Abu Dis, Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Thu 12.3.09, Morning

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Shosh H., Michaela R.

6:45  Sheikh Saed
Quiet crossing.

7:10  Zeitim Crossing

We entered the checkpoint.  Dozens of men crowded in front of corridors 1 and 2,  and numerous pupils, women and the elderly at 3.  Here too crossing time  takes approximately 15 minutes.

Two are turned back -- one reports that his permit was expropriated, he has no idea why.  The woman soldier screams: "What's up? Why the excitement?  Irja, irja."  The following conversation takes place: "Why did you run?" (Is running a crime?); "For the bus."  "For the bus?!" (What else? how strange...)

7:35  Suddenly she announces that corridor 1 is closed.  A scrimmage ensues; the last are now ahead of the line, and those who were ahead now move to the end of the line.  Shosh calls Almog, the checkpoint commander, who reprimands the soldier.   Most of the pupils at corridor 3 have crossed by now, a dense line of women and the elderly remains.  One of those waiting at corridor 1 sinks to the ground with exhaustion. 

7:42  The corridor reopens.  Renewed chaos and the line re-organises.  The soldier is more cross than ever.  The turnstile is well-controlled, one person passes each time until she deigns to press the green button again, and crossing is very slow.  A third man is turned back, to renew finger-printing -- he's sent to Jericho.  [Does not the Zeitim DCO have the equipment to renew finger-printing?]  Shosh inadvertently leans on the turnstile, and this annoys the soldier who screams angry orders in Arabic again and again.  She returns to her work only after removing this serious obstacle.

We exited the line after 33 minutes.