Qalandiya, Mon 5.12.11, Afternoon

Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting)

Today, for a change, there were many people at the CP when we reached Qalandiya at 3:50 PM after waiting in the traffic jam in the southern square for 20 minutes.    

Two ambulances, one of them intensive care, were standing in the old bus parking lot when we arrived.  A Palestinian ambulance was being examined in the vehicle CP.  Inside the ambulance we could clearly see that someone was administering resuscitation.  We did not find out how long the Palestinian ambulance waited until the ambulances arrived from Jerusalem and it was allowed to enter the CP.  However, from the time it entered the CP, things went very fast.  The man in the ambulance was transferred to the intensive care vehicle and the resuscitation attempt continued for another half an hour before the team gave up and declared him dead.  And then his body was transferred yet again, to the regular ambulance because his family wanted to bury him in Jerusalem.  The Palestinian ambulance departed.

Inside the CP, there were three active passageways full of students returning to Jerusalem.  One man was waiting to enter the DCO offices in Passageway 5.  He told us that he had been waiting for half an hour.  We phoned headquarters but that didn’t help, so we phoned again and asked to talk to the DCO representative.  The turnstile opened and the man entered the passageway a few minutes later.

At 16:30, when we returned from the ambulances, only two passageways were operating with about 40 people waiting in line in each.  The lines were not moving.  We phoned headquarters and were answered by Shlomi who promised that another line would be opened shortly.  But nothing happened.  As far as we could see, the problem was caused by the fact that the soldiers on duty were not working very hard.  They were allowing 3 people to enter the examination area together and, when the 3 had passed through, they would take a 5 minute break before letting the next threesome in.  That is what we reported in our next phone call to Shlomi.  But when we left Qalandiya, the lines were still very long.  There was also a very long line in the western passageway for bus passengers, extending way beyond the examination area.

A Palestinian woman stopped to talk with us and said she had a thousand CPs in her heart.  She told us how hard people had to work just to pay for the bare necessities like water and electricity and to send the children to school.  Life is hard!