Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 30.6.13, Afternoon

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Roni Hammermann, Michal Huelse and Tamar Fleishman
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translation: Ruth Fleishman


Qalandiya checkpoint:

Two ambulances were already parked side by side in preparation for a transfer of a babyinfo-icon of six months to Mukassad hospital. According to the medical crew the co-ordinations had been made.

The soldier thought otherwise and demanded that the Palestinian ambulance turn back. Why? Hold on to your seat! The baby didn't have an ID. His mother who was carrying him did have one, but the baby didn't.

Throughout the years we had witnessed many absurd incidents during the "back-to back procedure", but such an occurrence we had yet to see.

"He is in critical condition"' said a person from the medical crew and I felt the rage I harbored inside was about to burst from every possible pore, I yelled at the commander: "do you know this baby might die?"- "do you know there are no co-ordinations?!" he screamed back at me. "The baby might die" I shouted again, and he kept on "you know there are no co-ordinations?"

What is important in that place is not human life but order, and order must be preserved and the victim is always to blame for the lack of order. In this case, a baby of six months.

And the ambulance with the baby in it had already returned to the other side of the checkpoint, preformed a U-turn and waited. The ambulance from Jerusalem waited in the same spot.

A group of generals was touring the checkpoint when it passed by the ambulance and as it was probably not one of the destinations of the tour, none of them noticed there was a distressing event before them. The exception was one deputy that escorted them, who like the rest of them didn't turn his eyes to see, but only asked, as they always do with no intentions: "Is everything alright?" a question that made it possible to respond with an elaborated answer about the baby, his condition and the detainment. And the deputy walked up to the Palestinian ambulance and called whoever it was that he called , and suddenly the baby's ID was no longer required and all the co-ordinations were valid and the ambulance retuned and parked by the one that arrived from Jerusalem and the baby was transferred. The paramedic was ordered to open the mother's bag and strangers' eyes and armed hands felt it to make sure it didn't contain any threats to the state, and order had been preserved as well as the security to the state, and the baby was sent off to Mukassad hospital.


And on the way back, a man and his son were carrying big and heavy boxes who were too large to be taken through the four turnstiles, that have the shortest metal bars in the whole territory ruled by the Israeli state (yes, I do measure them). They were forced to drag, push, pull and use the assistance of the passersby to cross to the other side, the Palestinian side, or as the sign says: "Judea and Samaria".


Jaba checkpoint: The light was on, the soldiers were in the tower, the posts were empty and a new flag was hanging from the middle of the pole.