The children of the occupation

yeladim-tamarA couple of weeks ago Israeli anti-occupation activist Tamar Fleischman wrote on Facebook about an incident she witnessed at the Israeli Defence Forces Qalandia checkpoint on the West Bank, concerning a six year old Palestinian child, whose head was injured by a metal rod: ‘The father telephoned a friend, a brain injuries specialist, who told him the child had to reach an operation table within an hour if there was any chance of saving his life. It was Friday, after three o’clock, because by the time the occupation machine permitted the child and his mother (not his father) to go through to a Jerusalem hospital, five hours had passed. Perhaps five crucial hours. The child was concussed, his eyes open, his gaze unforced, his arms lifting and falling aimlessly. The father begged the soldiers to let him go with his child, but no, only the mother was permitted to go. And the man stood by his child, who didn’t really see him, and kept touching him, but the child didn’t feel it, speaking to him, but the child didn’t hear him, saying to him: ‘This is daddy, it’s daddy, my child…’ And he kept saying this, bending to touch his son’s body and the bit of his head that wasn’t bandaged, as if saying goodbye, keeping his tears until after the ambulance left, and only then burst out crying’. Continue reading “The children of the occupation”