4th Friday of Ramadan at Qalandia Checkpoint
About 30.000 people crossed Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem to go to Jerusalem for the noon prayer on the last Friday in Ramadan.
The men’s lane was very slow and people had to wait for a long time in chaotic lines before they were able to pass. In the women’s lane on the other side the transit went smooth. Israeli military and Red Crescent staff worked close together to organize the lines. And the Red Crescent especially helped elderly people and the children, while the military kept focused on controlling the permits.
It stays frustrating to see the main part of the population not beeing allowed to enter Jerusalem for the prayer in Ramadan, since women under 35 and men under 45are not entitled to receive a permit at all. Also unfriendly soldiers made it difficult for the waiting and crossing people to reach their holy sights in dignity.
The use of heavy weapons by the military – almost every soldier wearying an autamtic gun – inspite of the peacefull crowd is almost ridiculous but certainly reveils the militaristic culture in Israel and an obsession with security needs that much to often leads to fear, separation and hostility as well as oppressive and abusive behaviours.