'Anata-Shu'afat, Abu Dis, Fri 12.7.13, Morning

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Ophra, Rahel, Michaela (reporting)





Friday, the first of Ramadan


We arrived a little after 9 and found a desolate checkpoint -- too early, because this year the prayers begin after 13:00.

Later, people started to arrive, mostly by public transportation.

When the bus arrives at the square in front of the checkpoint, the preliminary selection begins: owners of blue ID's remain, the rest are directed to the pedestrian crossing.  Those who cross the checkpoint must walk a fair distance beyond the checkpoint area in order to board a bus once again.

The first to be refused are an elderly couple and their adult son.  The ID of a 65-year old woman says she resides in Jenin, and she's sent to cross in Qalandiya.  Only owners of ID's with an Anata-Shuafat address are allowed to cross at this checkpoint.  How is it that a person is "kosher" at one checkpoint and not at another?  Perhaps there's a logic to this regulation on weekdays when the checkpoint is overcrowded in the mornings.  But during holidays? There was no pressure today, and crossing time is much faster than at Qalandiya.  Many were turned back for the same reason.

Boys unaccompanied by parents were also turned back.

Sanduka turns up for a visit, thanks us for our presence. He notices that two sewage covers at the exit from the parking lot are back in place.  For a long time, the sewers were wide open, endangering pedestrians.  Fortunately someone took the trouble to fix the covers in honour  of Ramadan.