Qalandiya, Wed 17.2.10, Afternoon
16.20 IN front of the car lanes in a northerly direction a van of the Department of supervision of the Jerusalem municipality. A policeman and an inspector were standing next to it. At the side a car had been detained. The story. The soldier had stopped the car to check documents. The driver opened the door and his cigarette fell out of his mouth on to the ground. The driver wanted to pick it up and the policeman said to him, "Don't pick the cigarette up. You are getting a fine for throwing out a cigarette. The driver had to wait for the summons, a fine of 430 shekel because of disturbing the peace and the cleanliness of the area.
The inspector had not come past by change and caught a delinquent dirtying the clean and spick and span checkpoint of Qalandiya. He was waiting in ambush for anyone whom he could accuse of a delinquency and get money out of him. Our presence embarrassed the inspector and the policeman who stopped some cars and checked their papers. Afterwards the two decided it seems that that day they would not be able to extort more money and decided to go home.
We asked the policeman what was the meaning of the punishment of the cigarette on the ground when Qalandiya itself is so filthy and where there are no rubbish bins or toilets. We said that we were amazed that inspectors such as he are not seen in other places in Jerusalem. He explained to us that Qalandiya is his area and any other areas are not his business.
We went to the northern side and turned the car to carry on our journey but it was absolutely impossible because the whole area was jammed.