Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Wed 22.10.08, Morning

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Ora A., Anat T. (reporting)



6:45 Jabel Mukaber and Sheikh Sa'ed

A jeep is parked at a "random checkpoint" on the seam between the Armon Ha-natziv
neighbourhood Sheikh Sa'ed, on the southern descent towards Sheikh Sa'ed.  Three without permits are being checked.  One was sent on his way just as we arrived, the other two present expired permits for family reunions.  One, belonging to an elderly man, expired a few days ago, and the man claims that because of the holiday the DCO has not renewed.  The other, belonging to a young man, is an older permit; the man has a document to say the matter is in the hands of a lawyer.

  We contact the Jerusalem Envelope DCO, and the person on duty checks the names but claims they must arrive at the DCO today to arrange for the permits.  Meanwhile the two fill out security forms.  The older man is sent on his way but the younger man who, all this while stood on the other side of the jeep and argued with the soldiers (we saw his documents only later), is put into the jeep and sent to Sheikh Sa'ed, although according the ID we saw later, he lives in Jabel Mukaber.

Sheikh Sa'ed

Quiet -- hardly anyone coming or leaving. We find the young man who was sent back, and are somewhat confused by his story.  We ask to speak to his lawyer who is not available.  We call the DCO again, the person on duty replies firmly that he must reach the Zeitim Crossing to clarifyy the state of his permits.  The man claims he had already been there, and will not be given a permit.  Finally, we give him out phone numbers and those of the Civil Rights Moked (Central Depot) which deals with such matters.  We ask him to contact them and us if nothing works.  He does not get back to us and the matter as far as we are concerned remains unresolved.

8:15 Zeitim Crossing

At this hour the place is fairly empty.  We don't enter the checkpoint, although we make a point
of doing so on most of our shifts.  When we arrived we found 2 detained taxis and a short line up the hill towards Jerusalem.  The taxis were released almost immediately.  We were glad to see that the enormous pit in the road to Ezariya was fixed.  (We had complained to Tali, commander of the DCO representation at the Zeitim Crossing, and it appears that she had acted.   Also gone was the box placed on the road into which the soldiers threw the documents after checking, and into which the drivers had to bend to retrieve them -- all this to prevent contact with the soldiers.  Now the soldier hands the document directly to the driver.

While we there, traffic flowed.  Each time two taxis were stopped then released after c. five minutes.  We met an academic from Bethlehem on his way to lecture in Nablus instead of an Israeli colleague who was unable to arrive from overseas.  The subject is interesting: a proposal for Palestinian administration based on the organisation of local committees to improve the conditions of the community. We didn't manage to clarify the exact relationship between the Israeli academic and his Palestinian colleague who is the owner of a private consulting agency.  But the story of cooperation encouraged us. 

Despite all the sensitivities and hostilities, two persons are able to conduct a working relationship, without making a big deal out of it. After a few minutes the man was picked up by a taxi to Ramallah from where he will proceed to Nablus.  His lecture was supposed to be at 12, but he thought he might be late.