Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Wed 16.1.08, Morning
The people standing in line tell us about their feelings, and about the bad road to Jerusalem and to Zeitim passage from their neighborhood. One cannot go through some parts of the road in the rain. They all are waiting for the Supreme Court decision next Wednesday about the fence in Sheikh Saed. We talk with the soldiers in the checkpoint - the commander and the checking woman soldier. They too suffer from the cold. We turn to the center, and through it to the commander of Zeitim DCO, Leiutenant Elisha, in order to find out if one can give up the list of names. He promises to do something about it. In the meanwhile the line ends. We are glad to say that the gate in the area of the checkpoint that leads to the houses at the side of the checkpoint is not locked, and the people living in those houses are coming and going through it.
Once again they argue with us where it is allowed to photograph, and once again the soldiers (who are suspecious but polite towards us) find out from their superiors that it is allowed to photograph in the checkpoint area, and that it is not a military area, because civilians go through it.
On the way to the car we see a sign announcing a plan of a new road - the eastern ring road that is supposed to lead from "Har Homa"(Zur Baher area) to the area of the the old train station near the Chan. (we do not understand what they mean, and if it means the area of the Jerusalem Chan why does the road reach Sawahara ?) 08:15 Cliff hotel and the upper pishpash. Through neglect and the window broken Cliff hotel the passage gate is close. A man and a woman soldier claim that many Palestinians go through it, and not only settlers from the house up the road. We are not allowed to go through, despite the logical fact that the whole area is part of the city of Jerusalem, but GCO edict is above any right, and the soldiers claim that there is such an edict. We do not demand to see it, but maybe it is worth doing so.
There is again negotiation about our right to photograph, and the woman soldier claims now that it is a violation of her human rights to take her picture against her will at the checkpoint. Neta does not take her picture (what is a nice girl like you doing in a place like that), but the question stays open. We think that being soldiers they don't have the usual civil rights, and they represent IDF.
There were about twenty taxis detained on the way to Jerusalem (but he took documents only to a student or one or two engineers, and had thought that the taxis should go on their way and leave the passengers at the checkpoint, and if they don't do it - "it is their problem"). We need to have a follow up on this checkpoint, and take care that the commander does not have too many initiatives. This checkpoint, that is in area B, is the most interesting of all the checkpoints for Limor Y. from the Civil Rights association. She is interested in violations of the rights of free movement of Palestinians in order to apply to the Supreme Court. All the taxis detained were released while we were there. Happily, this was done quickly.