Update during Corona: Qalandiya - despair in the shadow of the Corona virus

Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.
מחסום בימי קורונה

Despair in the shadow of the Corona virus

Closureinfo-icon + Coronavirus is a bit like the photos being broadcast from the Ben Gurion international airport.

Whoever make their living from the passengers say: no people = no livelihood.

Not many came to the checkpoint, but a considerable number of those who did come did not know of the closure nor ever heard of (the Jewish holiday of) Purim. Each of them presented their ID and a valid transit permit, and were sent back.

They said that by order of Palestinian President Abu Mazen, all school in the West Bank have been shut down for a whole month, and in the Gaza Strip – which differentiates itself from the West Bank – the school system has shut down for ten days.

The Allenby Crossing (into Jordan) has also been shut down. Until When? – Until it is reopened…

On my way back I was detained because: on principle Israelis are not allowed through here, said the woman-soldier.

After me, Imani arrived: she works for the Swiss delegation in Ramallah and was on her way to an important conference in Tel Aviv.  Imani presented to the woman-soldier her ID, a valid transit permit, and her invitation to the conference. After a brief glance at the documents, the soldier instructed Imani to turn back. Why? – Closure.

Imani remained, insisted, argued, protested for half an hour, demanded to see senior personnel.

No senior arrived. A security guard did. He repeated the old mantras: Nothing to be done… Not my own decision… It’s the computer’s decision… These are the instructions.

When Imani was not convinced, he called up the police which, as expected, backed up the soldier and the security guard.