Abu-Dis

Nov-5-2003
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Abu Dis, Wadi Nar

Observers: R. H., J. W., R. W.

We went directly to Wadi Nar via the pishpash climbover. There were
no border police to be seen.

We took a shared transit to the container. About 200 meters before
the container, a border police jeep pulled up alongside some of the
transits, ordering the passengers out. Most of the passengers just
walked to the checkpoint where border police detained some of them
and demanded that they identify the drivers who dropped them off at
the wrong place. It was a Catch 22 situation, because the border
police themselves blocked the traffic and created a situation
whereby people would disembark at an "improper"
place.

We spoke with the BP's who were quite ready to speak to us.
Initially, the BP in charge of the checkpoint was hostile
(obviously because we spoke to bp's under his command and not first
to him), but soon made an effort to impress us with his concern for
humanitarian rights (I have a BA degree!), and we had the definite
feeling that our presence really made a difference. All the drivers
and their transits were released with no fines being imposed and no
vehicles impounded.

Several of the drivers offered to take us back to Jerusalem, but we
discovered that the driver who had taken us there had waited for us
and we went back with him.

Back at the Jerusalem checkpoint, there was a border police jeep.
While the BP's were there, some people were not allowed to climb
over, but the minute the jeep was gone, those turned back
reappeared.

A good feeling that our presence had made a difference.