Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya
When full suitcases, bags stuffed and plastic bags nearly bursting are all placed side by side on the road, it means someone, a man or a woman, a patient post-operation or some other medical treatment has returned from one of the hospitals in the West Bank, placed the luggage which is too bulky and heavy for a person to carry into the checkpoint, and went to the DCO offices to request a permit to return to their home in Gaza, hoping for the best.
Hidden among the suitcases and bags and plastic bags is also the story of the siege on the Gaza Strip, for inside the suitcases and bags and plastic bags are items of food and clothing and household wares purchased in the West Bank and so sorely missing in the Gaza Strip, items requested by relatives and acquaintances or to be brought to them as a gesture of thanks for helping the patient finance this expensive trip.
Two soldiers at the Jab’a Road Checkpoint told us that
their job was to protect the Jewish settlers, “even though there are no Jews here, over there (in the Adam settlement) there are”.
That they protect the road that lies beyond the curve (Road 60) because many Jews travel there.
That it is extremely dangerous for Jews to enter Qalandiya. “If they (the Palestinians) knew you are a Jew they would stone you to death”.
That only yesterday someone was caught at the checkpoint who was wanted by the Shabak (Israeli security/secret services).
That they (the soldiers) work with the Canine Unit, not at the checkpoint, only on night activities, arrest mission in the nearby villages, in Jab’a and A-Ram.
Then a third soldier came along, waving his hands and shouting: “Everything, everything here is ours! All of this is the State of Israel!”