Qalandiya

Jul-1-2003
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Qalandya north, 16:45. Over 30
detaineesinfo-icon caught trying to cross through the quarry between 8:00 to
16:3O. All told they'd have to wait until 21:00 to get their IDs
back. We called the Moked, and 5 minutes later, the checkpoint
commander, showed up with the IDs and distributed them. It could
not possibly have been our doing, but we got the credit from the
Palestinians... A teacher from Ar-Ram carrying a big computer was
refused passage, because the school year was over, so being a
teacher was irrelevant. They relented, but from then on were
tougher in an extreme and absurd way. E.g., 4 women (aged 28, 29,
40 and 45) from Ar-Ram had been to Ramallah to buy clothes for the
wedding of one of them. All but the oldest were refused passage,
for reasons of age -- though age is supposed to be a limitation
only for men. Then miraculous Na'ama showed up at the checkpoint
with all the high commanders of the area. She heard the story,
spoke to N., and all 4 women were let through (after having waited
for 2 hours). During this visit of the high commanders to the
checkpoint, Colonel S. asked to meet us, and we spent a good half
hour talking to him about the situation at the checkpoint in a most
friendly manner. This meeting next to the checkpoint and witnessed
by all the soldiers, officers and volunteers present at the
checkpoint, was of great importance, as it emphasized the
legitimacy of our activity at the checkpoint! S. agreed that the
'hudna' should start at the checkpoints by showing goodwill towards
the Palestinians. To our question why people without a valid permit
are sent to cross at Surda checkpoint, thus wasting an extra 3
hours to reach their homes, we did not get a satisfactory reply.
The bottom line of his expose seemed to be, that this is to teach
all those who "don't bother to be equipped with a permit' a
lesson. Just before we left at the southern checkpoint, a transit
driver with Israeli licence plate, but carrying a Palestinian ID
(this being against the law), was stopped, beaten by border
policemen soldiers and then taken to a police station, where the
border policemen filed a complaint against him for having assaulted
the soldiers. This complaint would have cost him a heavy fine, in
addition to the confiscation of his vehicle for one month. But the
interrogating officer in charge decided not to accept the border
policemen’s version, and released the Palestinian driver and
vehicle with no fine. Pity, though, that the border policemen will
not be accused for their assault unless the driver files a
complaint.