Ar-Ram, Hizma, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 25.4.10, Afternoon
"All blood is red- if they cut off an Arabs hand or a Jews hand, the blood coming out- will be red, the same"
So said a paramedic while waiting for a West Bank ambulance bring a woman from Nablus who was about to go through surgery at Mokased hospital (east Jerusalmen).
He spoke with much sadness about how the Jews didn't think of them, the Arabs, as human beings. A week earlier, he said, he arrived on duty at Hadasa hospital where he saw a mother sitting by her dying son's bed and grieving his lose while he is still alive. He felt his heart braking and approached the woman, he wanted to support her and say that not all is lost, that there is still hope, he wanted to share stand by her for just a moment or two and share her sorrow. He held himself back and didn't go forward: She is a Jew, I don't know what she would think of me and how it would end...", he continued to tell us as he and his crew were moving the patient, who was escorted by her mother, from one ambulance to the other.
Another ambulance that arrived from Ramalla was transferring an elder man (using the regular "back to back" routine) suffering from thrombosis in his leg, to Mokased hospital to continue his treatment.
Under the dust blowing in the wind and into the dirt from which there was no refuge, a family was taken off a bus: a young woman with a one month old baby in a stroller, her elder six year old son who was holding is grandmother's hand. Only very old people (no age specification) were allowed to pass the checkpoint while sitting in the bus. The bored soldier didn't take notice of the stroller that was arriving; they also couldn't hear the mother's complaints for having to wake the toddler, fold the stroller and take it through the narrow turnstiles. The intercoms and the gates that are intended for strollers- haven't been working for a while.
A father to a three year old girl was sitting sad and worried on a bench at the entrance to the checkpoint.
He had been sitting like that for some days, ever since the child had been admitted at Mokased hospital. The girl had a defective heart and was in need of surgery: "such a nice child!", said the coffee salesmen and added that two day prior to the operation, her grandfather brought her to the checkpoint "to say hello to her father, and I even got to play with her...". The child had been at Mokased for a couple of days, her father wanted to escort her but is request was denied. He now has passage prevention from the GSS. According to him he never had any trouble, he is completely in the clear... his parents and wife were sitting by his daughter. In his loneliness he found comfort in his new friends, the peddlers at the checkpoint. The entrance to the checkpoint is as close as he could get to his daughter. He sits there and waits like a father waiting outside of the room in which an operation on his child is being performed.
The surgery (he said) started at 9:00. His father called him that afternoon to tell him the doctors said everything was going well. That evening (I received a call with his information), he was told that the surgery was successful. Only then did he leave the checkpoint and returned to his home near Nablus.
A Palestinian camera crew from Ramalla, with the aid of officials from Tel Aviv University, was preparing a film that would portray the back yard of Qalandiya checkpoint through Wagy, the coffee salesman. Wagy "is like Elifelet", says Phillys, the one from the song by Alterman: "Smiling without knowing why/ And how and for what reason and way...".
A new unit was manning the checkpoint. The commander asked to see the permit that allowed us to stand near the checkpoint. Once we settled that, he told us how much the checkpoint important in preventing lynching against Jews (he said there were many such events but wasn't able to be more specific), and that only three weeks ago they caught three members of Hamas, "they weren't armed", he answered our question, "but weapons we found at their home at Ar-Ram and Hizmee".