Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 24.7.11, Afternoon
Translating: Ruth Fleishman
The special and festive addition of "El-Quds" newspaper, which publicized all the names of those who had successfully completed their Bagrut tests, had managed to make a change in the usual dreary and despairing atmosphere haunting the place. On the first page, the names of those who had excelled were highlighted, and on the inner sections were columns on top of columns of names, printed on many pages. People stopped, bought a paper, traced the columns with their fingers and once finding the names they had been looking for, a smile of content appeared on their faces. The sounds of blasting fireworks blew in with the wind from Ramallah and other towns that are close by, telling us of celebrations at schools. The dusty and murky air mixed with a small portion of hope for the next generation.
El Jib checkpoint:
Masses of men, women and children passed through the checkpoint, heading back home after a day of work. Only one man was heading on the opposite direction: he approached the window which was set higher than him, and while placing his ID on the thick and dark glass, he shouted to the solider behind it: "It's me, it's me the Bedouin…"a side door opened, the man vanished in the room and later was seen on the other side, on the road leading south to the settlements "New Givon" and "Giv'at Ze'ev".
All El-Jib residents, men and women, are an ordinal number printed in a binder that is stored at the checkpoint, only with their names and numbers (and of course a permit indicating they are Kosher) are they permitted to pass the checkpoint each morning to the lots that had been stolen from them, where the build houses for the new lords of their land and serve them.
Three forces manned the checkpoint: soldiers from the passage unit, civilian security guards and BP officers.
Unis, the owner of an out of order transit that had been converted into a diner, told us that in the mornings the line of people lingers up to about a hundred meters from the front of the checkpoint and the inspecting soldiers work very slowly, checking everyone, they have time, they are not in a hurry.
Unis also said that: "There are people work here, just after the fence, they live in the area but they are not on the list so they are not permitted to pass, they are told to drive to Qalandiya checkpoint…".
In front the checkpoint a civil car that was driven by a soldier was parked. A soldier from the Oketz unit came out of it, she had the strap of her rifle across her chest and the leash of the dog, who had a muzzle on his face, in her hand. The two crossed the road and approached the soldiers' post. We stood in front of them and waited. The soldiers noticed us and called someone (they were probably asking for instructions).
This time, unlike their past encounters with us, they didn't protest or try to stop us or prevent us from taking photos, they just stood in front of us, waiting and waiting and then waiting some more. It was as though they were mirroring us from the other side. The usual routines of detecting Jews so as to prevent them from heading on, and of detaining one or two vehicles, caused traffic to slow and a line of cars had formed and reached Adam square.