‘Let Them Wait’: A Palestinian Man on a Stretcher

A young Palestinian man trying to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman

Kafr ‘Aqab is a northern Palestinian Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It is part of the area that was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967. Most of the residents here hold a blue Israeli ID.

Yet despite the fact that they regularly pay taxes to Jerusalem’s municipality, they struggle with a lack of essential services. The only advantage is that they are entitled to medical treatment at hospitals in Jerusalem.

However, Israeli hospitals are located far away and sometimes patients reach them too late.

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As I was standing at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, I met a Palestinian resident of Kafr ‘Aqab who was on a stretcher as he had been injured in a traffic accident. He needed to be hospitalized but reaching Jerusalem from Kafr ‘Aqab is not an easy process. 

On that day, dozens of Palestinian men, women, and children were patiently standing in line hoping to cross. But the gate would not open.

I went closer to the Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint. “What’s going on? When will you open the gate?” I screamed at them. 

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“It will take time,” the soldier told me. “You can cross through the vehicle track”.

“And them?” I asked, pointing to the crowd of Palestinains waiting for hours.

“For them, it is not possible, they will have to wait. As I said, it will take time” she said.

I thought of the man on a stretcher. For him, time was running too fast. But the Israeli soldier did not seem to care. 

(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: www.machsomwatch.org. 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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1 Comment

  1. Hang in there, God is cleaning house using President Putin to lead the way.
    My love and prayers for Palestine. 🤲

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