Qalandiya

Place: 
Observers: 
Ronit Dahan Ramati, Natanya Ginsburg (translating)
Jul-2-2017
|
Morning

We arrived at Qalandiya about 5.30. We parked and went on foot to the Palestinian side. At this time of the year is is already light. Ramadan has ended and the café at the parking lot is full. When we entered we were met with long lines which reached deep into the parking lot. The right turnstile was blocked by a police barricade and it seems that it is still (and again) not in working order. The Palestinians know about this and stand in the other two lanes. The parking area is also blocked and there are curbstones and building materials that indicate that construction is soon to to be carried out in June.  H., our acquaintance, greets us and says that today we are late. He says that the Jews are a "stiff-necked people." We talked about the Palestinian children being taken to the sea. His children are too big for that. He has only four sons. He had another four who died in infancy. He says that he and his wife are cousins and therefore there is probably a genetic problem.

Next to the traffic circle a bus collects the workers. H. and his friends explain that these are workers at “Of (chickens) Jerusalem” at Atarot. They have a special card (a worker’s card) and they go through in the bus without being checked. Afterwards  a military jeep accompanies the bus to the factory to make sure that the workers are all going there and not  to any other places.

Ramadan has ended and the bagel seller has returned.  There is now a stall in the place where the kiosk was, but this was not opened there while we were there. The soldier in aquarium opens so as to let in a lot of people each time, and then the lines are shortened, but they still reach  into the parking lot. Inside, queues stand near the inspection posts. All 5 are open.

The women go through in the ordinary line. Shortly after 6 AM, an officer from the DCO arrived with a security guard and the humanitarian crossing was opened, but the inspection was careful that only those entitled to should go through. A man who had to go to court tried repeatedly to speak to the woman officer and security guard to let him go through order to appear in a court is not included there.

Then another guard and policewoman arrived and relieve the soldier in the aquarium. At about 7 the lines were shorter and only inside the shed. After seven there was practically no line and so we joined it so as to go through. When there we saw that the woman soldier and the guard had left and the humanitarian gate was closed. There was no need for it. After 10 minutes we came to the window. 5 people were let in each time. We took some time to put our things through the X-ray machine and the three Palestinians who had been in front of us had already passed through and gone on their way.  The turnstile closed and then the soldiers suddenly remember that though they had told us to pass that they still had to check something out. We were told to show our IDs  again and then to pass them through the slot. They began to make telephone enquiries and the passage of Palestinians was stopped. Luckily the first three had gone through and we apologized to those  waiting for the delay. Our suggestion to the soldiers that we would wait at the side and let those waiting go through was not accepted by the soldiers. After some minutes and some more telephone enquiries…to whom we do not know…we are allowed to pass.