Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Tue 20.11.07, Afternoon

Julia W., Rina H., Rahel W. (reporting)

When we arrived at the Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal) at about 14:15, there were some school children returning to the Palestinian side without any interference.  We were able to note this from the time it took for them to enter the building until they emerged.  Since the last time we were here, the entire area has been lined with sheeting that prevents one from looking in to see what is going on inside.  

At Wadi Naar, there was a line of about 10 vehicles heading south, and three vehicles coming north.  Two border policewomen with their dogs were examining a van .  While they were busy examing the van off to the side of the road, no one paid any attention to the cars that wanted to head north. 

There were 5 border policemen at the checkpoint (that we could see) but they seemed to operate in the most unprofessional, haphazard way imaginable.  At times, just one B.P. was waving vehicles through from both directions.  Other times, all five B.P. were outside chatting among themselves with no one calling cars through.  When buses came through, two B.P. boarded them and checked all i.d.'s  Then they would disappear inside while the vehicles waited and the lines built up. Then, everyone would be quickly waved through without a glance.  At times, the B.P. would forget to look towards the cars heading north and then long lines would build up. 

No one was detained for more than a few minutes so, obviously, whoever was doing the checking inside was working more efficiently than his peers outside.