Atara, Qalandiya, יום א' 14.9.08, אחה"צ

Observing: Mika Ginzburg, Tamar Fleishman (reporting)

Guest: Dina B (considering joining our group)

Qalandiya Checkpoint
15:20- At the waiting hall out side of the checkpoint there was much filth. Those who are in a hurry and don't know how to enter the caged lanes, waist their time entering and exiting until they reach an open cage (bingo).
though there were three open inspection posts the inspections were
performed very sluggishly and it took forever until people were
permitted to enter the inspection area. A
person returning from a days work at Jerusalem looked through the
window from which one can see the soldier's post at the first lane, and
said to us: "The girl soldier inside is sleeping and the guy is
stroking her..."
an hour later, when we passed through that lane, instead of the
sleeping soldier was a male soldier lying on his chair; it looked as
though any moment he would fall into deep slumber.  
people, who had finished all their business at the DCO and wanted to go
to the checkpoint yard, couldn't get out because the turnstiles were
locked. We saw them from the other side of the lane. They pressed over
and over again on the intercom button and got no response. We called
the DCO operation room and after a couple of minutes the turnstiles
opened, they were caged there against their will for half an hour.
At the waiting shed on the out side an 18 year old from Ramallah
called R' showed us he had a summoning from Mokased hospital, he was to
be hospitalized that day for a series of cosmetic surgeries. He didn't
have a permit to pass. He said that he had handed in his request to the
health center a month ago but got no replay. We called them and were
told that R' was refused passage (he said it was the first time he ever
heard of it), and that he was told a while ago that he had to bring
various different permits on top of the ones he had. 
could do nothing for R' who is an art student at Bir Zeit university.
Some of fingers on his right hand are missing, his handsome face is
baldy scarred by his chin and his chest is also deformed, as a result
of a fire he got trapped in when he was a child. He now wanted to
improve his looks and life with the help of surgery. 
us this story isn't new. But Dina, who for the first time came face to
face with the reality of the occupation and permits, got her heart
broken because of the all the circles of bureaucratic hell he had to go
through to get medical help.

Atara/Bir Zit checkpoint
17:45 After a long drive we came across a strange place: An active checkpoint with no soldiers!
At the pillbox were some soldiers. We managed to see at least four, but the checkpoint itself was empty.
There were no inspection or delays and the Palestinians headed on without anyone in their way.