Qalandiya - In the morning he was released from hospital in Qalqiliya but did not get a permit to go on to Gaza

Observers: 
Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.
Feb-23-2020
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Afternoon
עבודות בתוך וסביב למחסום קלנדיה

Inside and around Qalandiya Checkpoint hectic work is being carried out.

It is all done in order to finish before the Ramadan month begins, for the great show put on then. “We do it for you” they say, line us up in straight lines and lead us as if we were donkeys, says a Qalandiya refugee camp resident.

Walid, his many years and hardships telling, stood on the road, desperate and confused.

In the morning he was released from hospital in Qalqiliya, was told to come to Qalandiya, where he would ask for and be issued a permit to go on home to Gaza.

But as he came and got in and requested his permit, he was told to come on the morrow.

Walid and his wife have no relatives in the West Bank with whom they could stay the night.

So what do they do until tomorrow?

I’ve worked for Israel all my life, says Walid. I worked at the Rafah terminal, and in the settler-colony of Neot Sinai, and now when I’m sick and old they throw me to the dogs.

We few who gathered around him held a kind of collection and equipped him with a modest sum of money that might enable the couple to afford to spend the night in Ramallah.

Later, when the shameful bulldozer outrage caused another round of fire and the Israeli Army Spokesperson announced that Gaza crossings were being closed, I wondered what would happen with Walid on the morrow, and with all the other Walids…

***

At Jaba road barrier located beneath the village of Jaba, overlooking the junction crossing road 60, stood soldiers – two on each roadside.

As the uninvited guest (me) arrived, all four gathered and were happy to be photographed as if they were talkative army gear models.

חיילים במחסום ג'בע

They told me they were keeping us secure, that they search for suspicious objects inside vehicles, that if there is a warning about some “incriminated” Palestinian they search the person who is supposedly a terrorist and arrest him. To my question whether they detain Palestinian cars here so that the Jewish settler-colonists using road 60 will have it all to themselves, one soldier said yes, and hurried to say – also.

And the masks on your faces are for keeping you anonymous? -No, it’s cold and it’s not army issue, we buy them on our own.

 רכב צבאי חנה בפתח הכפר חיזמא.

An army vehicle parked at the entrance to Hizma village. They’ve already been here for two hours.

Sometimes they just come and stand here, at others they come and stop and inspect anyone entering the village, or patrol the village alleys, sometimes they fire stun and teargas grenades and invade homes and arrest youngsters, Hizma villagers tell me.

What can be said about the ongoing army activity in this village is simply that it sows fear and hatred in the hearts of its inhabitants, or as the army puts it: carries out harassment activity.