Atarot, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 20.1.08, Morning

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Maeira A.,Avital T.(reporting) Natanya translating

Today we decide to
visit the checkpoints of Abu Dis and Qalandiya and at that which is most
routine we encountered the greatest grief. There were hardly any
pedestrians and no pressure. No students and we go on to Qalandiya though road
443. At 7.10 the Atarot checkpoint is quiet and we do not

Qalandiya 7.20 At the
south side where the car lane is a big sign forbidding Israelis to enter the
Palestinian authority area. This is also written on stones along the way. If
this is an official sign it is no wonder people do not notice is. There are not
many people at the checkpoint and most of them are crowded around the turnstile
which is mean to be opened. All the turnstiles are open and the checking seems
to be swift.
A man arrives with a
little boy who is covered from head to foot. From the other side arrives a
sergeant and explains politely and with apologies that there is no key to open
the side gate and gets the man and the sick child through the crowd.

"כאן , ליד רכסי העשן , על מדרגות הבית
אין זמן לזמן.
נעשה מה שעושים
העולים אל האלוהים
נשכח את הכאב"

מחמוד דרוויש

Lil at 7,45 there were no lines and the area seemed even more calm than usual
and we decided not to bother and thought that we had had a quiet day but it was
not to be.

8.00 At Wadi Nar from the direction
of the west and south we saw a long line of cars snaking down. Shortly after our
arrival it opened up and we counted 100s of cars, trucks and taxis which had
been delayed for no reason dafke at a time of great pressure and this they
continued to do afterwards as well. At the side stood a bus from Bethlehem on its way to Jericho with students and also to the Allenby bridge with
passengers to Jordan. It was delayed for a long
time because the soldiers were checking the IDs on the computer and this took
time. The students had exams, the travellers had a time table. We spoke to the
soldiers but this did not help.
the meantime about 9 taxis were stopped and the soldiers started to check. Was
this because we had spoken to them. We had seen to many taxis passing without
being checked. We spoke to people from Bethlehem who knew Hebrew and the drivers said
that there was no worse place than this. There was nothing to check and they
were being delayed without any reason.
tried to speak to the commander and to tell him that the checkpoint was a school
for terrorists. Each time cars were delayed and then let through. He acted as if
they were all terrorists. He was new and evidently came from a place which was
much worse and acted accordingly.
spoke to Elishea and asked him to deal with the matter of the IDs. But when we
left we saw that all had been freed except for the bus. But maybe below, the line
was building up again.