'Anata-Shu'afat, 'Isawiya (East Jerusalem)
A long line of cars, taxis and buses waits at the exit from Shuafat. In one lane the vehicles of public transportation waited; the rest in the other two. Drivers complained they had been waiting for more than 30 minutes.
Their patience ran out and they started honking continuously. The lines began to move but very slowly. There was a big delay in the lane for public transportation.
We talked to the commander of the crossing and asked why only two lanes were open. "None of your business", he replied, and left. We called Hanna who said she would try to help.
A border policeman came up to us and explained that the delay was due to insufficient manpower for more lanes. Two soldiers who were supposed to man two more lanes were occupied with guarding a delayed person. While we were talking, the line began to move a little faster, perhaps due to Hanna's intervention.
The pace of crossing picked up. We timed it. Crossing of private cars took around half a minute. Each car waits at a certain distance from those checking, and is allowed to move forward only when the car in front has crossed. This of course increases the waiting time.
As always, the people we met were friendly and courteous.