Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Mon 1.11.10, Afternoon

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Natanya G., Philis V. (reporting)


15:40, Qalandiya:  When we reached Qalandiya, the CP was full.  There were long lines in the three active internal passageways and a line of some 50 people in the northern shed.  We were told by passers-by that the situation had been deteriorating from 2 PM and that in the morning, lines had been small and passage rapid.

Five people were waiting to enter the DCO in Passageway 5.  Natanya phoned the DCO and within a few minutes all 5 were ushered in.  A phone call to headquarters to ask them to help with the crowded lines took much longer to have an effect, but the soldier who answered our call promised to look into what was happening.

Following our phone calls, we got in line in the northern shed.  It took us 12 minutes just to get into the CP and another 15 minutes to reach the Jerusalemside.  The new magnetometers have been installed in all the passageways, but they don't seem to have been calibrated successfully because they sound an alarm even when this is not necessary.

Emerging into the southern square we saw that traffic was jammed way back on the road to Jerusalemas well as on the road from AtarotIndustrial Park.  But this jam evaporated quickly compared to the terrible traffic jam on the road from Ramallah.  All the traffic jams appear to be caused by the chaotic traffic conditions at the northern entrance to the CP.  The area just outside Qalandiya Refugee Camp is a kind of "no-man's land" for which no one is responsible, certainly not Israel(even though this is clearly B territory).

In the vehicle CP, cars are still being examined in the area just before the entrance, outside the field of vision of observers.

We returned to the Palestinian side of the CP.  The PA system announced opening of a fourth passageway.  In next to no time, the crowding and the lines disappeared.  Pedestrian traffic flowed freely.

We left Qalandiya at 5 PM at which time there were three active internal passageways.  Internal lines were small and there was no line at all in the northern shed.  On our way to Jerusalemwe passed through Lil/Jabba and Hizmeh.  Traffic was flowing freely through both CP's, although the soldiers on duty at Lilwere pointing their rifles directly at approaching drivers.