Israeli army spokesperson’s announcement:
“For the duration of the Purim holiday the West Bank will be under closure, as well as the crossings of the Gaza Strip, with the exception of humanitarian cases.”
The emptiness of the entrance into the checkpoint and the inside of the compound itself tells the story of whoever is not included in the vague term “humanitarian cases”, given to the arbitrary brutality of the system and regardless of people’s human need to move as they please.
The rules of the Purim closure have excluded workers in the Atarot industrial zone not as a humanitarian gesture to the Palestinians but rather for the sake of their Jewish employers, owners of plants for whom the Palestinians are a cheap, accessible and reliable work force.
Palestinians who earn their living elsewhere, at enterprises not owned by Jews, and who naturally do not celebrate Purim, did not have such privilege and remained forcefully workless.
About 20 such workers stood facing the checkpoint and for a quarter of an hour kept shouting their protest.
“They are mindless”, said Abu Majdi. “What chance have they, 20 people, facing the entire army?”
The old beggar woman sits once again on the concrete slab near the soldiers’ post at the exit from the vehicle checkpoint, holding out her hand for alms.
The woman who has survived gunfire now drags her wounded leg, limping heavily.
Those sitting in the pillbox post and standing protected behind concrete slabs, wearing ceramic bulletproof vests and holding rifles and handguns, just like those who monitor the plasma screens inside the checkpoint and watch everyone and everything, they all know her, this beggar-woman.
“Sometimes they even bring her food and drink”, said the fellow who had witnessed the shooting.
“Now they (Army? Police?) told her to bring receipts she has for any medical treatment she received.”
It remains to be asked:
- Who shot?
- Why did he shoot?
- Is there any inquiry taking place?
- Where did the knife disappear after the shooting, the knife which the army spokesperson reported she held?
- Who had seen the woman holding her bag suspiciously (the spokesperson’s words)?
- Will this woman be compensated?
- Would anyone apologize for incriminating the victim?
And perhaps it more likely that whatever has been will continue to be.
They shoot and smear.