a "fear" of traffic accidents. We did not move and they returned to what they had been doing before.
The transportation area is bustling.
Only two lanes in the chekpoint for vehicles. The reason seems to be that in the booth of the third a man is cleaning. Some ten minutes after our arrival the third lane opened. Is this the apporpriate hour for cleaning!
At the turnstile for entry to Anata there was a malfunction. The locked gate opened but there was no sign to direct the pedestrians. Shortly after our arrival the matter was fixed.
At the checkpoint itself, the female soldiers sit behind windows. One of them came out to check two girls, letting them cross after a short conversation. Another was yelling.