Abu Dis, Sheikh Saed, Thu 17.1.13, Morning
Rahel M., Shosh H. two Italian visitors, Michaela R. (reporting)
6:50 Sheikh Saed
Fast crossing, few children, almost no men.
7:30 The former Pishpash
In addition to closed and locked gates in the wall, another metal gate has been added, blocking access to the homes integrated into the wall. All approaches to the monastery have been blocked. And what happens if there is a security crisis? Until someone finds the key and negotiates the metal lock which will have rusted... And yet the argument is that the wall is there to provide protection and prevent attacks!
In honour of our Italian guests, we were invited into the monsteray. The kindergarten is like a piece of paradise under the hell of the wall. Five children still travel from Al Ezariya to Olive Terminal in order to reach their kindergarten. It's clear that the ordeal of a long, unpleasant and costly trip will prevent others from registering in future years.
Two nuns live in a rented apartment very nearby. But in order to reach the monastery they must travel 18 kilometers, and change vehicles at Olive Terminal. The head nun explained that they are in fact disconnected from their community, for all intents and purposes unable to minister to the sick and the poor who live mostly on the other side of the wall.
There were grave complaints about soldiers entering the area of the monastery without permission. The soldiers supposedly do this for security reasons -- the monastery roof is an excellent outlook over the area -- and use the rest of grounds are for their needs.
When the wall was built and the abutting patrol road paved, some of the land belonging to the men's monastery was detached. Locks were installed in the fence, but keys were not given to the head monk. In this way the army in fact appropriated some of the area. The head monk has to break the locks in order to reach his own land, and there is no end in sight to the army's insensitivity to issues of private property.
8:40 Ma'aleh Adumim
We got a man's signature for papers to the court -- a young man who refused to become a collaborator in return for a work permit.
At the roundabout between Ma'aleh Edumim and El Azariya stands a van checking cars, now and then the policeman serves a fine to a driver. One more way of filling the state coffers...