'Anata, Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Ras Abu Sbitan (Olive Terminal), Sheikh Saed, Mon 8.9.08, Morning
Rina R., Yael L.-J. (reporting), Avital F. (driver)
General observation: It is the season of Ramadan, Palestinian winter time as of 1.9.08.
We arrived at 07:00, crossing the checkpoint easily. Very few adults and children were crossing. A teacher told us that some schools are working according to the Palestinian winter-time schedule. This means that for the children at these schools it is only 6 a.m., too early for going to school.
On our way we were stopped by a flying checkpoint. A soldier checked out ID's. He had never heard of Machsom Watch. We saw a lot of children waiting for their school buses.
We arrived at the terminal at 7:45 a.m. Here too very few were crossing - some within 3-4 minutes.
An observer from the ecumenical group told us that at 6:30 there had been many persons on their way to work.
We arrived at 8:20. Only a few cars were waiting in each direction.
A Palestinian truck driver asked Rina for help. He had come from Hebron and was on his way to the Allenby Bridge with a cargo of tiles. The soliders had put up a metal barrier cutting the lane in half, and it was difficult for a truck to pass. This driver had touched the barrier lightly, without damaging it. One of the soldiers had kicked him and ordered him to put up the gate. The driver felt humiliated. Rina called a superior, and the commander of the checkpoint spoke with us, with the Palestinian (in Arabic), and with the soldier.
At 9 a.m. we arrived in Anata. Traffic was sparse and flowing. A soldier told us that there were army instruction to be courteous to persons crossing during Ramadan.