Palestine: A Car Accident Victim’s Long Way to the Hospital

A Palestinian victim of a car accident waiting to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman

As I was standing at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, I saw an ambulance arriving. It was carrying the victim of a car accident, a frontal collision between two vehicles that took place near the Palestinian town of Kufr Aqab. 

Normally, ambulances that carry wounded people rush to the hospital to give them a better chance to survive. Not in Occupied Palestine, though.

Kufr Aqab is located two kilometers away from Ramallah. Therefore, it would be rational to take the victim to the Ramallah hospital, without having to cross the Israeli military checkpoint of Qalandiya and be moved from one vehicle to another. However, this is not possible, due to Israeli occupation.

Procedures are not implemented according to the severity of the wounds, but the color of the ID. 

Since the victim lying down on the stretcher held a blue ID, it meant that he is a resident of Jerusalem, not an Israeli citizen. 

Therefore, he had to be taken to the Hadassah Hospital, not because of physical proximity but simply because of the color of his ID.

In fact, this is not a story about a wounded Palestinian, but about sick Israeli military procedures. 

(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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  1. This “procedure” has been going on for decades. I first witnessed in 1993. Pregnant women in labor have been forced to deliver their babies in cars and ambulances, under the eyes of occupation troops because of the color of their IDs. It is so inhuman that it is difficult to believe unless you have witnessed it with your own eyes. A very distinguished Palestinian resistor once told me, “We must resist the temptation to demonize.” My response was that the occupation was doing a bang-up job of demonizing themselves.

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