'Anata-Shu'afat, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal)
From 6:00 till 8:30 AM
Cars were parked alongside the entire road on both sides leading up to the Olive CP and the parking lot was filled with busses (number 63). We found one empty spot all the way at the end. People started exiting arranging their belts and some children came too. The busses left one after the other as soon as they filled up. We crossed to the other side without being checked, but the soldiers asked: “Where to?” We talked to some of the taxi drivers on the other side who all complained that the toilets have been locked since they were installed which is extremely difficult for elderly people especially if the queue is long. More people arrived and a lot of children. Women and children had a special lane and when there was a long line in front of the window for men another lane was opened. We watched the children who were all accompanied by an adult for some time and then joined the longer queue of the men which also didn’t take more than 15 minutes. When Yael crossed the metal detector it beeped. She said it must have been her bra and she was waved through. A man told us that during the week the passage moves smoothly, but on Saturdays there is only one lane for all although on Shabbat there are just as many children since, of course, they go to school and all the Palestinian workers in hotels, hospitals etc. cross too. There were only a few busses left after we exited.
We continued towards Anata and saw big red signs near the turn-off to the Border Police Headquarters indicating that it was a security road off-limits for outsiders.
At Anata, close to 8:00 AM, there were hardly any schoolchildren left and they were directed to their respective school busses, which had a separate lane and didn’t have to wait in line with us and the other cars. Our ID cards were scrutinized and no questions were asked. We drove along the wall to where the northern CP used to be and saw a firmly closed huge metal door with lots of coiled barbed wire all around; it doesn’t look as if this is ever opened at all.