I wanted to write only about the time I spent waiting – at the entrance to the checkpoint - for a group of Gazans, about their arrival covered by drawn rifles, what I learned from bits of conversations with them, with their transport drivers, and with the Israeli soldiers about the rules and regulations of their return to Gaza. But then two ambulances of the Red Crescent arrived and I decided not to mix things, and to complete the puzzle of their return to Gaza with more conversations and more inquiries that would yield a conclusive, comprehensive document.
As for the ambulances, the Red Crescent crews carried out a back-to-back procedure with a man who, according to his garments – pajamas covered by a house coat – was doubtlessly brought directly from his home, from his sickbed, and sent by his doctors’ orders to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus.
To my question why it should take so long to cross the checkpoint, he has a blue (Israeli resident) ID after all, the security guard in charge explained that blue ID holders, too, are required to coordinate. That’s why.
So yes, Palestinians with residents’ IDs are considered privileged as far as freedom of movement goes, but privilege too is relative, and crucially dependent on which side of the wall one lives.