Third Friday of Ramadan
The third Ramadan Friday at Qalandiya is a peak-day:
Peak numbers of Palestinians and peak army at-the-ready .
Tens-of-thousands of people arrived and the place was a veritable bottleneck.
The crowds stood in lines, were inspected, passed (or did not pass) the age test.
It was not, however, the human throng of hundreds-of-thousands as in previous years.
Nor was any holiday cheer noticeable in the faces of those who successfully passed the selection, nor were shattered and protest cries heard from those who were sent back.
It’s as though something in the people has been quenched.
- The one person who did resist and would not turn back as told was dragged by the Border Policemen to a narrow passage between two walls and there, hidden away with his back to them, three pairs of army boots kicked his thighs ferociously and stopped only when they noticed the camera.
As a certain captain said: “The camera is our greatest enemy”.
- We heard about a man who, having already passed the selection, tripped and fell. Some said his leg was fractured, others said only maybe, but what is certain – by crossing testimonies – is that the man who fell could not manage to get up again and continued to make his way crawling. Perhaps he insisted on completing the journey at any cost.
A Red Crescent ambulance was present outside the ‘sterile space’, its team wanting/ trying/meaning to reach this man with a stretcher by crossing the space diagonally. But the sterile space must apparently remain sterile of Palestinians and they had to reach the fallen man by making a roundabout detour.
- For the first time I had the opportunity to ride (a bus on its way to the terminal) along the takeoff lane of Qalandiya (former) airport, so for the first time I could view this terminal building.
A query with an aviation expert informed me that this terminal was built by the Jordanians in the second half of the 1950s, and was renovated by Israel after 1967.