Qalandiya Checkpoint: opens alternately for short known periods of time

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Tamar Fleishman

I returned to Qalandiya a month after the disastrous date.

On my way there I kept looking at the side of the road and calculating where to shelter if and when I hear an alarm siren.

When I got to my destination, my fearful heartbeats were replaced by painful ones in view of reality on the other side of existence.

The Qalandiya Checkpoint, meant for pedestrians and supposed to be open 24/7, that checkpoint through which thousands of people have passed for years, is now open alternately for short known periods of time.

Between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., and between 4 and 6 p.m.

For the rest of the hours – 20 in all – it is closed and deserted.

This information has not appeared in the media, at least not the venues I frequent.

I reported this to Nir Hasson (journalist) who updated me that a petition in this regard has been lodged with the Israeli Supreme Court on November 7.

I came to the front of the apartheid wall to face the portrait of Marwan Barghouti, the man whom many think was and still is the right kind of leader for the Palestinian people, the man whom Israel has incarcerated so long ago and the Palestinian Authority is afraid of his power – which threatens its own leadership – and does not demand his release.

I found him and it was as though he gradually disappeared, interiorized in the pervasive grayness - the gray wall, the gray roads, the gray faces of people.

Further on I spoke with the cab drivers who stood, workless. The first whom I met and asked how he is now, answered: Zift (= Shitty) . Everything is Zift. A man standing nearby complemented him, saying: Look, everything here is dead. No work, no customers, shops are closed, your friends are gone. All dead. 

On the other side of the checkpoint, two back-to-back procedures were taking place.

Four ambulances were congregated side by side: two women were passed from the West Bank to the Muqassad Hospital in East Jerusalem.

Business as usual?

On my way home, I began to sense the meaning of the concept “Uninvolved individuals”, realizing that those whom I met and those whom I did not meet though I did want to – they and people like them stand broken and gray, and they are the uninvolved, the victims, who take no part in the war over this land and only wish to bring food to the family table. They do not accuse, do not condemn, do not identify. They only ask when is this nightmare going to be over. They are the secondary victims of undescribed and unbelievable crimes.