Qalandiya, Sun 11.3.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
The laborers are crowded at the congested entrance. A long line at the humanitarian gate (even though everyone knows it doesn’t open before 06:30). Despairing laborers sat on the benches, saying they were afraid to join the crush so they waited outside the line.
The female soldier opened the revolving gate every few minutes, admitted 2-3 laborers and immediately shut it, so almost no line formed in the fenced corridor. She was busy in the phone the rest of the time and didn’t react to our request to increase the number of people she let in; she just ignored us.
We telephoned the DCO, asking them to see to it that more people be let through the revolving gate each time and explained again that, psychologically, they’re less stressed when they wait on the line inside. The congestion on the line outside is caused by tremendous anger that everything moves so slowly. We were heard very politely, but nothing changed. The female soldier continued her phone calls, occasionally remembering to briefly open the revolving gates.
The officer arrived; the humanitarian gate opened. We should note that the officer behaved very humanely, letting through men who were younger than the minimum age for crossing there, as well as acceding to our requests to let through people unwilling to push their way through the regular lines, afraid of injuring their back or their legs.
We left at 07:15, when the lines had become less disorganized (because the replacement opened the revolving gates as he should, and passage through the fenced corridors also improved a little).
The laborers told us that the British consul, accompanied by a number of people, came by one day when it happened that people crossed quickly and there was hardly a line. I wonder why.
I should note that the situation recently has been very bad, and it’s like this every Sunday. This report reflects what every Sunday morning is like. Nothing has changed – it’s so discouraging!!!