Qalandiya

Observers: 
Virginia S., Ina F. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.
28/01/2014
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Morning

It was unusually cold at Qalandiya and very windy (also in the covered area) when we arrived at 05:20 and found lines stretching far into the parking lot.  We immediately saw only three of the five inspection stations open; we telephoned the DCO to ask them to open the others.  A young soldier (he sounded young) who answered said they don’t open all the stations simultaneously.  We said that wasn’t what we requested, that the checkpoint isn’t operating properly because two inspection stations aren’t open; he asked us whether we could supply the soldiers to man them.  We asked whether he understood correctly, that the IDF lacks soldiers to man the checkpoint appropriately.  “Yes,” he said.  We promised to notify all the relevant authorities.  Which we’re now doing, in this report.

Five minutes later, at 05:30, the two last stations opened.  We doubt it was due to our phone call; they probably had planned to open the final two stations at that time.

We know those responsible for managing the Qalandiya checkpoint are very experienced, professional and committed, and don’t need us to remind them to operate the checkpoint in an acceptable manner and adapt themselves to changing conditions during the course of the day.  That’s why we couldn’t imagine why they ignored the long lines (which are to be expected at this early hour) and didn’t open all the stations when they saw those lines forming.

On the other hand, a DCO soldier arrived at the checkpoint at 06:05, opened the humanitarian gate and reopened it whenever a handful of people waited there.

We left at 06:50 when people had begun crossing freely through the revolving gate at the end of the left-hand fenced corridor.