Qalandiya, Sun 26.4.09, Morning

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Ruti R., Ofra E. and Ronny P.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

We arrived at Kalandiya just before 7am and met 2 new EAPPI observers who were there from 6am. From the moment we arrived we didn't stop for a moment to deal with problems that arose and thus our new member Ofra certainly learned what does one do in Machsomwatch.
The first  thing we dealt with was a father with a 11 year old son who said that soldiers at the check in windows took his "kushan" ( birth certificate) ,cut it up with scissors and told him to go home. His father said that the boy had a very important exam today and that it is crucial for him to get to school . We alerted everyone possible and achieved that the DCO representative and a policeman went to every one of the windows and looked through everything and didn't find any birth certificate whole or cut up. It took a long time and the father refused to leave and go through Hizme although he possesses a Jerusalem resident ID.
In the end the policeman let the father and the son go through without the birth certificate. The mystery of the vanished birth certificate was not solved.
The Humanitarian Gate
An issue we deal with every time we are there.
Either it stays shut  for too long intervals or it is opened only if we call and alert. Today the gate opened at 6am and only reopened at 7.30 to let in a sick child. The strange thing was that miraculously the checkpoint was almost empty so that the usual excuse that there are so many people a the windows that it doesn't make sense to add more people was not valid .There were about 45 people waiting when the humanitarian gate reopened at 7.30 . Then it took again 45 minutes and in the ned frequent phonecalls to the police by the DCO officer on spot to open the gate to let in a woman on wheelchair going for dialysis.
Gaza residents returning from West Bank hospitals.
Today we met a young man who was shot during the Gaza war and was returning from Nablus hospital. Naturally he only had permit to leave Gaza and not to return to Gaza.. It took many phonecalls to the Gaza DCO to communicate with the Rammallah DCO so that the Kalandiya computer sees the end of the communication and can issue a permit or the day for the man to return home to Gaza.
Road 443
People who live in villages close to road 443 cannot just get on it but have to go to Kalandiya and proceed from there back to 443 to the gatesinfo-icon opened to workers in settlements
Today we met two men who did just that but were not allowed to go through the checkpoint. We actually didn't manage to figure out what the problem was and sadly had to conclude that that's just the idea- the rules are unclear and forever changing and vague . One of the men lives in Kharbata village and his work is around a settlement Bet Horon closeby.
Medical problems
We met a man from a village near Nablus . He has to undergo an operation at the St John's eye hospital. When we called the medical section of the humanitariam dept of the army we were told that the man didn't supply all the necessary documents and has to rturn home to his doctor and do it. Nothing will be done if all the documents are not submitted
Intelligence and police  prohibitions
We met a man who needs a permit to accompany his daughter to an operation at Hadassah. He was sure- as he was told at Bet El- that the reason for his difficulty is some problem with an oficer at Kalandiya called Adel?Aden? and that he knows he is "clean" . Well, today he discovered together with us that he is prevented entry to Israel by the police as well as the intelligence and he has no clue why. When he was assured that he is OK it was October 2008 and 6 months later it's invalid information. Only that the man does not have a clue why is he prevented.In such situation we can only give him phone numbers of people who will help to undo the puzzling preventions of entry and, separately help to get a permit to accompany his daughter to hospital although he is "prevented entry"
The whole time we  felt the heavy Kafkesque atmosphere all around. And that is a very important part of the way the laws of occupation are applied.