International Presence in Palestine - Spring 2002
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From the occupied Palestinian territories. Spring 2002

From the occupied Palestinian territories

April 5, 2002

The diplomatic convoy leaving Deheishe under fire

We are woken up in the early morning....
The Italian consul calls: The consulate cars are coming to pick you up... "But the conditions? That they come without the tanks and with the ambulances, ok? Otherwise, we are not going anywhere Is that clear?
This is the least we can do for the Palestinians..."

We gather here and there, and we insist that we want to leave only if this makes sense for the Palestinians too, if this is a way to put some pressure on the situation.

We get the news that the curfew is over - "why should we wait for them to pick us up? Let's just go, right?"
More and more confusion.
It's half past eleven.

We hear other tanks approaching, yet again. There are dozens and dozens of shots, all sorts of explosions. They completely sweep the road where we all were walking just a few minutes before, talking and playing together with the children from the camp. As soon as we put our noses outside the door, we see the fourteen armored cars from the diplomatic service approaching.

"Bastardos, vieram nos carros, abriram o caminho aos israelitas..."
Depois quando não se vêm carros por perto, começamos a falar com os diplomatas para conseguir incluir uma ambulância na caravana.
Ha muita confusão.
Eu e gkd decidimos ficar... temos um trabalho para acabar com indymedia palestina. A situação parece ser mais relaxada, parece que agora existem momentos em que o toque de queda è menos intenso, e pensamos que conseguiremos saír daqui a dois dias.
Outros sentem-se em dificoldade...não querem abandonar os palestinianos...

Bastards! They came with the tanks, they asked the Israelis to open the road for them - We are furious. Then, there are no more tanks around, and we start to discuss with the diplomats in order to include an ambulance in the convoy. There is a lot of confusion.

I and Gkd decide to remain we have work to finish with indymedia Palestine.
The situation seems to be improving, there are moments in which the curfew is less strict, and we think we should be able to leave just a couple of days later. Other people don't know what to do. They don't want to leave the Palestinians. Not like that ... They want them to tell if they are doing the right thing, even so frightened and with all the doubts and difficulties.

All considered, even for the people in the camp, it is difficult to host so many of us They give us their own bread Goodbyes, tears, I have never seen such a tense moment. At the end, we decide that only very few people will remain. A person who has to work in the agricultural camps. A girl who is studying Arabic. Two friends whose tickets last for some weeks more. A couple of people from indymadia. The last two people are getting on the jeep. We start to hear shots, both from the tanks which appear on the lateral streets and from the snipers. Bullets whiz all over. The last people who were getting into the cars, and those who had decided to stay run inside Ibdaa. The others are in the cars. Ten minutes of Israeli fire.

Really messed up: "Those bastards are firing so that they can place their tanks in front of and behind the convoy and pretend that the Israeli army are the fucking rescuers of the international delegation. Bastards." The cars go. There are 7 Italians and 2 Americans staying. We stay for five minutes wondering what to do. K runs inside and asks if we want to go to the AIC now. We say goodbye to the others. We'll get in touch with them soon, because we have to stick together. I, gkd and kev mount together with K and two others Palestinians on a jeep from a TV in Bethlehem and we hurry to the place for which we have remained.
IMC Palestine.

Two days to do what we are here for.
Then we get back. I feel free and relieved. I am doing the right thing. The adrenaline slowly slides down by drinking some hot tea.

April 5, 2002

April 4, 2002

Report from the United Nation Clinic, next to the cultural center IBDAA. Deheishe Camp, Bethlehem.

6 pm : A pregnant woman from Deheishe has come to the clinic feeling the first spasms. Doctors helped her to deliver the child, but the newborn was sick. Both the mother and the baby were in need of being urgently brought in a proper hospital, but the Israeli army told the clinic that the ambulance did not have the permission to go. As a consequence, the child died two hours later.

Today, during the fighting, three 15 years old boys were wounded by the IDF soldiers. One at his bolt, one at the wrist, and one at the neck. They are all under care at the UN clinic.

Today, during the fighting, three 15 years old boys were wounded by the IDF soldiers. One at his bolt, one at the wrist, and one at the neck. They are all under care at the UN clinic. Today, one of the ambulances of the UN clinic was aimed at by IDF soldiers, and was hit by machine-gun fire. Several windows were smashed, but the car is still going. At the moment, there is a severe lack of ambulances in Palestine. Palestinians are asking for medicine, and they ask that health personnel will not be impeded to bring help to those in need.


From the occupied Palestinian territories. Spring 2002
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