Qalandiya, Sun 9.8.09, Afternoon
New writings on the wall: On the wall closing the parking lot in front of the checkpoint was an inscription in Arabic reading: "Return" (our translator said there was a misspelling).
- Near the pillbox, on top of the gratifies that read: "Why" and "Hip Hop", which coved the face of Laila Haled and the inscription "I am not a terrorist", was a drawing of a tree (an olive tree perhaps) that had its roots ingrained on a tank that upon its turret was a man waving the Palestinian flag and to the write the word "Palestine".
And so: Layer upon layer upon layer... until the wall falls.
- In front of the refugee camp was a drawing of a bottle of poison and on it was written: Racism
- On the same wall was variation on Monk's "Scream".
There is no other place more appropriate for screaming, this is where the weapon bestows the right to oppress and the wall of racism stands high and mighty.
According to A's papers he lives in the Gaza Strip but actually lives in the vicinity of Qalandia checkpoint. He asked us whether he could change his residency in his ID. What he really wanted was to share with us this burden, since he already knew there was nothing that could be done.
A told us that ever since he had left the Gaza Strip (over ten years ago) he had never paid a visit there. He had once contacted the Israeli authority and requested that they change the address on his ID, and was told that he must first return to Gaza and only then would they consider his request. But A knows that if he were to return to Gaza he would be trapped there and separated from his wife and children.
A's story is another proof that we haven't really "left Gaza".
As long as Israel is still the one to run the bureaucratic system in the strip and it knows of every single person to be born or die, the disengagement was nothing more then a delusion.
Just before the lanes was a group of young people, men and women who were residents of the Gaza strip. They conference that had went to had ended and they now wanted to return home. They weren't permitted to pass. But soon enough with the good will of the commander the rules were a bit bended and they were allowed to pass. The prohibition was the result of a mistake that was printed to their permits.
The commander of the checkpoint- superintendent Abu-Hatzera, had ordered the opening of an additional lane for the group and sent Tomer (an officer) to help. Along side these people we passed to the other side in less then half an hour since we had met them. We said goodbye to these young and cheerful people with a good and optimistic feeling. When they arrived home (during the evening), one of them had sent me a text message:
"I am in Gaza and still in one piece, thank u for everything..."
When we went back to the northern side of the checkpoint, there were about a hundred people crowded in the lanes and the line wasn't moving. A phone call to Tomer was enough to get the lanes activated until the long and curving line disappeared.