Qalandiya

Place: 
Observers: 
Natanya Ginsburg, Chana Stein (reporting)
21/10/2018
|
Morning

05.15. Three lines extended as far as the new traffic roundabout. All five checking stations were open. The soldier operating the turnstiles did so frequently and let a large number of people through each time he opened them. He announced that checking station no. 2 was open only for people without packages. His replacement at 6 o’clock continued working in this efficient way. No doubt this was responsible for the quiet, relaxed atmosphere. (It is amazing how different the conditions can be from day to day.)

The humanitarian gate opened late, though. At 6.15, by which time a group had gathered there, including a young mother with her toddler in a stroller, we phoned the authorities. Though the answer was “I’m opening,” the young mother crossed over to the entrance to the nearest regular line, where the men helped her fold the stroller and let her and her child join.  This was a wise step, because the line in the cage advanced quickly, while the humanitarian gate was opened only ten minutes later, at 6.25, by two security guards. No D.C.O. soldier appeared, but the guards were still managing the gate when we ourselves joined a regular queue at 7 o’clock. By this time the lines were well within the shed.

It took us 25 minutes to pass.