Natanya G. Chana S.

Qalandiya was cold and quiet when we arrived there after 4 pm. On  previous occasions Phyllis and I had noticed that when we returned to Jerusalem through Lil the abominable checkpoint was usually not manned. So we decided to see if we could go through and did so with no problem. The fact, however, is that coming from Jerusalem it is not worth it as even at 4 pm the line of mainly settlers is so long that it took about 20 minutes from Hizma to get to the roundabout near Adam.

But what a difference from the days when 10s of cars had waited for an interminable length of time  to be checked on their way to Ramallah and the area.  Previously we, as Israelis,  had never been allowed to enter Qalandiya through this point on the absurd statement that it was for our own safety. The fact that we could enter through the Qalandiya terminal never made any difference.

Two windows were open for most of the time that we were there and for the most part people passed through with no problem. The only loud voice to be heard was that of a blond woman soldier who had decided to take a break from allowing people through. When they banged on the bars she started shouting and when the man came to the window she screamed at him to put out his cigarette.  Probably worried about his health.

Later two soldiers shouted to ask us who we were and why we were loitering on the other side of the turnstile from the windows. When we called back that we were from Machsomwatch, we heard the one saying  to the other “oy vey”. So we called back and said that we were not “oy vey" as we had no problem with the way they were carrying out their duties. We left at about 5 pm.