Qalandiya

Observers: 
Yaara Rafiah and Gili Kugler; Translator: Louise Levi
03/09/2015
|
Morning

No urgent problems – time to look around

5:00 to 6:45 Most of the time, people were crossing fast so we did not communicate with the workers or the soldiers. From 6:00 to 6:30 the pace slowed down and the lines next to the three fenced-off-areas became longer. After a while they were quite short again.

How come?

1. All the check posts opened on time.

2. Evidently, the soldiers were working efficiently (when we had a look at check post 1 from the outside they seemed alert and did their job).

3. The soldier in the "aquarium" was not bothered by too long lines at the check posts so he could leave the fenced-off-areas open for a relatively long time.

4. And maybe – there were less workers. We did not see the known faces of the men working at Atarot. Could it be that, as planned, the bus to Atarot had started running?

Remarks:

1. While not having to deal with any urgent problems you become more aware of the poor conditions that remain unchanged: the filthy square, the rickety benches (you have to choose carefully where to sit to avoid falling), and the strong smell of urine coming from the toilets. Why not turn the checkpoint into a decent place where the people who cross the border may feel respected.

2. The humanitarian gate has turned into a faint memory. We didn't see any DCO soldier coming to open it. The women and old people gathering there to be let through at 6:00 soon gave up and quickly joined the lines in the fenced-off-areas.