Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya
As in previous weeks it was quiet until 5.25. All the passages and windows were working. But things went slowly and the queue lengthened into two lines right into the parking lot. A Palestinian man stood on guard and did not allow the youngsters to push into the line. We had not seen this before. But this only lasted about 10 minutes after our arrival. A young hooligan would not listen to the orders of the “supervisor” and started pushing. Within a minute most of those who had been sitting on the benches joined in pushing and shoving. Again people climbed on top of one another and the older people gave way. The “supervisor” disappeared. Many of the workers complained about their fellow countryman. Three soldiers in the aquarium, a woman and man soldier and a policeman. Maya asks the woman soldier to quicken the entrance of the people to the windows because as soon as they get through there is no more violence. “I am doing my duty. Do not interfere.” Luckily another soldier arrives, evidently of a higher tank and creates an inner twisting passage (such as is done at the airport) on the other side of the exterior passage and this makes it possible for larger groups to enter. This blessed change calms the atmosphere.
The older men wait at the side not wanting to be injured. Someone says that last week one worker had two ribs broken.
The humanitarian line opens at 6.15 and there is a long line. People who despaired of the pushing hope that that they will be allowed through. They delay the women and those who can pass. The gate opens every 5 minutes until the line goes through. Only those who have the right are allowed to do so.
Natanya speaks to a man of 42 who tells her he has never had a happy day in his life. Maya finds a young man who last week claimed that he was a gynecologist nurse who has completed his course at Bethlehem university and is looking for work. Maya had said that she would try to help him. She found him and showed him details that might be able to help him. He did not himself try to find her. He was a bit surprised that she had actually taken the trouble to do so and thanked her and said that he would let her know next week how his affairs were progressing. So let us hope.
At about 7.30 the line was shorter and calm. We left at 7.45. Went back through Lil which was manned by two soldiers but the way was open. The road from Qalandiya to A-ram is filthy, unbelievable. It reminds us of the shed which once again this morning was full of tins and the remains of foot and cigarettes.
The usual horrible morning.