Qalandiya

Observers: 
Viginia S., Ina P. (reporting)
Feb-24-2015
|
Morning

All the three checking posts were open when we arrived at 5:00 but nevertheless there were already queues. Until 5:20 the queues had already reached the parking lot, and this was the situation until 6:45 approximately, when they began to shorten. At 6:02 we began following with our eyes the man with the red jacket who was standing at the end of one of the queues. It took him until 6:30 (28 minutes) to pass on to the second turnstile, at the entrance to the checking post. We were under the impression that this morning more people were arriving than on Tuesdays during the preceding weeks, but this is just an impression.

 

The DCO soldier arrived at 6:00, immediately opened the humanitarian gate and opened it again each time a crowd accumulated near it, until 7:10.

 

There was only one delay in the opening of the gate as the soldier weas inside the aquarium when there was a "smartphone attack" which drew the attention of all the room's attendants at that moment (soldiers and policemen alike). As all of them were immersed in their mobile phone screens, they didn't pay attention to what was going on around them. And as we were unable to communicate with them inside, we called the humanitarian line in an attempt to create a roundabout connection with them, especially as among those waiting to enter by the humanitarian gate there was a very tiny babyinfo-icon whose parents were very nervous. And then, just as we began talking with the humanitarian line, the DCO soldier came out and opened the gate for all.

 

During the years we heard innumerable complaints from the persons passing through the checking process about soldiers "playing with smartphones" instead of attending to them, and we also brought this painful subject up with the army. If we could have photographed the scene in the aquarium we would have had a classic image of this problem.

 

We left at 7:10 when there were no more people in the enclosures.