Container (Wadi Nar), Sheikh Saed, Silwan, Mon 9.4.13, Morning
Idit S., Anat T. (reporting)
6:45 Sheikh Saed
Almost none crossing. School holiday ends next week and most of the workers have already crossed, according to the soldiers. During our shift, all who wish to cross are permitted, including youths of school age.
The archaeological dig at the Bustan intersection has been covered.
No particular delays in traffic.
8:00 Wadi Nar
Fearsome: dogs lounging at the top of the road above the checkpoint, and in the checkpoint itself. Eight are sunning themselves but when we disembark from our car they begin to bark threateningly. Idit remains at the top of the hill and films the dogs' interference with free
movement of Palestinians on the main road leading to Sawaharrah A-Sharkiya and Al Ezariya. As soon as someone leaves the minibus to board some other vehicle heading for Bethlehem or
anywhere else in the southern West Bank (pedestrian crossing is not allowed at this checkpoint), the dogs approach and bark fiercely. They also chase the cars. And this is not only at the checkpoint area but on the main road used by pupils going to school. We are told that the dogs attack the children, and if a child picks up a stone to defend himself, the soldiers intervene aggresively. The grocer says his business is harmed because people no longer wish to stop there.
Further down and close to the checkpoint the old argument about our right to stand here repeats itself. I insist, and after talk between the checkpoint commander and the DCO and the area commander, out right is partly conceded. Until the next time.
I ask about the dogs -- do they belong to the checkpoint? The answer is no, they just hang out. But it's perfectly clear to us that the soldiers encourage them to stay because it makes them feel more secure -- this, after all, is a checkpoint in the heart of Palestinian territory, and there is a sense of threat. In order to return to the car I need the escort of a soldier to keep the dogs from molesting me.
We decide it's time to lodge an official complaint -- these dogs simply terrorize every passing Palestinian.
We include two photos showing the interaction of dogs and Palestinians on the main road.