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E-Ram: 8.15 Few pedestrians going south at this hour. Movement is fast. Those without a blue ID or permit are turned back. One woman who is turned back, returns to the checkpoint in a ‘transit’, but again she is sent back – however the transit itself is allowed to pass.Cars move smoothly when the passengers have the proper papers, and are not searched. We are called to the military booth and asked who we are. The commander of this checkpoint, who says his name is Boaz, claims never to have heard of Machsom Watch, and tells us we are not allowed to stand inside the checkpoint. We explain that we have the right to stand on the sidewalk and watch. We were already standing at a distance and remained there for a little while, then left for.Few cars and no pedestrians are going north.Qalandya South: no checking at all, little movement going north.Qalandya North: There are two or three older men, volunteers, and several young soldiers from the regular army. One of the older men came over to us and asked who we are. We asked him about the incident yesterday, and he confirmed the stabbing that was in the news– saying a volunteer, who was new to the checkpoint (we read in the news he was 57 years old) was stabbed. The man who was being checked pretended he was searching for some papers and suddenly pulled a knife out of his pocket, but the volunteer moved away quickly and was not seriously hurt. We are told it happened in the afternoon, when it was still day-light.There does seem to be a change in the checking procedures, compared to last week, probably in response to the stabbing. People with bags are searched by the younger soldiers, at a distance of about four meters from the place where the older volunteers stand to check the ID’s. They have to open their bags on one of the concrete road-divider-blocks that are used to create a maze-like path through which people are kept in line. Young men are body-searched, as they spread open their jackets and coats. One family with a babyinfo-icon carriage and many bags is carefully searched and let through, but at the last moment one of the older volunteers calls out to the father, looks at his orange ID and turns him back, while the mother continues alone with her children. We go further north to take a look at the long line of cars that does not seem to be moving. One man in a car says the line has not moved for exactly half an hour. A woman who is driving her elderly mother to the Bikur Holim hospital, estimates they have been waiting for an hour – she says it usually is not more than a ten, fifteen minute wait and seems quite upset. She shows us the international medical pass (in English) of her mother, who has a pacemaker – they both have blue IDs. We see that there are two reasons for the long delay: one truck driver’s papers had to be checked at the headquarters – and the truck is not moved to the side while the check is being done, so that the other cars can pass. This took about half an hour.Another driver of a yellow truck is turned back, as a punishment for honking his horn. He refuses to drive in reverse – there is not much room for maneuvering his big truck - and it takes a while before he agrees to turn around. After he does, the line of cars starts to move, at last. After that, most cars are searched. Another car approaches in the short lane, the driver goes up to the soldiers and tells them he has a sick child who needs urgent medical car – and he is let through quickly, without a search. As we return to the pedestrian checkpoint, our own blue ID’s in hand, we are approached by a father with his little son, who wants to tell us his story. He said the night before, at 7.30, they wanted to return to their home to Bet Hanina, but they were told the checkpoint was closed (it had just closed five minutes earlier, he reported) – and would open again at 8.30 that evening. So they waited, together with tens of other people, many of them families with young children and babies – out in the cold and the rain. Some time after 8.30 they were all told to ‘go home’ – the checkpoint, which regularly closes at 9.00 pm, would not open anymore that night. As his home was on the other side of the checkpoint, he had to spend the night in a hotel in Ramallah with his son, and now he is again on his way home.