Qalandiya

Nov-9-2003
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Observers: Ch. A., J. S., A. G. and I.
D. + guest from the States

Qalandia - an eager young soldier who claimed we were no allowed to
proceed till the end of the checkpoint stopped us. Despite our
protests that it is part of our work, he claimed that no holders of
blue ID's who do not live beyond the checkpoint are allowed across
the 'border'. He then said that two of our women had yesterday
crossed and that he had intended to interrogate them after their
return, but had not seen them coming back. He even called
a

superior who confirmed his refusal .

A., the taxi driver, walked over to our side of the Checkpoint to
chat with us. He told us that Surda is as closed as ever and that
we shouldn't believe what 'they say'.

One detainee had been chased in Tora Bora and apparently fought
with the soldiers who told him he would have to wait 'a long time'
for his papers. He must have been familiar with us too, because he
took out a Moked-card and tore it to pieces. There were two new
elderly volunteers who stopped the queue when the soldiers in
charge left and caused a huge backlog. Even young schoolchildren
were not allowed to pass. When the commander of the Checkpoint
returned he apologized - all the kids ran through along a separate
line and the length of the queue of the adults shortened
dramatically in no time. Even cars were allowed through at a faster
rate.

A-Ram - at 8:15 we waited in line for about fifteen minutes.