'Atara, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Tue 22.1.13, Afternoon
Translating: Ruth Fleishman
Inside the shop of the employer of Ahmed from the Falafel stand, people were waiting to hear our advice regarding the trial that is to take place on February the 12th.
Ahmed's father had been murdered by soldiers during the first Intifada and people from the community are taking responsibility over his fate.
"Today there are no laborers", a friend said when asked if there was a closure.
Closures are bad for the many work cycles surrounding the checkpoint: the laborers lose a day of work, when there are no laborers there is no one to by the coffee or the sweets which they purchase upon returning from work for their children, and even the cab drivers are left idle.
Three soldiers laid a chain of spikes on the lane opposite to the checkpoint. Two stood aside and guarded while their friend stopped vehicles and checked the drivers' IDs.
We couldn't create a model basaed on the cars the soldier decided to stop, and when we asked about the reason that the direction of the checkpoint was reversed the commander replayed: "because that's how we want it".
- How on earth could we have thought that their action have any logic aside of arbitrariness?
Atara/ Bir Zeit:
On the western side of the checkpoint, between the road and the fallow field, coils of new barbed wire were laid.
Out of the shielded building came a soldier. After satisfying his curiosity regarding who we were and why, he explained about the importance of the post for the security of the country, he said that the soldiers' job was to prevent the Palestinian children from throwing stones at the Jewish vehicles passing on the road: "Their children (the Palestinians' children)", he said"are bored, they don't have any televisions of play stations like our kids, so they come here and throw stones…"
No, he hadn't been to Palestinian homes and hadn't seen this with his own eyes, but that's what the commanders said at the briefing. He also said he had already voted, that a mobile ballot passed between all the pillboxes in the area, because the four soldiers that are posted in any pillbox remain there for four days and have shifts of 3X6 (3= hours of observations, 6=hours of rest or sleep).
In light of the pressure they are under, the density of their quarters, the boredom, the constant fear and the fact that the other, the Palestinian, is in the eyes of the soldiers sub-humans, is it any wonder that the soldiers lose their humanity and take their aggression out by assaulting helpless people?