Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Mon 1.10.07, Afternoon
Since Orit had not yet seen the Eastern CP’s we showed her around.
Zeitim CP - looked almost deserted. There were a few schoolchildren returning from Jerusalem hopping on transits and cabs to get home. The drivers said that there was hardly any work due to the closure.
A man dropped off his wife and two young children – he had no permit to cross with them.
We drove via the Eastern side of the wall in Abu-Dis to The Container - A soldier warned us that Israelis are not allowed to continue. We knew.
A car had been completely emptied out; its driver was in the lock-up. A girl soldier with a dog, trained to sniff explosives, checked out the car.
Traffic flowed at reasonable pace in both directions. Some workers employed in Ma'aleh Adumim (despite the closure) passed without delay. A blue police car came to inspect the suspicious car and checked the number of the engine. The girl soldier told Ruth to delete the photo of the dog from her camera. “It is an ‘army’ dog and can therefore not be photographed.” Ruth obliged. The driver of the car was apparently investigated, but not released.
We left via Kedar and the new road and tried from the East (Mishor Adumim) to approach the newly built police station on top of the mountain. The road is not yet finished; the Police Station looks enormous.
Az-Za'ayyem - We entered Az-Za'ayyem via the parking lot beyond the CP (the soldiers watching the passage to A-Tur beyond the tunnel under the main road now have a concrete structure against the elements). We talked to some people in the grocery store. A young man related that he does not dare register his two young children in his blue ID Card. He cannot afford to pay the rent in Jerusalem (2,000 NS as against 600 NS. in Az-Za'ayyem), but is actually not allowed to sleep outside the city boundaries. If he goes to the Ministry of the Interior to register his children he will have to bring proof of paid electricity bills and Arnona of three years back to show the authorities that he indeed lives in Jerusalem, or else he will lose his blue ID card.
An older man, the Mukhtar, told us that the rich man across the street whose house is abandoned had a heart attack and couldn’t benefit from medical services unless he moved to Jerusalem, so he now lives in Beit Hanina and the Mukhtar watches the house for him. He told us that he has a large stock of bric-a-bracs, which he gets from a supplier in Hebron. It is all imported from China and very cheap. They asked us whether our work has any impact.
We drove to the Border Police compound (an architectural gem) and noticed the newly built road (almost nearing completion) with a tall wall in the middle which will soon constitute a faster link to Hizme with the lanes for Palestinians further down and those for Jews higher up - to ensure proper separation and apartheid.
As we drove via Mount Scopus towards Abu-Dis the Muezzin announced the end of the fast. All traffic vanished and the roads became empty. The soldiers looked at us as we tried to get close to the PishPash with our car. When we approached the Cliff Hotel we were stopped and told that only people with permits are allowed to enter through the gate.