Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Checkpoint Policy

My faithful readers will remember me writing about what I thought was a bizarre and probably very temporary policy at Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. You know the day almost two months ago, when the Israeli soldiers at Qalandia suddenly decided that line four was for men only, line three for women only, and line one was mixed?

Yes. It turns out that the bizarre and temporary policy wasn't temporary at all. Today, when we wanted to cross into Jerusalem for the first time in almost two months (because my boyfriend finally got a permit again), the policy persists.

Not knowing this, and without any signs advertising this, and because line one was too long to begin with, we made the mistake of going to line four. The men-only line. Not before long, the soldier behind the bomb proof glass ordered me and all other women to go to line three.

Why? Seriously. I can't think of one single logical reason why they would want to separate women and men into two different lines.

But I went, of course. And I waited. And waited. The soldiers let through one or two women at a time. Checked their IDs meticulously. Called them up to the window to show the contents of their bags to the soldiers. I saw the men-only line move and Tarek and his father go through the two-meter high turnstiles. But I was left waiting. And I waited.

When I was finally let through, I showed my visa to the woman soldier behind the glass as usual. Normally, they're happy with this and let me walk. But this soldier asked me for the picture page. I showed her. She typed my name or my passport number or something into her computer. Asked me for my visa page, and then for my picture page again. She pointed at the bottom of the screen and read whatever it said there out loud to her colleague. But the microphone was off, and it was in Hebrew anyway.


They discussed something, and then waved me through.

It took me 45 minutes to cross even though the checkpoint was almost empty (only maybe 15 women in front of me). 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha, u wanna know why they do this`?? Because they can... they are the chosen people u know.... yeah, chosen by Satan maybe......