Abu-Dis

Nov-1-2003
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There were "hot warnings" of a terrorist attack in
Jerusalem all day Sunday. Half-way up Jericho Road next to the
cemetery wall a BP-jeep was parked in the middle of the road
blocking traffic to check all vehicles. Transit-drivers said the
papers of their passengers had been taken for closer scrutiny. One
said that he had been waiting for almost an hour and was due to
pick up schoolchildren a quarter of an hour earlier. Within ten
minutes of our appearance the documents were returned and all
drivers continued on their way.

We saw no border police near the gas station and people
scaled the concrete blocks freely until two BP-men appeared, and
the climbs were temporarily halted. They continued further up near
the university. At the hotel a wall of the garden across from the
gate was demolished last Wednesday to facilitate the movement of
bulldozers working on the separation fence.

Sawahre: In our van was one worker from Hebron (who had
rented a room at his work place during the week) on his way back,
after having given up reaching his job in Maaleh Adumim. He had
left his home at 3:30 AM, crossed successfully Etzion and El
Khadre, had walked through the fields at Wadi Nar, only to be
returned at the entrance to Maaleh Adumim. He planned to spend the
rest of the day to obtain a magnetic card, valid for a year. One
passenger said that the wait is at least two days and the price 50
Shekels. A huge crowd of people were huddling under the netting in
the hot sun. According to the BP, the closureinfo-icon is in full force. No
students are allowed through, only humanitarian cases and people in
possession of a special "DCO-permit". Indeed, an
ambulance was let through. Many people were caught trying to walk
up the mountain through the fields. The wait for the return of
their papers had already taken more than an hour when we arrived
and was due to take another hour an a half. We called almost all
the numbers on our lists and were promised by each at the other end
of the line that they would check it out.

Two elderly ladies with loads of agricultural produce in
bundles walked the 100 yards between the gate and the waiting van
three times to get their wares across. No one stopped and/or
checked them. The driver of a bus to Jericho who takes tourists to
and from Jordan was not allowed to pass. On our way back we were
told that the checkpoint which had been 'hermetically' closed at
the exit of Eizariya from 5:30 until 9:00 AM was now open. As in
Qalandya, many people just leave their cars near the road in an
impromptu (but unguarded) "parking
lot".