'Anata-Shu'afat, Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Wed 22.5.13, Morning
The construction of the wall is progressing, and traffic arrangements in E1 and Wadi Nar area are about to change, but not clear when.
Shuafat refugee camp
We met G. from the neighbourhood committee in the parking lot for children's transportation, and asked him to organize a tour for us together with Ir Amim and the Civil Rights Organization, and perhaps a representative of the Municipality -- this in the wake of our meeting a month ago in the boys' school with some of the neighbourhood residents and Meir Margalit from the Jerusalem City Council. There was a discussion of specific problems related to the bad state of the neighbourhood now enclosed behind the wall. Ir Amim and the Civil Rights Organization will soon publish special reports on the condition of the excluded area, with the hope of improving matters with combined efforts.
The Municipality representative dealt with the restoration of computers to the school, after they were stolen some four months ago. Despite insurance which should have replaced them within a few days, the school has remained without computers since the theft.
The parking lot is lively with well-dressed pupils (not in flip-flops like ours...). Compared to previous weeks, the atmosphere is calm. Few are crossing in the pedestrian crossing, and the soldiers come out of their glass boxes to check documents manually. At the crossing for vehicles we were told that Red Crescent ambulances cross at the rate of two a day, mostly without delays on entrance to the camp. On leaving, they are checked.
Olive Terminal -- from the outside
The construction of the wall advances, from the area of the lower Az-Za'ayyem checkpoint up the hill towards Olive Terminal (see photos). Traffic coming from Ma'aleh Adumim becomes heavily congested at the Az-Za'ayyem checkpoint. This is the route from Al Ezariya to Wadi Nar checkpoint.
On our way we meet a delegation of Palestinian construction workers, working -- they tell us -- with AID USA funding, on widening the road to Wadi Nar and from there to Al Ezariya. According to them, work will start next week and traffic will be diverted through Sawaharrah A-Sharkiya. The steep and winding road to Wadi Nar will be slightly broader with concrete safety barriers; the other direction will be broadened to two lanes. We shall return to inspect next week.
Fewer dogs this time, without barking and attacks on passers-by.