Qalandiya

Observers: 
Orit Dekel, Nily Fisher (reporting)
May-6-2016
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Morning

09:00 Arrival at the checkpoint. The parking lot is full. At the entrance of the shed there are stands for the sale of shoes and shirts.

I check the situation of the toilets: a horror. It is clear that they haven't been cleaned for a very long period. There is excrement everywhere. There is a leakage of water or sewage. Absolutely  insufferable. I ask myself for the umpteenth time why those who are responsible for the CP, - that's to say the Israeli authority aren't also responsible for supplying the Palestinians, who often wait for a long time, adequate conditions for existential needs. Why is the responsibility for the  issue of the cleanliness of the shed (which, by the way, is also very dirty) and that of the toilets, suddenly removed to the Palestinians, as if they had chosen to stand in this place.

All the lanes are open. Compared with instances where the shed was full to capacity, today there is no big crowd. Notwithstanding this, in spite of the rate of the opening of the passages, the sleeves, once empty, fill immediately up again.

To our surprise there is a humanitarian queue (without our asking for it) and a few people waiting there.

A father with two small children approaches the DCO officer, with rank of captain. The father is in possession of an authorization, and he wishes to pass at the humanitarian gate. The officer turns to us and says: "you see, this is a humanitarian gate, yes? A humanitarian gate is for sick and disabled people, and he comes for a trip." Sometimes one lets pass by this gate groups of hikers, I try.  His reply isn't really relevant, but he allows them to pass.

The officer informs us that persons aged sixty or over, are permitted to pass by the humanitarian gate and we "cooperate", and transfer from the regular lanes the persons aged sixty and more to the humanitarian gate. An eighty year old man refuses to pass to the humanitarian lane and stands like all the others in the regular lane. This too is an act of defiance, of protest. It is important to stress that the officer carries his job out in a more efficient manner than usually, and that the gate is opened each time a number of persons wait near it.

A woman who carries a newborn babyinfo-icon, her daughter and husband are permitted to pass through the humanitarian gate.

During the hour which we spent at the CP, the humanitarian gate was opened quite a few times, a fact which made things easier for the group of older people, and shortened the queues at the passages.

09:45  The DCO officer left the area.

A Palestinian approaches  the fence. He is an invalid, in his mind too. He talks to the soldiers there and those tell him repeatedly that he is prevented from passing by the Shabak (the general security service).

We remember  that  he time and again appears at the CP and tries to pass.