Qalandiya, Sun 13.10.13, Afternoon

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Tamar Fleishman

Translating: Ruth Fleishman 


Every time it seems like we reached bottom of the pit, reality proves there to be an even deeper one.

Perhaps to those who do not stand in front of the ambulances, the stretchers and the back-to-back procedures the pictures seem the same. Each person is a story and on each stretcher is a tragedy. Only the occupation is the same, as well as the rifles, the regulations and the orders. A six year old child had injured his head at ten AM with a metal bar, his father phoned a friend who was a brain expert in Jorden who told him  that the child must be on the operation table within the hour, however, he reached the checkpoint only at three PM. By the time the mechanism of the occupation had permitted the child and his mother (not his father) to pass through to a hospital in Jerusalem, five hours had past. Five hours is a time frame that hands out the verdict of life and death. The child was hazy, his eyes were open but there was no look in them, his hands rose without purpose and fell down as though on their own, and the father begged that they take him as well with the child to the hospital, so that he be with his child- but no, only the mother could, and the man stood by the child who couldn't really see him, and touched his body and hands and at the tip of his head that had remain without exposed, as though saying goodbye, and keeping it together until the ambulance drove off and only then did he burst into tears. 

And I was left on my own. 

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 It wasn't easy crossing to the other side of the checkpoint on that hour of no rush:

The turnstile leading inside the complex was locked and the soldier in charge of pushing the button was sitting idly whether out of maliciousness or not, and as they say in the objectifying military lingo: 'she wasn't enabling people to stream inside". A woman standing in the cage in front of the post's window tried getting the soldier's attention: "lady, lady…." she said over and over again: "lady… lady…", and then again, but the "lady" didn't respond and the woman stopped trying and stood among the other silent people who due to tens of years of oppression had been tamed to accept the verdict.


And those who managed to pass the ignoring soldier might have ended up in front of Anastasia at the inspection post, as had happened to a man in his sixties who she ordered to lay the content of his three plastic bags before her, even though they had already been through the x-ray machine. And the man took the contents of each bag out: plastic hollow tubes, some light sockets, rolled up electric wires and some other items that fell on the filthy ground. And Anastasia looked at him and at the items and told him to fill the bags up again and put them on the conveyor belt , so he did what she said and the bags went in and out from the other side, and Anastasia told the man to approach the window and show her a certain item, and only after the fourth examination and after checking and his ID and verifying his identity , Anastasia sent him on his way.