This Friday me and 3 other were detained at Attara checkpoint near the city of Ramallah.
As soon as the small bus reached the checkpoint, the soldiers asked for our IDs, and to where we were heading, we said BaitReema -A village near NabiSaleh-, yes we lied to the soldiers, but they wont let us pass if they knew we are going to NabiSaleh anyway, and I didn’t thought they will search my back bag.
The soldiers asked us to step down, searching all of our bags, when they found my gas mask the soldier acted as a kid who just found the right excuse to beat the kid next door. He asked us all to get into the bus. Suddenly a soldier came back from the jeep asking the girl in the front seat, “Ramadan?” she said “No”, yet they asked her to step down. this is when my friend, the actual holder of the ID and the name “Ramadan” spoke up, “this is my ID” the soldier asked her to step down, tied her hand, and asked her to step a side and set on the ground, which she refused to obey. She stood there, smiled and told me “well, I am getting arrested in the way to Nablus, not in NabiSaleh, Ironic!”.
The soldiers then took her inside the bunker, before they take her out again blind folded, asked her to set, the other girl in the bus, asked the soldier if she can set to comfort her.
Soon, the commanding officer came with a big jeep usually used to carry soldier and occasionally arrested Palestinian, the officer, talked with the checkpoint officer for a while before he came to us, searched our bags(again). I asked him about my friend, he replied “Tell your friend to find something else to do.”
Few second later, they took “Ramadan” into the jeep and drove away, we stood there, “now what?” we asked the officer, he replied with a words we will hear all day “set and wait, then we decide, you either go home, or go away.” soldiers then let the Bus driver and 2 other passenger leave. only back to Ramallah, leaving me and 2 other guys and a girl behind, to have the longest, unwanted sun bath.
The soldier came 15 minutes later, with a bottle of water, he said “Take this drink water, if you want more, just ask.” it was an Israeli bottled water so we refused to drink it -I admit, I had a sip or 2 at first-. We started asking the passing car to give us water if they have any, we got 2 bottle -one of which was nice and cold- before the soldiers forbidden us from interacting with people, or making phone calls.
The hours passed fast, and slow, we were getting more and more tired, some were panicking as time pass, others were just getting angrier, and I was getting more and more annoyed, by 2:30 we couldn’t resist the need for water, so we turned to the soldiers asking for water, the soldier pointed to the bottle “you still have water”, “it’s hot, it’s undrinkable”, “you can make tea!! ha ha”. yaa we got the funny one.
The soldiers brought us more water, refilling the bottle without asking for more “no, they weren’t being nice, but the IDF will look bad if we died from dehydration.”
PS: “they refilled it with tap water, so yaa, we didn’t drink Israeli water after all”
Around 3:00PM the unit changed, different soldiers showed up, we tried to talk to a very American looking soldier (he is not American tho), asking what’s going on, and when they are going to let us go, we talked for a while although he repeated the same old recorded statements. “you are suspect of attempting to enter a closed military zone, we are keeping you until they decide what they are going to do to you”
around 3:30 he and another soldier came to us, “Nimer!?” I raised my hand, and he handed me my ID, you can go back to Ramallah now, all of you.
As we walked away, and after I called couple of my friend, I got a call from “Ramadan” telling me, they let her go, and she is going to meet us in Ramallah, it was a nice surprise, a perfect end for a long day, specially letting her go, answered a lot of questions that were running in my mind all day long.
In the end, I must introduce you to the people who detained us, please meet Alexandroni Brigade (the 3ed brigades in the IDF).
This Brigade is a suspect of committing mass murder against Arab-Palestinian during the 1948 war(Nakba) in the village of Tantura
their is nothing much about this brigade as the rest brigade of the IDF, but you can read the few Wikipedia offer click here