Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 19.8.12, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth Fleishman
Eid-Al- Fiter- the holiday that marks the end of the Ramadan month and the anniversary of the completion of the writing of the Quran. A holiday of forgiveness, peace and fraternity. During this day it is customary to visit relatives and friends, stay at their homes, reconcile the hawks and settle disputes.
The large crowd at the checkpoint was greeted by filth and shrieking voices coming out of the PA system.
A foreign student whose visa had expired presented before the soldier an official document with an extension. The soldier who wasn't certain whether or not it was valid, told her to go to the fifth lane: "to the Muhabarat" he said.
We followed her to the lane which up until that moment we understood to be the one leading to the DCO offices. But the shout that the soldier in charge of opening the turnstile sounded, over and over again every few minutes: "Bas el-barid, wa-el-muhabarat!" removed our doubts (if indeed we had any), regarding the identity of the operators of the occupation, the bureaus that decide the fate of the Palestinians- whether for correction or for mercy, and it had also emphasized that the humanitarian hot lines or the health and co-ordination hotlines, are only but a fig leaf hiding the disgrace of the occupation.
And as for the student- she was swallowed inside the back rooms and as she had a European citizenship, it is likely that no harm will come to her.
The commander that crossed the road and ask who we were and why, explained that the checkpoint was supposed to prevent Jews from heading in the direction of Qalandiya. "That place", he said, "is known to be dangerous and there had been incidents…" and he told us that the passing month, the Ramadan, was boring because their activity was limited, but now they were supposed to get back to their routine – to patrol inside the Palestinian villages in the area and invade homes, and not for nothing, but to make arrests.
When asked why his soldiers also detain vehicles with Palestinian plates he replied that it was important to have them searched from time to time. He didn't think or assume that he would actually find anything suspicious, but just that "it's important that the Palestinian know that they are always being examined…"
In the IDF lingo this activity in called: creating a sense of persecution.