Ar-Ram, Qalandiya, Rafat (Bir Nabala), Tue 22.7.08, Afternoon

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Ronny H, Tamar F (reporting and photographing)

Guests: Sebastian (the local representative of a radio station from Berlin), prop. Yossi Yona, Nidal (translator) 

  In face of the bad roads at Ar-Ram and the one leading to Rafat, which are under the authority of the Israeli government, we heard prop. Yona's theory about the differences between the ARABIAN TIME and the JEWISH TIME, which according to him are perceptible in roads all around the country: after all, Arabs, as apposed to Jews who decide which roads to pave or improve, have all the time in the world, they aren't really in a hurry to get somewhere and they don't really need good roads, we on the other had do need them as our time is pressing.   

Ar-Ram checkpoint:

15:20- A crowded line of about a hundred cars were standing to the length and wide of the road leading to the checkpoint, the beginning of the time was by the junction. The BP soldiers with the help of the soldiers for the passage unit which is part of the military police, and some civil police men, were conducting strict inspections on the cars and people entering the checkpoint. We received to answers to the when asking about the change in the procedure:

  1. The guard: "Because we feel like it".
  2. The BP soldier: "It doesn't really matter to you".

But it did matter to me so I asked at the garage near by when had these strict inspections begin, the answer together with what had occurred on the day brought me to the conclusion that it was because of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

  Qalandia Checkpoint:

16:00- We hurried and passed towards the vehicle checkpoint because of an ambulance that had arrived from the OT, the paramedics had begun transferring an old women with cancer, with the back to back system, on to the Red Crescent ambulance. We knew the paramedic the came from the OT and he told us that the soldiers "caused him some problems" as he said, they told him to go back under the false pretext that he can't be at the checkpoint until the other ambulance arrived. But he stood insisted that it was his right to wait at the checkpoint and refused to return.


- At the waiting shed before the entrance to the checkpoint, a woman accompanied by her five children approached Ronny, the woman had and ID from the OT (her husband is as they say on the street a "blue"), she had a permit called "Family Unity Permit", but for some reason they wouldn't let her pass, they wouldn't explain why. Ronny managed to get hold of the DCO officer who had explained that she had to go the Palestinian DCO, and after they sign the permit to prove her situation, the Israeli DCO would prolong her permit.

We weren't familiar with this procedure and nor where the Palestinians. Is this a new addition to the bureaucracy, another obstacle standing in the way of Palestinians who need a permit? – We will try to find out and report on it.     

- We saw parents with their babyinfo-icon daughter trying to press the intercom so the "humanitarian" gate would open, but nothing happened. After several minutes, tired of trying, the baby was taken out of the stroller and as the father was closing the stroller the gate opened. But others who were waiting in front of the forth turnstile hurried and followed the father into the inspection zoon. The soldier at the post couldn't bear such behavior, and she started rebuking those people while shouting through the microphone that they had to step outside and stand according to the orders. No one hurried to fulfill her orders and we could hear her argument with one person who had had enough of her trying to educate him, and talked back to her. But as usual the one with the power won: they got outside and stood in a line straight outside of the turnstile, just as the sovereign ordered.

  Rafat Checkpoint:

18:30- Soldiers from the engineering unit manned the checkpoint, they were filling in for the BP unit. The soldiers didn't understand when we asked whether there was a segregation, they didn't even know what a segregation was, and from talking to them it was clear that they didn't really know where they were, what was in front of them or behind them, on which territory they were in charge and for what reason. But the spirit of the unit had already been immortalized by the writing on the rocks posed on the hill by the checkpoint.


Qalandia village: The village Muktar was happy to speak to our German guest and have a recorded interview. He spoke of the hardship of the villagers, how difficult it was to get to work because the village was surrounded by the fence, about how he had been waiting for a year and a half now for a verdict in his case and he even spoke highly about "Machsom Watch" and emphasized that we escorted him to his trial and gave a testimony on the behalf of the villagers, and he also talked about the impressive film Netta Efroni made and presented before the judge.

 Hizmee Checkpoint:19:30- A long line of people who wanted to enter the OT, it was probably because of the attack, just as it was in Ar-Ram.