'Anata-Shu'afat, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal)
6:30 Olive Terminal
It's heart-wrenching every week to encounter those "fortunate" enough to have crossed the threshold of 55 years of age, on their way to Jerusalem. But what one hand loosens, the other tightens: this group may cross only after 8 a.m. The chief aim of this group is to supplant the income for their families -- since the P.A. pension fund does not entitle them to a respectable pension at this age. They try, again and again, and we recognize some of them from previous shifts.
A group of impatient youths gathers on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint. They are on their way to Haifa, their permits are for 9 a.m. but they are already here, eager to set off for their day of fun in the forbidden land. They ask for our help. But most of the group have not yet arrived, and the buses are not here. We tell them who to call at the relevant hour, and wish them fun on this special day.
The lines in the three corridors are not long today, and crossing is relatively fast. In addition to workers and a few pupils, there is a growing number of women and children loaded with lunch-baskets, bags of food and beach equipment. Summer is here, and we wish them too a pleasant day on their break from occupation routines.
The infrastructure on the transportation area is not yet complete -- perhaps in a couple of weeks? Who knows?
The water problem has not been solved, and the heavy heat increases the gravity of the situation. The matter has reached the high court, but deliberations have not yet finished. Perhaps the learned judges, despite their understanding that water is a crucial need, do not feel a great urgency inside their air-conditioned halls, to order the authorities to solve this problem. Let us not forget that Shuafat is mostly within the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Municipality.
Halleluja! The roadblock near the elementary school for boys has been opened; which is to say that 3 concrete blocks have been moved to the side of the road, and remain there as a warning. But the road is open to vehicles, and we can assume that no one in this tormented neighbourhood has forgotten that they live under occupation.
On a hot day like today the security forces tend to stay inside their air-conditioned vehicles. Only a trio are positioned outside the boys' High School, later joined by another trio. There were no unusual events.