Qalandiya - during a single hour, six ambulances arrived one after the other

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Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.

During a single hour, ambulances arrived one after the other – six in all.

Three pairs left.

The first to arrive was the last to leave.

First came the dead man in a long black, hearse. He had already been brought at noon, and waited.

Then came a hearse from Jerusalem to take him, and waited too.

Something was wrong with the permits. Whose permits? Israel’s.

It is hard, nearly impossible to get out of the ghetto, but even returning to it is not easy.

For four hours they tried and tried and asked and begged to be allowed to transfer the dead man to the vehicle that had come to pick him up and return him to Erez Crossing, give him back to his wife and children who had waited all those hours, tense and worried.

While the dead man was lying in the vehicle coming from Jericho, an ambulance from the West Bank came and waited to pick up a babyinfo-icon-girl connected to an oxygen tank, born a month ago with a faulty heart. The newborn had been transferred to the Muqassad Hospital (in East Jerusalem) shortly after her birth, for surgery. During the preparations for surgery, she showed signs of pneumonia and was sent with antibiotics back to the hospital in her city of residence, Ramallah, to return to Muqassad when she would get over her pneumonia.

While the medical teams and ‘accompaniers of human baggage’ were being inspected by soldiers and security officials, a 6-month-old baby (another one) was brought from the West Bank, sent from Toubas to Muqassad to fix her faulty heart.

Procedure was practiced by the book. Bags were inspected to make sure they did not contain explosives - medical teams and the mother were inspected as well.

Then, when everything seemed alright, the mother had to present the baby’s birth certificate. I don’t know whether this was the commander’s initiative, or whether a new additional instruction has been added to the many already in force, that not only a child but a baby as well - be it well or ill, a baby that is not yet aware of the fact that it has absolutely no rights – must travel with its original birth certificate.

Then I came to the dark side of the checkpoint.

I sat on the concrete block to calm by burning heart.

A group of youths approached.

A cohesive group, all wearing dark sweatshirts, all with hoods covering their heads, all holding stones in their fists.

They surrounded me, wrapped me and were interested to find out who I was, where from and why I was there.

After minutes they already showed me pictures and videos of Palestinian armed men.

One of them showed a video documenting the murder of his brother by the Israeli army.

Every few minutes they stopped the conversation and threw stones at the corner pillbox post.

There was no response – the pillbox was deserted.

Aren’t you afraid here, in Qalandiya? they asked. No, I answered.

I warned them of the numerous cameras lurking in waiting for them.

When we took our leave, the boy who stood out as their leader waved, and said: You’re a man!

עוד הצוותים הרפואיים ומלווי המטענים האנושיים נבדקים ע"י חיילים ומאבטחים, הובאה מהשטחים תינוקת מונשמת בת 6 חדשים שנשלחה מטובאס לביה"ח מוקאסד לשם תיקון לבה הפגום.

הנהל התנהל ככתוב. נבדקו התיקים שאין בהם חומרים נפיצים, נבדקו אנשי הצוות הרפואי ונבדקה האם.

אז, כשהכל הסתבר כתקין, נדרשה האם להציג את הקושאן (תעודת הלידה) של התינוקת.

אני לא יודעת אם זו יוזמה של המפקד במקום או שיש הוראה חדשה ונוספת על השפע הקיים, שלא רק ילד, אלא גם תינוק, בריא או חולה, תינוק שעדיין אינו מודע לכך שהוא משולל זכויות חייב להיות צמוד לתעודת הלידה המקורית.


אז באתי לצד האפל של המחסום,

ישבתי על הבטונדה הקבועה להרגעת השריפה שבלב.

קבוצת נערים התקרבה.

קבוצה מלוכדת, כולם בסווטשרים כהים, לכולם קפוצ'ון על הראש ולכולם אבן ביד מאוגרפת.

סבבו אותי, עטפו אותי והתעניינו מי ומאיפה ולמה.

אחרי דקות של היכרות הראו לי תמונות וסרטונים של חמושים פלסטינים.

אחד הראה סרטון שבו תיעוד רצח אחיו בידי הצבא.

כל כמה דקות עצרו את השיחה ויידו אבנים לעבר הפילבוקס הפינתי.

הפילבוקס לא ענה, היה נטוש.

את לא מפחדת פה בקלנדיה? שאלו, לא, עניתי.

הזהרתי אותם מהמצלמות הרבות שאורבות להם.

כשנפרדנו, הנער שהסתמן כמנהיג, הניף יד ואמר: אינתי גבר!