Qalandiya, Thu 20.12.12, Morning
Sheila B. and Judy E
We arrived in Qalandiya at 06:05. The line extended out to the parking lot. The Ecumenical observer said that before 06:00 it had been going quite smoothly but at the shift change at 06:00, the turnstiles had stopped for about 10 minutes resulting in the back-up. The transition to new shifts seems to create unnecessary problems including unreasonable delays and an atmosphere conducive to bad behaviour, near riots, and unnecessary delays, especially critical due to the inclement weather. The policeman on duty appeared exhausted and was impolit.
The vehicle crossing was moving well and the humanitarian gate functioned so well that it only took the Ecumenical observer a bit more than 30 minutes to complete the crossing.
The basic problem at Qalandiya remains. There are too many people waiting to be processed in a system which was created to process far fewer. Solutions might include increasing the number of personnel during the peak hours of the morning, opening more lines, and reorganizing the checkpoint to enable people to move through the checkpoint in a reasonable manner.