A fragile quiet at Qalandiya.
Three children, about 10 yrs., ran past the pillbox with clenched fists, threw stones over it and ran off shouting. That is how it is here now, all the time, a veteran youth told us, and said that just before, a few minutes ago, police came out of the building, grabbed a kid and dragged him inside. And this particular kid was not one of the stone throwers, he said, just someone who was running past the checkpoint.
He also said that on one of the days last week, the soldiers had arrested him and brought him to the office of the "secret service" that is within the checkpoint, where a captain showed him film from a security camera and asked him to name all the kids who were on the film. The interrogation lasted for 3 hours, 9 - 12 in the morning.
Concerning the tale of humiliation which a young man underwent who happened to displease the female soldier doing inspection on the way to the DCO - apparently because he had a strong character, not obliging in the way the soldier wanted or expected him to be, here is the description by Ronnie H.:
"Today we were at Kalandia and it strongly reminded me of the airport. A female soldier harassed a Palestinian young man who wanted to cross through the checkpoint to the DCO for half an hour. Go back - go through - go back - go through. You won't go through on my account - take off your shoes - go back again - you aren't going through today - why don't you put your shoes in the x-ray machine - I''m not going to open the turnstile for you... We had to call the office twice until the female soldier, finally, got the instruction to let him through. Just like the airport!"
They are guarding the light railway lest the kids throw stones at it, people say. To guard is fine, it is always good to guard. It is even good to guard the light railway. But why, with all the hundreds of meters where the railway passes through the neighborhood of Shuafat, do they choose to stand in huge numbers exactly next to the house of the Abu Khadeir family? And, if they came in order to protect the railway, why do they stop and check vehicles and give fines in large numbers, like to the youth in the photo who was fined because his car's side window was not acceptable?
Next to the fence of the house, on the memorial which the Abu Khadeir family erected in memory of their son, Muhammed, a picture is hanging in honor of the child who was burned and in honor of his family and everyone else.