'Anata, Qalandiya, Thu 20.3.08, Morning

Observers: 
Observers: Mili M., Chana S. (reporting)
Mar-20-2008
|
Morning

 

Purims' weekend – closureinfo-icon for under 30s.

6.20 .
Anata
There
were few pedestrians, but many cars in 2 lanes. All the trunks of the cars were
checked. We noticed that there were
no schoolchildren or school buses.
When we checked the gate at Ras Hamis, the soldiers told us that there
were school holiday.
(Easter?).

7.00 
Qalandia
There
seemed to be fewer cars than usual in the carpark. This could well be because of the
closure due to Purim.
Once
again there were only two carousels operating. It is now at least three weeks that when
we come one particular carousel is out of order. This also coincides with a period when
the people waiting outside are particularly tense and, instead of queuing in an
orderly fashion, all bunch up, with some trying to climb up over the fence. Also, in the past usually individual
women would be allowed to go the head of the queue. In the present atmosphere the men did
not show the same consideration. In
one or two cases we helped women with babies through. The broken carousel may not be the cause
of this tension, but certainly does not help! In general in the last four weeks
the situation in the CP has worsened considerably.

When
we arrived there was quite a large group of people waiting to go through the
special gate for women and teachers etc..
We asked the lone soldier in the outside office for help and he phoned
for someone to open the gate. After
some 10 minutes a policeman opened it, first letting through the
women.
At
later stage when there were a number of women waiting at the carousel we
suggested opening the special gate again but the soldier pointed out that they
were half of the by then small number of waiting people and that they would just
displace the men. (Men have sometimes complained to us that when the women are
allowed in as a group they then delay the entry by the men who are trying to get
to work.)
All
five gatesinfo-icon were open but processing seemed to be extremely slow. The soldier managing the carousel opened
it sensibly, in accordance with the pressure at the gates, and would sometimes
advise as to which gates were emptier.
Altogether, he seemed to be
really trying to help. It is a
sorry pass we have reached when we have to be grateful for such little
kindnesses!One
woman was struggling with a crying babyinfo-icon at gate 5 for almost an hour. It turned out that she was waiting for
the DCO to open. So we made a point
of phoning right after 8.30 to see that the office would open on time. First, A. (dputy of the Matak
commander) told us that the prisoners’ families had to go through (we
pointed out that there weren’t any today), then that there were no soldiers
available! By 8.45 we phoned Dudu
who said the DCO should open at 9 but when we told him that the notice said 8.30
and that people depended on this information he was very helpful and the office
opened almost immediately. He did
point out that, as far as the woman with her baby were concerned, she could have
sat in the ‘waiting-room’ outside – but this does not take into account the fact
that people want to get as close as possible to the head of the queue. There could easily be a couple of
seats provided for the neediest people waiting for the DCO. (Today one elderly woman was sitting on
the ground).A few
minutes afte 8 there wasn no crowd at the carousels, but when we left at 9 only
2 gates were open and there was again a line of people waiting at the
carousels..All
the time we were there the soldier handling the carousel and the policeman who
came once to open the special gate were the only personnel we could see - so there was no one who could give
information.