Gili Kugler, Ya'ara Rafiah (reporting); Translator: Louise Levi

A honey morning at Qalandiya


We arrived at the checkpoint at 5:05. Like we have been doing lately, we parked the car on the Israeli side and walked through the checkpoint. Surprise: 5 check posts were open. The covered area was empty.


People came running from their transportation, astonished to find the place empty, smiling, asking what had happened and hurrying inside.

They told us that it had been hard all week, but today it was different.

It was quiet.

The soldier (a wonderful guy! We told him he was doing a great job.) in the aquarium announced, from time to time, that all the check posts were open letting the people through quite smoothly. He called us for a moment, when he had to, quite an idyllic situation.  

Since we really had nothing to do we passed the time having a nice conversation with police officer L"M: He has worked at the checkpost for 13 years. He has seen and heard everything. He said that he reads our reports regularly, and that altogether we are doing a good job, but that sometimes we do not fully understand the constraints and the procedures at the checkpoint. We said that, sometimes, you don't see things from one side of the fence which you see from the other side, and that goes for both sides…

Following the terrible shift we(and everybody who had to cross the checkpoint) had to go through last week, we tried to understand from him what should be done on days when there is a lot of pressure and pushing, when people are being humiliated by the policemen in charge and the DCO doesn't care enough about the people in need of help. He didn’t come with any practical solutions. He explained that we can talk to him, that they do care, that they want the people to pass quickly and smoothly, and that if there is a problem, it has to be dealt with. We agreed.

6:40 We crossed the checkpoint quickly and drove to work.