We Just Want to Live

"Everyone, the man who collapsed, the ill woman, those in search for bread, the teenager with the cast on his arm and the others- just want to live." (Tamar Fleishman)

By Tamar Fleishman – Qalandiya

“We just want to live”, one person said and so do many others.

Just to live.

But it’s hard to live when everyday arise new problems, new restrictions and new unexpected difficulties that only minds that scheme to do harm could come up with.

Such is the new one from this week, a metal and high fence that closes the path of pedestrians on the way to and from the checkpoint.

These hundred or hundred and fifty meters are not a trivial matter, certainly not for the elder or the handicap people in that filthy and pothole ridden place, where people are not only being humiliated but that from time to time, especially during demonstrations, they are shot at by snipers.

“Take a photo but leave the face out”, said the teenager that a few days before the war in Gaza ended, while he was participating in a rally in support of the bombarded city, was shot by soldiers who sniped at the protesters from the new post on the top of the wall.

No statistics take him and others like him into account.

There is also no statistics that take under account the young men who left their homes in Hebron in seek of work in Jerusalem, or as they call it: “to bring bread to the children”, and got caught by the border police who drove them and dumped them at the checkpoint like an object of no use. They also just want to live.

Also ignored by the statistics was the young woman who suffered from an illness in her lymph glands, who arrived at Ramallah hospital all the way from Gaza, because even before the war there was no medical equipment in Gaza to scan, analyze and operate and maybe even save or prolong her life. She and her mother sat and waited at the entrance to the checkpoint for their documents to be issued and they could return home. But she too couldn’t see much of the horizon and not only because of her illness.

At the end of the day the permit was issued and the two women crossed, until the next time. Until the day of the operation. Then they will return, ask for a permit and head to Ramallah, and on their way back ask for a permit to return to their home and then have to go through it all again for her scheduled appointment to see the doctor…

A man after heart surgery wasn’t granted permission to cross the checkpoint. He also came from Gaza and had been waiting in line since seven and a half in the morning, hoping he would get a permit to go back home to his family. The hours passed and he was still standing there waiting, until all of his energy drained and he collapsed.

An ambulance was sent and the man was taken to the hospital in Ramallah, and no one knows whether or not he is alive.

And everyone, the man who collapsed, the ill woman, those in search for bread, the teenager with the cast on his arm and the others- just want to live.

(Translated by Ruth Fleishman.)

– As a member of Machsomwatch, once a week Tamar Fleishman heads out to document the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. This documentation (reports, photos and videos) can be found on the organization’s site: www.machsomwatch.org. The majority of the Spotlights (an opinion page) that are published on the site had been written by her. She is also a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and volunteer in Breaking the Silence. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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