Qalandiya, Wed 2.4.08, Morning

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Naveh E' (reporting) Natanya G' (translating )

8.20 There is a long line of men and women including some with babies on their hands before three turnstiles .

Each time that the turnstiles open many people manage to get
through and this takes about 10 minutes.

All 5 checking posts are open .

On the benches in the shed the families of the prisoners are waiting. Two
drivers come up to us and complain that they have two buses full of people going
to the Ofer camp and they had been promised that they would get through before
7.30 …but they are still here. They explain that the people are already very
tired, having arrived at 3.30
in the morning from the places where they were gathered
and are also tired from the excitement of the thought of meeting their sons,
brothers, husbands.

We phone the humanitarian centre and
they know that there is a problem and explain that the families have been
delayed so as to alleviate the pressure of those who are also waiting at the
turnstiles. And if they allow the families through now these people will be

8.40 A man and woman arrive in an
ambulanc. The woman is very weak and cannot stand in the line and she is on her
way to chemotherapy and on the other side our friend Ruthie is waiting to take them to
hospital. Natanya asks the soldiers to let them through but he says that only a
policeman can do this. The policeman acts quickly and helps them through to
where Ruthie is waiting.

group of about 20 people stand
between the fences separate from the families and others who are waiting to be
checked. They are sent to the 5th turnstile so that the DCO can get
to work.

handicapped girl with a young woman
who is pushing the wheelchair arrives and within a few minutes two soldiers
arrive and open the humanitarian gate for them.

9.20 The soldiers move the barriers
to the right and now only turnstile 1 and 2 are open for people wanting to
enter Jerusalem.
3, 4 and 5 are for the prisoners' families and soon the families are on their
way. The passage is swift and efficient but one has to remember that the people
had waited there for more than two hours.

9.40 The line in the shed lessens
and people pass within 2-3 minutes. And for a while there is calm until once
again the terrible pressure starts to build up tomorrow