'Anata-Shu'afat, Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed

Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)

6:25 Sheikh Saed

We went to see how the wall will surround the neighbourhood to the north.  Signs of earthworks on the site.  One can only imagine how people living on this slope will feel when the view from their windows -- of soft wintry green hills at present -- will become a grey concrete wall.

Not much traffic at the checkpoint, and no delays.

Cliff Hotel

Security forces still occupy the hotel, despite a Supreme Court decision.

Two vehicles leave the nearby settlement.  They pass with no interference; the soldiers take good care of them.

Olive Terminal

There are lines in front of the first two stands.  In the children's lane traffic flows.

In the first lane there is a long delay and the turnstile does not open.  Arguments can be heard from inside.  After a while policeman G. arrives and seems to solve the problem.

7:30 Shuafat checkpoint

Suffocating stench of burning plastic.  We saw several points of origin, in different directions, from which the smoke rises.

In the transptoration lot, preparation for concluding another morning is under way.  Children who are late go to the pedestrian checkpoint.

At this checkpoint the first turnstile is not working, and the metal gate is open.  It appears that a slight decrease in the circuit of humiliation does not harm Israeli security.

On the other hand, the second turnstile, ahead of the entry into the checking booths, is "working" -- which is to say, it's mostly closed, opening only occasionally. There is a gate on the side, and people discover it's not locked.  Some cross.  Inside there is a great hullabaloo , and the third turnstile is closed.  Two girls who appear to have been the problem are not allowed to cross.  A few more pupils are turned back.  No one would have bothered to look at their papers if they had not been late.  Guards and soldiers emerge to confront people in a shouting match. To us it looks like a totally illogical turmoil.  To our surprise one of the passersby turns to us and says that today is a rather good day -- there are times when people get hit.  Fridays, he says, are particularly bad, when people are on their way to prayers.

Slowly most of the crowd crosses.

In the vehicle crossing two lanes are open and checking is relatively quick.