Qalandiya

Observers: 
Chana S., Ronit D. (reporting); Translator: Judith Green
Dec-3-2014
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Morning

We parked in front of the checkpoint and went through on foot, passing the row of people praying at the exit of the pedestrian lane.

 

Inside, there were already 5 posts open at 5:15.  Whoever arrives, goes through quickly, and a female soldier prompts people to the open posts.  People are satisfied because there is no line.

 

On one of the fences there is a cork bulletin put up recently.  Today there are 2 messages stuck on it, commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Mahmud Woj'i Awad.  We learned, from the report of Tamar Fleishman from 30.11.14, that Mahmud had been shot by soldiers and died a year ago on 29.11.13, after lying in hospital unconscious for months.  In the photos, he is shown on a background of the Temple Mount (Tamar photographed and published one of the announcements which had been stuck on a sign elsewhere in the area).  In addition, on one of the posts an announcement was hung advertising "Services for Passage", i.e. permits, copying of documents, faxes, etc.

 

At 5:25,  the lines began to form, but not long.  From the direction of the plaza and the vehicles line we heard impatient whistling.  We left the shed and met up with Aiman from the coffee kiosk.  He has a new stand now:  a small container painted bright yellow.  He told us that he intends to bring in a refrigerator and expand his inventory.  Meanwhile, we just drank tea.

 

5:40:  Two policewomen arrived.  At first, they had nothing to do.  Later, the blond policewoman gave orders to the soldiers in the "aquarium" when to open the turnstiles at the end of the enclosure. A few minutes later, H. arrived.  He and his companion told us that yesterday it was particularly bad here at Kalandia.  They said that it was because the policeman in charge did not work correctly.  They said that, if the person in charge is playing with his smartphone instead of working, then the soldiers at their posts also don't work properly.  Today is better.  There is hardly any line.  H. asks after Ronny P., he hasn't seen her for a while.  He works in the market.  We asked him how it is there now.  He said "so-so".  More relaxed than it had been, but he still suffers from curses etc.  One American woman told him that soon they would expel all the Arabs from the shuk.  He answered her like this:  "Men have many intentions, but God decides." and she didn't have an answer.  When I asked him where he had heard that expression, he said that he could be a rabbi and he quoted a lot of other expressions from the Jewish sources!

 

Meanwhile, lines formed to the end of the shed and even beyond, but in 3 straight lanes.  Women were allowed to join the line at the end of the enclosures.  At 6, the officer from the DCO arrived and, after a few more minutes, he opened the Humanitarian Gate, where a lot of people were already lined up. Then he opened it up a few more times, every time that a lot of people had lined up near the gate.  The guards had also arrived by now, one of them greeted us politely.  At 6:25 another policeman arrived.

 

6:45:  The lines had decreased and did not stretch beyond the enclosures.  We joined the line and went through, back to our car.  We raised a few eyebrows, but went through with no unnecessary delays.