Qalandiya - everything was stopped until the problem was solved

Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.

The three raggedy flags and the national flag in the middle, half-mast, show that which is to come… What would the ‘flag law’ legislators say about this?


On the other side of the checkpoint, the police closed off the way to cars headed for Jerusalem. As a result, a bit later the place was filled with traffic chaos and loud honking. Later I met Pedro, the security guard, who explained to me – not to victims of this closureinfo-icon – that a problem with the brake system left the operators no choice but to stop everything until the problem was solved.

That’s how it is, said Pedro. You fix one thing and apparently something else goes out of whack. In one word – maintenance. In two words – no maintenance.


Rami wanted to talk, it was important for him that someone would know and see him. Rami does not hide – and has nothing left to lose.

I met him as he stood and waited to be allowed to cross the checkpoint and get back home to East Jerusalem with the photo of his ID which he carries in his phone. We continued our way together.

You see me? Said Rami. I’m alive, but actually not alive. I live like a person who has already died.

Rami was born in East Jerusalem. During the Intifada, when Rami was 4 years old, his elder brother was tried for murdering a Jew and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Fearing that the authorities would take their revenge on the whole family, the mother took the rest of her children and moved to Jordan. Every year or two they would come to Israel for a visit in order to keep their property and right to residence.

When Rami was 15 he no longer wanted to live as a nomad and returned home to Jerusalem. So far the story is simple, of a boy who became a young man and raised a family and lived in his childhood home. But then, without any warning, his ID was confiscated and his life stopped.

Ever since, he has been knocking on doors and bureaus and institutions – and nothing.

Moreover, private Jewish persons and organization representatives come to him offering considerable sums of money in order that he sell his home.

Here’s where I was born, and here’s where I’ll die, says Rami who refuses them all.

All this Rami does not tell his children and does not share with them the injustice he’s seen, for fear that they would hate the State and be tempted to join the terrorists.

And what about the brother who was the cause of the entire saga? – He was released in one of the prisoner-release deals, and is living the rest of his life in Jordan…


People are saying another closure is about to begin in about a month or a month and a half, right before your holidays. Sources? -Me, I have a brother who is a doctor in the National Sick Fund, and that’s what he told me, said my acquaintance.