Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Mon 16.2.09, Afternoon

Yael I., Ilana D. (reporting)

   2:30-5:30 PM

An icy wind was blowing. On the way to and from Sheikh saed, we noted that many garbage containers were overflowing (they are emptied only once a week), but a few were completely empty which was an enigma to us. Of course on the slope from Sheikh Saed the usual display of colored plastic bags welcomed us.

We first spotted one bored soldier, but as we got closer a Border Police jeep pulled up and reinforcement had come. The soldier (commander of the CP) didn’t know whether to let us go up, but Y.  from the jeep told him to call and find out: “Tell them the ‘watch women’.” After a long wait and yet another call from Y. too we were told that he had checked ‘against’ the army and the Jerusalem envelope and we could not go in. We thanked him and told him that we would report what he had said, but then he came after us on our way back to the car and explained how dangerous it would have been for us to go in and that they feel responsibil.

The pishpash was empty.

We parked outside the Olive Passage and walked towards the other side. The turnstiles move only a quarter turn (90 degrees) at the time to give one a feeling of being imprisoned, but mostly to give the soldier controlling it the feeling of being in power. We saw through the fences a big crowd of people waiting to get into Jerusalem. As we watched we were shouted at to move away and not remain where we were.

A Palestinian showed us the way out to the East. We saw three drivers who complained re lack of work and told us that in the morning it may get very busy with schoolchildren, etc. If the ‘officer; is not there the queues get long and the girl soldiers do not care a bit. We returned and there was hardly any queue left. Nevertheless we were shouted at not to linger, but when we passed the girls were friendly and asked us how we were. Then she wanted to know why we were wearing a tag and why we were against the checkpoints. But a male soldier behind her reprimanded her, so we couldn’t elaborate.

A few cars with drivers were awaiting people from within.

We drove down towards Mishor Adumim and turned around, then we took a right
turn (with a huge sign towards Mevasseret Adumim) to explore the completed
infrastructure and cut off mountains via the shiny roads with roundabouts
and lamp posts and yet another sign “Mevasseret Adumin is here!” to the
police station.

We didn’t wait in the long line turning left towards Maaleh Adumim to take the Kedar Road, but continued towards Azariya and made a U-turn there to save time. We parked near the houses of Sawahre before the CP and walked towards the left to have a good overview of the newly constructed road with its freshly pained arrows (a monkey moved according to instructions).
We then crossed over to the grocery store where some coiled barbed wire is left on the road. There was no queue in either direction but someone was working on one side of the road, so all traffic had to be directed through one lane which caused a short wait because every time a few cars were let through from either South or North. No cars were held up, the soldiers were wrapped in several layers of shawls and bonnets against the icy wind.