Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Mon 5.1.09, Afternoon
2:00 till 6:00 PM
After we reached Sheikh Saed we remained a few minutes and saw that there was hardly any movement. Only a few young women in possession of blue Id cards crossed. The soldiers and security men who crowded near the entrance to the CP pointed towards us and said something like: “What, even in times of war they come here?” We didn’t think there was any point in going inside and continued on our way.
At the Pish-Pash hardly anyone passed. After our car had been parked a couple of minutes across the entrance to the Pish-Pash two soldiers ran over to us asking what we wanted, their inquiries were very polite.
The Olive Terminal too was very quiet.
When we arrived at the Container CP we noted a few changes.
The yellow gate has been moved away somewhat from the CP and is now painted in bright green.
A road has been asphalted towards the military post, which had been erected. Only the pitiful parasol – acting as a kind of logo for this CP - was still in place.
The line of vehicles from the West was very long, we couldn’t see till where. Two cars in the direction of Jerusalem were held up and its passengers, about eight young men, were put in a row along the fence. When we approached them they told us that they were on their way from the South (Hebron and Bethlehem) to Ramalla and had been detained for more than an hour. As soon as we started talking to them a soldier came up to us and demanded we retreat to the gate and not disturb their work. We are obedient and followed instructions, but in order to be sure he placed the Palestinians closer to the CP to prevent any contact with us.
The traffic moved satisfactorily on the whole and the long line we had seen when we arrived dissolved fast and we didn’t observe any further delays.
A 55 year old Palestinian asked us in perfect Hebrew whether we belonged to a peace movement and when we replied in the affirmative he told us about his sorrows; the fact that he can only move around in ever smaller areas; the inability to reach his lands, etc. In addition he complained about the lack of logic in the behavior of the Israelis towards the Palestinians, most of whom want peace, according to him. It was difficult to hear that he succeeds in ‘buying’ a work permit for a thousand Shekels a month through a relative who is a contractor. He added that the money doesn’t go to his family-member but to some employment service, we didn’t understand which one. Is that possible?