Wow, real journalism about Israel’s occupation, published in the mainstream press.
Here’s an Associated Press piece in the Washington Post this week (and it’s titled, “Checkpoint misery epitomizes a Mideast divide”):
The journey to Jerusalem, for tens of thousands of Palestinians, begins in a dank, trash-strewn hangar.
They move through cage-like passages and 7-foot-high turnstiles to be checked by Israeli soldiers from behind bulletproof glass. The soldiers often yell at them through loudspeakers. They are supposed to work in pairs to speed the lines through, but sometimes one of them is asleep, his feet on his desk.
The Qalandia crossing, say the Israelis, is where potential attackers are filtered out before they can reach Jerusalem on the other side. Palestinians say it’s a daily humiliation they must endure to reach jobs, family, medical appointments and schools.
This main checkpoint between the northern West Bank and Jerusalem is one of the rawest points of friction between Israel and the Palestinians, a symbol of the day-to-day bitterness that grinds between the two sides as the U.S. struggles to relaunch peace negotiations.
Since taking office last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has eased Palestinian movement inside the West Bank, but not into Jerusalem. In recent weeks, he has repeated his vow that Jerusalem will never be divided, angering Palestinians who want the city’s eastern sector, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, as their future capital.
The separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank slices through several of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, making Qalandia the only way for 60,000 taxpaying residents to reach their city. They too must line up along with tens of thousands of West Bank residents to enter Israel for work – provided they are patient, have permits, and don’t arouse suspicion.
For five days, an Associated Press reporter waited with them.