Qalandiya Checkpoint, March 2014: An obstacle to normal life

Human rights violations under the occupation are not limited to cases of violence, death and destruction. They are also part of the routine life of Palestinian residents, as shaped by Israeli authorities.

Qalandiya Checkpoint is a prominent example of this routine. It separates between Palestinian communities, between neighborhoods artificially severed from each other by the Separation Barrier. Most of the people who cross the checkpoint are residents of East Jerusalem who need to reach other parts of the city for work, school, or basic medical treatment.

In most cases, these residents live only several kilometers away from their destinations, but every day they have to wait for hours in the long lines at the checkpoint, which currently has only three active security screening stations for cars and four for pedestrians – and not all of them operate all the time. When finally reached, the security screening is often a humiliating and lengthy procedure.

‘Amer ‘Aruri, B’Tselem’s field researcher in East Jerusalem, documented the long lines of people waiting at Qalandiya Checkpoint on 19 March 2014.

Traffic jam in front of Qalandiya checkpoint, 05:50 AM. Residents of neighborhoods left on the other side of the barrier on their way to work in Jerusalem.
Workers with Israeli entry permits on their way to the checkpoint
At the entrance to the checkpoint
Waiting for the security check at the checkpoint
Waiting for the security check at the checkpoint
On the way from a-Ram neighborhood to the checkpoint

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