Transator: Charles K.
We arrived at 05:00. It’s very cold at Qalandiya in winter. Every few minutes the line grows longer, as does the time it takes to get from the end of the line near the parking area to the checkpoint’s exit and the remainder of the journey. At best there are laborers who walk to the Atarot industrial zone, but some work in Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Lod, etc. Some come from Ramallah, some from villages near Nablus. They travel hours in each direction.
We met another laborer who was turned back and whose permit was confiscated. Why? You’re blacklisted. How? Why? He doesn’t know. We asked the DCO officer to find out and this is the answer he gave us: His employer decided he doesn’t want to employ him any longer – with no hearing, with no notice and apparently also without paying him for the past month.
We met a new DCO officer and were surprised to learn he didn’t know about, or had ever heard of, Machsom Watch. He hadn’t been warned he might meet us!
We met a couple returning to Gaza from a conference of educators. He’s a school principal; she’s a teacher. We brought them through the humanitarian gate, in view of how long it would take them to go through all the inspections on their way home.
Almost 2000 laborers crossed this morning; it took between 20 and 55 minutes (at the busiest time).