Qalandiya - people who approached us asked for money

Twitter FB Whatsapp Email
Virginia Syvan, Ina Friedman (reporting)

Totally Smooth Morning

We reached the checkpoint at 6:00 a.m. and parked in the pay lot on the Palestinian side. After a short visit with Abu Ramzi, the bagel seller, we situated ourselves at the foot of the steps leading up to the entrance to the pedestrian checkpoint. The lines flowed steadily through the three entrances throughout the shift, as the "traffic lights" above them were hardly ever red. There were no unusual events, and the people who approached us asked not for help with issues related to the checkpoint but for money, as a personal gesture on our part. That situation was new for us and left us quite uncomfortable, though it taught us that the rise in the cost of living has also had a strong effect on Palestinian life in the West Bank.

At 7:00 we passed through the stages of the security check simply and quickly, as one should. The Jaba checkpoint on Road 60, after the entrance to A-Ram, was manned, for some reason, slowing down traffic a bit. But there was no traffic jam on the Hizmeh road (perhaps due to the generally lighter amount of traffic in August).