Weekly Post:

September 5, 2009

Well, this week has been pretty intense.

First, a 15 year old boy,Muhammed Nayif, was killed by Israeli military guards because he was supposedly throwing a molotov at a “structure” near the Beit El settlement. I live right next to this settlement.

So my roommate called me and said he heard gunshots from that direction, then sirens and ambulances and a helicopter came. So we called my friend in the PA security and asked him what was going on.

He told us some boys were walking around in some fields close to the settlement and the settlement security shot at them from a watchtower (another teenager was killed from this same watchtower a few months ago according to my friend).

After they shot Muhammed, the other boys ran to get help. Then when an ambulance finally got to the area, the Israeli military prevented them from getting to the boy….leaving him bleeding for over an hour. They also injured 3 medics in the process, and were actually shooting at the driver as he tried to get them all out of there.

So he died because they left him bleeding to death…all because he was “supposedly” throwing a molotov at a “structure” near the settlement. So apparently throwing a molotov is such a heinous crime you should be murdered for it according to the Israeli military. Its so messed up.

And after they killed him, they found out he was from Jalazone refugee camp, which is near the settlement. So the israeli military went in there and made a mess, they even brough in a helicopter.

And of course, there is another twist to the story. My friend in the PA was friends with this kids father…and the father was killed on the same day as his son was, a year ago. They were both killed by the Israeli military.

The father was assassinated because he was political. The son aparently wanted to show his anger and mark the anniversary by throwing a molotov at the settlement. And now hes dead because of that.

He wasnt just some “crazy, irrational animal” like the Israelis would like to portray him–just wanting to be violent for no rational reason. Hes a young kid whos father was murdered. And he felt like he needed to do something to show his anger at the situation. Even though it was not the smartest move if he actually did that, it doesn’t mean he deserves to die.

Anyways…more depressing news. Jaber’s 19 year old brother Abed was arrested a few days ago during a night raid of Bilin. They came at 330am, about 40 soldiers, into Jabers house and were yelling at everyone to stay down on the ground, dont move, dont talk. Throwing sound bombs and teargas.

Then they took Jaber and Abed into the front room and took their IDs. When they read Abeds, they took him, blindfolded him, and beat him.

Jaber was really, really upset. He chased them halfway through the village yelling at them in Hebrew. He’s still really upset about it, because hes the oldest brother, their dad doesnt live with them, and so he feels like it should have been him.

They heard from Abed after a couple days and he said that they beat him really bad all the way to Ofer Prison (near Ramallah) and then made him sleep with no clothes in the cold. He is in for his involvement in demonstrations–at least thats the official Israeli excuse, but when are they ever true.

He doesnt go to the demos. He went every now and then before the arrests started, but so did every guy in the village. He stopped when the night raids started with some other guys and so far none of them had been arrested.

What Jaber thinks happened is that a guy who lives in the village, who is a spy who they have been having personal problems with lately, told the Israelis that Abed goes and throws stones–even though he doesnt. So now Jaber is really angry at that guy too. How does he know hes a spy?

One thing is that he is the only adult left throwing stones, every friday, without wearing a kuffiyeh over his face–right out in the open in front of the soldiers. And nothing ever happens to him. And he hasnt been arrested. Strange?? yes.

Anyways, so Abed will be in prison for a few months probably. They will try to get other names from him of people who “throw stones” and beat him to encourage him to talk. Then after a few months they will release him and his family will have to pay a huge fine (that they cant afford) to get him out.

Jabers mom has been pretty upset too, I went over to Bilin the other night to see how they were doing and shes completely changed. She used to be really strong, loud, energetic…all of that. Now she just seems really tired and worried. Its really sad.

Some news from around Palestine:

-A 13 year old farmer, Ghazi Maher Ghazi Az-Zaánin, was killed by the Israeli military in Gaza while he was driving to his family’s farmland.

-Israelis shelled northern Gaza in response to “rocket attacks”

-Israel approved new plans for settlement construction in the West Bank, US and EU have condemned them for that but havent done anything useful about it so far.

-2 journalists were injured with live ammunition at Ni’lin on Fridays protest. But they are OK.

-Bilín on Friday….the protest was for the 2 year anniversary of the Israeli supreme court decision to dismantle/or move parts of the wall that are on the villages land. Obviously, nothing has been done, and the Israeli governement just ignores its own supreme court–no surprise there.

The protest was pretty big…and the soldiers used LOTS of teargas. They also injured a couple people from the village with soundbombs because they threw too close to them and when soundbombs explode there is shrapnel flying around it.

And Ill end with something kind of funny. Some friends of mine that work at the Freedom Theater in Jenin Refugee camp are making a documentary called “Checkpoint Donkey”. The plan was to ride donkeys all the way from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south–and to see what happens at the checkpoints and talk to people about their lives under occupation along the way.

Well, the plans changed a little because the donkeys were too tired to carry everyone in the heat. So they had to cut out the Hebron part and end in Ramallah.

They went by Bilin and talked to people there about the wall and how it affects their lives. Then the final stage was Ramallah and trying to get to Jerusalem.

We all thought that Mustafa, the only Palestinian guy working on the film–who has a green ID card–aka the one that means you are stuck in the West Bank for life–was going to be the problem in Qalandia checkpoint. But it turns out, it was the donkeys.

I came with them on the last day trying to get through Qalandia because they wanted a back up camera person in case the soldiers destroyed or confiscated the main one.

So we tried to go through the car lanes, and the soldiers told us “no way” and we kept bothering them so they sent us over to the walking lanes inside the terminal to talk to someone there. We talked to them and they said (after laughing a LOT at us with the donkeys trying to get to Jersualem) that we had to go back to the car lanes because the terminal is for people only.

So we went back to the car lanes and told the soldiers what the other soldiers said. Then we asked again if we could go through the car lanes because the other terminal is just for humans. Then the soldier kept saying no no no….and finally told us that if we tried to go through we would be “shot”. haha, we got that on camera too.

Next, we went back to the walking terminal and tried again….but they wouldnt let the donkeys through. So we had to turn back to Ramallah…haha…So they have finished filming the documentary now and are in the editing stages. Im really excited to see how it turns out, it should be pretty funny I think.


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