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Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (reporting)

We reached Qalandiya a little before 4 PM.  We noticed quite a few armed civilian security personnel scattered in different places around the southern CP entrance.  We asked a pair of soldiers “how come”  there were so many guards around and were told there was no particular reason, everything was normal (despite the apparent changes). There was a serious traffic jam in the vehicle lane of the southern CP entrance, so we parked on the Jerusalem side and entered the CP on foot.  We found 3 passageways operating with short lines in each one

At the carousel in passageway 5 (DCO), we found a grandmother with her 4 year old grandson, both from Gaza.  The boy had been hospitalized at Mukassad Hospital in East Jerusalem for diagnosis until March 29 and the woman had a permit for the two to return to Gaza on that date.  But she was told by the hospital to go and consult with a doctor at a hospital in Shchem (Nablus), and so she and her grandson stayed an extra day.  When she arrived at Qalandiya CP on March 30, the soldiers in the passageway confiscated her permit and told her that she would have to apply for a new one.  The poor woman didn’t know what to do – she was really exhausted from running after her hyper-active grandson and had no idea where she could spend the night and if she had enough money for this sudden expense.  We tried to help her, asking to speak with the DCO representative.  After about 20 minutes, two soldiers came from the DCO to talk with her but did not solve the problem.  They said there was no “coordination” with the Palestinians and so she would not be allowed to enter Gaza for which reason they would not issue her a permit for today.  They said she must spend the night and return tomorrow morning.  We called Hannah Barag and asked her to work on the problem, which she did.  But suddenly a local fellow arrived and said that he had arranged a place for them to stay so the grandmother and grandson walked off with him.  We hope they succeeded in getting home on Tuesday