Ar-Ram, Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 15.9.13, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth Fleishman
The area along the fence separating the vehicle checkpoint from the Palestinian parking lot is called a "soft spot". It is forbidden to stand by the fence or touch it, and it is certainly forbidden to take a picture of it or from it. And so, no one stands near it, no one touches it and no one takes pictures through it. That is to say, no Palestinian would do that. I would. And when I stand there with or without a camera, the top of the tower awakens and yells: ""إلى الوراء, or "Go Back", or "לא לעמוד שם". And the security guards join the tower with a "ho, ho, ho! No cameras" and wave their arms while the soldiers watch with a sourpuss face.
When I think about the IDF's logic standing behind this prohibition, and what is it that makes that spot so soft, it occurs to me that perhaps they worry that someone might see exactly how the inspection of the vehicles is preformed and exploit the routine, or maybe they just don't want people watching them without their having complete control of the watcher, and maybe they fear someone would shoot at them from behind the fence and disappear? But in the equation of the killed and injured the soldiers have the upper hand, and if they are driven by fear, why didn't they build another eight meter concrete wall? Because today anyone that surrounds another people with fences and imprisons them, is himself imprisoned and fenced inside, telling himself stories that convince him that he is protected from others.
An armored police vehicle arrived at the military gate in the wall bordering with Qalandiya from the inside of the Ar-Ram ghetto. On the back seat, pressed between two PB policemen was a young man whose head was looking down and pressing on the front seat. They sat like that for some minutes, until the gate opened and the vehicle and its passengers disappeared inside.
A laborer that was hunted down without a permit to be in Jerusalem? A detainee being brought for interrogation at the GSS?
Six BP officers, three on each side of the checkpoint pulled cars over, they verified the driver's identity with the one printed on his license and on the police computer, and the vehicle's license with the number on the shield.
"What are you looking for?" – "Weapons and other stuff…". There didn't seem to be a pattern with which they chose what cars they pulled over, not the color of the vehicle, the age of the drivers nor the age of the vehicle itself. It appeared that they didn't really know what were the "other stuff". What was clear was that as a result of their activity there were long lines on bother directions and the privacy and time of the drivers who had been picked, was taken from them.
On the side of the checkpoint the back to back procedure was being performed between two ambulances. The soldier that didn't inspect us because he could see by our faces that we were not Palestinians, said that a casualty from a motorcycle accident was being transferred. When we asked where they were taking him he pointed at the direction of Jerusalem and said: "over to us, we are humane, are we not?" sure we are.