Qalandiya, Mon 2.6.08, Afternoon

Yael I. and Ruth O. (reporting)

From 3:00 till 6:00 PM

Since it looked that because of ‘Jerusalem Day'
there would not be much to observe at the checkpoints around the capital, we
drove to Atara. The road was as pastoral as usual and the traffic
on Road 60 also looked regular. When we approached the Atara CP we could not
believe our eyes. It was 4:00 PM and there was no queue of vehicles from any of
the three sides. The soldiers at the CP also looked relaxed and didn't even
object when we parked the car near the checkpoint and didn't shout at us when we
approached them to inquire why the place was so quiet. They asked us about our
‘task' and answered our questions readily. They too didn't know why there was so
little traffic.
Now and then they stopped a cab and took papers.
We timed hardly four minutes before the documents were returned. We also asked
the driver of one of the cars that had stopped for a minute what had happened
and the reply only consisted of blessings re our presence and wishes for good
health. Has the Messiah arrived...? We stayed for about an hour convinced that
there was nothing to do for us.
nevertheless decided to take a look at Qalandiya and we drove via the Nusseibeh
buildings and along the wall to the CP. As expected the place looked deserted.
The mere thought of the number of days during last months when life was
disrupted and work and income prevented from the Palestinians is horrifying. And
Shavuot is still before us.........