Gili K., Orit D. (reporting)
Second Friday of Ramadan.
We reached the Anata checkpoint at 9:15 -- essentially a Jerusalem suburb for all intents and purposes (especially taxation), enclosed by a wall. Residents who all possess blue ID's can enter and leave through the elaborate checkpoint built here.
We walked towards the lane for vehicles, and were immediately accosted by border policemen who made it clear that we can only go round and through the pedestrian crossing. We back-tracked and entered Anata through the pedestrian crossing, where we met some UNWRA people who told us that 14-30 year-olds are prevented from leaving Anata for prayers or work. They don't understand how or why owners of blue ID's are denied passage, and asked us to call the DCO and check. The answer was unequivocal: the area commander had decided, and that was that.
The pedestrian crossing is empty -- during the 1.5 hours of our stay we counted some 5 pedestrians crossing.
Vehicular traffic is also sparse -- every car is checked, and every bus or minibus boarded by a few uniformed guards who ask those not of the appropriate age to disemberk.
The area swarms with security personnel -- we counted some 15-20 soldiers, policemen, border police -- but very few Palestinians arriving.
We left, and on our way encountered a surprise police checkpoint at the entrance to Shuafat. We crossed the road to find out what this was about and were told we were forbidden to enter the neighbourhood because of the danger of stone-throwing.
Tough tough Jerusalem.