International Presence in Palestine - Spring 2002
Palestina homepage
Tactical Media Crew homepage
From the occupied Palestinian territories. Spring 2002

From the occupied Palestinian territories

April 2, 2002 -

Deheishe camp - a day under curfew

I woke up late.
I was up until 5 with R to update the Italian, the International and the Palestinian indymedia sites. The fighting is not over and I go back to the keyboard, basically in the same position and with the same number of windows open in front of me. I hear continuous shots and heavy artillery explosions, at times very near and at times far away. When the shots are near - or else when we hear a tank approaching - everybody gets on the ground and we wait until the shots are further away. Few Palestinians came to the center today - they stay with their families or go to fight.

The few are K, the fantastic free-lancer we have met here, and people who work with the ambulances and with the United Nations, and therefore are a bit less under the snipers' fire. Some people running inside tell us - "the boys are about to throw a grenade at the tank" and they mean the "13 year-old boys" and the tank "which is just outside unloading the snipers". One of the many incidents.

I spend most of the day in front of the screen to get the news out, keep people informed and give a correct - and not instrumental - image of what I am witnessing. Other people are endlessly discussing if they should or should not stay, what the political meaning of our presence is in terms of slowing down the Israeli offensive and showing solidarity with the Palestinian people. Relentlessly, we get news that other Palestinian territories are occupied by the Israelis, that journalists are targeted, civilians are being killed, executions are under way. International rights are completely dismissed by a nation which - despite its history - has decided to ignore any sympathy for human rights.

From time to time, when the tanks are not around, I look out of the window, even though with snipers on the roofs I should not. I see the gray sky and the rain and I think that the occupation and the massacre of the fighters is going on in this weather. I look outside and I see a fighter, his face covered by a kefia, who - during a short break from the snipers' shots - moves the garbage in the middle of the road, perhaps looking for one of those little bags full of gun-powder and closed by hand which are used as tiny bombs.

In the evening, we get the news that 5 leaders among the fighters have been killed in an Israeli raid and there are many people wounded. Ambulances cannot come and pick them up and many are at risk of bleeding to death.

I get to the upper floor for dinner. I meet K who is smoking underneath his big moustache. His eyes are gloomy. The 5 leaders are the most important and most wanted in Bethlehem - the leaders of the Al-Aqsa Brigade. What does this mean? - I ask - "not good"... "it means that the Israelis do whatever they want" "why were they all together? I don't know it's crazy" It is the first time that I see K losing his good spirits I am not hungry any more.

Another night of bombs and shots is approaching, another night of "latest news" and "chaos". Palestine is going through another night of resistance against an invading army.

April 2, 2002

1 april - Deheishe camp - the tanks are approaching

h 6.30 the israeli tanks are arriving, they are at 1 km from the camp.

It's not even seven o'clock when they call me to tell me that they are arriving, that they are at Kader, near the Hamami hospital, at more or less one kilometer from the camp. I wake up, even if I'd gone to sleep not long ago, and go down to take the keys of the place where we are and a telephone to communicate.

The houses of the camp are still sleeping. The street is completely desert, silent. From far away we can hear a slight rumble of the tanks that are geting closer, nearly imperceptible. The minutes go by and the first old man comes out on the street, he has the look of who is accustom to this desolating panorama. Then 2 women that walk fast.Then nothing, nobody, the sun on one side that raises from the hill, and black clouds that approach from the opposite end, from where, very slowly, the israeli tanks approach. Usually at this time there are allready dozens of vehicles, people and carts that sell falafels around, they smoke, blow the horns producing every kind of sound that announces the beggining of the day, of the everyday life. nothing, only the imperceptible sound that makes you think of something horrible that is approaching.

It's the occupation.

By now it's decided, all palestinian territories in the last hours have been taken, occupied yet again by Israel, leaving in the ground innocent victims, sacked cities, domolished houses. Sharon has decided, he has to be strong against terrorism. This time the arabs have to leave, the palestinian authority has to be destroyed. Nobody has to interfere, nobody...but we are here, awaiting their arrival, along with thousands of palestinians that for the hundredth time have to suffer the occupation of their land but also of their life.

We don't know yet how the occupation is, for this reason, until they don't arrive we don't have much else to say, but to express an infinite sadness.

29 march 2002 -

The international solidarity groups in Palestine to stop the occupation and to protect the palestinian people have marched this afternoon in the streets of Deheisheh, to say no to the escalation of violence that in the last hours is precipitating in the occupyied territories and in Israel.

The israeli military occupation of Ramallah today has caused until now 10 victims, of which 2 foreign journalists, and a hundred wounded.

The European Union has asked Israel to recall its troups and tanks from general Yasser Arafat's head quarters in Ramallah.

There are 2 victims and 22 wounded instead in Jerusalem for the explosion of a 16 year old girl coming from the Deheisheh camp near Bethlem .

The population of the Deheisheh camp has announced that they will not oppone any type of resistence, they ask nevertheless the end of the israeli violence to stop also the palestinian one.

Ariel Sharon's government and his forces continue anyhow to sorround the territories. After Ramallah, Tulkarem, then Nablus and Bethlem where we expect an immediate attac.

The italian committe coordination in solidarity with the intifada, some activists of indymedia Italy, New York and San Francisco, will remain in the Deheisheh camp and along with the other italian and international delegations that are at Bethlem and Jerusalem will continue to do non-violent actions to manifest their solidarity with the palestinian people and to ask the immediate abbandon of the occupation troups.

---> 00:25

5 tanks are now in Beitjalla with troups, the international solidarity groups expect that they will enter Deheisheh arround 1.30 am. They have been told to not go out the building where they are, not to be near windows and so on. They can by now listen to the shooting going on. If the troupes should penetrate the building where they are, they will oppone passive resistance.



From the occupied Palestinian territories. Spring 2002
Palestine Homepage
Tactical Media Crew Homepage