My apartment building

From my encircled apartment in Lower Ramallah, I write to you after 5 days without electricity or gas. Hopefully I will survive with my laptop and the lentil soup which I make bearable, day after day, with peppers. Vegetables, bread, and meat seem like a luxury.

We not only have a curfew but also tanks at the door of the building. As my building is rather high, the Israeli soldiers occupied two apartments and kicked the residents out of their home. They gathered all the men of all ages and put them in one apartment (they ignored me because of my magical French passport).

They killed one young man of 19 because he asked to use the bathroom. He was beaten and left for over two hours until he bled to death. The soldiers let them call the ambulance after he died. I was totally demoralized yesterday to hear women from the young man’s family cry over him.

The soldiers entered my apartment to look for arms. They told me that my apartment was suspicious because it was messy. They cut all the phone lines in the building and, as I don’t have a phone, they did something to my mobile so that I couldn’t receive any calls.

There are so many kids of all ages in this building. I never understand how their families were able to keep them quiet and still inside the small apartments.

Poor kids! This experience will mark my life for ever. I have rarely heard in the history of warfare that ambulances are not allowed to save the wounded and carry away the dead.

- The author is director of the Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Centre, Shaml