It was no easy matter persuading the woman to part from her wheelchair and be assisted by the transport driver. But the wheelchair is army property, that where it originated and that’s where it has to be returned, and at Erez Crossing – so they explained – she will be provided with another wheelchair. And anyway, the aisle between the transport van’s seats is too narrow to place the wheelchair inside, where the driver’s shoulders are broad and he offered to carry her on them aboard.
But she, who cannot step on her own feet, refused for fear of touching a strange man.
Having no choice, she agreed to have the driver’s arms help her onto and into the van.
When everyone who had been released from hospital that day were seated, and their numerous belongings loaded in the baggage compartment, the driver counted heads again, and – oops! The Gazan accompanier and the Gazan coordinator were gone.
Not only must a Gazan under no circumstances remain within the greater Jerusalem area, but all the documents and transit permits of all the passengers are held by the accompanier. Following many minutes of tension bordering on panic, the two lost persons were back at the transport platform. Where had they been? Hanging out.
True, it is not humanly forbidden, but those who live in Gaza do live under different, special rules.
It was 4:30 p.m. by the time the transport van got on its way to the Erez Crossing.
In the evening the media announced that the Israeli army bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip.
It has been several day since the barriers have been removed from the entrances to Hizma. For some days now the Israeli army has not invaded it.
But as something must always be done, however minor, an army vehicle is seen standing at the village’s main entrance. Perhaps to remind people, or scare them, or threaten, and perhaps simply implement the army’s active statement of purpose: “Keeping the local population in a state of constant uncertainty.”