Abu Dis, Sheikh Saed, Tue 16.9.08, Afternoon
We went first to Sheik Said where we had not been for a long time.
The checkpoint (to keep 2000 citizens confined in their cage) has been reinforced. First, there was a barrier. Then, two separate barriers. Further in, there was a metal fence with barbed wire on top. On either side of the narrow passageway, there was a fence with barbed wire on top.
Two border police were guarding the area for the 6 or so people we saw cross through during the time we were there. There were other guards up in the watch tower. The only thing that was unchanged was the pile of garbage coming down the slope of the hill. Once upon a time, we used to cut across to the other side to speak to the residents. Now, the other side is like a ghost town. We have no idea what ever happened with the Supreme Court case that was to determine the fate of these people. Does anyone know?
We continued on to Abu Dis and the Cliff Hotel. During our time there, one young woman passed through. There seems to be little activity going on at the Moskowitz settlement. No changes in the last 5 months. There was one (possibly 2) guards on the roof, but no sign of anyone living there. Who knows?
The once bustling center of Abu Dis was totally shut down.