Qalandiya - Occupation Routine

Virginia Syvan, Ina Friedman (reporting)

Routine of Occupation

All five checking stations were open when we arrived at 5:30 and the progress forward was slow but improved over the course of the morning.

To the surprise and delight of the early birds who use the Humanitarian Gate, a security guard arrived and opened it at 5:40! Thereafter a Civil Administration soldier arrived and continued to operate the gate smoothly until the end of the shift.

There were no breakdowns (other than the x-ray machine in station no. 1), incidents, or dramas. One can only be amazed by the fortitude of the people who undergo the daily experience of creeping forward on line without any expectation of change except that things may become worse. As usual, people greeted us on their way to the Humanitarian Gate or from a distance while some told us how bad it was during previous days when we were not present.

At 7:15 we joined the shortest of the three lines through the cages and completed the security check 25 minutes later, this time with the greeting “Have a good day!” from the woman soldier on the opposite side of the window (which actually happens from time to time).