Qalandiya, Tue 28.5.13, Morning
Arriving at 05:45 there already were short queues but the flow was satisfactory. Once or twice the crowd whistled to attract the soldier's attention to open the turnstiles. By 06:30 there were no queues and the passers-through passed freely through the turnstile at the edge of the left-hand enclosure.
In one case we requested the policeman at the entrance to the "aquarium" to open the "humanitarian" passage for a woman holding an infant. He waited a minute or two before asking the Matak soldier, stationed in the "aquarium", to open the gate, which he did, also enabling passage to some others. But in general, passage through the enclosures seemed faster.
About to leave at 07:00, we were approached by a man in distress: he told us that he was employed at the same place in Israel for the past 30 years and always passed through without difficulty, but today the system rejected his fingerprint and confiscated his permit. We called the Matak at Qalandiya to no effect. Since it opens for inquiries at 08:30 we advised him to wait but then were reminded of a case some weeks back with similar circumstances. The cause then turned out to be a pending traffic fine. Apparently, this person too had a fine to pay: his adult son had been detained when participating in a demonstration at Qalandiya, was put on trial and fined several thousand IS.
We called him later on: Indeed, paying up the fine, his permit was returned.
The question remains: is a father – completely detached from the case - responsible for his son's fines? Is this elementary justice?