Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya

Observers: 
Natanya G. and Phyllis (reporting)
Dec-8-2014
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Afternoon

On our way to Qalandiya yesterday we got stuck in a huge traffic jam at the southern entrance to the CP.  It took us half an hour to cover the 200 meters to the CP entrance.

Only when the soldiers opened the great gate in the wall around A-Ram was the problem solved.  (There is no similar answer for the truly horrific and constant traffic jam at the northern entrance to the CP and on the road to Ramallah.)

Two passageways were active in the pedestrian CP all during our shift.  Pedestrian traffic was lively all afternoon, but the passageways operated efficiently and lines were not long.

We left Qalandiya on our way to Hizmeh CP and Jerusalem around 5 PM.  There was another small traffic jam at the Lil/Jabba CP.  Soldiers were checking drivers in the eastbound lane going towards Route 60.   When we reached the soldier examining the cars, we asked him if there was a problem.  His reaction was quite extreme:  first he asked us from where we were coming and when we told him that we were the MachsomWatch team from Qalandiya he ordered us to pull over to the side.  As we complied we asked why he was detaining us and then he really lost his cool.  He cursed us (calling us “bitches,” “whores” and “traitors”), pointed his gun into the open window in Natanya’s face and shouted at us to leave before he burned our car down after which he kicked the vehicle.  The two other soldiers on duty with him tried to calm the situation and convince us not to file a complaint (one of them said it would be of no use).  It’s extremely disturbing to think that the IDF is putting weapons in the hands of young men who have so very little self-control and no idea of how they should behave.  It’s even more disturbing to consider how this person could behave with Palestinians.