'Anata-Shu'afat, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed
Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)
In general: The First of May is a holiday in Palestine -- no school.
6:00 Sheikh Saed
It seems that all those crossing were workmen. Despite the absence of children, a line formed now and then in front of the checking booth. Most of the inspections were routine, but when we arrived, there was an unduly long one which lengthened the line. After a while, the Palestinian's ID was returned on the other side of the booth.
Here too there are almost no children.
The soldiers were very intrigued by Rachel's ID which they scrutinized at length, while the turnstile stayed locked and Palestinians waited patiently.
Anata - Shuafat
The bussing lot is empty. Here too holiday peace reigns. We entered the pedestrian crossing. Checking was quick, while 2 soldiers munched on an enormous sandwich in the presence of all those crossing.
Two lanes were open to vehicles. Although cars were few, a long line formed, and moved slowly.
Two security guards came up to us. After the routine conversation (can we help you? who are you? what are looking for?) came the routine question: "is everything OK?" "Not really," we said -- "there's a very long line of cars." One of them replied that there are three booths, and they're doing their best -- and claimed that we could see only two of them. A shrug of the shoulders.
And then, as expected, the third lane was opened and the pace of checking picked up. This is what Rachel calls "waving a magic wand." If only we could reach all the checkpoints in the morning, many magic wands might lift the oppressive indifference of occupation under which Palestinians groan.