'Anata-Shu'afat, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal)

Rahela H. (filming), Michaela R. (reporting)
Friday: the first day of Ramadan

At 10 a.m. an empty and silent checkpoint greets us at Shuafat (Anata).  The main road, on other days bustling and jammed, looks like a road in West Jerusalem on Yom Kippur.  There are signs of preparation to meet hordes of pedestrians, but at this point there's no need for them.  In the pedestrian crossing, the x-ray machine and magnometer are activated.  The turnstile to the checking room permits one crossing at a time.  In the crossing for vehicles there are many security people, but very few cars.  Crossing was tranquil.

Olive Terminal  (photo: special public transportation to The Old City)

Traffic here was a little livelier.  Preparations were orderly and passage was tranquil.  At the foremost checking point there was a canopy for shade and a fan.  Passages for crossing were sufficiently roomy, and there was an adequate passage for wheelchairs.  With sufficient manpower on duty, there was almost no waiting at this point.

Women crossed freely, and it was a pleasure to see the happy faces.  Many men crossed, freely if of appropriate age, or carrying permits.  Still, some were disappointed.  Men under 40 without the proper permit for Ramadan (different from that for work, business, etc.) were refused. They sat on the side, waiting -- to no avail. There were arguments, but those in power decide.  A man of 60 was turned back because, according to him, he was prevented by Shabak (General Security).  The expression of shock and insult on his face said it all.