Qalandiya

Observers: 
Tamar Fleischman; Translator: Judith Green
Nov-9-2014
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Afternoon

"At Qalandiya, one day is good luck, the next bad,"  I said to the youth selling coffee on the road.  "No," he said, at Qalandiya there is always bad luck."  Who would know better than him?

 

Truly it was a day of bad luck for a youth who "Tomorrow he is supposed to have an operation at Mukassad Hospital", as Tony, the ambulance driver said, as he brought the boy and his mother all the way from Nablus.  The trip from Nablus to Kalandia is not simple.  Tony had to manoeuver between the stones which were thrown and the bullets being shot;  only by luck did the ambulance and its passengers arrive at this in-between stop without harm.  "Only one rubber bullet hit the roof, but it didn't penetrate," Tony reported.

Again, at the checkpoint, Tony had to manoeuver between the response of the health co-ordinator, that "there is co-ordination" (i.e., that there is no security problem and the patient is allowed to go to the hospital in East Jerusalem) and the "no co-ordination", according to the soldiers and police at the checkpoint. 

Only after 2 hours of delay of the ambulance, the patient and his mother, was it determined that Tony had been correct the whole time and that there was co-ordination and nothing to prevent the passage and no security check.  But what is 2 hours of unnecessary and unexplained waiting for 3 Palestinians?  Who cares?

 

It was also not a lucky day for a woman from Gaza.  A sick woman, who had been released from a hospital in the West Bank after an operation, who was sitting on the filthy bench in the filthy waiting room in the shed at the entrance to the checkpoint;  waiting more than an hour to get a permit to return to her home,

 

It is difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with the sick woman.  She wanted to speak and tried to explain, but every time she spoke one or two words, her mouth filled with blood and covered the white handkerchief in her hand with blood. 

 

And the two men from the medical team, who reported on the phone on Friday, Nov. 7, that they and the ambulance in which they arrived at the checkpoint were hit by rubber bullets shot by Border Guards, they - and the woman from Gaza and Tony and the sick young man and his mother, and many others like them - could give testimony that, in this evil place, every day is a bad luck day, if not even worse than that.