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Moving from city to another, tasting the real meaning of the occupation

Fadi Abu Sada

If you think that you know the hell, you’re wrong. As for the meaning of occupation, it is known and conspicuous to each Palestinian .But, the different procedures that the Israeli occupation imposes, especially when moving from city to another, will teach you the real meaning of the hell of occupation which is becoming intolerable day after a day.

The issue is a work visit to Nablus, a city in the North of west Bank, for less than an hour .The starting point was Bethlehem and the journey began at seven o’clock in the morning.

Going out of Bethlehem now is related to or depends on a check point called “the Container”. In other words, if you go beyond this check-point you can say that you reached your aim in a way or another.

But we faced another occupational check-point before the container, and after waiting for along time we reached the container and overstepped it without facing any real problems .However, after exceeding each check-point we think about the following one. So, we started thinking about “maaali Adumim settlement check-point but it wasn’t there at that time.

We continued towards Nablus. We faced a lot of moving check-points because it was Friday wherein a lot of Israeli soldiers are found in the roads that lead to occupied Jerusalem to prevent the insurers to pray in Al-Aqsa mosque.

We reached Zaatara check-point and passed it safely then we reached the last check-point before we enter Nablus which is Hawara check- point and there was a different story. The Israeli soldiers asked us to get out off the car. After that they started checking our identity cards and the car insurance papers. I was accompanying two American journalists and one Palestinian.

After a long checking they told my friends that they can pass and get about in Nablus but without the car. However, things were different with me. I was told that I can’t pass for two reasons. The first one _as the Israeli soldiers said_ is that I don’t have a permission to get about from city to another. The second one is that I am a terrorist!!!!! As they described. So, they confiscated my identity card and asked me to stand and wait near the check point and under the burning sun rays. While waiting there I met some young men from Nablus who were prevented to pass too.

We talked together. And one of them said sarcastically “we’re from Nablus and we can’t pass .How come do you want to pass”. I answered with the same  sarcasm). ” I’m a guest and I must pass . Afterwards, they told me about their daily suffering on this check-point which I saw personally while being detained.

I also saw the Israeli soldiers teasing the men, They told someone that if he had 1000 shakels he will pass .Theu also told another one that he has to go to Ramallah and stay there. The third one was told to go to Eillat instead of waiting here at Hawara check point.

After about an hour and with the American journalists interference, the Israeli soldiers asked me to come.One of them commented mockingly:”I’ll afford you a help that equals your life which is that I’ll give you your identity card and I’ll not make you wait for four hours under the sun rays and this is what I do usually but you have to return to the place where you came from for I don’t want to see you here ever again”.
I took my identity card because that was very important to me at that moment, then I asked soon: “Am I really a terrorist”?
The Israeli soldier answered:” I don’t think so but this is not the main point now”.

So, it is very clear here that the main goal and aim of the Israeli soldiers is to humiliate, lower and abase people.

We left this check-point to another one near Hawara. It is called Awarta it is another enterance to Nablus which is used for goods and merchandise. There the occupying Israeli soldiers detained us for another hour to check our papers before entering Nablus. They ordered us to eneter for only an hour.

This was the ninth check-point which we passed to go to Nablus. We enterd Nablus and completed our work. We retured to Bethlehem and a lot of suffering and discomfort we overstepped and passed six check-points to reach the last check point which is the Container to enter Bethlehem. There we found hundreds of cars and about five thousand Palestinians who told us that the barrier is closed because there was some information that a Palestinian fighter intends to enter and make a suicide attack. And this barrier will not be opened today at all.

This was beginning at half past hour in the afternoon. The Israeli soldiers directed their guns towards any Palestinian who tries to pass this check-point they also threatened them to shoot. In addition to this, they beat a lot of guys.

We were able to enter Bethlehem after waiting for another two hours. As a result, this journey to Nablus ends with getting through 16 check-points and barriers and lasted for exactly 11 hours.