Qalandiya, Mon 8.7.13, Afternoon

Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting)

Last week we saw a military unit checking the documents of people returning from Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority at the entrance to Qalandiya CP, but forgot to put this in the report.  We were reminded this week as the unit is still there and any Palestinian wishing to enter the CP is required to present his papers.  One member of the unit is a police officer who has been working at Qalandiya for a long time.  He was checking the papers in a booth stationed at the CP entrance and handing them back to two Border Police soldiers who returned them to the Palestinians. 

Almost all the passageways in the CP were active and there were many more people at the CP than we have seen for quite a while, perhaps because of the approaching holiday – Ramadan.  Although lines were longer they moved quite quickly.

Two men were standing in the DCO passageway, one of them very angry.  He complained that he had been waiting for 2 hours to enter the DCO offices and that each time he reached the turnstile he had been told to stand in another line.  The other fellow was a US citizen without Palestinian papers.  He was holding an Israeli visa that was "valid until 09072013".  He said that a soldier in one of the passageways had told him that the visa was not valid and that the numbers were a code and not a date.  All the young man wanted was to reach the post office to pay a fee, something that anyone can do so it wasn't clear why he was not immediately allowed to enter the CP.

Before leaving we went to wish our friend Suleiman a good holiday and found out that he was worried that because the fast fell in the heat of summer it would be very difficult, especially not being allowed to drink water all day.