'Atara, Qalandiya, יום א' 28.6.09, אחה"צ
The children living in the neighborhood by the metal gate that separates the Dahia from Ar-Ram, the one intended for the use of military vehicles only, used that gate as their amusement facility.
The new machines that supervise on the Palestinians heading back after a day of work was activated.
Does any other place in the world put such inspection to use? Is it similar to the passport inspection at Ben Gouryon airport?- Not real.
The instruction on the machine are in Hebrew as well as Arabic, there is also a PA system to assist anyone who might have difficulties, but some still didn't seem to manage it. Those who still didn't' get along, received personal help. Their helpers remained in a sterile zone. They were hidden behind bullet proof windows through which their yelling was heard. Perhaps due to the lack in manpower, those machines are activated only in the afternoon. Anyone returning home before won't be registered. We still don't know what will happen in such a case, and what will be done to the person's permit in such an event.
There were no lines on the northern side of the square, the whole area was full of vehicles: they were all crowded together in one grate cluster.
Back To Back - or at least almost:
As we are accustomed to see the patients being transferred from one ambulance to the other on a stretcher, a wheelchair or incubator (for babies), we were surprised at what we saw. The "cargo" discharged this time was boxes of matriculation exams that were being transferred from the Palestinian Authority to East Jerusalem.
The vehicle that arrived from Ramla was detained for an hour, until finally the driver received permission to pass and unload the cargo onto the car that came from the other side. No explanation was given as to why the vehicle was detained, and the content of the sealed boxed wasn't examined.
A checkpoint is a checkpoint, the lights are always turned on, even when the sun scorching.
Is there or isn't there a checkpoint?-
A selection of some chosen words from a conversation we had with the soldiers (regiment 890- paratroopers) in the checkpoint:
- "This isn't a checkpoint, it's a pillbox".
Our answer: "If this isn't a checkpoint, then what are you doing here?"- "Supervising", "Supervising what? -"Supervising that they don't kill us..."
"When we were back at Huwwara, we would really harass the Palestinians, we'd really abuse them. Over here, we don't do anything to them... as you see, we don't even pull them over"...
Our understanding of the - a checkpoint is a place where Palestinians really get abused.
"It's true that two days ago we shut the checkpoint down for five hours, but there was a good reason for that..."
Another soldier started explaining to Rony about the theological reasons why this land belongs to us, he was basing his claims on the almighty god.
They especially insisted that we don't take any photographs, not of them or their vehicle. Someone even suggested to the commander that they forcefully stop us from taking photos. The commander didn't agree to that and was persuaded by the permit to take photos that we had produced before him.
As we were leaving the guard inside the pillbox stuck his head out and yelled: "Your head is screwed up. You are helping your enemy."