Qalandiya

Observers: 
Orit Dekel, Ofra Tene, Nilly Fischer (reporting); Translator: Louise Levi
Oct-21-2016
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Morning

09:25 We arrive at the checkpoint. Hardly anybody is crossing. No people are standing in the roofed area. Maybe that's why the place is less filthy than usual. The toilets stink. The 5 interior check posts are open. One exterior sleeveinfo-icon is kept open all the time.

In the past people used to be running straight from the sleeve to the check post. Now people are waiting in line for their turn to approach the interior crossing. Apart from one soldier inside the dark concrete building we don't see any soldiers in the interior area of the checkpoint.

According to a volunteer from the ecumenical organization, who arrived half an hour before us, there has been little traffic all morning.

A taxi driver tells us that there is no traffic because of the olive picking season. There is no school and everybody is picking.

An elderly man, above 70, who was born in Palestine but with a Brazilian passport (he lives in Brazil), is not permitted to cross and returns the same way he came.

A woman who tries to cross also has to turn back. This is not the first time it happens to her. She has not been permitted to cross for twenty years.  She needs medical care at the Muktsar Hospital, where she has had a back operation, but she has no choice but to travel a long and difficult way to get there.

65 year old Dr. Muhammad Ali from Nablus stops next to us. He lectures at the An-Najach University. When he isn't permitted to cross at Qalandiya he has to reach the Zeitim checkpoint.

Once in a while, a wave of people crosses quickly and disappears.

The traffic at the vehicle crossing is flowing almost without delays. The soldiers have no idea about what Machsomwatch is. They call to check if it's all right to let us return to Tel Aviv. They check the trunk and tell us to drive on.