Hizma, Qalandiya

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Cheli Edelman and Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.

“On the three crimes of Israel” (Amos 2)

  • On the demolition orders that were issued during Ramadan month to home owners opposite the Qalandiya refugee camp
  • On the nightly raids by the Israeli army of a family home on the outskirts of Hizma village. On the soldiers who sit for hours on the roof, always in the wee hours of the night, always making noise, sometimes shooting as we3ll. On the entrance door to the home that they have broken a long time ago. On the fears and nightmares of the family members, on the thoughts: “Will they come tonight?> - Perhaps they won’t come tonight because they have a holiday too? –And what will happen tomorrow?” Thus, three times every week. About the fears and traumas of the family’s children, accumulating, without solace.

In Israeli army lingo this procedure is named “straw widow”. And what is it called on the day of the Jewish celebration of the giving of the Torah?

  • On Ashraf’s withheld weeping, voiceless, beginning with tears and trembling, a weeping that began with his covering his face with his hands while speaking about the martyrs from the refugee camp, and focusing on Ali Khalife, Ashraf’s youth friend, whom Israeli soldiers shot in the back and murdered 8 years ago, about the weeping that grew stronger when at his request I gave Ashraf the photo I took of Ali, the last in his short life.
  • And so – as in all the cases before that, and after that – the Israeli army shoots, kills, and looks into it. Looked/looks/will look into it.
  • And this weeping of Ashraf’s keeps bubbling inside us, in Cheli and myself, for hours, for days on end.