'Atara, Qalandiya, יום א' 26.7.09, אחה"צ

Observers: 
)Mika G', Phyllis W' and Tamar F' (reporting and taking photo)
26/07/2009
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Afternoon

 Guest: Merian H' (an American reporter)

Qalandiya Checkpoint

Many signs in Hebrew (the first ones) and Arabic.

Apparently, they aren't expecting any tourists at this border passage, and have also forgotten that English is one of the official languages.  

A sign that says "Judea and Samaria" was directing those passing towards the occupied territories. It seems that in tune with the decision of the Minister of Transportation (Israel Katz) to Judiaz the sign on the Israeli roads, they have decided to also Judaiz Palestine.

15:30- The gatesinfo-icon leading in to the DCL were locked several minutes before the official closing time.

A person that came out of the offices with a large pile of documents in his hands and a disappointed look on his face, wanted to shake our hand as a sign of appreciation: "Even though you aren't able to improve our situation, you never stop trying. It's very important", he said.

This person lives in Ramala, he owns a company that imports computer appliances; he has 40 employees and he travels all around the world- aside for Israel, that is. He isn't allowed to enter Israel. 

He wanted to try to annul the prevention, and that's why he went to the DCL. He was asked to come to the DCL for a meeting on that day. When he arrived, with all his papers, he was told to leave and come back after two weeks.

He is going to be abroad at the fixed date, he doesn't mean to continue being an instrument in the hands of the system, but plans to go on and fight for his freedom of movement and appeal to the High Court of Justice.  

16:15- There were two ambulances at the lot on the inner side of the checkpoint (one came from Israel and the other from the occupied Territories), they were transferring the body of a woman who had died two days earlier. She came from the Gaza strip for an operation in her heart, but her heart failed, and her body had to be sent back to her family.

Three ambulances were going to be needed for this trip back home, each one from a different authority, and the body was going to be inspected in each stop,  to see whether she was actually a bomb and not a died woman. A sign of the lack of trust on both sides.

Atara\ Bir Zait:

If it looks like a checkpoint- the chain of spikes was rolled up and placed behind the cemented post, the pillbox was standing like a phallic sentry on the highest spot, the lights were turned on even though the sun was blazing in the sky.

And if it sounds like a checkpoint- from a distance we could hear the soldiers yelling.

Even if all the media and all the newspaper say the checkpoint has been taken down- it is still a checkpoint.

 

  • - The soldiers, some were seen standing behind the pillbox window and the others hurried to hid from us (or from our camerainfo-icon), who were inside the confined area yelled out to us, and then later started using the megaphone.

Selected quotes:

 

-"Here they are, those women from 'Peace Now' just arrive..."

- "Yalla, come on, get lost. What is there for you to take a photo of?..."

-" Yalla, go home... Yalla, go home to your kids, your grandkids... Yalla, go on...".

-" This is a military zone, you can't be here!"

-"This is a military zone, you aren't allowed to take pictures!"

 

And the best one:

 

-"Isn't it enough you made an article on us?!- You want another one?- We're not even you another one!..."