Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Fri 3.8.12, Morning
Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)
Ramadan, third Friday
In general: more people arriving. More men of the "forbidden" age were not allowed to cross.
Hallelujah, a water-spraying cooler has arrived! And the piles of garbage have been cleared.
The soldiers' refreshment corner is next to the checkpoint, and they snack in front of those crossing.
The barbed wire below the parking lot is breached, and men are working to repair it.
A constant stream of arrivals. This week crossing was less efficiently managed, with frequent long lines in the men's track. Youths over the age of 12 and men under 40 were forbidden to cross. The companion of two elderly men who had difficulty walking was turned baack. When we confronted the DCO representative with the fact that in previous years similar cases were allowed to cross, he said there were other family members of the appropriate age who could accompany, and the companion who is almost 40 was refused. The old man sat down and his wife had to stand for a long time. Eventually the old man decided to turn back; we didn't see what his wife did.
The youths who were refused loitered and 3 young border policemen "dealt" with them forcibly. Those who didn't leave immediately were manhandled.
This week too, at the entrance to the checkpoint, at the second checking point, a police officer stood, behaving arrogantly and impatiently. He "personally" led away those who were refused, to make sure they wouldn't try again.
And for dessert: We saw some 7 men led by security forces on the hill between the checkpoint and road to Ma'aleh Adumim (opporite Az-Za'ayemm). Two more from the western side of the checkpoint were added to the group. We heard on the soldiers wireless the order that "they should be arrested for damaging the fence." They all sat down in the sun north of the parking lot. Later they were moved to a spot, still in the sun, behind the buses, out of view. Shortly after our arrival they were led into the checkpoint where we could no longer observe. Sad ending to this holiday