Qalandiya, Sun 10.11.13, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
“They’re stealing the time she has left,” said the driver of the ambulance transporting the cancer patient who was discharged from Augusta Victoria Hospital to die at home, adding: “She may die this evening, or tonight.”
There’s no need for an expert opinion. Her gaunt, lifeless figure made clear she was dying, that she wouldn’t live till tomorrow.
But no one paid any attention to the ambulance bringing her from Palestine to her final rest, which was parked a few yards from the soldiers. They simply ignored it. And time passed. As if the dying were routinely detained. It was quiet - no one protested; no one complained. Only a bleak, dense cloud of nullity and death settled, accompanying her journey when the road opened.
The corpse of a man had gone through a few minutes earlier. He hadn’t seen his wife and children for thirteen years because of the constraints of politics, the need to earn a living and the blockade of Gaza where his family dwelled. He’d supported them from Ramallah where he lived and worked. Now, when he’s dead, he’ll no longer have to worry that he won’t be allowed to return to the West Bank. Thus proceeded his final journey: pairs of ambulances thrice backed up one to one another to transfer his body: from Ramallah to Qalandiya, from Qalandiya to Erez, and from Erez into Gaza.
Because as far as the system is concerned – the dead are treated exactly like the living, impartially.