Qalandiya CP, 28.2.2011
We reached Qalandiya at about 3:30 PM. We saw short lines in the two active passageways and found a group of 7 people still waiting to enter the DCO offices, most of them seeking to renew their magnetic cards. We phoned the Humanitarian Hotline and Headquarters to request that the people be allowed through before the offices closed and 4 of the 7di manage to get through when the turnstile was opened. The remaining 3 waited another hour, until 4:30 PM when, after repeated requests, the soldiers in the aquarium who operate both Passageways 4 and 5 received orders to pass them through. Meanwhile Natanya went through Passageway 4 and personally asked the female soldier on duty to take care of those waiting on line in Passageway 5. The soldier answered, very politely, that she only does as she is ordered by her officers so she is not empowered to let the waiting people into the DCO no matter how long they've been waiting. When the appropriate order finally arrived, the soldier closed Passageway 4, sending those on line scurrying to the other open passageway even though it took her no more than five minutes to take care of those in Passageway 5. There were no further problems in the pedestrian passageways, which were not very crowded yesterday.
Natanya and I went over to see what was happening at the bus terminal. We saw a line of buses waiting to fill up, then driving 50 meters and letting their passengers off to go through the examination process. Everyone stood in line (we counted more than 30 people waiting) to have their papers checked before passing through and getting back on the bus that would take them to Jerusalem. This terminal only serves those with blue ID cards. The alternative, going through the old pedestrian passageways, looks much more efficient.
We left Qalandiya at 5 PM and took the detour through A-Ram to Lil/Jabba CP where traffic was flowing smoothly. Traffic was flowing at Hizmeh CP as well.