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Chana S., Ronit D. (reporting); Translator: Louise L.

 A Nightmarish Morning


An extremely hard morning at Qalandiya. Soon after our arrival the lines collapsed. It took an hour for the large crowd at the entrance to the fenced-off areas to form organized lines again. Even after 7 o'clock it took us 45 minutes to cross.


We arrived at Qalandiya towards 5:30. The check posts were already working but the lines were extremely long reaching deep into the parking. We had time to greet one of our acquaintances and say good morning to the cake and bagel vendors before the lines collapsed and turned into a huge crowd of pushing and shouting people. As usual in these situations, old people and those who do not want to push moved backwards hoping for a seat on one of the benches. Being experienced, we knew it would take a long time for the lines to reorganize. Women and other people with permits started gathering at the humanitarian gate which is supposed to open at 6 o'clock.

Many people were complaining about the situation. They told us it had been just the same the day before. They are afraid to miss their day of work and even their jobs due to the delays.

Meanwhile, a policeman arrived and soon after 6 o'clock, the officer from the DCO came to open the humanitarian gate. The women crossed without being checked. Men without permits were sent back to the regular lines, meaning they would have to wait at least one more hour.

Later on, a security guard and a policewoman arrived. At dawn we went out to buy a cup of tea at the kiosk. It took a long time for the waiting people to form three long lines at the fenced-off areas again. At about 7:30, when the lines had become a little shorter, we joined a line at the edge of the roofed area and it took us 45 minutes to cross.