Qalandiya

Place: 
Observers: 
Ruti B. and Isabelle K.
Jan-17-2014
|
Morning

9:20.  At the entrance, Border Patrol personnel randomly check entering vehicles.  There is a continuous line of traffic of heavy trucks with building materials coming and going, apparently indicative of construction activities. 

A Red Crescent ambulance waits for an ambulance that is already standing at the side in the machsom awaiting permission to pass. They are bringing a child home for a home visit from Alyn in Jerusalem.  The process took about a quarter of an hour.

I haven't been in Qalandia on Fridays and the population is different from the population seen during afternoon hours.  There are many older men and women going to prayers, as well as some younger people with them.  Some of them are not familiar with the "rules" of the place and get confused and create delays for the others.

We learn from the international observers that, on Fridays, between 8:00 and 11:00, 1500‑2000 people pass through.  At this time, three passages were open and two cages, and the lines did not become overly long.

10:20.  At shift change, the soldier coming on duty immediately created pressure in the two cages and the lines lengthened in the waiting areas.  Disgusting.  The passage takes half an hour and more on a day that is not at all crowded. 

I haven't been to Qalandia for a long time.  This reawakens the feelings of despair and degradation that the people experience when they are forced to pass through here daily.

Two men who passed through the border crossing at Nalin‑Karit came to speak to us and asked that we come there in the morning hours.  Their basic complaint was about the x‑ray machine because they fear it causes cancer.  They say that some of those who pass through prefer to go to a different crossing because of that.  There was also an incident where the work permit of a man who refused to go through the machine was taken away.  I have the telephone number of the contact person if there is someone who looks into complaints such as these.