Closure is a tricky business, or – the regional commander couldn’t care less
“During closure passage will be allowed only humanitarian cases, medical and outstanding, pending confirmation by COGAT – the Coordinating Officer of Government Actions in the Territories”. This was publicized by COGAT General Yoav Mordechai.
Meaning: as Jews celebrate their holidays, Palestinians’ movement is even more extensively restricted than it is all year round, and only outstanding cases are allowed into Israel.
The general did not specify what kind of outstanding cases he meant, but did state that he is the one who decides who they are.
I would like to tell the general about one incident and three victims.
The victims are three Palestinian cancer patients treated at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem (due to Israel’s policy there is not a single radiation-treatment facility in all of Palestine), three of many who arrive at the checkpoint every morning and continue from there to their treatment destination.
Cancer patients are indeed issued passage permits, but in the Occupation as in occupation, the permit is not issued for the entire duration of the treatment course but for one month only, and needs to be re-issued when is no longer in force.
And so, on the Eve of the Second Passover Holiday, the permits of three such patients ran out and on that day the offices were closed, so the three did not get through and were not treated.
Among them was a 70-year old man who was summoned for a last treatment session. “It is important to complete the treatment course as prescribed” said one who knows.
The villagers of Hizma can now travel in their vehicle into the village and inside it. The army has moved the concrete barriers. Moved, but did not remove them. They remained as a warning signal, alongside a yellow metal gate with two ‘wings’. Suspended freedom of movement.
Nor did the army, police and Border Police leave the villagers alone. They continue their daily routine of patrols, barriers and harassment.