Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal)

Orit D., Rachel W., Michal W. (reporting); Translator: Judith Green

Arrived at the checkpoint at 9:30.  According to Rachel W., the area was cleaner than last week.

There were about 15 IDF and Border Police people there, including 3 officers, 2 of them with the rank of lieutenant.  One of the officers explained to us that men from the age of 45, children up to the age of 12 and women of any age were allowed to go through without permits.  An ambulance of the Red Crescent stood in front of the passageway and brought people in wheel chairs through when necessary.  A Border Guard officer, who denied entry to a man who was at least 45 and was carrying a babyinfo-icon, claimed to be working according to orders.  Even if someone is "one day less than 45, he would not let him in".  He continued to explain that, if they didn't behave that way, the event would immediately be broadcast on WhatsApp and the checkpoint would be flooded with men less than 45 yrs old.  Later on, it turned out, to our delight, that not everyone behaves that way.  A 44 yr old man, without a permit and with a 14 yr old boy who was helping his father who was ill, was allowed to go through.  A man who works in Maaleh Adumim, who had a work permit, was denied, on the excuse that his permit was not valid on Fridays.

The soldiers and officers behaved politely to those passing through, and to us, and were careful to drink on the side, where one wasn't able to see them.  The soldier who stood near us and spoke with us, said that his shift started at 3 AM and would only end at noon.  Although large groups of people arrived during our shift, everything went along quietly and in good order.