Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sawahira ash Sharqiya, Sheikh Saed
The labourers building the wall and checkpoint arrive from Hebron with their implements. We and the residents find it hard to connect the picture on the poster with the evidence on the ground. The "Bimkom" representative has not yet arrived to investigate, but has delegated the job to someone else. All in that lobby are busy with planning rights, and it is difficult to follow the dizzying pace of land appropriations, declarations of building a national park, construction of the wall, etc. -- all in Jerusalem.
7:15 Sawahira ash Sharqiya checkpoint
We came to see this small and neglected checkpoint used by "only" hundreds of residents, a list of names approved by the Supreme Court, but cars also pass through, which is something unusual in these place. The checkpoint may be small but it is well fortified. We remembered from last winter a great deal of mud and puddles at the entrance, with people obliged to jump over them, and occasionally landing in them. This has been taken care of, and now there is a concrete floor. Let us hope the winter will pass safely.
We chatter in our poor Arabic with a group of girls waiting for their transportation to the school for girls in Jabel Mukhaber. Sara, Miriam, and other names from our common origins, with many smiles. We're always surprised when anger is absent. Why do we Israelis fail to recognize the Palestinians' forgiving nature?
7:45 Olive Terminal
Because we're in a hurry today, we came by only to see how the closing of the wall progress, and indeed, with a small opening still allowing passage, the final closure is imminent.