Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Sheikh Saed, Wed 16.7.08, Morning
Anat T., Shira V. (reporting)
6:55 Sheikh Saad
Traffic is sparse and flowing.
8:00 Zeitim Crossing
From the western side, the checkpoint appeared empty (we did not enter this time).
8:15 Wadi Nar
When we arrived two transits facing north were detained. The passengers of one told us they had been waiting for half an hour, the other only a few minutes. It was already very hot. A military police patrol jeep was there as well as a relatively large number of military policemen, some doing nothing. No infrastructure work was going on while we were there.
We asked for the DCO representative (we recommend doing this since one is supposed to be there at all times), and he arrived (bleary-eyed -- it seemed we had interrupted his sleep in the caravan from which he emerged), together with the c.p. commander who promised to to hurry things up. After a few minutes the two vehicles were released. To the best of our understanding, this was a classic case in which our presence hastened things along. Thereafter, the routine of random detentions continued -- and transits were released within a few minutes.
The DCO representative told us that for two months now the requirement for veterinary permits, a condition for the passage of livestock, had been discontinued. He could not say exactly why, but suggested that it might be due to some general innoculation campaign related to the Beth-El DCO (?)