Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Mon 14.10.13, Afternoon

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Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting)

3:30 PM – Today was the eve of the Id al-Adha holiday and the CP was pretty empty.  We were told that “everyone” was busy shopping in the market, preparing for the event.  On our arrival at Qalandiya, we saw an ambulance waiting in the bus parking lot while his Palestinian counterpart was being examined in the vehicle checkpoint.  Natanya went to see what was happening and was told that the two ambulances had been waiting for the transfer for an hour.  Just as Natanya arrived the Palestinian ambulance was allowed through with its passengers, a young man of 17 on the stretcher accompanied by a woman of about 40 on their way to Gaza.  The (female) soldier overseeing the transfer was very nice and helped the older woman move her packages from one vehicle to the other.

The CP looked abandoned with only a few laborers sitting in the northern shed, waiting for transportation to their villages.  Suddenly an old friend came by, Mohammed who used to sell us chewing gum as a young child has now grown up and works as a cleaning man in Atarot Industrial Park.  Luckily, we had a big bag of clothing in the car and we invited Mohammed to pick the things he thought his family could use, wishing him a happy holiday.

We were also “treated” to a harangue by a man who appeared to be disturbed.  Dressed in a bright yellow turban, he ranted in Hebrew mixed with Arabic, apparently addressing us and causing us to feel uncomfortable, so we decided to beat a hasty retreat at 16:30.  On our way to Jerusalem, at the Lil CP, a police car was standing in the eastward lane, blocking traffic, while the policeman checked the papers of Palestinian drivers (a holiday eve is a wonderful time for spreading warm feelings of good cheer!).  Only when the line of waiting cars got extremely long and the drivers started honking their displeasure did the policeman free up the traffic by moving his unfortunate victim off the road.  The line of cars behind us quickly melted away.