A ”reasonable” morning at Qalandiya.
05.15. We found very short queues in the shed. 5 checking stations were open. The beigel seller was at his post, and said the previous day had been reasonable too. Now and again the soldier operating the turnstiles announced that position no.1 was open only to those without packages (i.e., the scanning machine was out of order), and that at another station only those with a permit (“tasrich” – apparently there was a problem with the computer which did not allow confirmation of the existence of a permit, in the computer, by means of a fingerprint or identity number.)
Our friend H. gives us an updated version of his story about his being delayed at a temporary checkpoint a couple of weeks ago. It turns out he was driving a car which didn’t have a license. The car was confiscated, and in order to redeem it he would have to pay a high fee. So he bought another one.
Gradually, the lines began to lengthen, extending out of the shed. But the situation remained reasonable.
The humanitarian gate opened characteristically late and remained open only for half an hour, although there were still lines. After it closed, there was a baby in arms, and also a woman with three little children who had to cope with the crush in the cage.
At 7.15 the lines were very short again, and we joined one. It took us 20 minutes to pass.