Ar-Ram, Bir Nabala, Qalqiliya, Sun 6.4.08, Afternoon
A-Ram CP: Thirteen vehicles waited to pass through the CP.
Qalandiya: Two passageways, 1 and 4, were open. There
was no line in the DCO passageway and we couldn't see anyone waiting
in the shed. This week we re-read the poster announcing the opening
of a post office in Kufr Aqeb more carefully and discovered that the
announcement was in Hebrew and English only, not in Arabic (altho' opening
hours were noted in Arabic). Tamar asked passers-by who confirmed
that there is no post office in Kufr Aqeb at present.
16:00: We passed through
to the vehicle CP. From a distance we could see that the line
of vehicles at Atarot CP was very long but we didn't walk over.
The line at Atarot did not get any shorter during the time we spent
in the vehicle CP at Qalandiya. There were no special problems
at the vehicle CP. An ambulance bringing a Palestinian patient
from Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv awaited the arrival of a Palestinian
ambulance to transfer the patient to a hospital in Ramallah. We
met a new officer in the police unit manning the passageways at Qalandiya
– Lieutenant Tal (who has joined Shelly and Itai).
16:27: We returned to the
pedestrian passageways. Two passageways were operating, but slowly,
so that the internal lines were long and another line of ca. 30 people
had formed outside the northern carousel. I called the Hotline
(Rosie answered and promised to find out what was happening) and Tamar
called Hannan. The female soldier operating the northern carousel
had draped herself comfortably over two chairs with her feet in the
air – quite a sight (!) which we reported to Hannan.
We telephoned Tal to ask him to do something
but he said that his soldiers were taking a meal break (between 4 and
5 PM). Nothing could be done! Surely soldiers must be fed?
16:58: The lines are still
long. I spoke to Rosie at the Hotline once again. She said
that she had made inquiries and been told that all was as usual –
soldiers were working as usual and the lines were as long as usual.
At this point the line waiting at the northern carousel was about 50
strong with another 30 people waiting in each passageway, all in all
more than 100 people in line. We timed the waiting time at 50
A woman on her way to hospital was in
despair and asked us to help. She looked pale and weak.
We called Tal who said he would send (civilian) security personnel to
open the "Humanitarian Gate". The two guys appeared
after about 10 minutes and Tamar accompanied the woman (and the personnel)
until she reached her bus.
The long lines were not getting any shorter. A fellow with asthma
couldn't stand in line with the smokers and asked us to help.
Once again Tal promised to send personnel but this time he didn't keep
17:35: We left Qalandiya
for Rafat CP (formerly Bir Nabala).
17:48: Rafat: 17 vehicles
were waiting in line. The soldier on duty at the CP refused to
tell us whether there were limitations on entry to Bir Nabala but his
superior officer assured us there were not. When we left at 18:11
there were still 17 vehicles waiting in line. At Lil there were
no lines at all.