Stories from Qalandiya: Collaborate or Die

A woman with cancer waiting at the Qalandiya military checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman

As I was standing at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, I saw a woman with cancer. She was moaning in pain, as four Red Crescent workers lifted her emaciated body and moved her on a stretcher. She came from the An-Najah Hospital and she needed to reach the Erez Crossing, to enter Gaza and continue her treatment at a local hospital. 

Palestinian patients from Gaza need to beg the Israeli authorities to obtain a permit to exit what is considered the largest prison in the world. They need to present medical certificates to prove their illness, and then, wait for an unknown period of time for their jailers to decide whether they live or die.

Their family members are often blackmailed by Israel into serving as informers and collaborators, in order to provide permits or life-saving medical equipment.

Every day, Palestinian patients have to undergo a painful process, in addition to their already existing condition, wasting precious time that they should invest in their treatment.

– 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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