'Anata, Atarot, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 30.3.08, Morning
6.45 The checkpoint at Atarot is
empty but one has to note that with each visit this checkpoint is
At Qalandiya hell has broken loose
and there is much noise. Young men try to jump over one another at the turnstile
and the soldiers punish them collectively by pushing them back or closing the
turnstiles. The main punishment is that the line does not move. Nothing does,
except anger, despair and fear because of the day of work which is being lost.
Despair because of the lack of human dignity which is felt each day. Elderly
people show us their special belts which protect their backs and ribs from being
broken by the crush.
The side gate is open for pupils
and women and those who have special professions but elderly men of 50 are sent
back to the "usual" lines which is brutality without a limit. In the morning it
is not the line is so long but the waiting is endless while people are being
checked and this causes the overcrowding. We tried to follow what was happening
in the inside line which did not move but there was no possibility of knowing
how those who should not be allowed through were identified.
In the glass booth sat a soldier, a
policeman and a captain who satisfied themselves with scolding. A policeman
without rank came up to us and even though we had been standing there quietly
said he did not take orders from us. We phoned the humanitarian centre to allow
them to hear the terrible noise and also phoned the commander of the Jerusalem envelope. .
People waited from 45 minutes to an hour even to get to the first turnstile and
this under pressure, tension and overcrowding and after that at the turnstile
which would free them. People who work in Atarot and live a little way distant
from their places of work spend hours each day in this hell so as to get to
work and home again.
There are those who prefer to wait
until things have calmed down a bit and ask who we are and what we are doing
here and when we explain that a film of the happenings at Qalandiya have gone
all over the world through the internet they forget their suffering and shouting
for a moment.
Those who in the morning were
present at the political meetings should remember those standing in line in the
morning, the shouts, the crying, the complaints and the despair.
At 7.Jabba is practically empty and
at 8.00 we arrived at Anata where the road was clean there were hardly any
cars, few pedestrians and dead quiet.