In light of the holiday we decided to go in the afternoon. The place was empty. Just dirt all over.
The taxi drivers told us that starting tomorrow morning there could be a lot of pressure since according to them 100,000(?) people had received permits to enter Jerusalem-Israel for family visits. If this is even only partially true, the checkpoint will be packed during the morning hours, from 8 am onwards. As of tomorrow, according to them, all those with these permits will be able to enter Jerusalem through Qalandiya but only people living in Ramallah and the vicinity will be allowed to return from there. Everybody else needs to pass either through “Zeytim” or Naalin. (All this info provided by the taxi drivers is somewhat ambiguous).
An elderly man, who had just returned with his grandson from Jerusalem after a family visit, related that he lives in Bet Igzah and works in Givat Zeev. He enters Jerusalem through Jib checkpoint and claims that it is a difficult one. It sometimes takes between one to one and a half hours to go through. “Depends on the soldiers there…”, “There are good and not so good soldiers…”
We tried to walk to the vehicle checkpoint and were welcomed by hysterical shouting of the guards “Go away!” The explanation to the hysteria was the orders they had to shoot anyone advancing towards them on foot. Eventually the commander of the vehicle CP came out but did not disclose why only two passage lanes to Jerusalem were open when the line of cars coming from the direction of Ramallah was an endless one. Though once the vehicle had reached the checking booth passage was fast, that did not help the long and winding bumper to bumper queue.
On our way to Jerusalem, at the Geva Binyamin – road 60 junction, soldiers and policemen stopped all the cars coming from all directions so as to leave open space for the settlers coming from road 60 to join the traffic towards Jerusalem, thus creating a huge traffic jam the end of which was nowhere in sight. What’s called – settlers come first.