A very busy morning at the Qalandiya CP
We arrived at the Qalandiya CP at approximately 5:15. It was very cold and the wind was blowing. We were welcomed by long queues which reached beyond the shed. The 5 checking posts were already active. They announced on the loudspeaker that at port no. 5 only people without bags of all sizes. It seems that the screening device there doesn't function. We saw that the kiosk outside was already open. Inside there was only the cake vendor. The beigele vendor arrived later today. The queues became longer and longer and overflowed deep into the parking lot, but the order was maintained. The few women who arrived were enabled to become integrated in the queue at the entrance to the enclosures. At a certain stage people told us that the queues had reached the road.
At 5:40 a girl soldier from the DCO and was amazed to discover that nobody was waiting near the humanitarian gate. We, on our part, were very much amazed to see her at this hour. Usually the gate is supposed to be opened at 6 and in actual fact is opened later. We told her that it may be that nobody is waiting by that gate because they know that it is supposed to be opened at 6 only. We added that as long as the queues are orderly they enable women to become integrated, but drew her attention to the great length of the queues. According to her yesterday too she had arrived early and had opened the gate before 6 and stayed till 8, because there were many people. We hope that this is a sign that they well begin opening the gate earlier (or at least on time). In the meantime the girl soldier hurried to shut herself in the aquarium, there it is warmer. Neither policemen nor security guards had arrived yet.
Some time after 6 the security guard arrived and then the girl soldier from the DCO began opening the humanitarian gate. Later the policewoman arrived too. Women passed. The men were checked meticulously and only the worthy ones passed. The others were sent to stand at the regular queue. Towards 7 we went to drink tea and to get a bit warmer. When we returned we saw that the girl soldier from the DCO , who had just closed the humanitarian gate, was about to leave. A policeman who had just arrived drew her attention to the fact that an elederly woman, accompanied by a young woman with a baby in her arms, were approaching. She opened the gate for them too and left. Later the policemen operated the gate with the help of the security guard.
Only at approximately 7:15, we succeeded to see the end of the queues again. At 7:25, when the queues were already only in the shed, we joined the queue. It took us about 20 minutes to pass.