Hizma, Qalandiya

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Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.

At Qalandiya: how easily one loses one’s freedom

The victim, a Palestinian employed at the Atarot industrial zone returned from his work and discovered that his car was blocked.

The man stood there helpless, asking passers-by, drivers, vendors – whether anyone saw or knew who had done this to him. No one saw, no one knew. He came and went, roamed the entire car park- and nothing.

His wondering was interrupted by the security forces (“the security forces”) who came out of the checkpoint compound.

“You are a car thief”, they said.

The man who only wanted to get back home safely – did not get back home safely.

He said he was no thief, he said his car was blocked, he gave them his car keys and its code.

But they are the security forces and they know better.

They said “You are a car thief” and took him away.

“Just like that, for nothing they arrested him”, people said.

“No, it’s not for nothing”, said someone who knows a thing or two. “”The Israeli government never arrests anyone for nothing”.

How to keep your socks clean when you walk shoeless on the filthy checkpoint floor I learned from two women who took off their boots and wrapped their feet in nylon bags.

At Hizma:

Why do they enter the village every night, why do they invade homes even at 2 a.m., why do they arrest youngsters and children, little children, even 10-year olds? A villager asked the soldiers.

  • Because they throw stones at us.
  • They throw stones at you because you enter the village.
  • But they throw stones.
  • Because you enter the village…


When armed men arrest children it’s not a “who did it first” story.

It’s not the chicken and the egg.

It’s the story of a rotten egg.

It’s rotten.

It’s terror against civilians.

Hizma villagers used to count the time that went by since the village came under siege in days, then in weeks. Not they no longer count. Just ask: “What kind of life is this?”