Jalama

Place: 
Observers: 
Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
Jan-3-2019
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Afternoon

Returning a Patient to the Checkpoint from Rambam Hospital in Haifa

15:00 – Vehicle Crossing, Jalameh Checkpoint

I drove a pleasant couple from Rambam Hospital to Jalameh Checkpoint.  The drive was part of the organization in Israel known as the “Road to Recovery” that provides rides for Palestinians who are being treated in Israeli hospitals.  The woman, who is 51 years old, is the mother of four sons and the grandmother of five.  Her husband explained that she has suffered from cancer in her back for the past three years and was treated at the Angelica Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem.   She is now being treated at Rambam Hospital in Haifa.  She can no longer walk and her husband brought her to the car in a wheelchair that belonged to the hospital and then returned it to its place.    The man spoke fluent Hebrew and explained that they live in the Palestinian village of Pekua near the Israeli kibbutz Maaleh Gilboa.  The separation barrier runs between them. 

Out of habit I drove towards the old parking lot which is now the pedestrian crossing and is now blocked by an electronic gate (see previous reports from 09.12.2018 and 01.01.2019).   The husband explained that people have to walk from there and directed me to the vehicle crossing where Israeli Arabs cross to the West Bank with their cars.  He showed me where to park and from where to ask for a wheelchair.  I asked a security guard who asked if there was truly a need for a wheelchair and I assured her that there was.  The security guard brought a worker with a wheelchair while the husband walked alongside carrying their knapsack.  Their son was waiting in the parking lot on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint with his car.    

Meanwhile I watched as many workers returned from work in the citrus groves in Israel carrying bags of oranges. 

When I left the parking lot I saw that there were five lanes for cars to pass through inspection points when returning from the West Bank.  There were not many cars coming back at this time and there was no line.  As I left the checkpoint I passed many white minibuses carrying more workers home to the West Bank from their work in Israel.