Ramallah update

Conditions worsen by the day. All of our attention is on Nablus and Jenin. As the world watches, these areas, esp Jenin Refugee Camp is being burned to the ground with its residents inside. Such actions anywhere else in the world by any other military force other than Israel would have moved the US to send troops to protect the civilians. But when only Palestinians are being killed I guess the powers-to-be can give a damn. The Palestinians will not forget this chapter of their history. 

2 dead, 12 wounded in Gazan camp

Tel As-Sultan refugee camp west of Rafah city has been fired at randomly for no apparent reason. Shots were fired in the direction of civilian homes. Seven tanks have made an incursion 300 meters into the area killing 1 man, 1 schoolgirl, and wounding twelve, including two schoolgirls —one of whom is seriously injured. This is what Americans are paying for. 

Westbank overview

In Nablus, currently under fire, Medical Relief has set up six field hospitals; the situation in two of them is dire. One of them, a mosque in the old city, reports 50 people injured, three of those in critical condition, 15 in serious condition. 

Jenin refugee camp

I got a phone call from a friend in Jenin, his house overlooks the Jenin refugee camp. He told me that what he counted so far is more than 400 missiles fired by Apache helicopters at Jenin refugee camp. His friend inside the camp lost his son of 19 years old, Walid Ibrahim Said. His dead body is with him since two days, as they are unable to bury him or to carry him to the hospital. 

Musings During the Lull - March 23, 2002

Things change here, but its almost impossible to notice. People are perpetually happy, unless they are dying, or angry over someone else’s death. The look on the face of the average Gaza City resident in the past 2 weeks has not changed. The kids still yell “Whats your name?” at me, the women still shyly look away and the shopowners still say “Welcome.” Prospects for peace haven’t changed any of that. Although I begin to wonder if its because no one is at all hopeful. 

Missiles Fall Like Rain - March 8-12, 2002

I neglected to add one anecdote from my tour of the ruins of Police City on Tuesday night. One of the officers who walked with me most of the time, and proceeded to go on in Arabic as I just nodded and smiled, came across some papers lying in the rubble. He picked them out, slapped them with the back of his hand and went off ranting about something that I couldn’t understand. 

Gaza - Bombing begins - March 4-7, 2002

The fears arose on Monday night. Through my contact Jose, I had been introduced to two other Americans working at different NGO’s here, Darryl and Nathan. Both had strong academic, dare I say nerdy backgrounds (they began talking about Voltron cartoons after not too long), yet it had enabled them to pick up Arabic in a relatively short time. They also had been here for much longer. 

'Nablus, Nablus'

My mom just sent me an email, asking what is happening in Nablus. My parents have been trying call my family in Nablus, but to no avail. Telephone lines are cut. Information, I just received from Nablus, indicates that the old city, my favorite place in the town, where I used to walk to and from work, where I did my groceries, and knew a lot of people, is being shelled by Israeli tanks and helicopters. 

Life in Rafah - March 2, 2002

I set out to Rafah with Mahmud from work on mid-Thursday. The route to Rafah crosses two roads used exclusively by Israeli settlers, which for us Palestinian kinfolk entails long waits at military checkpoints. On this day we managed to only spend about 30-45 minutes waiting in the sun, as once a few scheduled Eged busses full of Israeli settlers passed, we were free to cross in our taxi.