‘They Want Us Dead before They Open the Gate’: Injured Baby at Qalandiya

Qalandiya military checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman

While I was standing at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, I saw a private car that had been waiting for a long time. Since it was strange to see a private vehicle in that track, which is usually used by public buses, I decided to get closer. 

The driver told me that he was from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kufr Aqab and that he was carrying his 1-year-old child, who had been injured. It was unclear how the child sustained his injuries. 

He was perfectly aware of the strict Israeli military procedures, so he notified the Israeli army authorities of his arrival. They nominally authorized his passage and promised to open the gate for him. However, they didn’t keep their promise. 

The mother was sitting in the back of the car, holding her baby. The father was more and more angry and worried. 

“They want us dead before they open that gate,” he said.

I stood next to the car and waited with them. 

When the gate eventually opened, the car could proceed for a few meters just to be stopped again, for another inspection. 

I kept looking at them from a distance, thinking of all the times I had to witness Israeli soldiers’ complete disregard for Palestinian lives. 

(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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