At Qalandiya Checkpoint:
I stood there for an hour, waiting for the group of people who are headed for the Gaza Strip, and nothing happened.
The driver and the group’s accompanier were there long before. They’ll come, the driver promised, sure they’ll come. Sure, eventually they’re always allowed to leave that inner cage, the inside of the checkpoint. Sometimes he, the driver, phones those responsible inside, and they always answer “yes, in ten minutes”. Sometimes these ten minutes repeat themselves and last an hour, or more than an hour. Experience has taught him not to call any more, not to ask. Eventually they do come out, exhausted. More than they were before, but they do come out.
I left after an hour, not having seen them come out. Later an acquaintance told me that when they came out it was already 4:25 p.m. There have been worse days.
At A-Ram Checkpoint:
The checkpoint that divides Dahiya and A-Ram allows only entry into the West Bank, and only in the afternoon and evening hours.
Exit through this checkpoint from the West Bank to Jerusalem is forbidden.
I arrived from the West bank, from Qalandiya. I crossed A-Ram, parked at the side of the checkpoint and stood facing it. The soldiers panicked. Their first assumption was that I was lost. Why? –Because Jews are forbidden here. It’s dangerous.
The commander went out of his way and offered me that which is forbidden non-Jews – to exit towards Jerusalem.
I didn’t want to exit. Upset, the commander said he is obliged to activate “Drawn Arrow Procedure”, meaning he must report to his superiors that a Jewish woman has arrived, namely myself. Then the frontline headquarters would send an armored vehicle to escort me to safety out of this dangerous territory where the Jewess might fall into evil hands that would lynch her.
Some of his offers were tempting, but my plans did not include driving escorted by an armored military vehicle.
I started my non-secured civilian vehicle, made a U-turn and drove on to Jab’a Checkpoint.