Frozen Lives at the Qalandiya Military Checkpoint

The 'waiting shed' at the Qalandiya military checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishmah, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman

Last week, I was told that Palestinian children from the Qalandiya refugee camp attacked the Israeli military checkpoint, throwing stones and firebombs.

They were reportedly very young, 13 or 14 years old. 

The Israeli army responded by closing the checkpoint on both sides for several hours, denying access and exit to Palestinians. 

Moreover, Israeli occupation soldiers raided a Palestinian shop nearby and confiscated the memory card from the security cameras. What do they want to hide? 

Closing the checkpoint means freezing the lives of thousands of Palestinians who badly need a permit to travel. Their lives are put on hold by the Israeli occupation. 

That’s what I thought as I entered the front office of the military checkpoint: stained and raggedy benches, and exposed electrical wires on the wall. 

Outside the office, Palestinians sit in the darkness, in a place known as ‘the waiting shed’. 

They wait for the Israeli soldiers to unfreeze their existence.

(Translated by Tal Haran. Edited by Romana Rubeo)

– As a member of Machsomwatch, Tamar Fleishman documents events at Israeli military checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Her reports, photos and videos can be found on the organization’s website: She is also a member of the ‘Coalition of Women for Peace’ and a volunteer in ‘Breaking the Silence’. Tamar Fleishman is The Palestine Chronicle correspondent at the Qalandiya checkpoint.


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