Hizma, Qalandiya, Wed 12.12.12, Afternoon

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Avital F., Yael J. (reporting)
The weather was cold and rainy.
We decided to go to Qualandiya, where we had not been since a long time.
In order to park we took the road to Ramallah, making a right turn to a huge parking lot full of cars and found a space for us.
As we were walking  to the checkpoint for pedestrians we noticed some changes. The checkpoint was named now "Atarot Checkpoint". The waiting hall was almost empty. Only one row of chairs was left (3 PM). Nobody sat on them.
In one corner of the hall a man was boiling something hot. After he had seen my tag, he was praising our courage and offered some of his hot food (which I did not accept, because I did not know what it was).
After we had tried a number of narrow paths between iron bars, we decided that I should cross the checkpoint in the direction of West Jerusalem while A. would observe what was going on in the hall. He did not  accompany me.
This was not my day.
Firstly I chose the wrong line.  I stood and stood, and when it was almost my turn the soldiers closed the counter. I had to move to another one. Together with two friendly Palestinian women we were again at the end of the queue. While slowly getting closer to the security team behind  turnstiles, X-rays and soldiers behind thick glas, I was rummaging in my handbag in order to find my wallet with my ID. When I did not find it, I feared that I could have lost  the whole wallet with all kinds of identity cards. This was not the case. Later I found it at home in the pocket of another coat.
Perhaps I should try passing with my European passport which I felt in my coat pocket? Perhaps they would let me through , an older woman like me with a stick?
However they did not. The male soldier looked in my passport for a visa, and found none. Now I believed I had to tell them the truth, that I was Israeli, on duty for Machsom Watch. They looked as if they had never heard of this organization.
"Your ID-number" the male soldier demanded. Freezing and nervous I did not know. So they sent me back. While this kind of dialogue with the security happened, the waiting Palestinians  did not complain, kept silent. I apologized that I had taken their time.
We drove home via Hizmah. No control for us at the entrance to West Jerusalem.