'Anata-Shu'afat, Abu Dis, Al-Ezariya, Container (Wadi Nar),
Anata, Azariah, Wadi Naar, April 8, 2013 p.m.
We went first to Anata. Traffic was moving smoothly in both directions. We arrived at about 2:00 p.m., after school dismissal, so there was much less traffic than usual. Apparently, in honor of Pesach (or Obama, or just because the situation was getting out of hand), the area of the parking lot was somewhat cleaned up, although piles of rubbish were still to be found along the barbed wire.
Al-Ezariya was quiet. About two years ago, with help from the US government, a real effort was made to clean up the place, expand the roads, plant trees, and give the place a new look. The efforts worked for a while, but the place is once again getting its old seedy look back. The improvements are not being maintained and the sparks of optimism that came along with the refurbishing are much dimmer.
There was a lot of traffic at Wadi Nar, but it moved smoothly in both directions. New stop lights have been installed in both directions. It is difficult to understand to what purpose they were placed there, but such measures are yet more investment in maintaining the status quo. Vans were parked ready to bring the workers back to the Bethlehem side, but with the longer days, no workers were yet around to utilize them