Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 27.11.11, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth Fleishman
The victim is a Palestinian. His time and pain can't be assessed nor are they of any value.
The lad had been hassled for an hour and a half, suffering from excruciating pain, laying on a stretcher in the ambulance that took him from Nablus to Mukased hospital in East Jerusalem, where a surgery was scheduled for him. He was diagnosed with a fracture to the pelvis and the pain ran from there up to his spine.
Despite the fact that the Red Crescent had prepared all the necessary permits in advance, the soldiers at the checkpoint wouldn't allow the ambulance driver to cross to the other side, and kept ordering him over and over again, to head back.
After numerous calls to all the hot lines, it turned out that: oops… coordination had been made, there really was no reason for the hold up and the torture. But after all, the victim is a Palestinian. His time and pain can't be assessed nor are they of any value. No one took responsibility and no one apologized, they just thoroughly inspected the documentations, scavenged through his and his mother's personal belongings in public and wrote down the license plate number of the ambulance and information of the driver from Jerusalem, who claimed that writing down the driver information is a procedure performed only in Qalandiya checkpoint.
To make sure that the soldiers won't be able to force us to retrieve our steps, we parked our vehicle before arriving at the checkpoint- on the road from Qalandiya, where they believe we aren't allow to be.
It was the flash of the camera and not our presence, that alarmed the checkpoint commander, S, who arrived escorted by two of his soldiers and ordered: "no pictures!", he also had a reason: "no one can find out how the checkpoint works, that there are two soldiers in the front and two in the back". He also had something to say about our being there: "you are risking your lives!", once we removed all responsibility for our safety from him, he continued to say: "this is my checkpoint, I'm the commander here and I decide who is going to stay here and who isn't and you are putting the soldiers at risk".
When referring to the role of the checkpoint he explained that it's too dangerous for Jews to arrive at Qalandiya and the solider beside him added: "they would have stoned you had you dared to drive up to Qalandiya… from here on end it's A territories, Jews aren't allowed there". We suggested that they take a look at some maps from time to time, but it wasn't so easy to persuade them with the facts, because: "That’s what our highest commanders told us and they know the law!"
When we asked how the checkpoint functions in during the morning hours, S told us that each day, early in the morning, the police detains all vehicles arriving from Ramallah/ Qalandiya and: "inspect them one by one. They are probably looking for someone who is supposed to arrive from Ramallah". We asked about the length of the lines that are creating due to this procedure and he replied: "I prefer traffic jams to the possibility that a terrorist might cross over".
In attempt to end our conversation S complained: "You aren't listening to me!...", actually we were listening. But we don't believe that to listen means to obey.