Ad hoc visit

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One of the wmachsomwatcher received a telephone call at 7:45 from an acquaintance who was stranded at Qalandya together with some 200 people, mainly women and children. It was reported that soldiers were abusive and had released the men but were holding the women.After fruitless phone calls to the checkpoint commander, we left the Moked manning the phones and we went to Qalandya. We met an anxious parent whose wife and children were at the north side; soldiers prevented us from crossing northwards, afterwards relenting but threatening that we would be held there until the checkpoint opened. We continued with phone calls, to no avail. Meanwhile a steady trickle of pedestrians moved across the darkened checkpoint northwards. Many crossed without checking while the shift changed! The anxious father also slipped across and then returned with his three small children; his wife had to stay behind.We left at around 10:30, were almost shot by a tank just before the E-Ram traffic light and joined an hour-long traffic jam at E-Ram checkpoint . At 11:20 anxious father called to tell us his wife had arrived home safely.1. Our presence may not have been helpful in this case but it certainly sent a message to the soldiers that a. we knew what was happening and we cared enough to come.2. We will check with the district commander, why 200 people were delayed for 4 hours without shelter from cold and rain and what this delay contributed to security and also why we were not permitted to cross the checkpoint freely. Contact was finally made with the DCO commander and he ordered the checkpoint open.