Rainy and congested at Qalandiya checkpoint.
We arrived about 05:15. The weather is rainy, but it isn’t raining as we walk from the car to the checkpoint. We’re greeted by the muezzin calling from Qalandiya and a group of worshippers at the entrance to the checkpoint. The long lines extend past the covered area. The five inspection lanes are already operating, relatively few people waiting at them. The soldier in the aquarium allows only few to enter each time and doesn’t always open all three revolving gates at the end of the cages. That annoys people waiting. When the soldier emerges we ask him to open them all and admit more people to the area before the inspection booths in order to shorten the long lines. The soldier claims he’s working “according to the rules.” Only when a policeman arrives, about 05:30, the rules suddenly change and return to normal: all three revolving gates open each time and more people are allowed to wait in the area beyond the cages, before the inspection booths.
It begins to rain; those at the end of the line move into the covered area. Now the rate of inspection is reasonable. Women may join the line at the entrance to the cages. Toward 06:00 a line forms at the humanitarian gate. Two guards and a policewoman arrive but the gate doesn’t open. At 06:15 we telephone; we’re told they’re looking into it. At 06:22 they say they’re opening the gate but nothing happens. The guards also say the gate will open immediately. Meanwhile the regular lines are getting shorter and many give up and move over to them. Only after 06:30 does a DCL officer arrive and the gate first opens.
At 06:45 there are no lines beyond the covered area, and they’re not long. We joined them and went through in about 15 minutes. We emerged into annoying rain and decided to forgo Shu’afat this time.