After the holiday we returned to Qalandiya. As far a I was concerned this was a return after over a month of absence for personal reasons. Qalandiya remained as it was, fences, turnstiles and more fences… The renovation – about which I learned from the reports of my friends – the toilets had been opened. On the two blue doors there are no signboards. On the right door it's written in white paint "men only" and on the left "women only". The men's toilets are locked so whoever needs to use toilets is obliged to enter the women's toilets. Inside there are two cells (no lavatory seats). The stench is horrible. No electricity and the sink is not attached to the faucet. We did not check whether there was flowing water in both toilet cells, the stench made us flee and we quickly shut the outer door.
What didn't exist in Qalandiya today were queues! On the Palestinian side at 5:15 all the posts were open and the passage of people flowed. Most of the time one of the three turnstiles at the edge of the enclosures was open. It seems they didn't open the two others because there was no need. The beigels and cake vendors were already here, and the coffee stand of Eyman too was already open. Birds were chirping energetically, and the people who arrived were happy to discover that there was no queue. Some greet us and hurry on. In the absence of a queue they have no reason to tarry.
At 5:30 a policeman arrived. He announced on the loudspeaker from time to time that all the five posts were open, and from time to time he directed the waiting people to the unoccupied posts. At 6:10 there were some more people, but still the passage flowed without obstacle. We followed with our eyes a man who was dressed conspicuously and saw that within 10 minutes he had completed the passage. No DCO soldier arrived and we wondered whether this was a mishap or whether he was just informed (or saw it in cameras) that there was no need to open the humanitarian passage. At approximately 6:15 a soldier and a policeman arrived and replaced the ones who were there before. By 6:30 we too passed quickly and returned to the city, hopeing that as long as the CP is there, the situation will always be like today's.