“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Occupation Diary

I woke up at 10:00 to prepare myself to buy some food with my uncle. The Israeli soldiers allowed the people to go out from 10:00 – 14:00. On our way to the market I saw my lovely Bethlehem ruined. The worst thing is the rubbish which is everywhere on the streets and which poison the air and create an unhealthy environment.

Monday 19/4/02

I woke up at 10:00 to prepare myself to buy some food with my uncle. The Israeli soldiers allowed the people to go out from 10:00 – 14:00. On our way to the market I saw my lovely Bethlehem ruined. The worst thing is the rubbish which is everywhere on the streets and which poison the air and create an unhealthy environment.

Today they entered a building in Doha, an area near Dheisheh refugee camp which is near our house. They ordered the women and children to go out and then took all the men, put them in armoured vehicles and drove them away. The women and children are now on the street, the children slept on the ground. The Israeli soldiers claim that there were some men with weapons hiding in the building. When they shelled it, a woman who could not run away was killed. Her baby of six months was injured.

It is now 12:00 P.M. I can’t sleep because the soldiers are planning something terrible for the men in the Nativity Church. First a soldier speaking good Arabic started threatening them through a megaphone: “To those in the Nativity Church, know your destiny, go out and you will be without harm or loss, you will be safe.” He kept repeating these words for an hour. Our house is far from the Church but we could hear it clearly. After that, they played a tape with terrible sounds which I can’t describe. I still hear them: people screaming, sounds of machines, hammers, alarms, knocking, barking of dogs. I know we won’t sleep tonight. I wonder how the people inside the Church feel. I think they are getting crazy. No one can hear those sounds for long. The soldiers just want to make them crazy. They keep repeating the sounds for several hours.

I am going to pray the rosary with my family. We pray it every night, we ask God to protect those who are in the Church, Moslems and Christians, because they are innocent.

I can’t continue… I hear bombing, maybe they start bombing the building. Now we are going to hide somewhere because it is really near our house and it is dangerous…

I always say a prayer to God: Our case is clear as the sun but no one in the world wants to look at it and see the truth. So please, God, I am only asking to let evil not destroy us. I beg just to be with us and to assure that we will be safe and return to normal life like others in this world.” Is this too much to ask? We just want to live.

Tuesday 16/4/02

Today was one of the worst days. I woke up at the sound of bullets from tanks crossing our street. The street was empty but they just shoot to terrify people. I studied a little. Then I went to watch TV to see the latest news. I was very sad hearing that they arrested Marwan Barghouti. He is a decent men who has faith in our case and always prefers peace and negotiations with the Israeli side. Now God knows what they will do to him. His only guilt is that he loves Palestine very much.

In the afternoon my uncle wanted to go out for a while and sit in the garden which is behind the house away from the main street. He went out with his wife and three children and my little brother went out too. My mother was praying in my room while I studied. I went downstairs so as to study outside and have some fun. The minute I wanted to go out my uncle shouted at me not to move because there was a tank crossing the street. I could hear its sound clearly. Then my uncle’s voice disappeared. I wanted to look out from the door to make sure it was safe. As soon as I opened the door a rain of bullets came into my direction. I ran as fast as a I could and hid behind a huge cupboard in my uncle’s house. I heard my cousins and my brother screaming but I could not do anything. I thought that they might die. After two minutes I could move and my uncle came running, his face white. The children could not move from fear so he held them tight. My mother was hiding under the desk in my room. She could hear the bullets hitting the door of my balcony. After a while I went out to the balcony and we found there a lot of bullets. That was the worst moment in my life. Death was very near. It is really terrifying. They know we are civilians but they don’t want to see anything moving.

At 7:00 o’clock, the soldiers started shooting from all sides at the Church. Two rooms of the priests were burned. There was no shooting from inside the Church. Windows were broken. Two men were injured.  They continued shooting and shelling for forty minutes. I started to cry. Where are the Christians who have dignity and faith? My church in which I praise the Lord with my prayers and songs, has become a war zone. I wish that I once again pray in it some day in the future. I always pray that someday I stand in a place where everyone in this world can hear me. I’ll tell them some words that may light their hearts and open their eyes to see the truth and defend it. I will tell these words to all the people who live peacefully and happily in their independent countries. Just remember when you eat that there are hundreds of children who die from hunger because they are Palestinians. Remember when you drink water that there are hundreds of children who drink dirty water from the ground because they are Palestinians. Remember that when you go asleep that there are hundreds of children homeless who sleep wearing nothing just because they are Palestinians.

Wednesday 17/4/02

Today was a bit calmer. New tanks entered Bethlehem with machines I had never seen before. The only hope that Palestinians had in Powell’s negotiations with Sharon and Arafat was that there would be an end to the massacres in Jenin and Nablous. I was really shocked when I heard Powell saying that Arafat disappointed him. What is this? He returned to America blaming Arafat. Is he blaming him because his people are killed by Israeli soldiers? Instead of blaming Sharon he blames the man who is a prisoner in Ramallah. There are no words which can express my feelings towards this injustice. Are they blind or are they making themselves blind? To whom shall we shout, beg for mercy?

There are people stuck under their destroyed houses screaming and asking for help. The UNRWA was unable to rescue them because the Israeli soldiers prevented them from entering. They are left there; no one knows how many they are. Doctors say there is a strong smell in Jenin, a smell of dead bodies, some of which have not been found yet.

Today I called Father Amjad in the Nativity Church to know how the people there are. He was desperate; he could not even talk to me, he told me. They stay awake all night and sleep some time in the morning. There is no food. They only drink water and salt. The sounds from outside make them very nervous. Some of them start hitting the floor with their legs and scream.

I am desperate without hope. Our innocent children don’t know the meaning of happiness. They just know death, war, tanks, fear and suffering. How much feel I sorry for my people, my lovely country.

Now after Powell has gone there is no hope that somebody will move. We just hope that God will do a miracle and stop our suffering.


2002-04-22T00:00:00+00:00 April 22nd, 2002|Categories: News|