Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 9.1.11, Afternoon
Salami slicing is the method by which the occupation is run: in stages, not all at once, so that they get used to it, internalize it, so that they won't rebel… it proves itself to be efficient and sophisticated.
Less vehicles arrive at the exist gates of Qalandiya checkpoint and as result, less people arrive. Only those who have no choice or as the cassette salesman said: "it's all because the blocks…". He told us of a rumor that came for someone who works at the municipality of Jerusalem, according to it the current state is temporal, since they mean build the wall so that it blocks the road.
An ambulance on its way to a child that had collapsed and lost her consciousness while she was passing the checkpoint escorted by her parents- was detained. It was sent to the public parking lot where the driver had to maneuver between hundreds of vehicles. Two men from the medical crew got out with a stretcher and started running around, looking for cracks through which they could enter the checkpoint. "The child has a brain tumor, she is heading to Mukased", they said. But the patient probably didn’t' make it to Mukased. After the medical crew recuperated her and put her in the ambulance, the soldiers wouldn't allow the vehicle to proceed to the other side of the checkpoint and the driver had to head back with the child.
- All that time the front post was unmanned, the turnstile leading inside was locked and the line of people grew longer. Standing outside we could see that the checkpoint was overcrowded and there was no movement: "it's been like this for an hour now", we were told.
- Because of the good visibility after the rain, we noticed a long and sparkling industrial building on the hillside, by the settlement Kuchav Ya'akov which is invading the refugee camp Qalandiya.
All around the checkpoint bonfires from twigs were light. The peddlers light them and every couple of minutes they went over and warmed their freezing hands.
Vivi's sharp eye spotted an old sign in Arabic on the road leading to the checkpoint lanes. It hung by a wooden letter box and said: "A letter box for the suggestions and requests of the residents (or citizens)".
"The Palestinians get screwed twice"- the checkpoint commander agreed with this claim and told us about the disturbance that the construction work on the road to Ar-Ram cause. Now the traffic is one way- to Ramalla (west) alone. Anyone (us for instance) heading there have to enter the village Ar-Ram and use rocky roads and dirt paths. But that doesn't applyto military vehicles, when leaving Rama base, which faces the entrance to Ar-Ram and serves the soldiers as residence, they alert their colleagues at the checkpoint who then stop the Palestinian traffic for several minutes- until the military vehicles arrives at its destination.