Qalandiya, Mon 12.9.11, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
We returned to the Qalandiya checkpoint after not having been here for almost the whole summer. The situation hasn’t improved. The place is neglected, dirty and smelly – very repulsive. The Palestinians forced to come here are long-suffering; they joke about the situation rather than complaining, waiting submissively for the soldiers to do their job and be good enough to allow them to cross. The soldiers, for their part, work slowly, take breaks whenever they feel like it regardless of how many people are waiting on line in the heat and the discomfort of the checkpoint.
16:30: When we arrived at Qalandiya there were two inner lanes open and a line of more than 50 people in the northern shed.
16:50 We joined the line in the shed, waited 20 minutes for the revolving gate to open and managed to get in and reach the inner lanes. At 17:10 they opened a third lane. The soldiers at Lane 4 (where we stood) took a break, and didn’t let anyone in for inspection for a long time. We finally gave up. Netanya called the humanitarian office and I called the crossings authority to report that nothing was moving. And then something began moving and we got through ten minutes later. We waited for 50 minutes on lines to go through the checkpoint! Just the thought that people must go through this obstacle course twice a day, a few times a week, makes one sick!
When we exited on the south side we walked over to see what was happening at the crossing for people arriving by bus. People told us the line was short and moved quickly.
We returned to the northern shed and saw that the revolving gate was open and the lines had disappeared, and also from the inner lanes.
We left Qalandiya for Jerusalem at 17:30.