Qalandiya

Observers: 
Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting)
Mar-17-2014
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Afternoon

When we reached the CP at 4 PM, we found 3 passageways in operation with very few people in each.  No one was waiting in the DCO line nor was anyone visible in the DCO shed.  Our friends at the CP entrance told us that nothing of interest had occurred during the day, but one of the peddlers did tell us about a fellow from Gaza who had accompanied his mother, confined to a wheel chair, to the CP to obtain a permit allowing them to travel back to Gaza.  He said that they had had to wait 3 hours before the soldiers opened the “Humanitarian Gate” to allow them to enter the CP.

A bit after 4 PM we noticed an ambulance waiting near the northern square, but no ambulance had as yet arrived from Jerusalem.  At 16:30 we saw the Jerusalem ambulance waiting in the parking lot while the Palestinian one had moved forward into the CP, but the soldiers were busy with other things and no one facilitated its passage.  We stood by the fence, watching what was happening, although the soldiers shouted at us and tried to chase us away.  A steady flow of cars traveling north was passing by us when several of the soldiers in the vehicle CP started screaming and running to block passage of one of the cars.  The frightened driver got out of the car to speak with the soldiers, who continued to shout at him, as if he had tried to escape them or refused to obey their orders.  The man in the passenger seat also looked quite upset.  Little by little the soldiers calmed down and began to check the driver’s papers.  In the end, the car and the driver and the passenger were released to continue on their way.  Only then did the soldiers find the time to check the ambulance.  At 4:45 PM the ambulance was still standing in the CP, i.e. the patient inside had already waited at the CP for 45 minutes.  Needless to say, a person who needs an ambulance generally is also in need of rapid medical attention.  But the ambulance in question had to wait another 5 minutes before being allowed to cross the CP and transfer its human cargo to its Jerusalem counterpart.