Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 24.4.11, Afternoon

Tamar Fleishman (reporting); Guest: Lauren

Translating: Ruth Fleishman

A rifle's barrel holding a soldier's hand approached us from the soldiers' post.

Qalandiya checkpoint:
"They have been shouting from the tower all day long, many times they curse. I want to curse them in return, but I'm scared…" said a cab driver.

Due to the closureinfo-icon only few Palestinians, those who are privileged, were permitted to enter Jerusalem. It was to be expected that the lines at the checkpoint would be shorter than usual and that the passage would be faster.
However, the soldiers regulated the pace of their work, preventing from the line to become shorter, quicker and from the passage to be easier. That was why, in spite of the Easter vacation at the universities, it was only after 70(!) minutes that we passed the checkpoint.

Jaba checkpoint:
A rifle's barrel holding a soldier's hand approached us from the soldiers' post.
We saw him coming closer towards us, aiming at the center of the body. The officer who chased his subordinate that was aiming the weapon sent him back to the post, he apologized and promised to talk with the soldier and remind him the regulations.

Lauren, who was no war horse (unlike me), who wasn't used to the pens, the barbed wire and to having a rifle aimed at people's bodies, froze and became breathless.  

I showed the checkpoint commander a picture of a handcuffed Palestinian at the checkpoint that I have in my camerainfo-icon.
(report: http://www.machsomwatch.org/reports/checkpoints/27/03/2011/afternoon/17525)

Yes, he knew all about that incident. After stressing that he was not able to reveal military secrets and that he couldn't share with me all the details, he said that on that day some young men from Jaba village penetrated Rama Base (that is about half a kilometer away from the checkpoint, in front of the main entrance to Ar-Ram, and it is the quarters of the soldiers of Qalandiya and Jaba checkpoints), entered the storage room and stole weapons.
After an investigation it had turned out that the person in the photo was one of the men that had broken through the fence, and: "he made a lot of trouble when he was arrested".

I replied that what we had witnessed of the event in real time could disprove his version, that it wasn't probable that a person suspected of stealing weaponry and of disrupting the soldiers while performing their duties, would be released within an instance from the arrival of two Jewish women at the place where the said "criminal" was being held before his questioning and, without an order of release, and that even without referring to the victims version, it was hard not to deduce that this story was no more than a cheap attempt to cover up something, and that the whole event was a local initiative of the soldiers.
"But I wasn't even here", he said, "this is what I had heard…".
-    He was right. He wasn't there.  

-    And on the following day, after processing the experience of standing in front of a drawn and loaded rifle's barrel , and having that image keep on recurring and not letting go, I tried to imagine what must go on in the souls of those tens of thousands of people who are in that situation so often.
-    But they, the Palestinian people, unlike us, have been deprived of their right to shout out. In fact, they had been deprived of all the rights that are the very essence of human existence.