Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 21.12.08, Afternoon

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Michal C.and Tamar Fleishman (reporting and taking photos)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?
  The astonishing Pentimento displays on the Qalandia wall exhibit a large rang of insights that have been collected through out the years:One of the first graphitizes to have been painted on the wall over three years ago (November 2005), which presented a child holding a bucket of pain and drawing a crack in the wall as an escape channel, was criticized by the Palestinians as an effort to "make the wall nicer to look at". It has now been completely altered: the crack in the wall has been filled with bricks. There is no way out! Perhaps it is a symbol to the end naivety and optimism.

 - The Irish (or British) girl, which like the drawing of the boy has also been painted by an artist from another country, continent and an all together different reality, was once being lifted above the wall with the help of her balloons, but is now standing by a mighty Palestinian bird which shows her how mistaken she was, since balloons aren't enough when you are trying to over come the occupation. 

- The eye whose pupil was the Palestinian flag has up until lately been looking down of the pillbox. But now it has been covered with paint and up it is the letter R, the first letter in the graphite inscription: "RPMANTIK/POETIK".   

   Qalandiya Checkpoint:
16:45 - Two inspection posts were open (4 and 5) during the whole time we were there. Unfortunately during most of the time they weren't active:There were reoccurring problems that caused the soldier to hand out every couple of minutes new orders through the load speaker.
-Bippings would suddenly be heard: "Perhaps there's a war" those standing indifferently by the side would joke.  
- A woman who was pushing a chart with two babies was trying to get the attention of a soldier so that they would open the "humanitarian" door for her. She had been pressing the intercom button for a while and that apparently got the soldier angry and she yelled at her to stop pressing it because it was driving her crazy. A friend of the mother stood in front of the soldier's post and managed to talk to her and get her to open the gate. But then they found out that there were other turnstiles in the way that prevented  from the chart to pass, and as the soldier wasn't able to perform two tasks at a time, she stopped the inspections for ten minutes until the mother got out of the checkpoint through the southern side.

17:15 - There was a problem with the computers: the soldier told those standing in line before her that only those with blue IDs can pass through lane number 5. However,  at lane number 4, which was intended for those with green IDs, the conveyor belt wasn't working, and they were asked to pass without their bags. And therefore those who had Palestinian IDs and had a bag, a pouch of even the smallest package, were sent back. The time it took to pass the three meters that lead to the soldier was of 40 minutes. We didn't try to reach the turnstiles but all those new comers pushed and cramped us up against those who stood before us: it was like a compressor, the crowd formed a large and tightened block.

Michal, that had never been at this area before, felt sadden and distressed, which later caused her to feel physically sick until she nearly passed out.

Will she get used to it?

18:00 - From the parking lot we heard the Muezzin. The soldier who was aiming at the vehicles was imitating the prayer when shouting out his orders towards the drivers. He sang those orders as a sign of ridicule their faith.    

Michal  was feeling helpless kept saying: "They don't have any respect for human beings... they don't have any respect..."  And I have yet to mention that Qalandiya checkpoint functions these days as a border passage.

Jaba'a/ Leel checkpoint
18:20 - The checkpoint commander yelled toward us " Ta'al, Ta'al". Since we didn't answer he tried calling us in English "Come", his colleague, which also tried getting our attention with English (along side "checkpoint Arabic" they probably also study "checkpoint English"), appeared to be trying his luck with Russian. But only then did we understand that this mélange of languages was meant for us, we came by and said "Shalom".  "Where are you coming from?" the commander asked.

He then replied "Ramala" (he had a harsh ton as though he was talking to delinquents).

"No", we said, "From Qalandiya".

"Is there a problem with your car?"


"So why did you stop here?" he ask in astonishment since he couldn't imagine to himself what could Israelis be doing in such a hell hole after dark. We told him who we were and what we were doing, he approached the car and turn the flag over and again, reading each letter printed on it, he then asked to see our IDs. Only once he examined them and found something out (what exactly?), he calmed down and left us alone, he kept on with his work, which at that moment meant stopping vehicles that were making their way to Rammala and checking the IDs of their passengers.

The inspections were probably strict as there was a line of 40 cars standing in a long line which ended by Adam square.