Qalandiya, Sun 21.11.10, Afternoon
We must immortalize the children of Qalandiya while they still remain at their natural habitat, designed for them by their fate, so that we could look at them before they fall in the hands of those who lurk them during day time or break into their homes, in the dead of night. It's important that we speak of their violent and destructive childhood, concretize their existence even when they are rude, when they block roads making it difficult for those passing by, when they act like beggars or grab someone's clothes, we must look at their smile, whether it is from ear to ear of just hinted, and contemplate about their relative freedom in a place which is the law's no man's land.
They receive no regard from the 'National Council for the Well Being of the Child" and have no one to protect them from the offender. We can never know when and where we will meet them again: at the front line, the refugee camp by checkpoint fences, or behind the prison fences, where their smile will be wiped off by crude hands, where their souls and bodies might be harmed and their faith might be like that of A', who had received such "care" from his captures that he suffered from irreversible damage to his kidneys which rendered him disable for the rest of his life.
At the checkpoint:
The soldier at the front post had the top half of his body on the table before him, to the great pleasure of those passing he was fast asleep.
It seemed that the soldier in charge of inspecting the documentations was also sleepy, this made it hard for him to move his lips or tap his figure on the keyboard to insert identity numbers and utter that same old line: "Kolo-Shanti-Bi-Mehina…". His empty gaze hung on the shadows of the people passing before him and he hinted with his head with a nod which meant: "keep walking".
The Palestinians said: "today the soldiers were good".
We, on the other hand, don't think that it was the goodness of their hearts that got them to cut back on the usual harassments and delaying.
It appeared that our armed forces had a rough night and they used the afternoon to catch up on their sleep.
A testimony from a friend that had been detained at Huwwara checkpoint:
A friend, who was born at Nablus, made his way with his family during one of the Id-El-Idha days, to visit his family. His wife, who has an ID indicating she is a resident of Jerusalem, was driving their yellow plated family car. At Huwwara checkpoint she handed the soldier her ID. The soldier decided that the family wasn't allowed to head on: "you aren't Arabs" he said. Our friend intervened in the conversation, he handed his ID (a green one) and explained that he was a Palestinian from the Occupied Territories married to a Palestinian woman who is an Israeli resident, and he promised the soldier that he, his wife, and all three of their children who were seated in the back seat, were all Kosher Arabs.
The soldier wasn't convinced: "you speak Hebrew! You want to tell me that you are an Arab? Where do you live?" Our friend confirmed once again his Arab origins and added that he was from Beit Tzafafa. ''Where's that?" asked the soldier, "Near Gilo, in Jerusalem", replied our friend.
The soldier admitted he didn't know Jerusalem, not the neighborhoods that constitute it, nor its ID regime. He talked to one of the children who answered him in Hebrew, and then he happily declared: "you can't be Arabs!- the boy speaks Hebrew!"
"He studies Hebrew at schools", the father replied.
The facts confused the soldier who detained the family until the commanding officer arrived. Only once the officer made sure of the facts, was the family was permitted to head on.
The moral of our friend's testimony is that one must wonders again at this reality, and refuse to except the existence of that checkpoint and others like it- those that are separate between Palestinian territories.