Qalandiya, Sun 19.12.10, Afternoon

Roni Hammermann and Tamar Fleishman (reporting)

Was the policy of "Divide and Rule" guiding the architects and builders of the new ward?  

In an effort to understand the rules, regulations and ideology behind the decision that brought into existence the new ward that had opened a couple of days earlier, the younger brother of the concrete and barbed wire monster, that cost millions of Shekels to build, we went from one side to the other, talked to those entering the gatesinfo-icon and waiting outside, and had even tried to reach the inspection post. A security guard with a rifle in his had stopped us and sent us back.  
We were told that if we wanted to proceed and pass those twelve meters we weren't permitted to do so by foot but had to take a bus, after which we could join those waiting in line and be inspected.
The bus driver decided to take us for free, he said that due to our (advanced) age, we could pass through the checkpoint while remaining seated in the bus. This regulation, he added, applied also to pregnant women whose condition is evident. Those whose pregnancy hadn't yet started to show, must present a medical permit.  
These innovations don't apply to all the Palestinians but only the privileged among them- only the ones with a blue ID, those who don't own a resident's ID must make thier way to the old ward.
This double standard stresses and intensifies the deliberate segregation and discrimination between the two Palestinian groups which is a cause for bitterness, envy and hostility.

Was the policy of "Divide and Rule" guiding the architects and builders of the new ward? – If improving the service was the real intention of the checkpoint lords, then at minimal expenses they could take care of the excising monster's maintenance and open the remaining inspection lanes to everyone's use.    

We also learned from conversation, that on Fridays and Saturdays the new ward is closed. Not because only a few people wish to pass, but: "There's a manpower problem", the driver quoted what he had heard, and added: "It's worst when an ambulance arrives…" then, he said, the soldiers posted at the new ward leave it to go and supervise the procedure, "and we are stuck there sometime for half an hour…" and perhaps, as a person who stood near us as we waited in line: "they did all this to cause even more disorder".

When an ambulance arrived we caught up with it and weren't able to observe what had been going on in the new ward that was blocked from our sight.
We witnessed how they moved the patient, a man from Gaza escorted by his wife who heading to a hospital in Nablus. Since his departure he had been thrown around many times: he drove from his home to Erez checkpoint (we were told that the passage there entails many problems and detainments), entered an Israeli ambulance, drove to Qalandiya checkpoint, where we was taken out of the first ambulance, in the chill of evening and placed in another one, where he had to sit upright  because the ambulances carried different equipment. Someone from the Israeli medical crew agreed with us that a person in his state shouldn't have to go through such a procedure. "But", he said with acceptance, "what can be done?...."

Finally, the corn salesman told us of his brother who was taken away by soldiers from a place near their home, he had been held in Ofer for ten days.