Qalandiya, Tue 2.12.08, Afternoon
We went to Qalandiya via Atarot. When we arrived there, there was relatively little traffic.
There was a policeman there who
was pulling over cars and checking registrations. One woman (with a
small child in her car) was stopped because she had not paid her
registration fee. (It was 20 days late). She was slapped with a 500
shekel fine. The policeman, who saw me writing all this down, told me
to write that she "knowingly evaded the law and continued driving even
though her registration had expired". The sticker on the car said that
the registration was good until 2009, but the situation might have been
that of a new car that did not have to undergo inspection this year but
whose registration had to be paid for. Actually, the policeman was not
discourteous, but he was terribly concerned about what I might be
writing about him.
He was "protected" by two civilian security guards who tried very hard to assert their authority.
were two lanes open the whole time we were there so that passage moved
quite quickly. (It took us 12 minutes to get through). One of the men
who was waiting in line said that when we are there, the people are
treated like human beings. He said that when no one was watching, the
soldiers didn't care about how they treated the people.
soldier stationed in the concrete hut occasionally directed people to
the second crossing. He might have meant well, trying to keep everyone
from crowding up at one security check, but he continually shouted over
the loudspeaker which was terribly unnerving and disturbing.
compared to times past when we used to come regularly to Qalandiya,
there were many fewer people and many fewer cars. Perhaps the
inconvenience, wait, humiliation, and tightening up of regulations has
discouraged people from even trying to get through.