Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Wed 16.4.08, Morning
On the way down from Jabel Mukaber to the checkpoint there is no police presence any more - The Jeep that used to check those entering the village is not there today.
The vans and the cars waiting in the small parking lot on this side - Ezariye side - don't find passengers to take. The flow of people is tiny, on both directions, and there are no delays. It is hard to believe that this passage way was supposed to be the big gate into Jerusalem. And tomorrow the closure will start.
It is very strange: a few tens of meters away from the big sign that claims Ezariye to be a Palestinian area, closed to Israelies, there is an Israeli police car and the policemen are checking the documents and write down reports to the privileged crowd of Palestinian drivers who are on their way into Ezariye. We make a U turn and ask the policeman, who does not understand what we want, how come the Israeli police is active inside the Palestinian area, where Israelies are forbidden to enter? After a talk with Hana B. we write down the number of the Jeep that belongs to the Judean police force. Hana will write a complaint. It is a pity that we don't have a camera to document the absurdity.
There are four vans and taxis waiting to the checking of the documents of their passengers. Some conplain that they have been waiting for about an hour. In the meanwhile quite a few buses with children on school trips to Jericho go through, and are not detained. A headmaster of a school near Hebron tells us about the three checkpoints where he has stopped on his way to Ramalla. The soldiers claim that there are no taxis waiting for an hour, and in any case, the documents start flowing back and are returned to their owners, and within half an hour the checkpoint is empty. If we had any part in quickenning the procedure, the dark view is of longer detains when we are not present.