Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Fri 9.11.07, Morning
Sheikh Saed 09:30
Tens of inhabitants, most of them elderly, are waiting patiently. The soldiers do not let anyone through. An older woman wants to get to the hospital in order to take care of her leg. Another woman wants to visit her daughter who gave birth and stayed at the hospital, because the baby has jaundice. Some old people want to get to pray. All of them are refected. The orders are specific - no one is to go through without a permit. We turn to the soldiers, to the commander in place, to the commander who comes in his Jeep, to the regional commander, and to the humanitarian center - all our pleas do not change a thing: no one goes through today. All of them also claim that there is no change in orders, and they never heard about the fact that in the special case of Sheikh Saed, it was used to let the elderly people, at least, to go to pray on Fridays. Ali, a long time inhabitant of Seikh Saed, a noble, wise, nice man, who talks a lot about educating people for peace, sounds very stormy despite his hidden smile "I don't know what happens to them now. Yestetday I tried to go through with a sick baby and they did not let me through! maybe we need to start a new Intifada?" While we were there only one old person went through.
Abu Dis 11:30
Zeitim passage 14:00
The place is completely deserted. We did not see any Palestinian ther, maybe because we arrived after the begginning of the prayers.
We enter into the checkpoint and go to the Palestinian side. Later on we want to get back through the checking routes to the Israeli side. The woman soldier in the shed is surprised: "what are you doing herë?" "We are from Machsom Watch and we wanted to show the journalist the checkpoint" The soldier explains happily, enthusiastically: "this checkpoint was openned a year and eight month ago" ""Since when is the machine for identification with the palm is here?" "It has been here for almost a year, and it is very efficient. Before we had to write down the ID number of everyone going through.
Today this machine makes the checkup more efficient and quick. There is no need of body checkup" "But when we see Palestinians who emerge from the checkpoint to the Israeli side they always come out with their belts in their hands" "that is true, the belt is really a problem. We have to demand that they take it off".