Qalandiya, Wed 3.2.10, Afternoon
15.30 Immediately after the turn to the right from 443 there was a queue in the direction of Atarot. Both lanes were jammed. Passed politely to the one lane at the checking area. Opposite the post was a border police van in the direction of the traffic to 443.
15.45 The wall opposite the parking area is being "renovated" and the graffiti has been erased. At the circle itself and we were sorry we have no camera were anemones which had been planted and three flags hanging from a pole. Is there some ceremony to be held there and that is why the flags are being flown? And opposite and in every corner the filth and neglect are evident.
15.50 As we arrived we saw the end of the operation of a sick person ( it seemed to be a baby) being passed through "back to back." . At the pedestrian baggage two cages are open and packed full. 3 checking booths are open. It is cold, everyone is frozen, their gaze is downcast and all just want to get through as quickly as possible. . A blind man and the person accompanying him pass through the third lane at his request. A woman of 57 in the line of those waiting. They have had to alight from the minibus to go through the pedestrian lane. She does not have the three years required and so has to stand in the cold in the lane of those waiting. The rules have been kept. The toilets are locked.
16.20 The northern lane is packed as usual.
16.30 In the shed where the small market is , coconut, cakes, skewers, strawberries. Every trying to make a living for their meager subsistence.
The taxi drivers try to persuade customers to take them. 10 shekel to Beit Hanina, 5-6 in a bus. Here and there people are persuaded.
It is cold and the passage takes at least half an hour if not more. At the pedestrian crossing every time it seems that the line has emptied out a new wave of people arrive. The line is to the middle of the shed waiting to enter the cage. 10 minutes to get through to the sleeves.
17.10 We are out of the passage, about 30 minutes. (For us once every two weeks, for the Palestinians daily, sometime twice a day.
17.15 An ambulance is in the parking area waiting to take a woman suffering from cancer to a hospital in East Jerusalem. The woman from Ramllah has been waiting half an hour already at the entrance to the checkpoint. It seems that when they came to the post the soldiers said that there were no permits. We wait for a phone call from Dalia Bassa. After another 15-20 minutes we phone the humanitarian centre and the ambulance is called through the microphone to pass through. We leave.
Another story is that of V., who sells coffee. He is very upset as in the morning the border police came and took him and another man for questioning at the nearby camp. They did not allow him to fix his cart so that things should not be stolen. A woman interrogator had allowed him to phone his lawyer . They wanted him to tell them who had been throwing stones. They allowed him to go after he signed a statement that he had not been beaten , etc. The other papers in Hebrew he had not been able to understand.