Al Jib (Givat Zeev), Qalandiya, Sun 23.6.13, Morning
We arrived just after 5 am and there were many people on line
People looked very tired,very exhausted ,very quiet. The line was moving and this morning it took between 14 to 34 minutes from the end of the line until exit from the checkpoint. This always explains the discrepancy between the time quoted by the Army and us. The Army naturally measures and times the time from entry to the checking area where you show your documents and have your bag checked until exit from the checkpoint - when all is well it can take 5 to 7 minutes but it might have taken you one hour to get to that stage.
Today there was an incident at the humanitarian gate. A woman came with a very sick and mentally sick child. She was accompanied by a man . The policeman did not want to listen to the man and just ordered him in a very aggressive way to disappear and join the regular line. The man, indeed, is not the woman's husband, just distant relative from the same village who wanted to assist her and carry her bags because she was holding the child. We know that we can't even communicate with the policeman and so we just stood there and could not intervene.
Same thing happened with a young boy on the way to hospital appointment who came with a man who was not his father- no way could they go through to the CHECKING AREA!!!! together- the boy went through the humanitarian gate and the man the long line for the others. Not a life and death situation but exactly the futile harassment is the issue
We arrived at about 7am and in the bucolic atmosphere we saw many people and heard that often it is a terribly long wait and that we should come more often.
A man who has a little kiosk told us some people arrive at 3am to secure a place and the soldiers told us that they keep the checkpoint opened and whenever anyone arrives they let them through.
And true enough we met a very friendly soldier whom we knew from Qalandiya who really supervised the line so that people go through at regular intervals. we wondered what it is like when he is not around. While we were there about 200 people went through