They haven’t come yet, the taxi driver told me. Why? No idea. The bus coordinator didn’t know either. Nor did they arrive during the half-hour I waited with the Red Crescent team for the West Bank ambulance that was late coming with a cancer patient. When the Nablus ambulance finally arrived we learned that the patient we were waiting for and the ambulance he was riding were held up by traffic jams. He is a two-year old child with abdominal cancer, so little that the stretcher was not even necessary. The child was passed over from his mother’s arms to the arms of the Red Crescent team member and was returned to his mother’s lap when she boarded and sat in the Jerusalem ambulance.
But even then they still had not arrived, nor did the transport designated for Gazan patients headed for home. Perhaps this was because the Erez Crossing into the Gaza Strip is still closed, by orders of the Minister of Defense who made an arbitrary decision without even giving the slightest pretext, a decision that only increases the suffering and misery of the few who are allowed to travel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.
But no one settles any accounts with the persons who perpetrate all this suffering.
About an hour-and-a-half later, as I returned to the same spot and witnessed the back-to-back transfer between two ambulances of two women victims of a traffic accident that had occurred at Kufr ‘Aqeb, two bullies in civilian clothes blocked the road leaving to the West Bank in the middle of the vehicle crossing of the checkpoint, stopped a truck carrying cabinet parts, directed it towards the inner space of the checkpoint, inspected the documents of the vehicle and the driver and the two fellows along with him and accused them of carrying waste.
The driver, although he had no idea who the people stopping him were and by what authority they were doing so, answered every question and accusation and said that he purchased everything he was carrying on the truck legally and that no, this was not waste – what he had there in back.
The two rummaged among the plywood plates on the truck, searched and searched and when not finding anything incriminating, and perhaps too on account of the presence of (my) camera – but then perhaps not – they let the driver proceed.
One can only ask:
- Does wearing a phosphorescent cap saying “security” give one the right to delay, harass and make up stories about a person?
- If they act on behalf of…, are they not obliged to say on behalf of whom this takes place?
The two did not identify themselves to the fellows on the truck, not to me when I asked.