Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Thu 24.7.08, Morning
Ora K., Yehudith S., Michaelia R.
On our way to Ma'aleh Adomim along the old road we noticed that in the sourthern part of Anata extensive earthworks are in progress. Is another wall being planned here?
The roads opened between Ezariya and Highway 1 have been asphalted.
6:30 Wadi Nar
Lively traffic. Many vehicles are detained, completely filling the space opposite the grocery. Detention time lasts between 7 and 21 minutes, because the soldiers accumulate documents in the palms of their hands; when their hands are full, they check, then distribute the pile of documents to the detainees.
The checkpoint conducts itself more efficiently than usual. A soldier and a border policeman check vehicles together. When documents are returned they are wrapped in small bundles according to the vehicle from which they were taken.
Passengers are forbidden to disembark on pain of not getting their documents returned. In spite of the early hour, it is already hot, and remaining in a car in the sun is stuffy.
A minibus is detained. Security forces talk to one of the passengers. Shortly after we arrived, the minibus was released.
Border-police base -- "Metsudat Adomim"
We drove to see the new road, split by a wall along its entire length. We reached the turning into the border police base "Metsudat Adomim" and found the divided road blocked by stones. To the left of the blockage, a wide gate is open, behind it a bulldozer at work can be heard. Yehudith went through the gate and saw 2 border-police jeeps. One of the border-policemen would not allow her to continue further in order to see what work is going on. He told her that civilians are not allowed through, and that he would arrest her. He called someone to say that "somebody from human rights and against the occupation entered the area", and refused to tell her what work is under way. Meanwhile, a border-police jeep came up to our car and said we were not allowed to be there. When we asked where this was written, he left us alone. Yehudith returned escorted by a border-policeman who reported that she left the area without causing problems.
When we returned to the main road, we saw a number of jeeps opposite us on the road entering Issawiya -- a random checkpoint (see photo)
When we arrived there were 4 army vehicles. One car heading east was checked. One pedestrian whose papers were handed around was allowed to proceed before long. A driver from the direction of Issawiya said that a checkpoint is rarely set up here, and complained of having to cross one more checkpoint on the way to Jerusalem (did he mean from Issawiya in the direction of French Hill?).
The border policemen gave us to understand that in the present situation (after the second bulldozer terror attack), setting up the occasional random checkpoint is a necessity.