A long line stretches from the entrance to the checkpoint. The reason: in addition to checking documents, the soldiers were also recording manually those crossing. We tried talking to them about making the crossing more efficient, for example by opening up another line, but to no avail, and waiting time continued to be longer than ususal, more than 10 minutes.
07:55 Zeitim Crossing
Quiet, and sparse traffic, on the Palestinian side as well. We heard from the Palestinians about appropriation
orders for houses and installations along the access road from Al-Ezariya to the Zeitim Crossing, evidently for the purpose of widening the road for the use of buses.
08:40 Wadi Nar
Vehicles facing southward were waiting while northward traffic was flowing, not a common situation. The reply to our inquiry was that the previous week four stolen vehicles going in that direction were caught, and searches were now more meticulous. The checks were random (one out of every 2-3), and careful. Trunks were also checked, merchandise etc.
From conversations, we gathered that changes had been made in recent weeks in the ensemble of soldiers at the checkpoint: each team is made up of soldiers from the military police who check the vehicles, and border-policemen who guard them. The soldiers said that since these changes a representative of the DCO is no longer present at this checkpoint. This struck us as odd, and led to a conversation with Tali who is in charge of DCO representation in Abu Dis, and with Uri, her commander.
09:00 The Shimon Ha-Tzadik neighbourhood
We stopped again to visit the protest tent set up by the residents on behalf of the woman recently evicted from her home in the neighbourhood as part of the broader move to establish a Jewish neighbourhood there. Two British members of Parliament who happened to be visiting when we arrived expressed an interest in Machsom Watch activity. The police impose a daily fine of NIS 450 on those who set up the tent because it's an "illegal building." We were shown one of these daily forms. We recommend a visit for whoever is able. 27 families are due to receive eviction notices, and they yearn for Israeli solidarity, especially of Jerusalemites.