Qalandiya - winter morning, cold and rainy. A few workers go to work.

Place: 
Observers: 
Chana Stein (translating), Ronit Dahan-Ramati (reporting and pictures)
09/01/2019
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Morning
The kiosk at the gate
The kiosk at the gate
Photographer: 
Ronit Dahan-Ramati
 A neon sign, a wall and a watchtower
A neon sign, a wall and a watchtower
Photographer: 
Ronit Dahan-Ramati

Wintry morning; weather affects number of people passing.

05.15.  Very cold, and raining. We had considered cancelling the watch, but came really only because Muhammad, the patient from the Jordan valley, phoned to say that he needed transport to Hadassah. Bundled in coats, scarves, gloves and caps, our umbrellas struggling against the wind, we made our way from the parking lot to the checkpoint.

As expected, on the Palestinian side there were hardly queues. In weather like this anyone who works outdoors stays at home. No beigel seller; the falafel stand was present, but closed unusually early. All through our watch the turnstiles at the end of the cages remained open. All five checking stations were open, with very short lines at each. Once or twice the turnstiles shut for a minute, but then were left open again.

It was freezing. When the rain stopped a while we went outside and saw that on a high building in the Qalandiya refugee camp there is a huge neon sign.  The contrast between it and the surroundings – the wall and watchtower - is staggering …

At the entrance to the checkpoint there is a new kiosk. Muhammed , Iman’s brother, operates it. So now  they have both this and the more elegant one next to their parking lot. We bought tea to warm up a bit, and returned to the shed.

At 6.45 Muhammad arrived and we joined him in the line. Passage was quick, taking fewer than 10 minutes. Returning to the car we once again battled the rain that had renewed .Muhammad had a cold and this was dangerous for him, as his immunity system has been damaged by his anti-cancer regime. We dropped him off at Hadassah with wishes for a speedy recovery.