Hizma, Qalandiya

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Ruti Tuval, Elijah Levy and Tamar Fleishman

The medical patients’ transport driver and the Gazan administrator waited next to the transport vehicle for 19 persons, patients released from hospitals that morning, and their accompaniers.

Threesome, two baby girls and a baby boy covered over his head
Threesome, two baby girls and a baby boy covered over his head
Tamar Fleishman

When the iron gate opened and the group emerged, it was heart-rending to see the two-week old twin babies lying on a floor stepped on by thousands of feet every day.

Looking back at this photo, I realized that rather than twins they were a threesome, two babyinfo-icon girls and a baby boy covered over his head, and couldn’t stop thinking about the mother who doubtlessly has not yet recovered, who -  on the day of her home coming with her new humans and all her luggage besides, even if she also knows how fortunate she is to be approved for delivery at the Nablus Al Najjah hospital unlike most of the Gazans whose request to exit the Gaza Strip for treatment is refused. But no doubt this day, her home-coming, is difficult in spite of the excitement, a day of tormented body and soul, and no doubt she can’t help thinking of the deteriorating sanitation and water situation and shortage of electric power in the place where she is bound with her babies.

Last to exit was an elderly woman, stepping slowly, painfully, one hand holding her abdomen for her surgery wounds have not yet healed and every move is a source of great pain.

An elderly Gazan after abdominal surgery is supported by Tamar
An elderly Gazan after abdominal surgery is supported by Tamar
Ruti Tuval

When the transport was full with people and luggage, the administrator gave the sign and there was nothing to hold back the transport, leaving only thoughts about the place where they are headed and long to be.

At Hizma village I hear from a resident that “all’s well”. This should probably be looked into, for well in Hizma is not the well we hear elsewhere. Well, in Hizma, is very bad, just as reality under military rule is defined as routine when it is everything but routine. It is perhaps routine for outsiders’ eyes, from a zone of comfort and security. Thus too “all’s well” for a Hizma resident reminds us that reality that he is referring to is that of frequent army incursions, blocking village entrances and exits, and army vehicles patrolling the alleys.

And the soldiers inside those vehicles, what do they do? Hurl gas grenades at children.

All’s well.