I just had the hardest day of my life. Let me start off by telling you that yesterday i had to get into Nablus while it was under curfew. I was with three Palestinians. I had a hard time getting here and, once in Nablus, I had to walk up to a tank and another armored vehicle and negotiate with them to let us through and they didn’t let the one male go past so he walked around. We eventually got around.
Last night they invaded a hospital and shot it up, injuring two and killing one. Today, I went to the UPMRC a medical agency that has ambulences to help. Internationals and local UPMRC workers split into groups. I was in one with three Palestinians and one other international. We were delivering food to the Old City because we are the only ones who can get to the people. We walked by many tanks and jeeps and various armed vehicles.
We almost got to where we were going when a jeep stopped us and took into custody myself and the other international. We were arrested. Then we were forced to sit with them at their makeshift base in the Old City with their two tanks (there are tons more spread throughout the city) and many jeeps and armed vehicles.
I cannot describe the horror. The soldiers were all around me and then there were clashes, rocks and glass were being thrown, sound bombs, tear gas, tank firing, machine guns, automatic weapons — the whole nine yards were being shot and the soldiers were all next to me. They were shooting at the Palestinians. They shot someone in the head. Every time a child would look at the window they would point their guns and scream at them and cock their triggers.
For five hours, I was there next to the firing guns and tanks. I tried distracting them by talking to them which worked quite a bit so that they wouldn’t notice Palestinians breaking curfew.
I prayed, I prayed, and I prayed that God would warm their hearts so that they would stop this madness. I was so scared. They were all around me shooting. I knew that I was supposed to experience this, because now I have seen the war from the soldier’s point of view. Now I know what they do, say, somewhat feel, and how they act. I have so many little details I would like to tell you, but i cannot because I am in shock right now.
I made it back up to my apartment and now I am a few buildings down with the family who partially consists of the three Palestinians I came here with from Kalandia checkpoint near Ramallah and Jerusalem. They are taking good care of me. I love them dearly. I came in here sobbing. I am still shocked.
They kept telling me this is their daily life. It’s true. I am just not used to it. I wish I could describe for you in words what it was like today but there is nothing I can tell you to express the pain I feel and what it was like being in the middle of the soldiers shooting and bombing my friends. I wish I could make you see, but then again, I wouldn’t wish today on anyone. I am glad the soldiers released me.
Please don’t be worried for me. I am safe and in the hands of thousands of loving people all which whom would share with me everything they had. In the end I grew less afraid. I knew God was with me and wanted me to be there with the soldiers. I am greatful for this experience, but at the same time mortified. For the many of you who offer and seek to give me advice, it is much appreciated, but I am here and know what the situation is like. It is very different then what you see.
My mom said the Palestinians were bloodthirsty and hungry for revenge. This is not what they want. Most Palestinians want peace and their land. We all want freedom. Please don’t believe the news the way the portray Palestinians. Do you know the Hamas leader they killed in Gaza was a moderate who was against bombings and was working for peace? Did you know that the IDF assassinates Hamas members who are moderate or against a lot of the bad things and leave many of the fanatics? I bet you didn’t know that all of Hamas doesn’t support suicide bombings. That’s like saying all Democrats supported the bombing of kosovo because of Clinton’s decisions.