Qalandiya CP Monday afternoon, 2.5.2011

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Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting)


15:30:  For a change, there was no traffic jam on our way to the CP.  At Qalandiya we found two active passageways with only a few people waiting in each.  In Passageway 5, to the DCO offices, a man and woman were waiting.  They told us that they had been waiting 10 minutes.  The man said that he had called out to the soldier in the insulated cell, to attract his attention, and the soldier had in return made an obscene gesture.  We phoned headquarters to find out what was happening and the entry carousel opened immediately.  We watched as the couple entered and saw that the husband was taken directly to an examination room while the woman went on to the DCO shed.  As we stood in the passageway, we noticed that the carousel had opened again, as if inviting us to enter too – so we did and after presenting our papers, went into the DCO shed.

A large crowd of over 30 men was waiting in the shed, most of them from the area around Beit Zurik, waiting to renew their bio-magnetic cards.  Nothing seemed to be moving.  We asked several people how long they had been waiting and the answer generally ranged from 5 to 6 hours.  (Their faces registered despair.)  We called the DCO offices.  The soldier who answered the phone assured us that everyone waiting in the shed would be taken care of.  (Those who were waiting did not seem to believe this.)

At about 4 PM, when the gate between the shed and the DCO offices opened, the woman whom we had met previously managed to get in to take care of her problem.  We decided to return to the CP and see what was happening.  On our way out we met two young men who had just arrived and wanted to get to the DCO offices (which are generally closed to new arrivals at 4 PM on the dot).  We didn't think they would succeed, but they called to the (same) soldier, shouting that one of them was sick and had to reach a hospital.  The soldier immediately opened the carousel.

Meanwhile, conditions in the passageways had become more crowded.  At this point, about 20 people were waiting in each of the two passageways. 

16:20:  The woman whom we had met finished her business in the DCO and emerged into the northern shed, but her husband was still imprisoned in the passageway.  Once again we called headquarters and talked with Shlomi.  The husband was released 10 minutes later after being detained for an hour.  According to his version, his detention had been an abuse of authority by the soldier on duty.

We left Qalandiya a little before 5 PM.  We returned to Jerusalem via Lil/Jabba and Hizmeh CPs.  Traffic flowed in both and we didn't see any problems