Qalandiya, Sun 12.5.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
We arrived at 05:00; the laborers who had arrived in taxis or walked to the checkpoint hurried running to the entrance. It turned out the checkpoint was empty; there were no lines. After half an hour the area had filled, and by 07:00 the lines were long. The soldier seated in the command post (DCO) opened two revolving gates but not the third; Ronny telephoned to request he open all three.
The humanitarian gate didn’t open until 06:20, but then the soldier opened it whenever people had gathered.
An argument broke out between two laborers at one of the revolving gates, but the policeman quickly arrived yelling at them to be quiet and calm down. We saw the policeman order the man who started the argument to go to the end of the line (as if punishing a misbehaving child).
Another incident: One of the ecumenicals told me the policeman approached one of the laborers on line to the revolving gate and asked to see his ID. The policeman inspected it, then told him to get out of line. We weren’t able to discover why the policeman approached the man, or why he removed him from line. Ten minutes later we saw the laborer return with his ID. Ronny asked the soldier why the policeman took both the man and the ID. The soldier didn’t know.
Ronny and I spoke to the laborers on line. One of them asked me, “Tell me, is there another nation that stands on line for their entire life (besides prisoners)?”
Our impression today was that the reward for someone behaving in accord with the wishes of the checkpoint staff is to be allowed to go through. Someone who doesn’t behave appropriately is punished and his crossing delayed.