By Tamar Fleishman
I don’t know his name. But I know the clear gaze of his eyes through which deep desperation was reflected, and the time that passed hasn’t dissolved or dulled the memory of the shadow of grief that was cast upon him and his mother.
I know it is my duty to write and present those who are not represented, to tell and spread the story and shout out that a human being is not a statistic, that a human being is a human being, that he is the sum of all his expectations, hopes and dreams, and the he too, that young and handsome man must have had expectations, hopes, wishes and dreams.
Perhaps he was a good man and perhaps he wasn’t, but he was a human being, and he had his life and he had his youth. And now, all these have been lost, since one bitter instant that had turned him into a soul in a shell, without hopes, aspirations or dreams, aside for the nightmares he must have regarding his future.
This story begins on the night of the 20th of August when soldiers from the Kfir unit invaded the refugee camp in Jenin, for what they call an “Operational Activity” which resulted with “one dead and several suffering from minor injuries”- as was reported by the IDF spokesman.
The resistance of the residents of Jenin to the frequent invasions to their homes was defined by Yoav (Poli) Mordehai, the IDF spokesman, as “terrorism” and he also added that:
“The forces’ activity was part of the nightly arrests, and such arrests are a critical instrument that enables them to put a stop terror before it develops. Such arrests are a daily procedure that makes it possible for the residents of the state of Israel and the residents of Judea and Samaria to live in peace”.
One of the people who according to the IDF spokesman had sustained “minor injuries”, arrived by ambulance at Qalandiya checkpoint on his way back home from the hospital in Jerusalem, where he had received treatment on the previous night. The doctors managed to save the life of the young man who sustained an injury to his pelvis by a live bullet, but they couldn’t save his body. He remains paralyzed from his waist down and is now incontinent.
With her face looking down, his mother stood beside her son’s headboard. She saw him in need of the assistance of strangers and knew that this was the reality that was forced upon him for the rest of his life and upon her for the rest her’s.
Only the soldiers, who swarmed the ambulance with pointing rifles, looked through packages and stared at what was going on, didn’t think they were witnessing something that was so wrong it should not have taken place. They did what was demanded of them, they fulfilled the orders, they made sure everything happened according to regulations and maintained the daily routine, and doing so their faces conveyed no emotions and their gestures indicated no discomfort.
(Translated by Ruth Fleishman)
– As a member of Machsomwatch, once a week Tamar Fleishman heads out to document the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. This documentation (reports, photos and videos) can be found on the organization’s site: www.machsomwatch.org. The majority of the Spotlights (an opinion page) that are published on the site had been written by her. She is also a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and volunteer in Breaking the Silence. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.