Are Rounding Up The Men
update from Jumana Mufawi, Shirabe Yamada and
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.
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!
what a 13 year old has to worry about in Palestine.
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.
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
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.
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.
is another report from my friend Muna.
Rounded-Up in Dheisheh, House-to-House Searches Underway;
Israeli Defense Minister, Benyamin Ben-Eliezar in Dheisheh
Monday, March 11, 2002
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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