Abu-Dis

Nov-12-2003
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Abu Dis, Wadi Nar

Observers: R.H., J. W., R. W., guest from Toronto

There was an enormous number of people moving in both directions
over the wall near the former pishpash, despite the presence of
some 8 border police. (One was standing right near the turn in the
pile of rocks that people maneuver to get from one side to the
other.

There was a mangle of transits vying to take people to Abu Dis, the
Container, and Bethlehem. When we got to the Container area, there
was a large backup of vehicles in both directions. The cause was
not the B.P's (who were actually very friendly to us and the
Palestinians), but rather because there is new construction going
on. A small wall had been erected, which was being painted with
fluorescent paint by a 40's something reservist, and large sheets
of fencing material were in evidence. There will undoubtedly be a
major change in the set up at the Container by today. At one point,
a B.P., noticing the back up of vehicles, quickly moved some
barriers and allowed movement in both directions, but the
construction work greatly impeded the movement nonetheless. There
was almost no checking of either vehicles or people, and a group of
people whom we originally thought were detaineesinfo-icon were actually
people waiting for taxi space. Even so, there were large numbers of
people disembarking from their transits before the checkpoint and
disappearing into the wadi.

On the Jerusalem side of the wall, there were border police
everywhere. As we left, one jeep of border police blocked the road
up to the hotel and checked documents of people climbing over .
Even while they were checking, more people continued climbing over,
in front of where the jeep was standing, behind it, and even right
where it was located!! They had no time or opportunity to check
everyone, so who was checked was simply a matter of
timing.