Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Sheikh Saed, יום ב' 15.2.10, בוקר
6:45 Sheikh Saed
It's Monday and there are children at the checkpoint. We met the nice humane commander, Y.
While we were there, all crossed in reasonable time, except for one child who was turned back for no reason -- he had the required papers -- so we turned to Y. and he dealt with the matter and the child crossed successfuly (though a little downcast at having to go to school after all).
Traffic jams on the way to Ras-al-Amud.
7:30 The Pishpash
The surrealist Dali could not have represented it better (and we took photographs):
Three nuns arrive to meet the cute kindergarten children, the stench of fresh asphalt from the new road, soldiers (friendly, we should add) in flak jackets and armed, drinking coffee and smiling at the children, Arab workers with a tractor making tea, and us. A pastoral scene. Of course we couldn't leave and stayed till the last pair entered. We accompanied them inside and were given a short tour of the place. The nunnery and its nuns were originally Italian, today's are warm and smiling women. The kindergarten has two groups, one of younger another of older kids.
An entire wall of the kindergarten is in fact the separation wall. It is decorated with paitings by one of the nuns. We also talked to one of the teachers who, like many in Al Ezariya, possessed a blue ID but her Jerusalem resident rights were taken away because "she does not live in Jerusalem" but only a few hundred meters from the municipal border mapped by Israel.
8:30 Wadi Nar
On Sunday evening we received complaints about extremely heavy congestion at the Wadi Nar checkpoint (the Container). We came and talked to the checkpoint commander (who was also nice -- what's going on today!), who reassured us and said the pressure was due to road works in Sawahara.
We heard a different version from the driver of a transit who happened to pass by and was eager to tell us that yesterday he had been stuck for two hours in the line at the checkpoint. The reason was human failure: whenever S. (so the driver said) is in charge of the checkpoint there are unnecessary delays and problems.
During our stay there were three transits which crossed quickly.
9:15 Sheikh Jarrah
Only two volunteers from the international ISM are sitting where the protest tent used to be. Nasser Ghawi continues to be removed from the place by police order, and for the last week the municipality dismantles the tent daily around 9 a.m. This morning it has not yet been reinstalled.
A woman arrives -- her son was ordered to house detention (in Issawiya) on Saturday night after rioting in the street. She tells that a young religious man spat in Mrs. Al-Kurd's face and other elderly persons, and the riot started. The young religious man called the police and when they came he submitted a complaint against the Palestinians.
One of the volunteers from Denmark documented the entire event, and went up to the police, but to no avail. A quick consultation with Hanna Barag about intervention from "Yesh Din" regarding violence against Palestinians reveals that the woman must submit a complaint to the police before "Yesh Din" can deal with the matter. We advise her and the Danish volunteer to go to the police immediately, and we give them our phone numbers a well as Hanna's so that they can inform us as soon as they've submitted the complaint.