we have lately become short of money, equipment and people... if anyone can help with any of this...
Just a few confused thoughts about my first days in Jenin...so far things
have been quiet, the curfew has been lifted since Friday and the army
presence is mostly limited to surrounding roads and checkpoints. Yesterday,
there was lots of air activity - Apaches and F16s - perhaps signalling
incursion, perhaps not....rumours come and go, are believed and laughed at.
The camp is surprisingly pretty, situated on a steep slope and with plenty
of flowers and plants dotted around it, desperately clambering up the
concrete walls. It feels less crowded than for example Balata camp in Nablus
and the past few nights have been quite calm, except for the occasional cat
brawl and immi's snoring.
Yet people are jumpy, seeing tanks where there are none and expending
precious energy on worrying about what is to come and when. The empty
expanse in the middle of the camp that marks the site of last April's
massacre still bleeds dust through the windows of the camp, smarting the
eyes of all that are old enough to remember. The UN Rehabilitation Project
seems to be going nowhere, and, even that, slowly.
When not working, my days are spent drinking tea, eating plums and playing
with the little elf children of the camp. It is difficult for me to tell how
much resistance there is left in the camp, not being able to speak Arabic
well enough to properly communicate with most people or understand all that
is going on around me. Will get better!
There is, of course, a lot of talk about the missile attacks and car bombs
in-, and coming land invasion of Gaza. The sense of powerlessness and
despair is overwhelming, the generosity and solidarity of people with good
reasons to fear only for themselves even more so.
Have met plenty of extremely strong women, literally fighting oppression on
all sides. They're refreshingly un-superhuman - they too are sometimes tired
and lacking in faith - but still remain determined and strengthened by their
sisterhood. They feel sorry for me for living in London, they hear it's a
very lonely place where people do not stick together. Here, they say,
neighbours are family. But yanni, class and gender manage to divide people
Lastly, the shebab...the kids that one day threw that all-important first
stone and haven't stopped since... Scarred and crazy-eyed, living on small
victories, they never break when you think they must. Don't know what more
to say about them, the little angels that seek to make the war holy.
On the 29th of August the Israeli army lifted the curfew imposed on Jenin and
the people began to move around the city, going about their usual doings on
Fridays, the holy day for Muslims.
At around noon the news spread that a small unit of [un] special forces had
occupied an abandoned building near the Old City of Jenin.
It seems likely this was part of an attempt to observe the resistance, if not
take the opportunity to arrest or kill. Or they may simply have been bored.
A few brave children began to stone the windows of the building, their stones
were answered with a hail of machine gun fire at the busy street below.
Then four tanks, followed by several jeeps arrived to retrieve the soldiers from
the building. As more shebab gathered in the alleys of the Old City, the tanks
started firing at them. This was answered by shots from Palestinian resistance,
which reportedly wounded two soldiers.
After about half an hour, the Israeli army left, leaving one small boy shot in
the arm, an old man whose nose was scraped by a bullet, some damage to
surrounding shops and buildings, and streets full of angry and terrorised
people, being circled from above by an apache helicopter.
The next day there was another incursion into the Old City of Jenin, leaving
another young man with another bullet wound. Two prominent members of the
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were arrested, despite heavy resistance fire.
On the streets of Jenin it is difficult to find among the shebab (youth) one
without a bullet wound. Every day these children face the army and watch their
friends get shot with [un] sophisticated military equipment.
Oppose the sale and production of the arms industries, the foreign policies
driven by greed and profit and the Zionist deception that one tragedy justifies
Here are three links (cut and paste into RealMedia player) to films made in the
last few days in Jenin, direct from its streets to show you the reality of what
is happening in Occupied Palestine. Please distribute as widely as possible.
Israeli army enter Jenin camp early on Thursday morning:
Curfew enforced in Jenin on Thursday:
Special forces operation in central Jenin near the Old City. Soldiers occupy the
top floor of an empty office, possibly to draw out armed resistance: