Lately I’ve been going to Jenin every 2-3 weeks with family members. We usually do our vegetable shopping in the city market.
Last Saturday, on our way back from Jenin to Nazareth, we were surprised to find a new technology to check the “suspected” cars at the Israeli checkpoint.
The checkpoint’s check usually goes like this: There are about six lines of cars going out through the checkpoint, on each there is 1-2 “security” officers that ask for IDs, and decide whether this car including, its riders, do or do not consist a major threat to Israel’s “security” and “existence”. If they do not, the officer gives the car a white ticket, which means they are done with the “security” check. If yes, then the car gets a green ticket. Once you get the green one, you have to go to the far right route into a special check. You are asked to open all doors, take out all your belongings and go through physical check while the car is been checked separately.
You never understand the logic and the considerations of any of the checkpoint’s officers. Sometimes our car gets the green and sometimes the white ticket.
Last Saturday we got the green one, we went to the car’s check route and we were surprised with this little strange machine that looks like a hospital’s Infusion machine.
We were asked to roll up all windows and leave the two front windows 1cm open, exit the car and go through the physical check. Me and my brother started asking questions on this machine and what does it do etc. They refused to answer.
According to Haaretz, this machine is also used in Bethlehem checkpoint and I assume in many of the “privatized” checkpoints, where the state decided to outsource the managing of the checkpoint to private “security” companies in order to “civilianize” the checkpoints, another failed attempt to whitewash the occupation.
The procedure is described by Haaretz as the following: Two tubes are then connected to the vehicle – one is connected to an air pump, the other, which passes through a tiny filter, is attached to the vehicle. A policeman with a stopwatch flicks the air pump switch.
If you check the pictures carefully you can see clearly a small box connected to the tubes with unknown material, which is believed to be, as International workers told Haaretz, “nausea-inducing chemicals”.
When we got back to the car, there was a slight strange smell and we felt slightly dizzy, we were not sure if this is our “wild imagination” or is it something that was sprayed into the car.
Human rights organizations, should take initiative and obtain sample of the material being used, and examine it. I’m almost sure; it will include prohibited materials, tested on Palestinians first, to be then marketed to the world as a new technology from the “successful” Israeli military industry.