Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Thu 17.4.08, Morning

Yael Y., Yehudit S. (photographing), Michaela R. (reporting)


06:30 Sheikh Saed

The view of the fences, the barbed wire, and the blockage is shocking us again. The huge monitary investment that aims at tearing the neighborhood inhabitants off create a painful and imaginary exsistenc. More than anything there is a traffic light erect on the road, its red eye chronically showing, and it prohibits movement on the road that is blocked anyhow by a yellow arm, White arrows show the road to vehicles who are prevented from driving on this undrivable road. The zebra crossing painted white is leading directely into a rocky wall...

In contrast to the huge investment of money in the traffic arrangements in a place where traffic is forbidden, clearing the garbage away is not high in the hirarchy. The inhabitants who can not use those road signs if they are unlucky and their ID is not painted blue, are prevented from getting to the garbage container. The garbage bags are thrown from the hilltop beyond the fences.

The pedestrians go through the checkpoint: every man and woman stretch their body in order to be able to drop their documents through a slit high up in the checkpoint shed. Small children go through today without any interuption. The bigger ones show documents, but their bags are not being checked.


07:40 Olive Checkpoint

People go out one by one, most of them hold their belts in their hands.
From the inside we hear loud and impatient voices in Hebrew. A few minutes later a man emerges and tell us that he and his twenty years old son are on their way to Mukassad hospital. The son has platinum implants in his body,and they don't let him go thorugh without a proper permit. The two have permits from Jericho DCO and many other appropriate documents. A specialist, a proffesor,comes to Mukassad today for a short time, and the father worries that he will not be in time in the hospital, bring a document, return to the checkpoint, and drive back to the hospital. Even without it they had a long way, and crossed three checkpoints: at the exit from Jericho, in Almog junction, and Mishor Adumim. We called E. who turned us to an officer (K), and another wait, and two phonecalls, and the young man finally emerges after 15-20 minutes from the carousel.

We drove to Mishor Adumim. We arrived after eight o'clock, and saw no checkpoint. On the way we were wellcome by colorful signs: "Mevasseret Adumim".The arrows sent us to the area E1, towards a hilltop where there is a new police station. We drove on a new three lane road, and we saw a tourist view point towards the wonderful view. We were the only living souls in the area. In some places one can see preparations for new buildings.

08:50 Wadi Naar

From far away we saw at least 5 taxis detained. The checkpoint is blocked - there is no movement. Many men are crowding around a soldier who gives documents back. The line of cars gets to the bottom of the valley towards Beit Lehem. Another line, shorter, from Sawahara. According to one of the passengers, they had been waiting about an hour.

Immediately after our arrival the traffic starts moving without any checkup. Hundreds (!) of vehicles. Despite the big traffic, only one line of checkup was operating. Within twenty minutes the line disappeared. Later on the traffic went through, mostly without being checked. The detainning time was short. Documents were returned within less than ten minutes.