Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Wed 20.8.08, Morning

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Yael I., Shira V. (reporting)

6:50 Olive Crossing

A longer than usual line stretches beyond the outside turnstile, 25-30 persons.  According to them, the three lanes are open.  People crossed all the time at the rate  of c. 15 minutes.  Within a short time the outside line disappeared, and a peek inside showed us that the remaining line was only inside the lanes.

7:30 Wadi Nar

Dozens of vehicles from the south were waiting to cross.  Soldiers intercepted them at random, and released them after a short time.  We asked to speak to the DCO to see whether crossing could be made more efficient.  While we waited they decided to let traffic flow without checks -- at least 60 in our estimate crossed without being checked.  This went on for quite a while, and then random checks were renewed.  We tried to find out from the DCO why the checks were not performed on one of the side lanes (of which there are several, now that work to widen the area is underway).  He said that was not possible due to lack of manpower, and that this was the optimal procedure  during the morning rush hour.

During the entire time of our stay traffic congested repeatedly on this lane due to the random checks (even though short), which were followed by passage with no checks.  Several detained transits were quickly released, the documents given a fast check by radio communication then returned.

We took the opportunity to ask him a few questions:
--According to him it is possible to renew the biometric at the Zeitim Crossing itself for residents of the following: Abu-Did, Sawaharra, Sheikh Sa'ad, Ezariya, and Az-Za'ayyem.  All the rest (e.g. those who come from Hebron) will have to use the DCO at the their place of residence because "the computer does not permit" renewal at the Zeitim Crossing. 
-- He also claimed that residents of the above places need not go to the Jericho DCO since all their needs are taken care of at the Zeitim DCO.