Sawahira ash Sharkiya, Sheikh Saed
The new building is still not in use. People come down the hill from Sheikh Saed along what appears to be the military approach-route to the neighbourhood. But near the checking booth, police metal barriers make the approach awkward. The point of this arrangement, aside from giving rise to another humiliation, is unclear.
The few children arriving cross without checks. As for the adults, we did not observe any prevented from crossing.
We had not visited this checkpoint for a long time. Nothing has changed. People tell of their travails:
-- An elderly teacher who replaced her car has been waiting for c. five months for her new licensing. In the meantime she must park her car on the Jerusalem side of the checkpoint and cross on foot.
-- A parent says his 16-year old son is allowed to cross the checkpoint eastward in the mornings, but prevented from crossing westward at the end of his school day, and is obliged to return through the Az-Za'ayyem checkpoint, a considerable distance to walk.
-- The transportation drivers complain about having to make a large detour instead of being allowed to cross at the checkpoint. This would also facilitate matters for the children, but no one seems to care.
At the checkpoint, matters are routine. The exit door from the checking booth is still heavy, and locked from the inside.
Cars must still cross 4 metal barriers.