Qalandiya, יום ד' 7.10.09, אחה"צ
A weird scene. Children, stones. soldiers, shooting, rubber bullets, tear case, singing and a guitar, innocent passers-by with eyes streaming on their way to the checkpoint and home, traffic jams, overcrowding. An audience watching and we standing with them and it seems that no one gets very excited about all this.
15.55 A terrific traffic name to the south. The traffic is directed to A-Ram where the gate is open. The passage of cars to Ramallah is closed.
16.03 The way to Ramallah is opened and the traffic jam opens up.
There is a rumour that there is confusion as children are throwing stones.
In the parking lot for the taxis there are many people and no taxis.
In the pedestrian passage 4 booths are closed. Practically since they have been put up.
16.10 The shed and the sleeves are practically empty. In the meantime it turns out that for the past hour and a half the children have been throwing stones and the soldiers shooting. It is not clear if the children threw stones because the checkpoint was closed or the opposite. Or maybe this is the continuation of the demonstrations on the Temple Mount.
16.20 A young tourist plays his guitar in the shed. The young Palestinians sing enthusiastically with him. And really close by at the northern circle the border police some of them in gas masks fire and bring more and more gray weapons with ammunition. And next to all this the cars to the north to on their way and a few trucks go southwards.
16.30 A rain of gas. Pedestrians especially women and children have tears streaming down, their noses blocked and they run from the circle to the northern checkpoint. We had to go through a real cloud of gas on our way home. Some of the border police are also coughing, spitting and their eyes are also streaming. A soldier wearing a mask shouts in anger at us. "A closed army area, everyone is to go." The people go back a way and then come to watch at the side of the northern checkpoint. They explain to us that a lot of noise is because of the rubber bullets and the softer noise is that of the gas. And there is also rubber wrapped with gas and if you touch it you get burnt. In the meantime the soldiers are going in the direction of Ramallah.
15.35 The southern checkpoint for cars is closed completely. In the distance we hear a siren.
16.45 Pedestrians with streaming eyes come in groups to the checkpoint. Shooting, cars streaming to the north.
16.55 Another shower.
16.58 From the sentry comes the announcement that the passage is closed and everyone should go back.
17.03 A shot. And 17.05 shots at short range.
17.07 Shots. The passage of cars leaving Ramallah is difficult and passes the low wall. The vans pick up their passengers at irregular places, The soldiers bring more and more grey tins.
17.10 The muezzin calls to prayer . His text does not get confused because of the commotion underneath.
17.15 Shots directly into the crowded road leading to Ramallah.
Many times today we have been told that there will be no peace and quiet here. The Koran says, "So long as the sun rises and sets there will be no peace in this place," Again a siren is heard from the area of fighting,
17.25 The firing continues.
We go through the sleeves quickly. The parking lot is empty. The drivers wait for passengers at a distance. They ask us about what has been happening on the other side of the checkpoint.