Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Tue 30.10.12, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth Fleishman
During the three days of the holiday the protest calmed down.
The passage on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint, the one known as "Greater Jerusalem", took a lot of time because of the harassment of the soldiers towards us, this was solved only once Menashe the policeman was twice sent for.
But the story isn't about us or the slander that was thrown at us. The story is about the Palestinians for whom standing there isn't a choice but a necessity, such was the man who said that standing twice a day in the checkpoint line for an indefinite amount of time disrupted his life and prevented him from keeping to his schedule, to make appointments and arrive at work on time, and a young man who was asked whether he had to cross that lane every day, had a terrified look on his face at that very thought and replied: "if I had to do that, I would cut my legs off…"
And at the side, on the railing separating the lanes, in touching distance, baby mice were nibbling leftovers.
(Perhaps they will reproduce in such an intensive manner that they fill the land and that will be the end, as it was in the city Oran?)
The checkpoint commander came towards us and gave us his version to what happened last week at Qalandiya and there wasn't much of a difference between his testimony and ours. He also said that sometimes soldiers find knives in the vehicles they stop for inspection. When asked what sort of the threat a knife on its way to Ramallah posed, he replied: "it's was precisely the same knife that we didn't find and that passed that stabbed a soldier at Hizme checkpoint". Even when one makes a real effort it is hard to understand the logic and the reason that caused an intelligent person, like that soldier, to accept the system's version. The military radio interrupted the conversation. The commander parted from us saying: "I need to catch a Palestinian car". He hurried to return to the post and ordered the soldier to stop every cab that passed by. The line of cabs grew long, the identity of the drivers was inspected, one cab after another and another, waiting in a long line and blocking the main road on that busy hour, and once again the time of hundreds of people was expropriated by force.
We waited and counted the number of cab being inspected. Time passed, the sun had set, the wanted person wasn't caught, neither did he show up, and perhaps he wouldn't show up at all, perhaps it was just an exercise for maintaining the soldiers alertness.
After the eighteenth cab, with many others waiting behind it and the traffic jam reaching Adam square, we gave up.