Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Silwan
7:00 Sheikh Saed
First we drove along the road which is the seam between Armon Ha-Natziv and Jabel Mukhaber, to find out if there are security forces or new traffic restrictions in the wake of the wounding of an infant by a rock flung from nearby Tsur Baher last week. We found nothing of the kind.
Then we proceeded to the checkpoint closing the isolated hill of Sheikh Saed. It's hard to figure out the connection between the picture above the sign saying "Upgrading the Checkpoint for the Benefit of Residents" and the reality on the ground. No sign of an upgraded checkpoint, not even a roof, but plenty of concrete walls and iron scaffolds jutting like giant thistles. The residents too have no idea of what is going on, they say their lawyer has not received a response from the Defence Ministry or the Civil Administration. The "Bimkom" representative has not visited, and we are sending her the photos we took, along with an urgent request that she come to inspect and compare the facts with the plans with which she is familiar.
Trash several days old can be seen on the main streets.
Traffic is the usual kind for this hour, no delays or checkpoints.
Ras al Amud
The police building which has been turned over to the settlers has become a fortified residential building.
Ras Abu Sabitan
This is it: the remaining opening in the wall is being closed. Al-Ezariya will be finally disconnected from its abutting neighbour Abu Dis. We learn from talk with passersby of disappointment with the Palestinian Authority's responses to Israel's crass management -- they feel absolutely defenseless.