Qalandiya, Tue 29.10.13, Morning

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Virginia S., Ina P. (reporting)


Translation: Judith Green


We found long lines deep within the parking lot when we arrived at 5:40.  All the booths were open and there was a policeman and a female soldier in the "aquarium", but a lot of time went by between every opening of the turnstiles - also those at the end of the barriers as well as those at the entrance to the sleeves.  A crowd formed in front of the humanitarian gate before 6:00;  we called the hotline to ask for a soldier or a DCO rep to come before 6:15 in order to open it.  Indeed, after a few minutes the policeman left the "aquarium" and opened the gate himself (without a guard).  A few minutes later, and female soldier from the DCO arrived, along with a guard;  after that, the gate opened every time a crowd of people formed in front of it.


A nice point:  at a certain moment, the guard accompanied an elderly woman who clung to his arm and could only walk very slowly, from the humanitarian gate to the  exterior turnstile of sleeveinfo-icon #5.  We don't know if this was at his own initiative, or  if someone else in the staff of that morning (2 policemen and the DCO soldier) asked him to do it.


Starting at the hour of 6:30, the turnstiles opened more frequently and allowed more people to go through each time.  This is something that repeated itself every time there was pressure at the  checkpoint during the morning -  as it gets closer to 7:00, the hour when the workers start work, the pace increased.  What was not clear (and quite annoying) was why the pace was so slow before 6:30, even when all the sleeves were open.  Anyway, the lines disappeared by the time we left at 7:00.