'Atarot, Hizma, Qalandiya, Sun 4.4.10, Afternoon

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Roni Hamerman, Vivi Zuri and Tamar Fleishman (reporting and talking photos)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Jerusalem ( a documentation of the closureinfo-icon)


One rat was the first sign of the upcoming plague at the city Oran...

Beitunia checkpoint:
"Cargo checkpoint": the only checkpoint in the whole Ramalla district through which cargo trucks can pass on their way from Palestine to Israel. This is the only checkpoint which has the equipment to inspect the trucks.

"It's because of the holiday and not the closure, that the checkpoint is closed", said the commander of the soldiers at the checkpoint.

Ofer Checkpoint: (of road 443): First stages in the construction of the checkpoint: some caravans, large equipment an unidentifiable flag at the junction in front of Ofer prison- where also the military court resides and where the GSS holds its interrogations.

The guard told us that once the holiday is over, on Tuesday, they will be working "around the clock" so to catch up with the schedule that had been set by the ministry of defense, according to verdict of the High Court of Justice which instructed that road 443 must be open to Palestinian drivers as well.

IF and when this instruction will be carried out, this checkpoint will replace Atarot checkpoint.

Atarot checkpoint:"A complete closure", said the BP soldier in charge of the inspections on those passing at the checkpoint, while he is searching for illegal immigrants.

The industrial zone of Atarot was open during the holiday, without any of the thousands of Palestinian workers, which were forced to stay at home and rest due to the Israeli holidays.

Qalandiya checkpoint:In an allegory to Qalandiya: "... Without any pigeons, any tree and no gardens... you don't hear the clapping of wings nor the rustling of leaves" (The Plague/ A. Camus)- One rat was the first sign of the upcoming plague at the city Oran...

And on the eve of the second holiday, when because of the closure only few Palestinians were permitted to pass due of the closure (residents of east Jerusalem alone), and only few people arrive at the waiting shed, at exactly that time a rat came out from its hole- a permanent resident at the checkpoint (?) went out for a stroll with no one to disturb it.

  • - It seems that the plague, be it whatever it is, at the checkpoint is at its peak:

At the vehicle checkpoint: a babyinfo-icon with a defective heart was transferred  in a ambulance from Nablus along with his mother, and taken to another ambulance waiting on side east Jerusalem to take him to Mokased hospital.

According to the rules of occupation a person from the occupied territories on the way to being admitted at hospital at east Jerusalem, may have only one escort to come with him and help nurse him to health. Since women are seen by those distributing permit as less dangerous than men, in most cases (if not all) women are the one to escort the invalid.

So the young mother of that baby, will sit by her child's bed all alone in a strange place, away from home and her family, without having anyone around to take her place so that she could rest, no one to talk to and share the mental and physical burden both she and her child are expected to go through during his admission.

-A civilian dog that had just finished his shift escorted a civilian on two to a vehicle which took both of them elsewhere. 

  • - A woman with an ID from Jerusalem, whose home is near the separation wall, but on the "wrong side" of it, told us of the of the rout she takes every day when driving her children to school at the ancient city: in order that they make it to school on time (8:00 AM), she wakes them up at 5:30, before sunrise and head on her way at 6:00.
  • - A friend told us about the way the checkpoint was running before we arrived: "today the soldiers behave as though there are no soldier at the checkpoint", and said that although thousands of Christians had arrived, they were able to pass without any problems, unlike the difficulty they had passing during the rest of the days of the week.

Hizme checkpoint:When we had already thought we had passed the last checkpoint in the rout we had planned, reality slapped us in the face: a soldier from the passage unit regarded us as her enemies. She told the BP officer to take our IDs for inspection and then demanded that we park our car by the side of the road: "You know who they are?- they are watch women!", she yelled at the BP officer and the ton of the voice was full of disgust. She immediately started with a display of power in front of her friends and on our expense. It was no incident that the inspection of our ID lingered on and on, a fact that made the armed men around us, glad. The BP officer said that he was the commander of the checkpoint, but it seemed that is was actually the soldier's (she was a sergeant) call: she took over and everyone was at her commander, as though she wanted to prove she was more of a man then any of the men, yelling loader than them, stiff and harder than any soldier and officer, telling everyone what to do and everyone obeying her orders. Perhaps this is how today's women soldiers consummate ideals such a "feminism" and "equality among the sexes"? 

Due to the delay we had experienced, for the first time, we had an opportunity to see how this checkpoint functions (most of those using this checkpoint are settlers):

Beside the soldiers' post is an area where Palestinian vehicles and drivers are inspected. Not only that the settlers don't go through an inspection, but they are also free to use the checkpoint as their personal billboard, on which they post notices printed by the regional council of Matee Binyamin.