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Rahel M., Michaela R. (reporting)

Shuafat checkpoint

Despite promises, there is no improvement!

7:30 : Winter break in the schools. No pupil transportation.

We entered the pedestrian crossing hoping that after all the promises, and in view of the school break, crossing would be fast.  But that was not the case.

Users of public transportation are still required to disembark and cross on foot. Many buses awaited them at the exit from the checkpoint.

A sole female soldier was busy with the checking.  The pace of crossing was therefore slow, although the turnstile opened more frequently than on recent days.  Crossing for the elderly was also faster, but the so-called "humanitarian" passage (for children and the ill) was not open.

The waiting hall at the entrance to checks has not changed.  There are no clear lanes for queuing .  As always the young try to jump the line and move to the front.  This time a brawl ensued, with shouting, cursing, and fists ready to hit.  A woman picked up her little child and left.

After 20 minutes we were out -- relatively fast compared with the last weeks, but still pretty slow considering the smaller size of the crowd due to the school winter break.

In the crossing for vehicles, the traffic jam snaked deep into the main road. Three checking points were operative, but not working fast. A soldier gestured in our direction.  We ignored him, he began a string of shouts which we will not repeat here, and we continued to ignore him to his great frustration.

We left.