A reasonable day at Qalandiya.

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

A reasonable day at Qalandiya.

05.15. Dark and cold. On the way from the carpark we pass groups huddled round their little fires. Both near the carpark and at the Israel entrance to the checkpoint are large groups at prayer. In the shed are the beigel seller and the falafel stall, but the kiosk that is usually just outside is not there. The beigel seller tells us that the kiosk is now stationed on the way to the checkpoint. Our friend H. calls out greetings to us from the line which is quickly drawn into one of the cages.

Although 15th of the month has passed, the new section is not yet open, and as far as can be seen through the white metal barrier, the building is not yet completed.

As time passes, the lines get longer and reach outside the shed. Later, when they are once again short and the humanitarian gate is open, without any evident reason, the lines suddenly collapse. However, they re-formed within ten minutes.

Soon after 7 o’clock we joined one of the now short lines. While we were waiting at one of the checking stations we noticed that when the turnstiles were once again opened everyone in the cages came through. After that the turnstiles remained open. The humanitarian gate was closed, as there was no need of it.