Once again the district of Bethlehem is under Israeli invasion and strictly imposed curfew for the last two days, following the suicide bombing in Jerusalem. The person who committed the bombing in Jerusalem had been living for the last 6 months in Hussan, near Al Khader village in the Bethlehem District; we feared the collective punishment and expected this incursion
Once again the district of Bethlehem is under Israeli invasion and strictly imposed curfew for the last two days, following the suicide bombing in Jerusalem. The person who committed the bombing in Jerusalem had been living for the last 6 months in Hussan, near Al Khader village in the Bethlehem District; we feared the collective punishment and expected this incursion.
The majority of the Palestinian cities and the surrounding areas have been under Israeli incursion for many months, we have joined them now. What is there to tell you? I had the feeling that our turn was coming. All Palestinian cities and villages along with refugee camps have living under brutal Israeli oppression for the past two years, why should we be different?
More families have been made homeless, up until yesterday the Israeli occupying troops had demolished 5 houses in the area belonging to what the Israeli authorities call suspected terrorists. Of course, no evidence of their guilt is ever presented before a court of law, their families are just punished by having their homes blown to bits.
We have been held prisoner for the past two years in our own cages, or should I say our homes – we no longer feel as if they are our homes as even there we are not safe. Our children are glad to not have to go to school, but that false happiness only lasts a day when they realize the reality of invasion and watch the tanks and soldiers in our streets. In Beit Sahour things are very quiet, actually too quiet. I do not like the sound of it. The Israeli occupying forces are conducting house to house search, mainly concentrating on the refugee camps of Al Aza and Deheishe, and have arrested many people. Some, the Israelis claim, are wanted but most are just relatives of those they could not find.
What is there to look forward to? Should Moslems plan for their Ramadan feast or should the Christians plan for Christmas, two of the most Holy festivals? Or should we expect to be under invasion for a long time as the news reports state that the Israeli occupying forces have a job to do but they give no time limit as to when they will withdraw.
I sadly report to you that we have joined the rest of the Palestinians cites to face the relentless brutality and oppression of military occupation. The horrific toll of human rights abuses and flagrant disregard for international laws and conventions will continue to be ignored. I would like to extend my regards to President Bush for asking the Israeli government not to keep their troops here too long in Bethlehem and to finish the job quickly as the Holy festivals are approaching. How reassuring for us.
The truth is we have forgotten how to plan for the Chrisoms and Eid festivals, as for the last two years the true meaning of it has faded away from our hearts and the hearts of our children. It has been replaced by fear and terror.
I also wish to condemn the act against Israeli civilians on Friday, but at the same time do you know that Israel is committing such acts against Palestinian civilians on a daily basis? These killings do not receive the same level of media attention as that of Israeli civilians but the truth is more Palestinians have been killed in 7 days than were killed in the bus bombing. But of course, we now understand that in the eyes of many in the international community, acts of terror against us are not regarded as crimes that should be punished. The people in the district are in fear in their homes, knowing that at anytime Israeli soldiers may come and take someone from their home, just because they may be related to someone they claim is wanted or because perhaps they know them. There home may be destroyed for the same reasons. Are these the acts of a democratic country?
I remain faithfully yours
Sending email from home in Beit Sahour – Palestine.
International Public Relations Officer
Beit Sahour Municipality