'Anata-Shu'afat, 'Isawiya (East Jerusalem), Al-Ezariya, Jalama
Anata was quiet with traffic and pedestrians passing through with no overt problems. The crossings from Isawiya to the Maaleh Adumim road remains open as does the passage to French Hill. However, when we reached the passage to Mount Scopus, there was a police car and two military vehicles, four guards in view and others in the vehicles. However, pedestrians were passing through without delay. The cat and mouse game continues. Whereas last time we were there, it would have been impossible for motorcycles, bicycles or baby carriages to get through, this time, barriers were removed and there was space between the boulders for those to get through.
Azariah is more forelorn by the day. As we approached, we noted the burning garbage along the way. The piles of crushed vehicles gets higher and vied with trash for the little spare space along the way. As we approached Wadi Nar, there were about 10 cars coming in the wrong direction down the street – not an especially unusual phenomenon in this lawless area. However, as we got closer we appreciated the reason why. There was a long backup of traffic on the steep hill leading to the checkpoint. After waiting about 5 minutes, we contacted the number listed on our sheets for Wadi Nar but got voice mail. We then made another call and were told that they were not responsible for Wadi Nar, but the young man with whom we spoke said that he would get the proper contact number (029977410) for us. In about 10 minutes, he called back with the number, but by then, the cars started moving. For whatever reason, there were huge delays from all sides – something we have not seen for a long time. A traffic light has been installed at the checkpoint. Perhaps that had something to do with the delays.