'Anata, Qalandiya, Thu 27.3.08, Morning

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Judy E., Chana S. (reporting), Sheila (a prospective watcher)



- Although as we arrived at the
traffic lights, the traffic looked heavy, the two lanes of cars were moving
relatively smoothly, with spot-checking of car trunks.  By the way, one friendly border
policeman told us that on Thursdays the traffic is always heavier because more
people use private cars so as to work a long day before the weekend.  Has anyone noticed
As we
arrived we saw a policeman with a dog but did not see the dog being used for
number of cars came up the steep side road so as to avoid the long queue of the
machsom.  Usually this road is
blocked but for some reason was open today and a number of drivers managed to
persuade the soldiers to check their id’s and let them through, before the
commanding officer had a barrier placed. 
One young driver was actually detained because the soldiers said he had
sworn at them and the situation threatened to get quite ugly, but ultimately he
and his passengers were allowed to go. The captain told us that the drivers knew
that this road was closed except for people living locally (but murmured that he
understood their trying to take a short cut). We pointed out that it would be
less frustrating if the barrier were put at the bottom of the hill. According to
the soldiers there is a barrier at the bottom of the steep road but the locals
push this aside.
were fewer than usual schoolchildren because of school

iya- We
were amazed to find NO line at the carousels !  Could this be thanks to the same
policeman who, we found two or three weeks ago managed the process so
efficiently? There
was a very large group of prisoners’ families who passed through just at this
time, using a couple of gatesinfo-icon.On the
other hand, the Matak  experience
was less encouraging.  After a
number of unavailing phone calls on our part, it finally opened at 9:10
.  There
were at least 20 people waiting by this time, one of them on crutches.  (There really should be some seating
provided at each gate. Benches would be an
easy solution
!)  They
were directed to gate 4 – leaving the people waiting for the post office
confused as to where they should be. 
When we managed to catch the attention of the breakfasting (?) soldiers
in the Matak office, they told these people to join the line in gate
4. The
soldier in the outside office managing the carousels (having no work to do)
seemed to be absorbed in a computer game for the entire time we were there.  When we did manage to make eye contact
with her at one point so as to ask for help, she totally ignored