11 Feb 2012

Unknown chemicals sprayed in Palestinian cars at checkpoints

By Abir Kopty (Palestine News Network)

“Lately I've been going to Jenin every two or three weeks with family members. We usually do our vegetable shopping in the city market.

israeli checkpoint

Last Saturday, on our way back from Jenin to Nazareth, we were surprised to find a new technology to check "suspicious" cars at the Israeli checkpoint.

The checkpoint examination usually goes like this: There are about six lines of cars going out through the checkpoint. At each line, there are one or two "security" officers that ask for IDs, and decide whether the car and its riders do or do not constitute 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 they do, then the car gets a green ticket. Once you get the green one, you have to go to the far right line for a special check. You are asked to open all doors, take out all your belongings and go through a physical check while the car is separately searched.

You can't ever understand the logic and the considerations of any of the checkpoint's officers. Sometimes our car gets the green ticket, sometimes the white.

Last Saturday we got the green one. We went to the line that checks the cars and we were surprised to see this strange little machine that looks like a hospital's IV machine.

Spray device

We were asked to roll up all windows, leave one centimeter of the two front windows open, exit the car and go through the physical search. My brother and I started asking questions about this machine and what it does. The officers refused to answer.

According to Haaretz, this contraption is also used at a Bethlehem checkpoint, and I assume in many of the "privatized" checkpoints, where the state has outsourced the managing of the checkpoint to private "security" companies in order to "civilianize" the checkpoints – another failed attempt to whitewash the occupation.”

Full story on Palestine News Network