Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Thu 18.4.13, Morning
Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)
6:10 Sheikh Saed
The corridor is overflowing, more than 20 are crowded in it. Crossing is c. 8 minutes.
A young man is denied crossing. Later 8 men had to turn back, some even without being checked.
Notices from the Land Administration hang on the numerous fences warning against entry into the area, subject to risk of life.
Close to the fence, there is a notice about the purchase of the hotel, saying inter alia:
"...(the property) is required for a facility for military and security purposes, to create a barrier on the seam (henceforth, the pupose of the purchase)... The area is required for coping with terror, to bar, intercept and prevent terrorist infiltration from Judaea and Samaria into Israel in general and the Jerusalem precinct in particular.
In view of which the Minister of Finance intends to purchase the right of use of this land [Cliff Hotel] for a period of ten years..."
The notice is dated 29.1.2013, and signed Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Finance.
Well?! The building has been appropriated by the army for years, so why this sudden purchase? Isn't the wall sufficient to bar, intercept, prevent etc. without including the building? Or is there a connection between the setllement of Kidmat Zion, the entrance to which is via the hotel's courtyard?
The building itself is neglected, the windows shattered.
A shiny jeep with windows protected by metal sheets against stone-throwing, carrying 4 burly males, arrives. The soldier tells them they have no permit, but after a pleasant conversation he opens the gate, and they're on their way.
A female settler from Kidmat Zion leaves in her car.
On our way in we observe a female soldier, her legs propped on the table, busy with her cell phone. As we left, one of the men crossing complained that her fiddling with the cell phone was time wasted at his expense.
The lines in the corridors are short.
An angry woman asked to turn back after her son (?) was sent to another corridor. The turnstile cannot turn back, and she addresses the soldiers angrily in Arabic. They shout back at her in Hebrew through the loudspeakers.