Virginia S., Neta E., Ina F. (reporting)

A long but more relaxed morning in Qalandiya


It was the old story again, as we arrived at 05:10. There were lines stretching into the parking lot, and only three out of the five checkup posts were open. A phone call to the military offices, asking them to open the other stations gets the standard answer: there is not enough manpower. It is not worth the trouble of phoning anymore.

At 05:15 we started following one person at the end of a line in order to see how long it will take until he enters the checkup station. The result: 35 minutes. We asked another person, whom we met at 06:10, and we know from former talks, to call as he gets out of the checkpoint, and we got a phone call 30 minutes later.

Even after the two other stations were opened at 05:50, the lines did not get shorter, since there was an accumulation of people waiting during the last hour.

Despite it all, patience held on, the the discipline of the lines did not fall apart, although people who talked to us did not seem less bitter today.

The humanitarian gate was opened at 06:10, and later on it was openned as soon as a few people congregated near by. The two DCOsoldiers were working quietly and efficiently, and it is better that the daily policeman does not meddle with their work (this happens sometimes, but no today), and will let them do their job the best they can.

Today we spoke again with the daily policewoman about the light problems on road no. 45, the road going from the checkpoint towards the Atarot industrial area, on which many workers walk during the dark hours. She ensured us that the police complaint about the situation is still "open", and will remain so until the Jerusalem municipality will take care of it. The question is will it happen before of after there will be an accident on this road, if ever.  We decided to bring the matter to the organization "green light", or to the journalist Dov Gilhar, from channel 10, and will see if it helps (by the way, another policeman had told us that this problem exists already for 6 years).

At the end of the shift, at 07:30, we checked the problem of the missing spikes near the north side of the parking lot (a Palestinian acquaintance had asked us to report it). The authorities had put the spikes there in order to prevent collision of the traffic coming from Kafr 'Akab towards the vehicles' checkpoint with the traffic coming from the opposite direction - into the village Akav, and northwards, towards Ramalla. But somehow it happenned that a weadth of the spikes, as wide as an average car, had disappeared, and the result is that drivers who try to get around the long line waiting for the vehicles' checkpoint are blocking the road, or bump into the cars coming from the other direction - and this makes the unbearable traffic jam in the area even worse. We will report this to "green light"  and Gilhar if we see that the authorities don't take us seriously.