Qalandiya - a kind of a study tour

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Avshalom Elitzur and Tamar Fleishman: Translator: Tal H.

This was a kind of study trip for someone who wished to see, hear, touch and get to know what there is over there, beyond the comfortable life – someone who, except for a respect visit with Ahed Tamimi, had never been in Occupied Territories.

Things were moving slowly, for he asked and listened and talked with adults and children, photographed and was photographed and even posted live videos from the ground.

Finally, we ended up with Abadallah Tamimi.

By the rubble of the ruined fruit stand, Avshalom posted a video in which he and Abdallah speak (in English) about the situation in Qalandiya in particular, and Palestine in general.

עבדאללה ואבשלום.

When we crossed the checkpoint, our IDs were taken, we were detained beside the soldiers’ post, and released, but not before the woman-officer who introduced herself as the local commander forced Avshalom to erase photos he had taken.

עמדת החיילים

We were detained for a long time.


-We are here for you, for your security, and over there, where you just came from (Qalandiya), it’s very dangerous. They shoot a lot at whoever is Jewish, a security guard explained.

The question that was not asked and remained unanswered – was why in fact detain us when we’re on our way home??

Here’s a segment of what Avshalom wrote:

Once a week, Tamar Fleishman publishes a “Sabbath smile” of a Palestinian child. Even at times when I felt like caressing a cheek or muss up someone’s hair, I wasn’t under the illusion that the smile does not grow in a swamp reeking with hatred and revenge. Today I went with her to the place where she photographs those smiles. I didn’t smile a lot in the small area that resembles what doctors call a compound fracture, one comminuted mess of muscle, bone and skin fixed as a warped, bleeding organ. Here is an impoverished refugee camp, and the Atarot airfield…

And over all, maddening noise and crowding and heat, seething asphalt and stench and sewage, all speaking despair and helpless rage.