Qalandiya

Place: 
Observers: 
Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.
19/08/2018
|
Afternoon

Dense-to-impossible traffic of vehicles and dozens of vendors offering their old and new wares were all evidence of the hectic preparations on the eve of Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).

Bassel, who brought his whole flock of sheep for sale, went to the extreme. Sheep every one of whose life was traditionally the ransom for Ismail whose father Abraham had taken (and not his only son) to be sacrificed to God.

Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
Photographer: 
Tamar Fleishman

Sheep every one of whose life was traditionally the ransom for Ismail whose father Abraham had taken (and not his only son) to be sacrificed to God.

Perhaps the concept expressed by the Jewish prayer repeated three times – “This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my atonement. This rooster (hen) will go to its death, while I will enter and proceed to a good long life and to peace” – is a better idea
than the mass slaughter and carnage?

When the Erez Checkpoint crossing into and out of the Gaza Strip is closed without reason, the Army Spokesperson answers journalist Yaniv Kubovitch: “It is a symbolic gesture”. One cannot help asking, symbolic for whom? Against whom? What has Israel still got to prove except win the old phallic race over whose is bigger?

This closureinfo-icon applies to those exiting the Gaza Strip. The authorities did enable the return of those those who needed to get back home there after receiving medical treatment in the West Bank. Which just goes to show the extent of the ongoing policy to cage in and strangle and restrict the Palestinians as much as possible.

Among the patients making their way home was Rahaf, a 6-year old girl. She doesn’t hear you, said her father when I asked the smiling girl for her name. Rahaf continued smiling and showed me the scar behind her right earlobe, from the surgery she underwent in a Bethlehem hospital in the attempt to give her back at least partial hearing.

Rahaf was not born deaf. She lost her hearing as a result of the Israeli bombings close to their home in Rafah.

Crossing the checkpoint at a time of no pressure, when only one track is open, after standing motionless inline for a while, means that after ten motionless minutes one needs to scurry over to another track, because the one we were waiting for was closed and another track became the only one active. Entrance to the inspection area is carried out in the ‘holy trinity’ system, three by three, and the line grows and so does waiting time, and all is quiet. Only one young man has reached the limits of his patience and yelled: “Soldier, soldier!” An elderly man hushed him up, claiming that one mustn’t irritate the soldiers because if they get angry no one will get through.

Crowdedness and no movement at the checkpoint
Crowdedness and no movement at the checkpoint
Photographer: 
Tamar Fleishman