Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Thu 30.10.08, Morning
Ora K., Michaela R. (reporting)
Summary: a longer than usual line at the Zeitim checkpoint.
6:30 Sheikh Saed
Busy crossing of persons, including children some of whose bags were checked. Despite the press of persons long lines did not develop.
7:10 Zeitim Crossing
A very long line in front of the outer turnstile, spilling into the road. Inside, three checking points are active. Shortly after our arrival the outer turnstile was opened and most the the people entered the checkpoint area. Crossing time: 20-30 minutes, relatively long for this hour.
Two men told us they had been caught yesterday near the Caliph Hotel in Abu Dis, although both have a permit allowing them to stay, including overnight, in any part of Israel (with the exception of Eilat). They underwent a humiliating and painful physical examination. The border policeman who examined them went off to have coffee with his friends, leaving them to stand outside for an entire hour in pouring rain. He claimed that they had no right to be there, except to work in Israel, and if he catches them again he will tear up their permits. We provided them with a card of the depot for protection of the individual.
More than the usual traffic of vehicles in both directions. Some were checked thoroughly, including engine and trunk. On the whole, the checks lasted a long time and took place on the driving lane. Because of the heavy traffic, this created long lines of vehicles in both directions.
Once in a while cars were detained for the checking of documents.
We saw a young man taken out of a taxi from the direction of Bethlehem, and sent back. We were unable to make contact with him, and are unable to ascertain what happened.