Jaba (Lil)

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Roni Hammermann, Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Charles K.

A detained Palestinian stood behind a police armored vehicle at the Jaba checkpoint.


In the morning a group of young men and women left Ramallah for Ein Farah in Wadi Qelt for a day of rock climbing.  On their way back policemen stopped their minivan and the commander, an officer, asked all of them for their IDs.  Only then did the man (in a red sweatshirt) realize he’d forgot it at home.  The officer took all of their IDS, removed from the vehicle the man who’d forgotten his and stood him by himself in the rain and cold.  Until…?


The officer ordered the others to remain in the vehicle.


Time passed, the young people in the transit wanted to propose to the officer they’d bring the missing ID from his home in Ramallah, but there was no one to talk to.  Because the officer doesn’t speak to Palestinians, nor with a Jewish woman.  And he also forbade, loudly and threateningly, his two subordinates, a policeman and a soldier providing security, to talk to the woman asking questions.


Meanwhile the subordinates stopped, on the officer’s orders, more minivans (and only minivans), moved them to the roadside, the officer took the IDs of all the passengers, most of whom are poor, to be checked on the computer in the armored police vehicle.


And this is how they worked simultaneously:  stopping, checking, detaining, shouting – the officer – and in silence – the other policeman and the soldier.


In the absence of dialogue it is only possible to base conclusions on what we see and what we hypothesize.



Our hypothesis, based on what we saw there, is that even if they categorically ignored us, by order, they definitely didn’t ignore the camerainfo-icon and it’s likely that the officer who looked ready to incriminate the criminal with the crime of leaving home without an ID was deterred by the documentation.


More time passed, the IDs were returned to their owners and the detainee was returned to his friends and their vehicle continued to Ramallah and the sovereign’s force turned to deal with other passengers in other minivans coming up the road.