'Anata-Shu'afat, Qalandiya

Observers: 
Rony Hammermann, Tamar Fleishman Translator: Charles K.
Sep-7-2014
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Afternoon

Qalandiya:

Everyone’s talking about the parking lot that’s been closed for more than two months, disrupting the daily routine that’s disrupted enough even without this new impediment.

They talk about their lost income, wasted time, the unbearable traffic jams, having to leave their cars by the roadside or in the refugee camp’s narrow lanes, and ask: “When will they move the boulders?”  Or:  “Why don’t they open it?”  And some worry, “Maybe it’s permanent?”

 

Worst of all are the stories of the man who transports cancer patients to and from the West Bank to chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Augusta Victoria Hospital.  He describes the suffering of patients who must get out of the vehicle and walk a long distance because he’s not allowed to drive to the checkpoint entrance.  They walk in the blazing sun (doctors forbid people receiving radiation treatments to be exposed to the sun), each step increasing their pain and weakening them even more.  But, he says, it’s hardest when they return from treatment, their strength drained, stumbling to the vehicle which is forced to wait far away.

“Why do they do that?”, he asks, “How much longer have they to live?  Why aren’t they allowed to live what’s left?”

“They’re just intensifying the hatred, continually intensifying the hatred,” said an old acquaintance whose analysis was right on target.

Nor will youths hate less after being caught by Border Police soldiers because they jumped over the separation wall trying to reach jobs in Jerusalem, were brought to the checkpoint and then sent back, humiliated.   Nor will the peddler sitting from morning till evening, glad there are new bathroom with shiny new doors, who suggested to an officer emerging from the compound that he hold the keys to the doors and will be responsible for them, to whom the officer rudely replied, “You’re responsible only for your children.”

Actually, it’s hard to know just what’s behind the blue doors.  Because, even if toilets were installed and connected to flush tanks, and toilet paper and other fixtures provided, we’ve learned from experience that they won’t be accessible to the Palestinians who need them.

Potemkin villages at the Qalandiya checkpoint.

 

Shu’afat

I stopped because of the Border Police soldiers standing next to and opposite the home of the Abu-Khader family in Shu’afat.

Hussein Abu-Khader showed me the memorial erected by the family in memory of their son, Muhammad, who was kidnapped and burned, saying the police came ordering him to dismantle it or they’d demolish it.

Hussein replied that if they demolish it he and his family will come in the middle of the night and build an even larger one in the middle of the road, on the light-rail tracks.

The police left and haven’t yet returned.  Which says nothing about their future intentions.

And I think that if they return to demolish it – I want to stand with the Abu-Khader family.

 

I asked Hussein why there were so many Border Police soldiers around.  “Because they killed another one of our children, the boy from Wadi Joz, they’re afraid we’ll make trouble,” he said.

 

The account of the police’s demand was circulated because of a status Hagai Mattar and I posted, asking for a response from the police, to which it replied that “currently” there are no plans to demolish the monument.  The response changed over time.  The latest appears in http://bit.ly/1nFkoAc , in Hebrew.

 

And there is also in English:

http://972mag.com/police-threaten-to-destroy-memorial-for-slain-palestinian-teen-muhammed-abu-khdeir/96447/