Moving around is not trivial for Palestinians

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Observers: 
Maya M. Sima S. Hagit S and Yuta, a visitor from Switzerland
Feb-12-2004
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Afternoon

14:30 Anata at about this time there is a changing of the guards. The dog that was on duty before we came is put into the car and sent back to the channel.
The commander that is leaving reminds the new shift that if people through stones they should respond with tear gas. When we arrive there are 3 men detained and 3 more while we are standing there. All have territory ID. A few more are refused but not detained. Those turned back and tried another way. Some tried to convince the soldiers to let them pass. The one detained was held up for questioning and sighing of papers. Of course, the papers were in Hebrew and people did not understand the language. It all took a long time for the jeep and it did not seem like the soldiers were calling anyone to check the ids. One of the detaineesinfo-icon is physically checked. The soldier writing the reports explains that there is a new procedure that enables tracking the person's movements. He explains that they know how many times a person crossed the checkpoint. The whole procedure is not easy for the soldier doing it all from within the jeep. It is amazing how it is so inefficient, but it gives the soldiers the power without being violent. The checkpoint is calm. A teacher from A-Ram, was on her way to meet the Turkish council, is refused and is sent to the DCO to get a permit. We tried to convince the soldiers to let her pass, call the DCO, the counselee, but it was no use. after an hour she left, trying to bypass through the hills. On the hill above the checkpoint, many people are passing. cars passing, checked only randomly, but a red crescent ambulance is checked: every bag is opened and examined. In the ambulance is a child with an intestine problem, on his way to Moq'sed hospital. His father and another grownup accompany him.

Wadi Nar - the container At about 15:00, the checkpoint empties a bit. There are no pedestrians and transits and trucks pass southbound with no problem. Once in a while, a cab driver is stopped and checked. Like in Anata, nobody calls to check. The soldiers just take the ID, write down the details, and return it. It is slow (maybe because we are there?) and the IDs are returned after 15 minutes. The border policemen are busy reconstructing the checkpoint. A tractor is moving dirt from one side of the checkpoint to the other. A resident from Bait Lechem, in a private car, is not allowed to return home. It is not a humanitarian case but we tried to help. Sima called Elded, who later (when we were already home) said the man has to contact the DCO. The man managed without us and in his own way convinced the soldiers to let him cross. Abu Dis- the center of Abu Dis, on the eastern side is deserted, many shops are closed, not even a cab. Hagit