Qalandiya

Observers: 
Hannah S., Ronit D. (reporting), Ayala S. (translator)
May-28-2014
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Morning

15:15: Only one lane was in use at the vehicle barrier, in addition to the public-vehicle lane. The line wasn't too long and the mess near the circle that we encountered on our way back still hadn't formed. The pedestrian barrier had only three open checking posts and within a few minutes the lines built up and reached the parking lot. Additional soldiers and a policeman that joined in didn't relieve the situation. A few women by-passed the line into the pens without objection.

5:30:We phoned the Matak, requesting that the two additional checking posts be opened up in order to ease the situation. Ten minutes later check-posts 4 and 5 were operating too.

6:00: The people standing in line became restless - pushing and shouting resulted. Women were still allowed to by-pass the line, as the 'humanitarian" post had still not been opened. Many people were waiting at the 'humanitarian" post, including a familiar person, in the past accompanying his children. This time he wasalso escorting a blind person, due at Rambam Hospital at 9 and worried that he'd be late. He advanced the blind person and his wife through the line, until the "humanitarian" line had been opened and they could go through. And now he returned to the "normal" line to accompany his kids through check-post 5.

6:25:We went through the parking area and noted that the lines were still very long, extending into the parking area. There was a considerable line at the "humanitarian" post. The security forces were there: 3 policemen, 2 security men, 3 soldiers. Most of the time they were sitting around, drinking coffee and smoking. The two policewomen were immersed in their smartphones and the policeman was the one to instruct the soldier in the "aquarium" when to operate the turnstile. It was very frustrating to observe the scene, while standing in the endless lines. No doubt, had all five posts been opened earlier, the situation would have been much better.

6:45: The lines contracted into the shed. The "humanitarian" line was reopened and the lines nearly disappeared.

6:50: We left.