Qalandiya, Wed 28.12.11, Afternoon
Trans. Judith Green
17:00 Traffic jam from the direction of Route 443 toward the Qalandiya checkpoint. Many heavy vehicles along with private cars, about 100 vehicles in both lanes, making no progress. The vehicles which arrive from the north are not able to get on to the road leading to Beit Haninah. The lanes between the northern traffic circle and that on the south are too narrow to contain this amount of traffic. Standing there is grating on the nerves. (On Route 443, on the contrary, there are 3 lanes and the traffic flows). After a day at work, horns. Even when you have finally passed the checkpoint, you get caught in blocked lanes. The only way to get from Jerusalem to Ramallah is as narrow as an ant. Another way to totally frustrate the souls of the occupied.
The settlement of Kochav Yaakov almost reaches Qalandiya by now.
A bus arrives from the direction of Ramallah. A few soliders and guards get on and take a young man out. They can't manage to read his documents. They ask him to raise his shirt. Three female soldiers check the documents. Then a soldier and a guard bring the youth to the interrogation room. "There is an incident".
Passengers disembark from the bus arriving from Ramallah, go through the inspection track and arrive again to the line getting back on the bus. They tighten their belts so that their pants won't fall down.
A driver approaches us and tells us that the orders change from time to time, and the orders from the various checkpoints are not identical.
At first, pregnant women, elderly people, women with babies are not asked to get out. But today, they are. And they claim this is the law. Once, the elderly and the handicapped were allowed to stay on the bus, today they aren't. It seems as though the laws are dependent on the mood of the soldier. On private buses, bringing children to school, the children are not made to get out; on a public bus, also the little children have to get out. The driver says to the female soldier that it is forbidden to to ask a child to show his certificate (?), and the soldier says "close your mouth."