Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Barbed Wire, Thu 7.3.13, Morning

Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)


Barbed wire
6:00 Sheikh Saed
Traffic is plentiful and swift.
The children start crossing at around 6:15.  When do they wake up, and when do their parents get up?
Their crossing is also swift.
Olive Terminal
Curls of barbed wire many kilometers long are spread at the bottom of the parking lot, and decorate the hills.  Not anything that a pair of cutters couldn't breach.  But apparently the decision has not yet been taken about where to situate (or not) the permanent barrier.  Till then, the Israeli taxpayers' money will continue to be squandered, the environment destroyed, and the Palestinian crossings will remain prickly and humiliating.
A few minutes after our arrival, one of the security guards dashes towards a group of drivers standing at the entrance to the parking lot, pointing his gun.  A policeman hurried after him, shouting that he was uncertain about what he had seen.  The incident was soon over with a check of documents.
At the checkpoint it self traffic flows quietly.  All lanes are open and the lines are short.
Az-Za'ayyem checkpoint
They don't like us here -- they check our documents suspiciously, but they also hasten to tell us that all's well at the checkpoint. 
We were not convinced.
When we arrived we saw passengers waiting while the check of their bus is completed.
Immediately after that an enormous traffic jam formed beyond the checkpoint, and there was no point in our continued presence.