'Atarot, Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, יום ב' 19.10.09, אחה"צ

Observers: 
Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting
19/10/2009
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Afternoon

14:45:  On our way to Qalandiya we passed by Atarot CP.  There were no vehicles waiting in line.

14:50 - Qalandiya:  The CP was almost empty in the afternoon heat of the hamsin.  No one was waiting in the DCO shed.  The soldier operating the PA system was shouting something unintelligible, so we went out to the parking lot to see if anything was happening.  When we stood next to the fence at the end of the parking lot, the soldier began shouting at us to move away. We didn't move but the driver of one of the passing mini-buses called out attention to a detainee just the other side of the wall from us who was sitting on the ground and was being watched over by an armed guard.  We had to go back through the CP and around to get to the Jerusalem side of the wall.  By the time we got there, the detainee and the guard were gone.  One of the drivers told us that the detainee was a cripple who had tried to take a short-cut to Jerusalem and avoid the pedestrian CP lines.  He said that the soldiers had made him return towards Qalandiya.

Meanwhile we saw that the line of cars at Atarot had grown to 10, but traffic was still moving.

On our way back through the CP we noted once again that the biometric machines are not working.

15:30Only one passageway through the CP was operating, No. 3, and a long line extended from there all the way back to the carousels.  Natanya called the humanitarian hot-line and I called the "hamal" number.  Immediately another passageway was opened and the line began to move.  We noticed that 3 people were waiting in line in passageway No. 5 for the DCO offices.  We phoned the offices and spoke with Avital who promised to see what she could do.  It turned out that 2 of the people, who had already been waiting half and hour in line, only wanted to go to the post office to pay some bills.  But the post office closed at 15:30 and by the time they got there, at 15:50, they were out of luck.  If the same line serves people who need to get to public offices as well as the DCO, there should be some way of letting them through efficiently.

16:00:  Two passageways were working in the pedestrian CP.  Traffic was getting heavier.

16:15:  We left Qalandiya and drove back to Jerusalem via Lil (no lines) and Hizmeh (traffic was flowing).