Friday, July 18, 2008


This is an unbelievable situation which I cannot even wrap my head around. To explain it I will just tell you about my day there. We entered the city- which is extremely old and beautiful. We got to an arbitrary place in the street and our amazing tour guide told us this was the line between area A and B. In past years, Area A was controlled by Palestinians and Area B was controlled by the Israeli Military. This line cuts through people's homes. People cynically joke, that there was a day when they could invade your bathroom but not your living room. Now, however, the Israeli military has stations all over the city- both sides of this line.

As we walked we got to a market, at one point in the market there is a tall fence- with barbed wire if you look behind it there is another fence- this fence was the first that the Military built to section off the city, the one closer to us is the second attempt to take more of the city away. Behind this fence you can see Palestinian stores closed- a dentist office, a pharmacy... And further you see a blue and white Israeli flag waving out a window. This is a settlement which has inched its way into the city of Khalil. A Settlement of less than 600 people most of whom are yeshiva students from abroad, have moved into Khalil which is home to over a hundred thousand Palestinians. Not only does the Military do whatever it wants to within the whole city, Khalil has now been fenced off- forcing Palestinians to leave their homes and businesses to closed.

We walked more, and above the market there is a metal grate with garbage and large rocks on it-- Why? Because Settlers live above the market, and they throw garbage and rocks and metal pieces down trying to hit Palestinian people. Shop owners placed the metal grate over the entire market area for protection. If you can imagine an outside market with buildings on either side, and people who live in the buildings above throwing heavy objects down as you shop to try as best they can to hurt you. You can see spots where large objects have made the metal grate curve down into the market. Once a Settler threw a metal piece that pierced someone in the head- he now has severe brain damage. Nothing happened to the Settler who did this- s/he hasn't even been questioned.

As we walk more, we see circular Military spaces set up above roofs with blackened windows and several security cameras. Inside are soldiers watching our every move. Soon I notice them everywhere. I look down another fenced in area- there are Israeli flags and other flags with Hebrew words that say something along the lines of - "Hebron will be ours". There is a Yeshiva (Orthodox Jewish School) on one side of a square- we are told students throw large rocks down on the market from the Yeshiva.

I stood looking at this life- And I could not believe my eyes. I could not believe that people do these things. People who are studying what they say is my religion from a building with a menorah carved into it. While 18 year old soldiers watch from cement rooms, there to "protect" the Settlers/these criminals with guns and tanks that I have paid for. This is not believable. It shouldn't be true. But it is.

No comments: