We arrived at the Qalandiya checkpoint. They told us there’s a closure; only men aged 40 or older may go through.
Few are crossing, few arriving.
A group of 15 people from France in the plaza who’d come to learn about the situation. We speak with them. The group includes a very opinionated Algerian woman. She says there’s no place for us in the Moslem Middle East, “imagine us establishing a Moslem state in Europe.”
Young men approach the fence occasionally, trying to convince the guards to let them cross. For example, the young man whose premature infant has a hospital appointment: Only his wife is allowed through.
We tried to help a man who was over 40, who only yesterday had received a new, valid magnetic card, but he’s blacklisted. We gave him Sylvia’s phone number; perhaps she’ll be able to help him get off the blacklist.
We decided to leave. I wanted to try the pedestrian crossing. Two lanes were open, five people waiting at each, but it still took ten very unpleasant minutes. The voices over the loudspeakers are very shrill. The revolving gates lock you inside them. Ten very long minutes.
But the car carrying Nili and Orit took much longer to go through, on a day with no congestion at all.