Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Mon 3.3.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Yael I. and Ruth O. (reporting)
03/03/2008
|
Afternoon


From 2:00 till 5:30 PM

We started off in Sheikh Sa’ad.
 
Each time the CP at the entrance to the
neighborhood looks more ‘professional’. About a hundred yards of the road
near the CP are now designated as ‘sterileinfo-icon’; obviously meaning ‘security’
and not ‘hygiene’. This means that there is no parking, but garbage can
still be thrown out and no one picks it up. Hardly any pedestrians pass the
CP. One little girl enters on her way back from school. A BP officer greets
us warmly asking us how we fare and what the aim of our visit is.

We requested permission to go in and he, claiming that he has just arrived and
does not know the ins and outs, called his superiors to find out whether we
are allowed to enter. The reply he received (and we even heard it with our
own ears) was “no”.

The radio reported on unrest in the territories and stone-throwing in
Jerusalem and therefore we decided to drive through the Old City (via Jaffa-
and Dung Gate) to Abu Dis.
 

We didn’t notice anything unusual. At the
Pish-Pash no one passed.

Outside the Olives’ Terminal

we found quite a number of cars with their
drivers waiting apparently for passengers due to arrive through the
terminal.

A group of about twenty-five soldiers and their commanders were
standing near the bus stop. We wanted to ask them what they were doing there
(annual outing?) but before we reached them, they had marched off into the
CP through the turnstiles, which locked immediately behind them. Are they
the forces to counteract stone throwing? Is it a new unit about to man the
Terminal? We were unable to find out.

We continued to Wadi Nar.
 
There are now two red signs at the entrance to
Al Azzariya, a new one across the street. We are aware of the discussion going
on re obeying those signs and decided not to enter, but to drive via the
Maaleh Adumim-Kedar Road to the Container.

The Container

Traffic moved pretty smoothly in both directions and there were no long
lines. Most vehicles didn’t have to wait more than five minutes.

A cab from the direction of Bethlehem was held up before we arrived and the driver told
us that the documents had been collected fifteen minutes ago. He was sent on
his way after another ten minutes.
 
In the opposite directions there was some
random checkinginfo-icon, most private vehicles pass without any check. There were
taxis and even busses, which were waved through with the well-known
hand-movement of the soldier without any ado. Others were stopped and the
papers of all passengers were collected. The drivers collects all the Id’s
of his passengers and hands them to the soldier who compares the number of
passengers with the number of Id’s. He then takes them inside to check them
on the computer of the CP.
 
A bus was held up for this kind of investigation
for about half an hour, another one was released after twenty minutes.
 
Many workers on their way home arrived at the CP asfter having been dropped on
the slope towards the CP by minibuses from Maaleh Adumim. The passage of
pedestrians flowed smoothly and taxis waited for them on the other side of
the CP. Routine!