Qalandiya, Thu 13.5.10, Morning
Summary: The humanitarian gate remained closed.
- The line extended right out of the shed to the road. An ecumenical observer told us that until 5.30 it had been quiet, but at that stage there was a large influx.
At this stage the soldier in charge opened the carousels reasonably frequently but, as only 3 gates were functioning, there was a long wait.
We phoned to ask for more stations to be opened and phoned again, ten minutes later, when suddenly two more opened (whether as a delayed result of the first call or immediate action after the second).
One woman we chatted with explained how tired she was even before starting her day's work of cleaning homes in Jerusalem. She said she pays 1000 shekels a month to a ‘contractor' in order to obtain an entry permit, giving us a peep into the corruption that must prevail in the permit system.
- We waited for the humanitarian gate to open. After ten minutes we called - and during the following hour we, or the ecumenical observer, phoned five times. Yet, by the time we left at 7.30, no one had come to open the gate.
Meanwhile people (including a woman with her blind son, parents carrying babies), either in despair or ‘to hedge their bets' went to stand in one of the normal lines. As this is not the first time that we have seen women and pupils opting for the regular line, it would seem that many (students in particular) now have the experience of a normal line being faster than the ‘humanitarian' one.
7.30 When we left, the line was very short.