There is still NO INFORMATION at all about what is happening at the gap in The Wall (between what will be the West Bank and northern Jerusalem) at Dahiet al-Bariid. There are only rumors.
Maybe it will be closed before Ramadan (which will start on 1 September). Maybe it will be closed at some point during Ramadan. Maybe it will be closed by the end of 2008 (just about the time that the peace negotiations launched at Annapolis in November 2007 are supposed to be coming to a conclusion with the establishment of a Palestinian state…)
In any case, this morning, I went out to go to some meetings in Ramallah, and noticed that there were armed men standing on the corner. There was also a border police jeep, with more armed persons, but they drove off.
When I passed through, nobody said anything, or gave me any informational pamphlet, or anything like that. Nor were there any signs posted …
When I came back, I found the road blocked with two huge pieces of formed cement just in front of the driveway to my building. And more armed men blocking the gap in The Wall.
“Drive around”, they said blithely — as if it didn’t matter at all.
That would mean going either through Qalandia — a supposed “border crossing” which is always a nightmare of congestion and humiliation under the point of some very big and very advanced automatic weapons.
Or, it would mean going around 11 miles or so on a winding road with some very aggressive drivers as road companions, through the “Judean Desert”, and passing through two more checkpoints — the one being upgraded beside Jabaa village, and the one called “Hizma” …
Then they said, “wait five minutes”. And they used a “traktor” (bulldozer) to pick up the huge boulders, and eventually the mad crazy traffic through the area started up again.
But, if I had listened to them at first, and not protested, I would have had to drive nearly one hour out of the way, through horrible dusty roads with world-class potholes, and at the same time as some very crazy and crazed drivers, on a very, very hot day …
And nobody knows what will happen or what the situation will be tomorrow.
NOTE OF REMINDER: This, my neighborhood, on the Jerusalem side of The Wall, where I and my neighbors simply live, is part of the Twilight Zone here. Yes, here, the little area where we live between The (still-open) Wall and a miserable and frustrating checkpoint (which it took over 20 minutes to transit today in the burning sun and boiling heat), has been designated a “Military Zone” [not a closed Military Zone or an operational Military Zone, but just a Military Zone], where anyone entering (or damaging “the fence”) subjects him-or-her-self to MORTAL DANGER — and ENDANGERS HIS LIFE!