Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 8.9.13, Morning
Translating: Ruth Fleishman
On the 20th of August soldiers from the Kfir unit penetrated Jenin for an "operational activity", as they call it, the results of which were- "one person dead and several people received minor injuries"- as was reported by the IDF spokesman.
The resistance of the residents of Jenin to the frequent invasions to their homes was defined by Yoav (Poli) Mordekhai, the IDf spokesmane, as "terrorism" and he also added that:
"The forces' activity was part of the nightly arrests, and such arrests are a critical instrument that enables them to put a stop to terrorism as it evolves. Such arrests are a daily process that makes it possible for the residents of the state of Israel and the residents of Judea and Samaria to live in peace".
One of the people who according to the IDF spokesman had sustained "minor injuries", arrived by ambulance at the checkpoint on his way back home from the hospital in Jerusalem, where he had received treatment on the previous night. The doctors managed to save the life of the lad who sustained an injury to his pelvis by a live bullet, but his body was not saved. He was paralyzed from his waist down and has no control over his bladder or bowl.
With her face looking down his mother stood beside her son's headboard, she saw him in need of the assistance of strangers and knew that this was the reality that was forced upon him for the rest of his life and upon her for the rest hers.
The patient, whose face was of a person in between boyhood and manhood, also knew that his life was over.
Only the soldiers, who swarmed the ambulance with pointing rifles, looked through packages and stared at what was going on, didn't think they were witnessing something that was so wrong it should not have taken place. They did what was demanded of them, they fulfilled the orders, they made sure everything happened according to regulations and maintained the daily routine, and doing so their faces conveyed no emotions and their gestures indicated no discomfort.
In the meanwhile the police closed the lane that leads through the checkpoint towards Palestine, and for several minutes the drives were sent to the military gate in the wall the leads to Ar-Ram.
Nobody was asked as to where they were headed. They all had to obey the order that the policeman gave them using a hand gesture, and if the Palestinian is forced to take a longer road because of this, then he will let it be and execute the order.
On the Palestinian side of the checkpoint sat a withdrawn young man with cancer on a wheel chair. He had gone through a set of treatments at a hospital in the West Bank and was waiting for it to be possible for him to head home to Gaza.
On the seat, to the right his right, was a twisted tube of urine that came out of his body and leading the liquid to a bag. Since he was in deep agony and his breath was so heavy, his uncle, who escorted him, opened the top buttons of his shirt and wiggled the collar of his under shirt inside and outside, as if trying to allow oxygen to enter his lungs.
They had the permits, the co-ordinations were made and even a cab was there waiting for the two on the other side of the checkpoint. The only thing missing was the key. The one and only key that opens the wide gate, through which wheelchairs can pass. The mechanism that opens the gates with a press of a button from the soldier's post has been out of order for years, and therefore it could only be opened manually with that specific key.
For a long while, perhaps hours (according to the testimony of the cab driver and friends who are among the "regulars" at the entrance to the checkpoint), the cancer ridden man and his uncle waited. You didn't have to be a specialist in the arts of medicine to assess the man's agony after just coming back from cancer treatments and that waiting in such a filthy place with his unstable health could cause him much harm, it might even shorten his life.
"The policeman and the guard with the key are on their way" said the soldier at the front post, because that was what he was told. But the policeman didn't come and the clock kept ticking and arriving from Qalandiya at the Gaza strip in the afternoon isn't simple, since Erez checkpoint closes at 7:00 PM. And so it all had to happen as fast as possible. We called everyone everywhere, even the soldier, who was worried that he might be accused of "nagging" made calls, and said that there were only two policemen and that they were probably busy, after all they have priorities… but nevertheless he made the calls. But no one came with the key.I called the war room, but the soldier on the hotline hung up the phone because I wasn't clam and wasn't nice to her. She was right. I wasn't. The truth was that both of us, Roni and I, were a little hysterical. And again with the phone calls, and again people promised to handle it and said that any moment now… and then an officer and a guard arrived with the key, and the gate opened, and the cancer ridden man and his uncle entered and made their way on the narrow paths from one turnstile to the other, until disappearing and perhaps making it to Erez checkpoint before closing time.
At Jaba checkpoint soldiers once again confiscated time and property from Palestinians, using
dogs and rifles to force them to stop their cars at the side of the road, exit the vehicle and watch how the car becomes an instrument for training dogs: inside and outside, on the seats and under the seats, from the front and the back, and for dessert the trunk.
The solider guarding the dog trainer attacked us verbally and physically, he pushed us and yelled sentences containing these phrases, "the Israeli people", "the Israeli country", "my country", and screamed that they, the Palestinians, murdered Jews and charged forward blocking mainly the camera, and it was obvious that only because we were Jewish he wasn't about to beat us with the butt of the rifles.