Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Wed 16.4.08, Morning

: Ora A., Anat T. (reporting)


06:45 Sheikh Saed

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 road to school is full of small children, and the atmosphere seems more relaxed than during the last few weeks.

In the checkpoint itself there are no delays and useless reports, and it seems that the problem of passage of the older pupils (those over 16 years old) has been solved, probably thanks to N., the officer in charge of education in Beit El, who has been very efficient, and without delays. When we asked the present commander tells us that in this checkpoint there is no passage without an official or a humanitarian permit, even not to 90 years old to go pray in El-Aqsa. When things were different, he claims, hundreds of people came here from Hebron and Beit Lehem and tried to go through without permits.

08:15 Zeitim passage, El-Ezariye side

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 closureinfo-icon will start.

08:45 The exit from Ezariye towards Ma'ale Adumim

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 camerainfo-icon to document the absurdity.

09:00 Wadi Nar

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.