[support this site, start all your amazon.com shopping here]


current headlines archive
They Are Rounding Up The Men
Dheisheh, Qalqilya, update from Jumana Mufawi, Shirabe Yamada and Muna Hamze
11 Mar., 2002

Dear all,

Last night the Israelis invaded my hometown in Palestine: Qalqilya. I have talked to my cousins there and they have told me that they are under complete curfew and with no electricity. They have shelled several PA buildings and killed one policeman and one civilian.

They are conducting house-to-house searches and taking men between the ages of 15 and 40. My cousin told me that her son is 13 but he's tall so he might get mistaken for older. She has prepared her son that there is a possibility that he might get taken and also prepared him to the possibility of being beaten so that he is not taken by surprise!

This is what a 13 year old has to worry about in Palestine.


Dear Friends,

Israelis have detained 600 men, between the ages of 14-40 from Dheisheh, while going house to house. Among them are two brothers, Motasem (17) and Ahmad (16) Al-Ghrouz, members of Ibdaa Dance Troup that some of you may remember from their performance tour across the US in 1999, as well as other friends of mine.

Soldiers had just left their home when I phoned my adopted family in Dheisheh. Their 15-year-old daughter reassured me that everyone was fine and their 16-year-old son had escaped in time, in a shaken voice. Thankfully their house was not damaged, unlike most of their neighbors whose furniture was turned and windows smashed.

I rang up my friend Khulud, sister of Motasem and Ahmad. She, along tens of her neighbors, had just been forced out of her home by Israeli soldiers. A house in her neighborhood was to be blown up. Israelis have been blowing up houses in Dheisheh, and in such a densely crowded area I could easily imagine damages inflicted on an entire neighborhood. She was huddled in someone's house, and in the background of her broken voice I could hear much chaos. "Four of my brothers were taken," said Khulud. "What will happen to us, what can we do?" I felt helpless, not knowing what consolation to offer.

Khulud is among 3 million Palestinians who are going through this as I write. Dheisheh is among hundreds of communities in the occupied territories subjected to this atrocity. Please write your policymakers today that this must stop.

Below is another report from my friend Muna.


600 Rounded-Up in Dheisheh, House-to-House Searches Underway; Israeli Defense Minister, Benyamin Ben-Eliezar in Dheisheh

By Muna Hamzeh
Monday, March 11, 2002

At about 6:30 a.m. Palestine time today, Israeli troops called on all male residents of Dheisheh Refugee Camp between the ages of 14-50 to assemble in the courtyard of a stone factory at the western edge of the camp. Six hundred men are being detained. The majority of men between the ages of 14-40 have been outside the camp since Thursday. The men who were rounded-up today have been blindfolded and their hands tied. Some western camera crews were able to film the men. Local Bethlehem TV stations have broadcast the photos and the women and children in the camp are watching their loved ones on their TV screens being mistreated by the soldiers. The children are in a state of hysterics after seeing their fathers and/or older brothers in this state on TV. As the soldiers approach each blindfolded man, they are spitting on him and beating him. One by one, the men are being taken into a side room inside the factory and interrogated. Masked Palestinian collaborators are at hand to tell the soldiers which of the men is an active member of the resistance. This is what Oslo has given us.

The latest news from the camp is that the men who have been interrogated and will be released have been placed in one room and the plan is to release them at the end of the day. But the release won't take place until Israeli troops finish the house-to-house searched currently underway. About ten minutes ago, I called my friend Hourieh. "The searches are taking place about three blocks from my house. My only hope is that they will get to my house before it gets dark. All we can do is sit and wait our turn." Only women and children are inside the houses and according to one woman whose house was searched less than an hour ago, the soldiers aren't leaving anything inside in tact. The contents of all closets, cupboards, shelves, everything is being turned on the floor. The soldiers are destroying any furniture or belongings they feel like destroying.

About three hours ago, Israeli Defense Minister Benyamin Ben Eliezar was in Dheisheh to inspect the site where the men are being held. An exchange of gunfire was reported during his visit, but it is all quiet now.

Dheisheh's entire civilian population is being subjected to the horror of Israel's military might. Every woman in the camp now does not know whether her husband will return home today or will be taken away. The detained 600 men have not had anything to eat or drink for the past 10 hours. Nor have they been able to relieve themselves. The number of those who will be take away remains unclear.

Yesterday (Friday, March 10, 2002), the Israeli military dynamited four houses in the camp. All four houses being to families who lost sons in this Intifada. Another family was notified that their house would be dynamited today. The close proximity of the houses - many houses share a wall with a neighbor, means that the destruction of the houses has caused extensive damage to neighboring homes. Keep in mind that the Palestinians have no insurance on their homes and there are government funds to compensate anyone for their loss.

The pictures of the round ups in Dheisheh on al-Jazeera.net this morning - I recognized some of my former neighbors, all blindfolded. Anyone who is able to receive this message n HTML format will be able to see the photos. If not, please visit www.aljazeera.net

Patterns of Abuse

Ori Kleiner, Jun. 2004
 Israeli Emigrants Guide:
archive current headlines

Shirabe's Report - Subscribe - Ballot Gallery - Web Masters - Search - Archive - About - Home

web site hosting by earthbound