Qalandiya

Observers: 
Orit Dekel, Nili Fisher, Michal Weiner (reporter)
Apr-24-2015
|
Morning

At 09.00 the area was full of people and the queue stretched out up to the benches.

A large group of people, mainly women and children, stood at the humanitarian gate.

A lieutenant standing there explained that they were participants in an organized tour who had a special permit to pass through the humanitarian gate. He added that old and sick people were expected to pass through the regular gate because the humanitarian gate was not opened on Fridays.

 

Two officers arrived at the site - a captain and a major, member of the military civilian security unit, and two police officers. All of them were equipped with ballistic vests and cell phones but apparently they were doing nothing and there was a lot of confusion and disorder. We asked the major why they did not let old and sick people pass through the humanitarian gate and he answered that if they saw somebody who needed to get to a hospital they would transfer him there. The merciful officer said that it was not necessary to let the old and sick pass through the humanitarian gate because "they were not going for medical treatment but to prayers.  50% of them were elderly people with medical problems, especially in the feet and it was impossible to let all of them pass".

 

At 09.30 the humanitarian gate was opened and the group of travelers passed. An elderly man approached us and explained that he was sick. The major agreed to let him pass through the humanitarian gate. The queue at the regular gate was still long.

We contacted the Area Command (Matak ?) and they promised to help.

 

A few minutes later the humanitarian gate was opened for a few minutes. The major asked sarcastically if there were any more sick people to let them pass through the humanitarian gate. One of the officers said: "It`s not so bad that they have to wait. I too have to wait in traffic jams. The major added: "My father also waits in queues".

 

A little later when a few old people gathered near the humanitarian barrier, we asked the police officer who stood nearby, why he did not open the gate and let them pass. He answered that he was not obliged to give us explanations. A woman with a babyinfo-icon approached and her escorts told us that she had a certificate of approval for an examination at the hospital. The lieutenant who stood there said that if he opened the humanitarian gate he would have to open it for all the people. The woman moved to the regular queue. A few minutes later they let her pass through the humanitarian gate.

 

Around 10.30 the regular queue became shorter and a few minutes later the humanitarian gate was opened.