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...
Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 29.1.12, Afternoon
Jaba checkpoint is east of Qalandiya checkpoint. Its declared purpose is the prevention of Israeli citizens from entering Area A.
A Palestinian ambulance was transferring the body of a man of 25 from Gaza that traveled to Jordan with his mother for medical treatment, so that he could be buried in his home town. The mother sat by the driver, silent and morning, only tiling her head as though engaging in a conversation without sound.
With the help of his resourcefulness and pliers a cab driver lowered the thorns of the spike chain, the size of car wheels, and then carefully drove over it in "forbidden" direction. The inventor gained the respect of those witnessing and especially was spared the waiting in the cramped traffic jams that had become wider and packed because of the last "improvements" (=punishments) preformed on local traffic.
A lot to do about nothing:
While the traffic police hassled the ones driving up the road and enriched the state's treasury with a wholesale amount of tickets, the checkpoint commander crossed the road towards us and started hassling us with a request that soon became a demand until finally turning into a threat- to leave his "military zone" or else- he will call the police. The checkpoint commander made good on his threat, the police car changed sides, the officer took the IDs, checked his computer, read out our details to god know who and opened and "opened a complaint" as he called it. But the officer didn't quite understand what we did wrong. After all he had witnessed the soldier interrupting us and not the other way around, he didn't mind us taking pictures of him and of what was going on, but as he said "once a complaint is opened" he couldn't let us go just like that, there were forms that needed to be filled. Filled with what? He looked around an observed that we didn't wear high visibility vests when we got out of the car. But the one who had crossed the inter-urban road was the checkpoint commander and not us, and this too was unacceptable. Wanting to get off his high horse, he called for a patrol vehicle that arrived only after 25 minutes later. The patrolling officer that was called for didn't understand why he was asked to come over: "right, there is nothing wrong with what you're doing here. Someone has to tell the regimental commander to update the soldiers regarding their behavior", the policemen suggested.