Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
'Atara, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 1.7.12, Afternoon
Jaba checkpoint is east of Qalandiya checkpoint. Its declared purpose is the prevention of Israeli citizens from entering Area A.
Translator: Ruth Fleishman
At Qalandiya checkpoint and its surroundings there were mainly clientless cab drivers and the peddling children that ran after the few that showed up there.
Twelve year old Daris,
who has sparks in his eyes, exhibited before us his knowledge of Hebrew: "Want a gum?.. Take a bottle of water… one Shekel… two Shekel… give me money…"- that is the essence of his childhood. What memories will he take with him from these years and what is going to become of him and of the likes of him?
The painful and bleak answer may be deducted when one becomes acquainted with his father and uncles.
It didn't take two minutes since we arrived in front of the soldiers' post and the checkpoint commander guarded by a soldier hurried to cross the road towards us and sing their familiar tunes. They ordered us to leave/stand back/ not take photos/ park somewhere else… but we didn't comply and they returned to the post and continued to stop vehicles with yellow plates and examine the nationality of the passengers.
It was as though the two checkpoints had coordinated it, several minutes after we place ourselves beneath the pillbox/checkpoint, the gate opened and the checkpoint commander and his guard came out to inquire as to who we were, why did we came there and what were we doing there, and once again we heard that: "it's forbidden… stand away… danger…" and upon not responding to the prohibitions and warnings the had a conversation with someone "out there". They later returned to the checkpoint area, locked the gates behind them, climbed to the top of the tower and from the high windows observed us. At the foot of this tower are scattered empty cartridges from different weapons.