Qalandiya

Observers: 
: Virginia S., Ina F. (reporting), Charles K. (translator)
Apr-29-2014
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Morning

A long, slow morning.

 

Only three of the five inspection stations were open when we arrived at 05:10; the lines were already long.  At 05:20 the two remaining stations opened but the damage had already been done and the lines stretched deep into the parking lot for about 45 minutes.

At 06:05 we began to track a man at the end of one of the lines; it took him 25 minutes to go through the first revolving gate (we then lost him so we don’t know how much more time he waited until entering the fenced corridor).

At 06:15 no one had yet arrived to open the humanitarian gate.  We called the humanitarian office; the female soldier who answered transferred us to a woman (according to her voice) who sounded as if we’d awakened her; she said she’d take care of it.  A female DCL officer arrived less than ten minutes later but entered the “aquarium,” ignoring the gate until the security guard arrived at 06:30.  By then a line of some 50 people had formed there.  The gate opened at 06:30 and again at 06:40, but then people who had intended to go through left the line, either hoping they’d have better luck on the regular lines or because at some point the guard told them not to wait any longer for it to open.  And then, as in the past, when people had already moved to the regular lines and were stuck in the cages, more people came to the humanitarian gate which did open for them.  Bottom line – a mess.  The DCL officer who’s in charge of the humanitarian gate spent most of her time in the “aquarium”, ignoring what was happening at the gate until she left at 07:12.

We left at 07:25, when people who had just arrived were able to enter the left-hand cage immediately.