'Atarot, Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, יום ב' 20.4.09, אחה"צ
Natanya G. and Phyllis W.
15:30: At Atarot CP 30 cars were waiting in line. We timed passage at approximately 6 minutes. The soldiers on duty at the CP reported that there were security alerts.
16:00 Qalandiya: We stopped to talk to one of the coffee vendors in the parking lot. He told us that many of his clients had recently reported that their passage permits had been confiscated in the CP.
Three passageways were operating inside the CP and there were no lines. We passed through the pedestrian CP and went to check the vehicle CP. From the distance we could see that the line of cars at Atarot CP was still quite long. At Qalandiya the soldiers were examining the crowded buses on their way to Ramallah. Trucks and private cars on their way to Ramallah were not being checked at all. There were no buses waiting in the northern square (at the entrance to the CP). We noted that all the buses entering the CP from the north were empty - they carried no passengers at all.
We also met the bank clerk from Jerusalem (thanks to the past but now-suspended "family unification" program) who works in Ramallah and who spoke with the Sunday MW team. He was not allowed through Qalandiya CP on Monday as well - the soldiers refused to recognize the note confirming that his case was under consideration by the Ministry of the Interior. The poor man was forced to go back to Ramallah and look for a place to sleep.
The female soldier checking people's papers in Passageway No. 2 was very nervous and at the end of her tether. Again and again she shouted into the PA system: "khuti kol ishi fi salla" (i.e. put everything in the basket [of the x-ray machine]) as if the people currently on line were the same as those she'd yelled at a few minutes earlier. The crude behavior of our soldiers is unbelievable.
Workers returning to the Palestinian territories after their day's work told us that all the passengers on buses passing through Qalandiya from Ramallah are now required to get off and pass through the CP on foot - "all" includes old people and sick people and pregnant women.
We also met a tourist from Korea who told us that she had come to visit Israel out of love for the country but was very disturbed to see that the conditions of the Palestinians were very bad. Out of concern for Israel she wanted to let us know that the difficult conditions of the Palestinians would only increase their hatred.
We left Qalandiya and returned to Jerusalem via Lil and Hizmeh. There were no lines.