Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Wed 25.2.09, Morning

Observers: 
Anat T., Shira V. (both reporting)
25/02/2009
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Morning

7:00 Sheikh Saed

Lively traffic, flowing.

8:00 Zeitim Crossing

 
Two corridors are operative, and traffic flows.

8:30 Wadi Nar


 
Yesterday the renovated checkpoint began its operation with lanes, booths for checking vehicles, etc.
Checking takes place slightly below the previous checkpoint in the direction of the West Bank.  Today the commander tried to make us
move back to the top of the hill, "to observe with binoculars" the transits checked.  We refused, claiming the checkpoint is not a closed
military area, and that we were not obstructing traffic.  And should a shooting event occur then, true, we are civilians present at this location, but so are other citizens, Palestinians.

  We telephoned our lawyer, Smadar Ben Natan, who said that if the checkpoint commander claims this is a closed military area he's obliged to present a general's order to close the checkpoint for a set time, including a map.  If there is no such order, there is no closed military are.  The commander called the company commander of the border-police, A.  And after a long conversation in the presence of the DCO officer, he had to agree to our standing below, close to the bay where transits are detained.

Meanwhile, we urge our fellow "watchers" not to insist fearlessly on standing "inside" the demarcated area of the checkpoint, some distance from the transits, behind the triangular "yield" sign.
For the rest, during our entire stay at the checkpoint, traffic was flowing, and the vehicles detained for checks were quickly released.