Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 30.10.11, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth Fleishman
Seven year old Haled, layered with winter clothes, was trying to pitch a sale, "you can play with the ball at the beach", explained Fadi.
- Haled's family transferred from Hebron to the town of Ar-Ram, what could he possibly know about the beach?
- Fadi's parents were exiled from Beit She'an in 1948, his home is in Jenin but he has to rent an apartment in Qalandiya refugee camp so as to provide for his family by selling fruit from his mobile cart, what could he possibly know about the beach?
- What could the thousands of Palestinians that pass them by possibly know about the beach?
"Bas Khadra"(= green only) said the soldier sitting in the bullet proofed post to a young Palestinian woman who handed her ID to him.
The women understood, she left the inspection area, headed towards a different lane and stood at the end of a crowded line.
In the language of the checkpoint, which is understood by the occupiers and those who are occupied, the meaning of the order is: "from this moment on the regulations have changed, only residents of Palestine are inspected here, and you, who have the ID of a resident of Jerusalem, must go to another inspection post".
An escalation in the service provided to settlers by the checkpoints
So far, ever since checkpoint came into existence, the explanation given as to the existence of the checkpoint was the need to prevent Israelis, Jewish ones in this case, from reaching Qalandiya which is considered to be a place where their lives might be endangered. For that reason the soldiers at the checkpoint stop the vehicles heading in that direction and require as to the national identity of the driver.
During the past weeks there has been an increase in the amount of complaints made by cab drivers, regarding the imposition of this checkpoint on Palestinians driving in the opposite direction which leads to road 60.
The checkpoint commander with whom we conversed confirmed the facts and told us that every morning between 6:00 and 7:30 the police block the lanes leading from Qalandiya and thoroughly inspect the state of the vehicles and the drivers' licenses. As a result long lines of Palestinian vehicles that stretch on are formed and the traffic heading to road 60 is but a drizzle and the amount of (Palestinian) vehicles on road 60 decreases substantially during rush hours and even the pressure on Hizme checkpoint isn't as it once was.
The main beneficiaries of this are the settlers driving to Jerusalem in the morning as well as the state's treasury which is enriched by the plentiful amount of tickets given- according to the testimony of the Palestinian cab drivers and the checkpoint commander.
Those who suffer the most from this are of course the Palestinians hurrying to their jobs, but who takes them under consideration?