Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Thu 31.7.08, Morning
Yehudith S., Michaelia R.
At the Zeitim Crossing, nearby but out of sight, every Palestinian bus is detained. Civilian guards are present in addition to the security forces who behave aggressively. A stop on the way back from Wadi Nar is recommended.
5:30 Zeitim Crossing
Busy flow of pedestrians exiting the checkpoint. Inside the checkpoint there is no line.
6:15 Wadi Nar
We met T. who replaces Elisha at the DCO; she initiated the meeting and greeted us pleasantly. When we arrived the checkpoint barrier on the descending road was closed, and vehicles turned left in the direction of Sawahara. When an Israeli vehicle carrying soldiers came up the road the barrier was raised and the road opened. After a quick changing of the guard which did not interrupt traffic, another track was opened, separating vehicles travelling north from those travelling south. This time older soldiers are present, volunteers over the age required for reserve duty. Their task, one them says, is to curb the younsters.
Traffic continued uninterrupted, with almost no checks. (It should be noted that the building in which the checks used to take place has been moved to a distant and higher place.) Extensive work on infrastructure continues busily.
7:05-7:55 Az-Za'yem Crossing
Some border policemen, and a military policewoman (who is doing most of the work) are "guarded" by civil security ("crossing security"). A man and his dog were standing apart. They were busy mainly with checking commercial vehicles.
Every Palestinian public vehicle -- the minibuses -- stops to be checked. All passengers must disembark. A guard checks the minibus, documents are checked, some sent for further checking. Average delay: 10-20 minutes. Pedestrians coming from the direction of Az-Za'ayyem are required to present documents.
A civilian guard approaches and asks us to leave the checkpoint. A border policeman reassures him, leads him away and says we can stand, talk and film as long as we don't create a disturbance.