Extremely cold morning at Qalandiya; the queues ‘reasonable’
05.15 The temperature was 4 degrees, with a wind. The ground was wet with the night’s rain. The muezzin could be heard in the background and on the pavement a group of Palestinians were getting organized for prayer. We passed a group praying at the Israeli entrance to the checkpoint, and found a relatively small crowd in the shed. All the checking stations were open. Apparently fewer people came today because of the weather. Queues formed, but hardly extended beyond the shed.
An elderly man who often complains that older people who are allowed in without permits are not admitted before 8 o’clock, tried today again to pass, but was sent back. He collected papers and cardboard and made a little fire for himself inside the shed, surrounded by large wooden boards as protection against the wind.
We went outside to buy tea to warm ourselves and photograph the sunrise.
Shortly after 6, the D.C.O. soldier arrived to open the humanitarian gate. He would open it even for people arriving singly. But once again, he left early – at 6.45. This seems to have become the norm! Fortunately today the lines were short and anyone arriving after the soldier left, could join the regular queue.
We left shortly after 7.