Qalandiya, Tue 11.10.11, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
“What’s going on, vacation?...” (no line at the checkpoint…)
5:00 “No congestion, no humanitarian gate.”
No line at all. Whoever shows up goes immediately through the revolving gate on the left. Three inspection lanes inside are open. About 80 people wait on the lines. Every minute a van, taxi or car arrives and lets out 10-20 men who hurry right in for inspection.
5:30 No line in the shed yet. About 120 people waiting in the inspection lanes. In the past half hour, 236 people entered for inspection.
Two more inspection lanes opened inside. Still no congestion. Many people told us that today is excellent, but yesterday was terrible. A guy running up who found no line at the checkpoint raised his hand questioningly and asked, “What’s going on, vacation?...”
6:00 Now there are lines at the two open revolving gates. 105 people are waiting, and about 20 more at the humanitarian gate. In the last half hour, 246 people entered for inspection.
Two officers arrive at the humanitarian gate, but don’t open it. We wonder whether the key got lost, or whether they’re waiting for the guards. Finally they send everyone over to the regular line, except a young couple with a tiny baby who are allowed to go through the humanitarian gate.
Ina insists on people’s right to use the humanitarian crossing:
“All the women standing over there have the right to cross here…”, she explained to the officer.
“If there’s no congestion, there’s no humanitarian crossing,” said the officer. The gate remained locked.
6:30 The line lengthens. In the last half hour, 330 people entered for inspection.
There are now many more women and children. A father, with three young daughters, stands firmly in the humanitarian lane, but quickly gives up and moves to the regular line.
7:00 – The line shortens. In the last half hour, 450 people entered for inspection. Forty people are waiting outside, about 100 on the inspection lines. The two ecumenical activists get on the end of the line at 7:10 and exit to the Israeli side at 7:45.
A total of 35 minutes, on a day without any congestion at all.