'Atarot, Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Mon 15.12.08, Afternoon

Natanya G. and Phyllis W. (Phyllis reporting)


We drove to Qalandiya via Atarot CP.  At this hour traffic was

14:45 Qalandiya 
As we passed through the CP on our way to the parking lot we saw 8 to
10 buses standing in the northern square, waiting to cross to Jerusalem
and pick up their passengers.  Just as Natanya approached the fence
to get a closer look at what was going on, the buses began to move,
crossing through the CP one after another.

Inside the pedestrian CP three passageways
were operating.  A well-dressed man standing in Passageway 5 said
that he had been invited to a meeting with the "Shabak" (inside
the DCO offices).  He was holding a printed invitation for 3PM.

15:00 We got on one of
the lines.  As usual, the female soldiers checking the ID's were
shouting instructions at their "clients" over the PA system
to the point where our ears began ringing.  When we reached the
window to present our ID's we politely registered a complaint and were
treated to a renewed outpour and an invitation to take over their job.

On exiting the CP we called Daniel, one
of the officers in charge, to ask him to instruct his soldiers as to
how to conduct themselves.  (On our return to the CP a short while
later it appeared to us that the soldiers had lowered the volume by
several decibels.)

Traffic was flowing in the vehicle CP
and there appeared to be no special problems, ditto for the Atarot CP
observed from afar.

We asked the driver of one of the buses
why there had been such a glut in the northern square on our arrival. 
He said that the soldier on duty at the entrance to the vehicle CP often
flexed his muscles against the drivers, "punishing" them as
he pleased by holding them in the square.  (The dispatcher, on
the other hand, said that the buses had been detained in the square
due to heavy traffic.  But we had seen that traffic was quite light
at that time of day.)

15:20 We decided to check
what was happening on the way to Bir Nabala.  Traffic was very
heavy and the road (beyond the traffic light) was in terrible condition
but there were no CP's at all.

16:00  We returned to Qalandiya
Two passageways continued to operate and lines were short.  Every
few minutes a soldier announced which passageways were operating. 
Suddenly a change in procedures was announced:  Passageway 1 would
only serve Palestinians with a P.A. ID card (green) while Passageway
2 would serve only those holding blue ID's.  The line in Passageway
2 quickly grew longer while Passageway 1 was almost empty.  We
pointed this out to a soldier on duty in headquarters and he promised
to check but nothing changed.

16:45  We finished our shift. 
On our way back to Jerusalem we passed through Lil CP and Hizmeh CP
Traffic was flowing in both.