Morning without lines in Qalandiya CP
Summer is approaching and the days are getting longer. Dawn is here when we get to Qalandiya CP. We park the car on the Israeli side. Temperatures are up as well and the morning is not as cold as before. We are pleased to see that the lines are in a pretty good state. When we walk to the checkpoing people tell us that the situation is good today and that there are no lines.
The 5 checking points are in operation and there are no lines. People arrive and enter the third terminal where the carousel is open and cross without waiting. Later on in the morning when more people are coming in the carousel was closed from time to time and the carousel at the end of the terminal was used as well. At no point were there any long lines.
The cakes and bagels peddlers are here as usual and the coffee stall is open as well. People are pleased to learn that there are no lines. The policeman and policewoman who arrived at 5:30 were left without work. They probably informed the DCO that there is no reason to open the humanitarian gate and indeed there was no need for it. Everybody passed quickly the regular checkpoints with no problems.
After a long absence we say today the "prince of Qalandiya " - the black cat. He is the real landlord here, only he can move from one place to the other with no delays, no gates, no carousels or fences, no need to undress as the Palestinians or dress up in shields as the "security forces", he just goes about as he pleases. We took of course a picture of the cat. The policeman took out his smart phone and too a picture as well.
What makes the Machsom busy and a nightmare on one day and calm with no line on another day - can't figure it out. No doubt that opening all the checkpoints does help but it seems that this is not the full explanation.
When we sat the the usual 6:00 o'clock pressure goes by smoothly, we joined the short line in checkpoint 5 when the soldiers decided to go for a break with no foreseen reason. Some people moved to other checkpoints but after few minutes the checkpoint opened again.
At 6:30 we were back on the Israeli side.