A Red Crescent ambulance was already parked at the vehicles checkpoint, waiting. It waited for a long time.
The ambulance driver, an old acquaintance, called me to come over.
Before I cross the fence around the vehicle checkpoint, a woman-soldier yelled at me: You mustn’t!
It’s dangerous… They shoot… shouted Palestinians to me, on their way to the West Bank.
And even though my hands were exposed, and even they, armed with rifles, could see I had no gun nor even a knife, and even though the ambulance driver kept on calling me, I didn’t budge.
Fear paralyzed me.
After a long while, a Red Crescent ambulance from Jerusalem arrived, a man disembarked from the first ambulance, boarded the second one and was driven away.
When I was already on the other side of the checkpoint, next to me the ambulance that brought the man stopped and the driver – who had called for me to come and I didn’t – said: “Because of the time they had to wait, he may have lost his eye”, and said that the man works at Nablus’ Rafidiya Hospital, was hurt in a work accident and sent to hospital in East Jerusalem in an attempt to save his eye.
I don’t know whether the man finally lost his eye or not, but I do know that there are procedures that do not enable ambulances from the West Bank to reach Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem as quickly as possible. Namely, a West Bank ambulance may not cross Qalandiya checkpoint and an ill or wounded or even dying person can only be transferred back-to-back from one ambulance to another.
But these procedures were not heaven-sent. They were thought up by people.
Three years this man has been blacklisted by the Shabak (Israel’s Security Services). For three years, and he has no idea why.
Two months ago he came to the DCO again, entered the room and asked the captain sitting there to remove his name from the black list.
The captain it was no problem, but for this to happen the man must work with them.
But the man didn’t want to be a collaborator, that’s what he told the captain.
Okay, I have your number, the captain said. If I have any information for you, I’ll call.