Qalandiya

Place: 
Observers: 
Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Charles K.
Oct-8-2014
|
Afternoon

The other is just a target in the gun sights.

 

Oversight of people reaching the checkpoint entrance, of thousands of families who live in the Qalandiya refugee camp and of the dozens of businesses on the main road from Ramallah to East Jerusalem is tightening, and the asymmetry between the soldiers armed with guns and grenades and the youths throwing rocks and improvised Molotov cocktails or rolling burning tires toward them is growing.

 

After the murder of the two youths in Beitunia by a bored soldier and the kidnapping in Shu’afat of Muhammad Abu-Khadeir, the boy who was burned alive, when the mood in Palestine and in East Jerusalem darkened and demonstrations by youths became more frequent, additional observation cameras were installed atop the tower overlooking the refugee camp, flanked by powerful lamps projecting a bright-green light 24 hours a day that invades every private and public space.

 

These aren’t only means of surveillance and harassment but also a threat undermining the ordinary person’s sense of security inside their own home.

 

These actions are intentional, their purpose – in the army’s words – to “make the residents feel persecuted.”

 

In addition to the equipment installed above the pillbox, three more posts have been erected atop the wall, only a few dozen meters distant from one another, overlooking the route the demonstrating youths take to the checkpoint entrance. 

 

The observation and sniper posts have been erected on the outer side of the wall.  Only one of them, almost touching the Palestinian homes, is visible from inside the wall and is surrounded by fencing to protect the soldiers from stones and bottles.

 

The location of the others can be identified by the metal anchors atop the wall.

 

From the this side of the apartheid wall the posts resemble hanging cages or, as a Palestinian acquaintance described them, “They built scaffolding to the top, you know, like at a construction site; that’s how they go up and observe, and also shoot.”

 

And when everything is visible and everything is photographed and everything is known and there’s no need for human contact or for one body to touch another, and the other is just a target in the gun sights, it’s not inconceivable that the time will come to borrow the lethal methods employed against the residents of Gaza and firing by remote control begin here as well.