"Nablus under occupation" Nabulus by NadiaMarie
Nabulus Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 40 photos
Here is the text I sent as an article for a website. Once I get my document back from Palestine I'll write more precisely about everything and I'll add some pics too.
One sunny quiet day in Nablus. Everybody goes out to the market place, to the shops, to visit friends and to ask how is the family... until the curfew at 18h of course. This is the exception, the short breathing pause to make palestinian believe they are still alive, that a life is still possible.
During the night, tanks are roaming. Early in the morning (Tuesday 18th Febrary) at the exact time when children are on the way to school, israelian occupy the town. The first place targeted being the three schools on the west side. Only for the school Abd El Nasser, 4 tanks A and 2 jeeps and one truck... On the way to the center, children are disoriented, they don’t know if they can cross the street as some shooting are heard, if they can come back home...
Nablus was once more invaded. It lasted until the next Sunday.
It’s useless to give the number of killed or injured. Only numbers ; no, this is not the reality of the occupation. It would mean two equal sides are fighting and at the end, some pay the price ; or, as the media use to explain it, for the security of the israelian state, some terrorists have been killed... Yes, sure, the fifteen years old boy and his grand father in the old Nablus, pushing their fruit stand on the way back to the shop were terrorists. The boy was shot in his head. The old man shot in the womb died later.
While walking in the desert old city to give medecine to the families or milk to the children, I and two other volunteers, we found ourselves face to face with about 10 soldiers. They arrested the ambulance and were just breaking everything inside. They were 4 in it ; the doctor and the driver were just waiting on the side, powerless. As an international I can open my mouth without much danger. I told them « But what are you damn looking for ? What are you doing ? This is an ambulance ! ». A young soldier, 19 years old maximum, answered me with a smile « Guns ».
They came in the houses of the Yasmine area in the old part of Nablus. In this case the occupation means : the soldiers enter the house, they put everybody in the same room, sometimes more than 10 people, they stand at the window and at the strategic places and just stay there. One two, threee days, sometimes more. Before leaving they break everything. If they were looking for someone in particular and don’t find him, they take their revenge on those who are there. But usually they don’t need to look for anybody in particular. Then, they move to the next apartement or house. So, they explose a wall and enter... and again, they put the family in one room and so on...
About 60 houses have been destroyed that way this time. But does this number show the trauma of the family ? The reality of those actions ? During the night with the volunteers we used to visit the families and to hang around in the city. In one area, an entire house had just been reduced into pieces, cuting the electicity and the street. I remember entering a neighbour house with the light and finding the mother, father and the two young children frightened in the parents bedroom... or what was still used as a bedroom. All the apartement had been destroyed and they had no light, no way to communicate, just the fear.
There is no right, no justice, nothing. Who can still believe in the funny justification of the israelian state... « we arrest terrorists, it is for the security of our state put in danger by the arabs ».
On Saturday 22nd around 15h, four of my friends were arrested. One of them is an ambulance driver, the other one is a nurse and the two last one are simple medical volunteers who use to help and carry dead and injured people. They entered a house in the old city to give medical assistance to a family nobody heard about since a few days. Soldiers were inside. they caught them all and kept them saying later they had to check if they were not terrorists. They are from the medical relief comittee, their identity has already been checked in the past dozens ot times. We had no news about them and all their mobiles were closed. So, with other volunteers we looked for them. Thanks to the neighbours, we found out the house they were in. We tried to negociate. Two soldiers were at the window. They didn’t say a word. Under the rain I tried half an hour all the languages all the arguments, I was with two palestinian volunteers. Without success, we decided to call the few other international from the ISM (International Solidarity Movment) present in Nablus. So we came back all together- about ten people- to try to talk to the captain. They released the nurse. Then they transfered the three other volunteers to the camp next to the Huwara check point. They released the volunteers in the night at 3 am and 5 am after many pressions. One of them had the number 245. They all told me lots and lots of people were in the camp, under the rain or under the tents... probably more than 250 according to the number of one of the volunteer.
Yes, all terrorists. Even before being born. Soon israelian will find a terrorist gene ; I’m sure about it. Or maybe they won’t need to as there is nobody to give a justification to. No international press, no human right watchers. The UN is just there administratively ; I’ve never seen them in the street, nor during the conflicts, nor in the hospitals... nowhere. There are just two local tv and maximum fifteen international civilians with no real power to get the information out. But who cares ? How come such obvious human right violations, such international treaty denials, such barbarian actions from the only « democratic country of the region », such crimes comitted by an official army... are not clearly shown and denounced ?
I am back from the occupied territories. I have seen the dead, the injured, the families, the ambulances, the destructed mosques and the ruins of educational centers. I just tell what I’ve seen, directly, and no needs to be clever to get to the conclusion that not one line of the international right is respected ; the human dignity has no signification either.
Just as a conclusion I’d like to share that « dialogue » I had in Nablus. While negociating with a young soldier in a tank to let a group of women cross the street, children were throwing little stones that did not even rich the tank. The soldier said no for the women and added at the end « tell the children to stop that, it’s boring me, tell them because I’m gonna shoot soon ».
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