Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal)
Tranquil, short lines and quick crossing. We earned a friendly and appreciative smile form the female soldier, a very rare event.
The rest rooms are locked, as always. The stench of urine is in the air, reminding us that biological needs do not disappear with the whims of occupation.
Already at this hour people were waiting for the DCO which is supposed to open at 8:30.
Actually, we never reached Az-za'ayyem. An enormous metal gate blocks the remaining narrow passage in the wall, as you come from Jerusalem to the lower crossing leading to Az-za'ayyem. The gate is locked and not attended. We'll try to find out how the residents return from Jerusalem to their homes.
We came here in the wake of a report published in 'Ma'an':
When the wall was built a small opening was left at this point which more or less connects Olive Terminal with Az-za'ayyem. Any observer could tell it was a matter of time before the opening would be blocked. The terrorist attack (which may or may not have been) by a youth from A-tur who was killed here was a golden opportunity to block this passage -- an act of collective punishment of Az-za'ayyem residents.
The border policemen must have gone on Lag BaOmer vacation, since during the half-hour we spent there not a single one was present. The physical blockage next to the boys' elementary school continues to block the street.
Some girls identify us as Jews and stare antagonistically, but when we draw attention to our identifying tags, their eyes light up and they smile broadly.