Qalandiya

Observers: 
Rony Hammermann, Rocheleh Hayut, Tamar Fleishman Translator: Charles K.
31/08/2014
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Afternoon

We’ve pulverized, leveled, crushed, destroyed – and also killed.
And then left, announced we see a “political horizon.”
But even those with telescopic vision see no horizon. Not in Gaza, nor at Qalandiya.
“We just want to live,” says one, say many.
Just live.
But it’s hard to live when each day a new misfortune, a new restriction, a new, unexpected difficulty arises, one that only minds bent on evil could invent.
Like this week’s innovation, the high metal fence blocking pedestrians arriving at and leaving the checkpoint.
These 100-150 meters aren’t a negligible matter, certain not for the elderly or those with handicaps moving through this filthy place, filled with potholes, where people are not only humiliated but – particularly during demonstrations – are shot at.

 

 

“Don’t photograph our faces” said the youth we know well who, a week ago, had participated in a demonstration supporting the people of Gaza and been shot by soldiers sniping at the protestors from a new position atop the wall.
He, like others, isn’t included in any statistics.

 

 

 

Nor is the young woman suffering from a disease of the lymph glands who’s come all the way from Gaza to the Ramallah hospital because, even before the war, Gaza didn’t have medical equipment appropriate for diagnosing her condition, operating and perhaps saving or lengthening her life and who sits and waits with her mother at the checkpoint entrance until the document is issued permitting them to return home. Not much of the horizon is left for her either, and not only because of her illness.

Finally the document was issued and the two women crossed, until the next time. Until the operation. When they’ll come back, request a permit, travel to Ramallah and request a permit to return home, until the next time, and the next...
One who didn’t go through is a man, also a resident of Gaza, who’d had a cardiac operation,who’d gotten on line at seven-thirty this morning waiting and hoping to receive a permit to return home, to his family, and the hours passed and he still stood waiting until his strength failed and he collapsed.
An ambulance was called, the man was returned to Ramallah, to the hospital. We don’t know whether he’s alive or not.

 

And all of them – the man who collapsed and the sick woman and the youth with a cast on his arm and all the others –want only to live.