Kristen Ess

Christmas in Bethlehem

At the last minute, at the end of the day before Christmas Eve, the Israeli government announced it would lift its curfew of Bethlehem. This was another move in the endless game of Israeli propaganda, and one that was expected. Thousands of eyes were on Bethlehem, the West Bank city that has been under curfew and reinvasion for the past month. Kristen Ess reports. 

Report from Rafah Block 'O'

Block O in Rafah is almost empty now. Most of the people have gone. The 8 meter high, 10 meter deep prison wall that the Israeli military government is building — as it devastates Rafah — is growing. Kristen Ess writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

The end of Ramadan

On this, the final day of Ramadan 2002, Israel continues its decades old illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians in the West Bank city of Khalil (Hebron), under effective curfew for years. Apache helicopter missiles fired into Gaza City. Israeli bulldozers continued to raze houses in the Gaza Strip and thousands of Palestinians were held under another day of curfew throughout the occupied West Bank and parts of the Gaza Strip. Kristen Ess writes from Occupied Gaza. 

Every day is a major invasion in Gaza

Gaza City did not sleep last night. 35 Israeli tanks plowed into the Tal Al-Hawa area in the south of the city. Apache missiles were fired from the sky. The explosions lasted throughout the night. A man called out that the international community must wake up. He said, “They are killing our children but we are here to stay. The world must listen to the truth.” Another said quietly, “No one heard you.” Kristen Ess writes from Gaza, where the reality of international apathy is measured by the daily tank and helicopter attacks. 

More reports from Block O in Rafah

Israeli soldiers targeted a two year-old boy yesterday. Even they could not come up with an excuse for shooting him in the head. At his funeral today Fatah Youth flags flew in the breeze, the baby’s body covered in purple-pink flowers. He was carried on a stretcher along side another small boy, 9 years old, who died from two day old injuries. Kristen Ess writes from occupied Gaza. 

Ramadan in Gaza

As I write this, now at home, I am watching the news on television. An Israeli tank is shooting at little boys who throw stones at it in Nablus. George Bush struts across a green grass lawn in a clean suit, talking about UN Resolutions. Kristen Ess writes from Gaza. 

A smaller space each day

A pile of gray cement, once a family’s home, sits next to the street. Directly in front is a small white tent. This is where the family now lives. There is no furniture, no clothes, no family pictures. They are all somewhere under the rubble. Each day at least 6 Palestinian homes are demolished, except Saturday which is a holiday for Israelis. Kristen Ess writes from Rafah, Gaza. 

Israel's daily destruction of Gaza

In Namsawi, an area of Khan Younis refugee camp directly in the line of Israeli fire, displaced families live in buildings with holes the size of Volkswagen bugs. Apache missle fire and tank shelling have destroyed many areas of the camp made up of soccer fields and cement apartment buildings. There are children playing in the sandy dirt who scatter when shots are fired. Half the population is under 15. Kristen Ess reports from Gaza. 

Misery in Mawasi

At 30 mph, cars seem as if they are speeding on the dusty road of Qarrara, a village just south of Abu Ali checkpoint and a few minutes north of Khan Younis, in the middle of the Gaza Strip. The checkpoint is open now. F-16s are rumbling overhead on their way to terrorize Rafah. Israeli soldiers are shooting in nearby Mawasi. Kristen Ess writes from Qarrara, Occupied Gaza. 

In Exile: Bethlehem to Gaza

Those Palestinians who were banished following Israel’s siege of the Church of the Nativity languish in Gaza, their families in Bethlehem. Kristen Ess crosses from Bethlehem to Gaza, to report on how families are dealing with the separation.