Qalandiya, Sun 3.1.10, Morning
5.15 It is impossible to say that the shift at Qalandiya was a happy one, but it is possible to say that it is the best shift there that I have had in many years. What was so good about it was that at 6.45 we could go home. The shed was empty and in the turnstile stood 2-3 people and the passage to the checking rooms and from there to the exit was handled swiftly.
At 6.00? I phoned the DCo to ask that they open a fourth sleeve and within 4 minutes one was opened. A reason to rejoice, not so?
From 5.00 to 7.00 1602 people passed through the checkpoint . It is true that this is not different from last week when 2300 people passed through from 5.00 to 8.00 but there was a difference in the orderliness and the swiftness with which the sleeves opened and the amount of people who entered and emptied the line of those waiting at the first checkpoint. The people were not shunted from sleeve to sleeve , the young people were not pushing and it is definite that the checking inside went much faster than usual. It is obvious that this procedure helps both those passing through and those doing the checking. The armed civilian security guard came up to me politely and with a smile asked how I was doing. Those opening the humanitarian gate arrived in time and then went back because by 6.40 there was no more pressure on the other turnstiles.
In my opinion the reason for this change is not by chance but because of the visit of the lieutenant-colonel Urie M. last week at the checkpoint during our shift. Netta E. and he spoke for a long time and she pointed out to him the psychological advantage of those who were standing in the line and were sent through quickly to the inside sleeves even though they stood there for a long time once more and the difference in having them stand for a long time in the shed and were then let in in a trickle. The fact that the checking was so slow was evidently apparent to him.