Qalandiya

Place: 
Observers: 
Natanya G., Ora and Phyllis W. (reporting)
23/06/2014
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Afternoon

Qalandi

We arrived at Qalandiya at 4 PM, after a two-week absence due to the kidnapping and the closureinfo-icon, and found the CP operating as usual.  Three passageways were open with only a few people waiting in line.  Two were waiting in the DCO passageway.  The soldiers, who saw us walking into the passageway, immediately opened the turnstile allowing the two into the inspection space before they could even answer our question as to how long they had been waiting.  A few minutes later another man appeared and once again the turnstile was opened immediately.  But this man only wanted to reach Jerusalem and so came out again after a few minutes.  Before he left to get on line in one of the Jerusalem passageways, he told us that Qalandiya CP had been open all last week and that conditions had been horrible with a line of hundreds waiting in the one open passageway.  We checked his version against the candy-man at the CP entrance and he corroborated what we had been told.

Another two men got in line in the DCO passageway, but they only wanted to reach the social security office in the adjacent building to find out when the office was open.

We called all available phone numbers (headquarters, DCO, DCO representative, etc.) and not one person could tell us the office hours or phone number of the office.

Natanya met an older Palestinian woman who told her that her husband had undergone heart surgery in Muqassad Hospital (East Jerusalem) last week and that the family had not heard from him since the operation.  She was very upset and tearful.  The woman herself received a permit to enter Jerusalem, but she wanted her son to accompany her (she really looked quite unable to cope with the demands of a big city).  We exchanged phone numbers with her and saw her on her way, but when we tried to make contact several hours later to learn how she fared we discovered that the phone number was wrong and so we never heard the end of the story.

We returned to Jerusalem via Hizmeh CP.  En route we passed the northern entrance to A-Ram which looked like a war-zone.  The entire traffic circle was covered in small stones (that had been thrown at soldiers) and the remains of burnt-out tires.