Hizma, Qalandiya

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Tamar Fleishman




Last Friday, Jihan Shahaima was shot at Qalandiya Checkpoint while trying to cross the vehicle lane.

A spot that has become a killing ground of sorts.

Qalandiya residents know that whoever crosses a certain line on foot is fated to die.

Jihan probably did not know this. She is not from here. She is from ‘Issawiya.

Jihan joins a long list of people who have been shot here, most of whom bled to death.

In the media – a rather marginal item about neutralizing a woman who walked holding a knife. That’s it.

One gets accustomed.

There were many witnesses at the scene on Friday. People heard the soldiers on the loudspeaker warning her to stop and turn back. People hurried to the fence and saw her advancing (perhaps she did not realize she herself was the object of the warning). When she didn’t stop they fired in the air. Jihan hesitated, stopped for a second, and proceeded. She was then shot in the legs and felt down, lying wounded and bleeding on the ground.

“It took an hour until she was picked up” one person said. “No”, insisted another. “I looked at the watch. It was an hour and ten minutes”.

For an hour, perhaps an hour and ten minutes, a bleeding wounded woman lay there and no one approached her, no one helped.

Why? – They were waiting for the demolition expert, I was told by people in the know. And because they were waiting for him, the medic present was not allowed to approach her. Nor was the Israeli ambulance allowed access. First – a demolition expert.

“Did she hold a knife?” I asked. “No knife”, they said. And one man said he heard either one soldier or security guard shout to another: “Did you see a knife?... Where’s a knife?...”

In the meantime Jihan, nearly dying, is hospitalized in critical condition at Hadassah, Jerusalem, and her family members are not allowed to visit and stay by her side.

This is the same place, the same method and the same circumstances in which sister and brother Maram and Ibrahim bled to death, and all the while a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance stood at the entrance to the checkpoint and was not allowed to approach and save the lives of the two.

At the same spot and in the same way, Raghed Shu’ani was shot, fell down and died last July.

In all of these instances, no one was brought to justice, for no one has been indicted and no one will be.


Many military vehicles and numerous soldiers and officers blocked Fares’ gas station at the exit from Hizma village.



It was the peak of an ongoing incident that began earlier, when a fellow driving out of the village gave a ride to a female tourist standing on the road. He gave her a lift from Hizma to Anata, a three-minute drive.

As he returned to the village, they were already waiting for him. HE was arrested, transferred from one army vehicle to the next and the next. Officers interrogated him. More army vehicles and quasi-civilian vehicles (white with army license plates. Civil Administration? Shabak?) arrived on the scene as well as a whole entourage headed by a colonel.

The young man was accused to kidnapping the tourist.

Soldiers roamed the private grounds of the gas stations and the adjacent car-wash and the arrestee was dragged to and fro between vehicles and interrogators.

After sunset rumor had it that the tourist who had been declared missing was found at the Dead Sea.

The event that was not a kidnapping began to fold up.

The “kidnapper” who did no such thing was released and the army left.

The fellow who, until a few moments ago was at the center of a drama, said to me: “I’m shaking all over, can’t stop it.”

And Fares said to me: “Do you  think they would do this to him if he were not Arab?”