Ar-Ram, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Rafat (Bir Nabala), Sun 17.8.08, Afternoon
A-Ram CP: No Palestinians were at the checkpoint.
From the CP we drove to Qalandiya via
A-Ram. Nothing has changed here – traffic is light and many
stores are shut and shuttered.
Qalandiya: Two passageways are operating with a few clients
in each (12 in Passageway 3 and 5 in Passageway 4). The soldier
on duty at the northern entrance has locked the carousels so that there
is a small line of people waiting in the shed as well. Total waiting
time was clocked at about 8 minutes. In the DCO passageway two
people are waiting (in spite of the fact that it's quite "late"
– actually not yet 4 PM). One of the men has come to pay a fine
in the Post Office to free his brother from jail. At the police
station he was told that the Post Office would be open until 5 PM (once
upon a time….). But there is nothing that can be done – the
Post Office closes nowadays at 3:30 in the afternoon. The second
man is desperately trying to receive a permit (that has been ready since
this morning) that will permit his mother, who is sick with cancer,
to receive radiotherapy treatment in a Jerusalem hospital. But
the computers crashed this morning and he couldn't get the permit and
now, just before the offices close, there is no one he can talk to.
We called the DCO offices and were transferred to "Transit Headquarters"
(which refused to give us their phone number). The Headquarters
staff promised to send the DCO representative, Abu Rukun, to take care
of the matter within 15 minutes. We waited patiently and the 15
minutes passed but Abu Rukun did not appear. And then a woman
with 2 small children arrived (she was Palestinian and the children
residents of East Jerusalem). When she was allowed to enter the
DCO, the son of the sick woman entered as well.
16:20: The son leaves the
CP with his mother's permit in hand.
16:25: Passageway 4 is closed
so that only one passageway remains open - 17 people are waiting in
line. A line has also formed at the northern CP entrance.
Why is it that there is always only one passageway open just as the
flow of people grows towards 5 in the afternoon?
16:35: We pass through the
passageway to the vehicle CP. From the distance we can see that
the line of vehicles at Atarot CP is so long that it reaches the horizon.
But the traffic at Qalandiya is flowing and lines are not long.
16:40: We leave Qalandiya
on our way to Rafat.
16:59 Rafat: No line of
vehicles. One of the soldiers on duty tells us that the CP will
be removed by next week. (He complains that the soldiers will
be given an even worse task. In his opinion soldiers are even
worse off than Palestinians.)
17:07 Qalandiya Village:
All is quiet. From the house of the Mukhtar we can see that the
line of vehicles at Atarot CP is still long.
We leave Rafat.
18:30 Lil: Traffic flows