Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Nuaman, Sheikh Saed, Mon 21.7.08, Afternoon
2:30 till 6:00 PM
A very hot afternoon. In Nuaman are more fences and additional barbed wire at the pedestrians’ entrance. The hothouses have been enlarged and additional plots are now being cultivated. It was hot and the village was sleepy. On the way out we were eyed suspiciously by the soldier at the CP who asked whether we had visited Mazmoriya, which we confirmed.
A few people were standing in line to exit; mainly women with very young children who were made to wait in the hot son. They were all in the possession of blue Id’s. We entered and the heat was almost unbearable. It turned out that a resident of Jebel Mukabr at the bottom caused the delay of all the others. He told us a sob story that he had worked in the Israeli police for 30 years. Had one wife in Jebel Mukabr, ill with cancer and had therefore married another one in Sheikh Sa’ad to help her. The one in Sheikh Sa’ad has a permit to cross on Fridays, he ‘needed’ her NOW for his sick wife, but the soldiers wouldn’t let her pass. The commander of the CP told us a different version where the woman in Sheikh Sa’ad wanted to attend a wedding, but had not requested a permit in time. Indeed we saw the invitation. Therefore we could not interfere. At last the women with their young kids could finally get through.
Ras El Amud
The second phase (sixty apartments) of “Olive Heights” are being constructed next to the existing Moskovitz settlement. On the wall in Abu Dis we read some new very creative graffiti. The soldier at the former Cliff Hotel wanted to chase us away because we were blocking the road – we promised him to move as soon as we indeed would obstruct the non-existing traffic.
The physical presence of the Container CP has disappeared.
There is earthwork going on and presumably a more permanent construction will be erected soon. Meanwhile there were queues from both directions. No pedestrians were allowed through the CP and all boarded transits, which made dangerous U-turns after having arrived empty from the other side of the CP. All cabs and vans looked clean and shiny despite the dust. The soldier, facing the glaring sun was trying to fan himself with his cap while also using it to wave cars through. It was noisy, dusty and worse than ever.
He asked us why we didn’t occupy ourselves with our grandchildren instead of coming to the CP. A tiny parasol was planted in the middle of the road and didn’t offer him any relief. He seemed kind and considerate and waved the cars through quickly – the queue disappeared. Two young boys who apparently had no money for a cab were not allowed through on foot. He stopped a truck for them and told them to get on board. As soon as he was replaced by another soldier, two transits (in the direction of Bethlehem) were stopped and all documents taken for inspection. The cars out of Bethlehem were not checked, all had green number plates, when one with yellow plates arrived, it was immediately stopped and checked.
On the way home we had a look at the new extension of Qedar and saw its magnificent swimming pool.