'Anata-Shu'afat, E1, Tue 15.1.13, Morning
Dafna S., Anat T. (reporting)
6:50 Anata checkpoint - Shuafat refugee camp
We find buses with posters of "Taglit" transporting the Palestinian children from the camp to schools (alas, we didn't have a camera or smart phone...). We see well-organised lively traffic of children boarding buses in the inner parking lot close to the checkpoint.
We hear of the petition against the construction of a garbage fill in the area. In addition to lobbies such as "Bamakom", "The Civil Rights Association" and others, all the residents of the area have joined: French HIll, Shuafat refugee camp, Issawiya, settlers in the area. Sometimes collaboration between zones achieves unexpected convergence.
The children's buses use a special lane, closed by a gate during the day after transportation is concluded. There were occasional exceptional checks, but on the whole the agreement, according to which members of the local committee check that only school children board, is maintained, and checks are relatively light. We hear of an incident a month ago when youths threw stones and molotov cocktails at the pillbox -- the inner station at the checkpoint -- and the soldiers had trouble putting out the fire and rescuing those trapped inside. This was followed by a strong reprisal. There is much tension in the refugee camp, and we have been aware of the bad vibes for several weeks now.
As far as we can tell, the work of building municipal services abuttiing on the wall and the checkpoint is not progressing for the time being.
We drove on to see the entrance to what was the "Bab Al Shams" settlement. Police and border police vehicles are stationed at all the dirt road entrances to the hill opposite Ma'aleh Adumim. At the first roundabout near the road to the Dead Sea and Ma'aleh Adumim, after the turn to the road leading to the West Bank Police Station (for which the entire area has been cleared), there is a van, and the soldiers announce that it has been declared a "closed military zone" -- showing us the document -- from Jan. 13th to Feb. 13th.