Qalandiya, Palestinians come to our aid

Chana Stein (translating), Ronit Dahan-Ramati (reporting)

A reasonable day, some Palestinians help us solve a car problem.

05.15.  Cold and dark, still wet from night rain. The parking lot is full – the new one, for payment, not yet open.

Five checking stations were open most of the time, but long lines extended out of the shed.

At 5.25 a policeman arrived and sat outside the cubicle. Towards 6 a crowd gathered at the humanitarian gate, which finally was opened by a D.C.O. officer at 6.15, when all those ‘entitled’ rushed from the regular lines to the gate.

At 7.30 the lines were quite short and we joined one. At the checking station itself the soldier asked to see our permit, allowing us as Israelis to be in Area A. We explained that we were in fact in an area belonging to Jerusalem and, therefore, entitled to be there, and that we came every week.  He asked us to wait while he consulted his colleague. We agreed, but asked that he not delay the Palestinians behind us in line. Fortunately his companion had heard of Machsomwatch and calmed him down, so the delay was not long.  In the end, we passed in 30 minutes altogether.

When we reached the car, we found it would not open.  The battery of the remote was apparently flat.  A young man came to help. He opened the remote with his pen=knife and tried to jiggle the battery – to no avail. Then another man came, lent us the battery inside his remote. We inserted it, opened the door and started the motor – and with heartfelt thanks returned his battery.