Qalandiya

Observers: 
Yaara Rafiah and Gili Kugler (reporting); Translator: Hanna K.
Mar-19-2015
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Morning

5:10 All the stations are open. All the turnstiles are active. And still – the queue reaches the beigel vendor.

The toilets are open to the public.

We "measure times" – 20 minutes to pass from the enclosure to the exit from the trail .

5:20 A bus with about 80 workers arrives. The queue stretches till the parking lot.  Since we arrived the turnstiles were opened just once.

5:20-5:30 The turnstiles were opened twice.

5:35 Another big group of people. The queue stretches to the parking lot. A tense atmosphere. We try to catch the attention of the soldier in the aquarium – so that he should enable to let more people pass – there is no reaction.

5:40 Two policemen arrive. One, in an exceptional gesture, decides to open the humanitarian gate.

A disappointment for the elderly men – the policeman enables only women to pass before before the proper time. The men quickly return to their place in the queue to the enclosures ( there is of course a merit to these gestures, but on the other hand they strengthen and establish the arbitrariness and the dependence – today a policemen may be positively inclined, tomorrow he may not. Everything depends on him).

5:50 The queue stretches far into the parking lot. Long minutes of inertness. As said before there is tension in the air.

5:55 The DCO soldier arrives five minutes before time and opens the humanitarian gate, many women and elderly men pass. In the meantime – the flow of people through the turnstile continues to be very slow. The queues remain long and frustrating.

6:10 It cannot be said that we didn't foresee this – blows, trampling; The queue break up.

We talk with the DCO soldier  - somebody who knows us and has a nice attitude. He doesn't get excited by the assaults, says it is their problem. On the other hand, he said, it seems that the CP cannot contain so many people, especially in view of the present change in regulations – work permits from the age of 22 and free passage from the age of 55. Somebody shows us his wounds resulting from the assaults (was it he who attacked or was he assaulted?) – a wounded hand and shoulder.

6:30 An attempt to form new queues under the shed. Parallelly there still remains a mass of "pushers" at the head of the queue.

6:33 Another assault from the "block" when the turnstiles are opened. The queues are again broken up.

6:40 We have to leave at the peak of the tumult. We pass through the humanitarian gate – to passage no. 5.

6:45 – 7:10 – 25 minutes of waiting at passage no. 5. No wonder there is no flow at the turnstiles. It seems that the soldiers – three of them – went to buy drinks. We shout from time to time to draw their attention and to make them open,  but there is no reaction. When they return the queue proceeds slowly.

We met today people who were late for work, who were afraid of the boss who is annoyed by the lateness, elder men and women who were afraid they would miss their turn for the doctor at the hospital. The inability of the people standing in queue – day after day – to change their situation, to choose a different route, to complain… create feelings of humiliation, frustration and rage. That is how the morning of their working day in the areas of the state of Israel commences.