'Anata-Shu'afat, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Tue 13.11.12, Morning
07:05 Anata-Shu’afat refugee camp checkpoint
Those coming to the checkpoint from Jerusalem have difficulty finding a space in the small parking lot. The construction of government and municipal offices for the residents of the camp caught in the status of residents of Jerusalem beyond the wall (photo 1) is proceeding slowly in the open area outside of the checkpoint. Hundreds of pupils crowd into the parking lot where the buses financed by the municipality leave for schools in Jerusalem (Beit Hanina, Shu’afat, special education institutions throughout the city). These buses go through a special lane and their passengers aren’t individually inspected. They depend on the supervisors (photo 2).
It’s pretty disorganized, because there are no railings on the sidewalks; the children gather on the road, which is dangerous, but there are six supervisors in charge and the atmosphere is good. The children are very friendly, happy at our attention. One more thing – there are almost no shelters when it rains, and some of the existing shelters are broken.
We hear of the plan to create a garbage dump at Ras Shehada – between the Shu’afat camp and Issawiyya and A-Zaim – and demolish the homes of Bedouin who’ve lived there for decades. Some residents of Shu’afat own land there, and there’s also a small outpost of Ateret Hacohanim. The plan has been submitted for objections. Cf. Nir Hason’s article in Ha’aretz.
Heavy traffic goes through the four lanes of the vehicle checkpoint in an exemplary manner.
08:40 Olive Terminal
We arrived from Azariyya; we could see much construction on one side (two mosques with twin minarets and other large buildings), filth and neglect on the other. To our surprise and joy we meet a Palestinian worker at the checkpoint who’s responsible for cleaning the bathrooms and the DCO shed (photo 3). Unbelievable! – our complaints, particularly Chana’s, apparently have finally borne fruit: the bathrooms serving the many people arriving at the checkpoint from afar are now in reasonable condition and fairly clean. We praise the checkpoint commander for the change; he says the Civil Administration allocated special funds for cleaning and he hopes that this time the facilities won’t be vandalized. They all stress that the worker is a Palestinian who’s not permitted to cross to the Israeli side.
Otherwise the checkpoint is almost completely deserted. We heard that many new work permits had been issued but the laborers cross earlier