Qalandiya, Wed 12.5.10, Afternoon

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Ruti B., Chana T. (reporting)

  Translator:  Charles K.

Jerusalem Day - There's no closureinfo-icon.

Why should terrorist attacks be more likely on Yom Kippur than on Jerusalem Day?  Or could it be that closures are imposed on Jewish holidays not only because of security concerns?

Qalandiya checkpoint

15:30 - There are no cars in the southern circle.  Two entry lanes to Jerusalem are open.  Three fenced lanes are operating.  Lane 4 for men, lane 3 for women, lane 1 for both.  People waiting for the DCO enter through lane 5.

15:45 - A line begins forming beyond the cage.  The female soldier in charge is reading a book with her legs up on the table.

The northern circle also starts filling up, there is a line of cars towards the entrance of Jerusalem..  New spikes have been placed on the road to prevent people from bypassing the line.  Drivers honk angrily, drive like wolves, ignoring the law, huge traffic jam.

On the Ramallah side a French youth is expertly and impressively redoing the graffiti on the wall.  He drew Marwan Bargouti and renewed the picture of Arafat he drew a year ago.

16:20 - About 40 people in front of the cage and within it.  About a ten-minute wait to enter the line in the fanced lanes.  At least 15 people wait to enter each of them.

16:40 - The cage empties.  The lines in the fanced lanes are crowded. 

When the line of women in  lane 3 has disappeared, men from lane 4 weren't allowed to move over.

16:55 - The northern circle is empty.

We don't understand how the checkpoint works, when to expect various areas to be crowded.  There's constant uncertainty here, and the Palestinians are completely unable to plan their time.  Uncertainty is the only certainty.

17:35 - We get on the road from Qalandiya to Route 443.  About 120!!! Cars are waiting at the checkpoint at the entrance to the Atarot industrial area.

On the turnoff from Route 443 to the Qalandiya checkpoint there's only a sign stuck between the barbed wire fences, "Welcome to the Atarot Industrial Park."

There's isn't any posted sign or directions on Route 443 regarding the Qalandiya checkpoint, neither for those coming from the east or from the west.  This monster is completely hidden from anyone who doesn't know about it. 

On Route 443, going toward Jerusalem, on the portion bordered by walls on both sides, the Jerusalem Municipality has posted a sign:  "Education breaches barriers"....?