'Anata, Ar-Ram, Qalandiya, Thu 17.4.08, Morning

Observers: 
Mili M., Chana S. (reporting)
17/04/2008
|
Morning

6.30
a.m. AnataThe
traffic seemed even heavier than the usual Thursady morning crush. Crowds of children were already waiting
for school buses. As usual, a third
‘unofficial’ lane of cars formed.
Soon after we arrived a physical fight broke out between two drivers (and
their passengers) because one had tried to merge into line before the machsom
and, we think, even damaged the other car.
Two border policemen rushed to the scene and separated the groups. During the commotion three women tried
to use the opportunity to slip through unobserved but one of the policemen saw
them and sent them back.

The
steep road coming up from the side was sealed off with a roll of barbed
wire. One car was allowed through
but then two others were sent back and had to reverse down the
hill.

7.15
a.m.
A-RamWe
saw no pedestrians but there was a long line of about 20
cars.

7.30
a.m.
QalandiyaWe
were struck by the small number of cars in the car-park. Inside we were amazed to see no one at
the carousels but fairly long lines at the 4 gatesinfo-icon. Then it became clear that the carousels
were kept open all the time we were there – so there was not the atmosphere of
crowds of men being cooped up in a cage and being released in batches. The special ‘women’s’ gate was not
opened and women went directly through the carousels to stand in line at the
gates.

Every
now and then an announcement was made (in Arabic) that lane 5 was
open.

A
small group (only 10 people) of prisoners’ families passed through at 8
a.m.

We at
first thought that the heavy traffic at Anata was due to the fact that a lot of
people wanted to work before the beginning of the closureinfo-icon tonight. And then we thought that Qalandiya
machsom was quiet because perhaps many Israeli employers had already shut down
for Pesach but, as these
explanations are contradictory, it
remained a mystery.