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E-RamThere are many transits parked there. None of the drivers with whom we spoke were affected by confiscation, but they certainly were indignant about the issue. At the checkpoint things going smoothly, papers of car passengers are not checked thoroughly, and cars move quickly, as do the few pedestrians that arrive there. Few cars are going North to Qalandya. Qalandya: No checking at the southern end. In passing we came across two men carrying many gasmask kits. They said they have blue ID’s and are going to renew the kits in Jerusalem. We asked about Palestinian in the territories, and they say that they have no gasmasks. The snow has knocked down the light roof along the entire walkway to the northern checkpoint, and it has fallen in such a way that there is only a very narrow path left between it and the hill to the right. For anyone with the slightest difficulty in walking this is a new obstacle.Northern checkpoint:There were no body searches of younger men carried out, and no checking of bags at a distance from the main booths, and the checking of papers goes quickly. The checkpoint is staffed by one older volunteer, and three younger soldiers, including one woman. She seems to be the one who knows the situation best – advises them on who to let through and who not – I overhear – that doctors should be let through, but teachers should be examined. If they say the teach at a certain school, then that information should be checked. They are polite and seem to let people through easily – two boys, aged ten or even twelve have no papers, but say they work on the other side and go through all the time – the soldiers talk amongst themselves, and eventually let them through – apparently they do know them.The soldiers are approached by two men whose private cars have been impounded. One brought an interpreter with him, as he does not speak Hebrew, the other spoke some English. They have similar stories – they were driving their cars, with yellow license plates in Ramalla and Betunia respectively, and their cars were taken away because they were carrying orange and not blue ID’s. This happened a month ago to one, and about three weeks ago to the other. One of them has been coming here everyday, to find out when his car would be released, but he never found the right person to talk to. (we gave them the Moked cards and took their personal details which we have passed on to A). Today the woman soldier seems to have made a phone call, because a little later, she told them to go to the officer in charge at the Atarot airport, who will take care of their cases. The men told us that in addition to the seven impounded transits that we can see from the check point, there are many other cars at another place inside the grounds of the airport. Is this something new? These were private cars -- not transits. And why how do they have yellow license plates in the first place? I tried to ask the men, but our communication was limited – though they indicated it was for economic reasons – apparently it is very expensive to pay for a car license in the Palestinian Authority. The car lane: Drivers told us they waited 45 minutes to an hour in a very, very long line – but it seemed to be starting to move more smoothly.