Qalandiya, Tue 21.5.13, Morning
There were short lines when we arrived at 05:50, which lengthened and shortened again and again, until we left at 07:15. All five inspection booths were open, but it seemed as though the inspection pace was quite a bit slower than in previous weeks. Our friends, the Ecumenical Accompaniers, who count how many people go through every hour, told us that the number of people going through between 6-7 was about 20% more than usual for this hour.
The humanitarian gate opened at 06:15 and afterwards, every time that people lined up by it. Occasionally we saw people hesitating at the head of the line, whether or not it was worth waiting next to it, or to stand in the lines going through the cages. One woman, who was on her way to the humanitarian gate, which was empty at that time, asked the DCO soldier in charge if he would open it for her, and he sent her back to the regular line. For a few minutes, no one approached the gate, until a first grade boy (perhaps second grade, judging by his size) took the initiative, left the regular line and boldly approached the humanitarian line. Immediately, a stream of students and women followed him.
Before we left, a female soldier in one of the inspection booths screamed incessantly in Hebrew at one of the people going through. Because of the great noise that she made (through the loud speaker), it was impossible to understand what she was saying. One of the Palestinians there guessed (not clear on what basis) that the soldier was screaming at a woman who didn't have a permit, and ordered her to go back. But no one went back at that booth. We asked the DCO soldier if he knew what was happening. He answered that he would check. But he didn't get back to us with any answer. Since the woman (if it really concerned a woman) did not go back to the waiting area, we couldn't find out anything about the event.