Diaries: Live from Palestine

Assaults on medical personnel and mistreatment of the injured

This morning we received several reports of Israeli assaults on medical personnel and the wounded. At 11 o’clock this morning, Israeli forces stopped two ambulances near the Arab Bank in the old city of Ramallah. One ambulance belongs to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the other belongs to the Ministry of Health. The crew, including paramedics, has been arrested. At this moment, Israeli forces in Ramallah are using the ambulance to move around in the city. Additionally, a few minutes later, another ambulance, belonging to the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees has been confiscated near the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. The driver and the injured have been arrested. 

Sleepless in Geneva

I too woke up this morning in Geneva to a slew of reports of the Israeli offensive against Palestinians in Ramallah. After trying unsuccessfully to reach family and friends, I met with two Palestinian friends who have been in Geneva this past week, traveling from the West Bank at great personal risk to themsleves, to conduct advocacy work to protect Palestinian children. When they heard the news this morning, they packed their bags and made their way to the airport to try and get a flight back home, fearing for their families alone in the West Bank and of the possibility that they may not be able to return. We spent a tense day trying to fill the time from news report to news report, shocked at the images of tanks rolling down familiar streets. 

Update from Ramallah

Into the evening Israeli forces continue their offensive on the Palestinian people. After heavy shelling of the Presidential compound all day Israeli forces entered the compound with tanks and ground troops. The Palestinian police have reported that no one has been taken but there has been office to office break ins and searches and resistance from the compound. 

Waking up in America

I woke up this morning to a slew of reports about the new Israeli offensive against Palestinians in Ramallah. The Israelis have been talking about it for about a week but that didn’t stop CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Andrea Koppel from presenting the military operation as taking place “in response” to suicide bombings that just took place in the last two days. 

A Letter from Birzeit University

Usually we are not informed a priori of what the Israeli government plans to do with us. However, today informing us is apparently part of their terror campaign. I am now at the University but we will probably be leaving early as all Palestinian governmental agencies have evacuated their office and internationals in the Ramallah area have been told to leave the area immediately. 

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