“The coordinator of activities in the occupied territories authorized Palestinian physicians and medical personnel to enter Israel in private cars, after receiving security clearance.”
Everywhere in the world patients receive priority – and here? asked a member of the medical staff.
Not here. Here a PR campaign and self-congratulation by politicians have priority over real efforts to assist those whose welfare and lives are in their hands, and apparently General Yoav “Poly” Mordechai and Brigadier General David Menachem aren’t really and truly acting (at least according to what is actually happening) to ease the suffering or shorten the wait by patients, where a few minutes may sometimes make the difference between life and death.
The suffering of a Gaza woman returning from an operation in Jordan was lengthened more than an hour by a delay at the checkpoint entrance because of baseless claims by soldiers, or by a policeman, or perhaps by security guards.
There are so many different bodies operating the Qalandiya checkpoint that it’s difficult to know who’s in charge.
But it’s clear that because of whomever or whatever, residents of Gaza who need appropriate medical treatment which, on its face, is every person’s right, are forced to wander far from home and spend a great deal of money.
A woman from Gaza who had been released a few hours ago after undergoing an operation in a West Bank hospital, collapsed, exhausted, on the bench in the waiting area. She sent her daughter ahead, among the checkpoint fences, to present the permits to return home.
The daughter, a young woman who’s entering for the first time the labyrinth called the Qalandiya checkpoint, wandered helplessly, unable to decide where to turn and which is the route to the booths where those who issue permits sit.
I joined her travels to guide her among the many possible routes.
There was no doubt of the need to fill out the form, but they were out of forms.
We sat waiting.
Something about me bothered the soldier, who asked: Are you also going to Gaza?
- Yes, but not today.
For two days the army and the Border Police have invaded the village and are doing their worst, or, as the IDF would have it, “Making them feel persecuted.”
Again the army enters the village of Hizma,
again the entire community is harassed,
again Jews are threatened that entering Hizma endangers their lives,
again we “demonstrate our presence” to ensure that the residents live in “continual uncertainty.”
Maybe I’m wrong, and it’s not “again,” but “still,” like today when a Border Police force entered the main street, invaded the courtyard of a house and demanded the owner’s ID. He brought it, handed it to the commander who looked at it, turned it over, scrutinized it, returned the ID to its owner and left together with his unit. And during this entire incident frightened children looked from the windows and the family’s women watched from the balcony.