Deadly Rumours?

Rumours are flying again. The IDF told the ICRC and UNRWA that the military curfew would be lifted at 2pm. To allow people to leave their houses to pick up bread, water, food, medicines. A friend from the UN calls me with this information; Representative Offices in Ramallah has also been in touch with the IDF, confirming it. So is it true? Can people leave their houses without being shot? Can people get out of Ramallah? 

The phone line went dead

The phone line went dead. The land line. Cut. The battery on her mobile phone went dead hours ago; she hasn’t had electricity for two days. Before the lines cut we could tell her where the tanks are in Ramallah. Where they tanks were moving. Ask her how much food she had left, how long her supplies might last. She could call other people in Ramallah, and find out where the Israeli troops were. The loud noises, the shelling, how close is it? What has been hit? Where are they? 

A sleepless night, the shelling continues

I haven’t slept last night. Apache helicopters hovering above our appartment, the sounds of impact of tank shells, and heavy machinegunfire. It sounded like 500mm ammunition that was keeping me from sleeping. Strange as it is, the longer I’m here, the more I become a military expert, recognizing ammuntion, types of missiles, and the countries the equipment originates from. This morning both CNN and BBC World reported that “heavy gunfire was heard” near the headquarters of Jibril Rajub in Beitunia. 

'Let's start from the beginning'

Let’s start from the beginning. It has been 4 days since [the Israelis] invaded Ramallah. They started entering on Friday morning around 4am and it was really like a war. All that you could hear was shaking from the sound of the tanks and helicopters. You thought at the beginning that it was the start of the war. Clashes started. What do you expect? They were entering with tanks, so there was some resistance, but with kalashnikovs, light weapons. 

Too many images to process now

It has been about two hours since my electricity came back on. The electricity to my neighborhood was cut around 9:30am on Friday. Since then, I have relied on word of mouth and the occasional transistor radio for information. Comparatively speaking, this neighborhood has been relatively unscathed. We have tanks posted across the valley from us and every now and again they make their way towards our building, but as of yet, it has been quiet, save the occasional outburst of gunfire. 

At night, recalled back to the office

I had to return back to the office. In particular to check on unconfirmed and confusing reports from Ramallah about the situation of around thirty Palestinian policemen. I had just returned back to our appartment in Dahiya al-Barid after visiting Sheikh Jarrah with Annet. We visited the hotel where a part of the group of international solidarity activists have been, had dinner, and bought an international phonecard. 

'Back at the office'

The last thing I did before leaving the office yesterday was writing a press release about the five Palestinians found dead in Taiboun building by Dubai bureau chief Maher Shalabi. His story was confirmed by Michael Holmes of CNN

Appalling accounts

This has been the second day of the appalling war against the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank and the first day of attacks, siege and curfews also in areas located in the Be [sic]. Throughout the whole day, thousands of new soldiers were deployed inside Ramallah and, as we write, even more are heading towards the already besieged and occupied city. 

'The Israelis took over my house'

Today at 5:00am I was awakened by what sounded like huge trunks, when I looked out the window I saw several tanks. 1/2 hr later the Israeli soldiers rang the bell - we did not answer - then I heard them coming up the steps (obviously broke in the main door). The pounded the door to the house, My husband opened the door, to find endless huge guns pointed at us.