Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Sheikh Saed, Wed 19.3.08, Morning

Edna P., Anat T. (reporting)

Sheikh Saed 06:45

We took the chance and drove with the flag of MW flying over our car in the streets of Jabel Mukaber to the checkoint of Sheikh Saed. It was extremely quiet. The school children are on spring holiday. In two places - at the junction at the entrance to Armon Hanatziv, and on the hill top of Jabel Mukaber there are police patrol cars.

At the junction of Armon Hanatziv there is a policeman with his weapon crossed over his chest, and a policewoman in the patrol car, and at the entrance to the neighborhood a police van full of policemen, probably ready for any event of breaking the order. In the neighborhood one does not feel tension or stress, but there is a heavy atmosphere and a cloud of depression. There are no smiles.

The checkpoint of Sheikh Saed is in the trained hands of Z., the commander, a matter-of-fact pleasent man. The other three BP men do not seem to be looking for the well being of the population. They mostly "bark"at the people going through. The two civil guards are busy in their own business that include smoking, change of guards and talks.

At first they do not let school children over 14 go through into Jerusalem, but Z. takes initaitive and calls the DCO and gets permission to let pupils through, whatever their age is. Not students. He does not let us climb on the hiltop, and since there are not many people up there we do not fight for this right. Tz., the spokesman of the administration, tells us that the closureinfo-icon that will take place until saturday night, is valid for merchants and workers, he is not sure about students.

Wadi Naar - 08:00 - 08:50

There are about four vans and one bus of youngsters from Hebron on their way for a journy in Jericho, detained for an ordinary checkup.

To our request the representative of the DCO, R, comes over to talk to us, he is accompanies closely by a BP man. It seems almost ridiculous. It seems that the BP men try to have control over the DCO representative, and do not let him talk with us alone. Since a BP soldier passes under the windows of the bus and threatens the passengers no to throw anything (we did not see them throwing anything), his face threatenning, and there is an immediate response inside the bus - we ask them to be quick with the checkup of the bus in order to prevent an unnecessary friction. The DCO representative is taken back to the shed and the documents are quickly returned.

The transits are released pretty quickly too, except of one of them, that waits for half an hour for a permit of the GSS for one of the passengers. We ask Lieutenant E. from the DCO about the personal pressing protection over the DCO representative, and he answers that the DCO representative takes care only of the Palestinian population, and one has to turn to him personally (to E.) with any question. It is not clear what brought this procedure, after many weeks during which the representative of the DCO spoke with us in a very friendly way, but since E. solves most of the problems efficiently, we give up.

Abou the small truck with goats that is being detained, on its way from the west bank into Jerusalem area - E. explains that there is a need to coordinate such a transport, and that one of his people is assigned to take care of this.