'Anata, Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Tue 11.3.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Chana G., Julia W., Rahel W. reporting
11/03/2008
|
Afternoon
When we arrived at Anata, it was like an armed camp. 

We saw one military policeman, 5 border police, 3 private guards, several blue policemen, and some army personnel.  The soldiers stood there with their automatic weapons ready -- pointing them to direct the hundreds of school children who were returning home, to cross over to the other side of the street. 

Together with the children walking home, there was a steady stream of cars, buses, and vans heading in both directions and it was a miracle that there were no children hit by these vehicles. 

 

There were 6 military vehicles parked there including 3 humvees.  Minutes later, about 15 more security people of all kinds emerged from the hut , walked over to the checkpoint, came back and left. 

A local man told us that all the commanders of the area, including the head of the "Jerusalem envelope" area, the head of the DCL , the heads of the border police, and blue police were there too.  After they left, the line of the security people who had been pointing their weapons at the children were gone and things quieted down. 

There were two lanes of traffic entering Jerusalem and one going the other way.  Despite the enormous traffic, there was little backup.

We continued to Azariah which was full of Israelis and Israeli cars (in spite of the warning sign which is still posted there) and then went on to Wadi Naar.  Once again, E. was in charge of the checkpoint and he was most cordial.

  There was a steady flow of traffic in both directions and no backups.  With all this traffic, we saw only three border police (there were obviously more people in the tower, but we didn't see them).  The three border police had to handle all the traffic as well as  hundreds of workers who were returning home at the time.  However, all went smoothly