Ar-Ram, Qalandiya, Rafat (Bir Nabala), Sun 4.5.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Ronny H, Yehudit S, Tamar F (reporting and photographs)
04/05/2008
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Afternoon

15:50 , A-ram Checkpoint:  There were 7 vehicles at the exit from the checkpoint. There weren't any pedestrians.

3:45, Atarot checkpoint:

There was long lint of vehicles. We manage to count over 20, the line continued in the distance behind the curve where we couldn't see or count any more.  The ID inspection was arbitrary. It seemed that the BP soldiers were trying to master the art of "The Face", meaning they decided by the visage of the person whether he was an Arab and then checked his ID.


16:05, Qalandia Checkpoint:
Two inspection posts were active the whole time. Two Palestinians needed to go to the DCO but the turnstiles were closed. The "Civil Intelligence" to them that the DCO closed at 16:00 and one person told them off asking: "where were you in the morning?". The Palestinians clamed that they were told at the Palestinian DCO at A-Ram to come and take their permits there, and that the DCO was active until 18:00. The security men shook their heads and one said: "you are wasting our time…" and hurried to walk away. They probably had more urgent things to go, probably some good deeds…

16:40, The vehicle checkpoint:

A dog trainer and his dog were at the checkpoint the whole time we were there. The trainer wasn't a young man and the checkpoint commander A' said he: "Is very important among the dog trainers in Russia and Israel" (a real dog trainer celebrity).  
T
wo cars drew our attention: For the distance, on the northern square before the checkpoint, was an ambulance (I will get back to it). On the farther end of the parking lot, by the "chemical shed" which is just after the toilets, was a civil car and it's owner was leaning on it in fatigue. Only vehicles that belong to the armed forces and public transportation are allowed to park there. Other vehicles that you might find there are detainee's cars.
The car owner told us that an hour and a half beforehand he refused to let a dog enter his vehicle. At the beginning he was told to go back, but afterwards A' (the commander) called a police man who ordered that the dog check the exterior of the car and three security men were told to inspect the inside. But that wasn't the end of this story, to make sure he learned his lesion the ID of the Palestinian were taken from him and he was detained until the sentence was filled. A' explained to us that most Palestinians are afraid that the dog inspect their car for religious reasons, but agree to have it after he explains to them that it is a security necessity that saves lives. An intense lobbying by our said cause the detainee to be released after 10 minutes. 

The Ambulance or the injured babyinfo-icon: 16:00- A baby of tow years from Ramala fell from about a meter and

a half and was injured at the side of her waist. At the local clinic they spotted an internal bleeding with a possible injury to the liver. She was rushed to Mokased hospital at eastern Jerusalem and was accompanied by her mother. 16:30- After the required coordinators were preformed, the Red Crescent was requested to send an ambulance urgently so the baby and her mother would be transfer into it by the "back to back" method and then taken to the hospital. The ambulance was on its way. 

16:40- As I mentioned before, we saw the ambulance coming from the territories waiting at the northern sideof the checkpoint while the paramedics made contact with the Red Crescent who were on their way.17:00- The ambulance from the occupied territories entered the checkpoint and was sent to the western lane. The gate to the parking lot didn't open.

17:15- The ambulance was sent back and once again parked at the northern square. When we asked A' said that no coordinators were made. 

17:30- The Red Crescent abmbulance arrived at the parking lot at the "Israeli side" of the checkpoint. It was only then that the ambulance was given permission to return to the checkpoint. Then they began checking the baby's and mother's documents, a procedure that took time. At that point I called Hanan the deputy company commander and asked that he tell A' to hurry things up.

17:40- The baby was transferred to the ambulance from Jerusalem which headed on it's way. Ronny asked A' why they didn't inspect the papers while the ambulance was waiting and that way they could have saved some time and would have prevented much anguish and perhaps even save her life. The answer she got was that the Palestinians were to blame for the unnecessary delay. They didn't prepare themselves and didn't notify the army in advance.

We once again came across the fact (that we had already known) that the victim is to blame for his condition! The baby should have notified the army's authorities  that she is planning on getting herself hurt and ask that they prepare an ambulance and a medical crew.

 Rafat Checkpoint

18:30- We learned that although there wasn't a segregation on people until the afternoon, there was a segregation on commodities coming from Nablus. By the time we arrived it had already been lifted. And as we were told "nothing lasts forever".

The soldier from the engineering unit replaced the BP soldiers (this is probably temporary). The checkpoint commander who said that he thought our presence there was most important, wanted to prove his point and told us that he found a knife, bigger then an ordinary kitchen knife among the tools of a Palestinian. Obviously he had never heard before of knives being used to cut open a watermelon or a sheep.

 

picture to the right:  Car are forced to slow down while driving down the road (Rafat Checkpoint) on the shape edge of the road because a large plastic object clogged the passage, so that there is "control on those passing".