Qalandiya

Jun-21-2003
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Heavy flow of traffic, both pedestrian
and vehicular, but mostly fluid. At the north checkpoint, a reserve
soldier struck up a conversation with us, and became a good source
for help throughout the shift. We were told that all women with
children, men and women over 40, children, students with valid IDs,
and holders of valid permits could pass. But we noticed that women
with children and students were being sent back. The soldiers said
there is no university today, so the students don't need to go, and
regarding the women with children "Who said those are her
children?" They were totally inflexible. The soldiers use a
new expression on everyone turned away: "Yalla Ramallah."
They thought it was very clever. One woman refused to be turned
away. The soldiers were equally determined not to let her through.
Finally, they confiscate her ID, to teach her a lesson. We stepped
in and they returned her ID. She left very angry.