They continue to walk to the jewish settlement and, as they enter it, I leave them. But right on my left there is the path where people are not allowed to pass to go to their homes, even though there is a court ruling that says they are. A soldier is standing there refusing to open a bit of the razor wire. A little girl is standing there hoping that the soldier allows her to go to her home. Two internationals are trying to reason with the soldier, which is usually useless but today it seems that more so. The girl gives up and walks down the hill, prepared to go all the way round hills and paths taking a good five or ten minutes to go to a house that she can see now from where she is.
I start taking pictures of the path because I have never been allowed to come this way, and also of the razor wire.We walk down the hill and a soldier starts pushing M down the hill, saying that we have to go, M falls on me and I am pushed down by the impulse too. I shout out and ask why. The soldier just says, "you have to go:; I say, "you need to tell us why". N also asks why but we get no answer, we are just pushed violently down the hill.
I then call J to tell him the situation, he asks whether the girl is being allowed through the path and I tell him that she gave up, so he tells me that we should walk down. We walk down but the soldiers still push us down violently.
I try to film them as they push us and, in one moment, a soldier grabs my camera and pulls, to steal it from me. I have the rope of my camera tied to my wrist so my camera does't go. He continues to push and I scream, and scream, while I go down to the ground, hoping that this will prevent him from taking my camera and arrest me. We struggle for a few seconds and he bends my glasses with his body, then the glasses fly and I stop seeing them. I am let go and continue screaming, asking for my glasses, panicking that I will not find them. Suddenly I see them under my foot - they are completely unusable now.
One of the women in green comes forward to me and, laughing, she screams, "that was a very nice show, you are good for theatre", and other funny phrases, maybe even abuse, but she is the least thing that worries me now, and, besides, I can not see her, I just see her shadow.
Looking at my glasses, we walk down the hill, towards our apartment, being pushed again by the soldiers. Far away, J has filmed the whole scene. As we walk, another soldier quickly takes his hand to my camera but I am faster and he cant even touch it. I then see J being pushed around, some soldiers are also trying to get his camera, and i start filming again. A soldier gets right in front of me and for a few seconds there is a cat and mouse play between the two of us. The soldiers have thrown J to the floor and there he is, under a heeve of soldiers, being arrested - or so i think. He is struggling very well, and my eye catches the moment when he stands up and is carried away - or so i think.
Usually it is calling J calling IDF, or whoever appropriate, he "takes care of this", the rest of it just let him or D take care of the situation. But now he is being arrested and D is not here. I call D and ask him to call whoever, because they are not opening the path for the children who live there and because J has been arrested. At that very moment, J appears round the corner, so I stop my conversation with D. J does not have his camera with him any more, they have stole his camera. He will come up and regroup with us. I am still shaking from the confrontation, and looking at my glasses in despair. Some Palestinians have come out of their houses, probably alerted by my screamming.
We try to regroup with J but in the meantime they have come on a formation in front of us. Suddenly eight or nine soldiers approach me and surround me. One says, "give my the camera", I say, "no", he says, "you dont want to give me your camera?" I say, "why do i have to". At that point they all grab me - all except one; he grabs the two internationals that are with me and prevents them from helping me.
I start screaming as well - and I think, "that is it, I am getting arrested". Then one soldier grabs my left hand, where I still have my glasses, and the rest grab my right hand, where I have my camera. I still have it wrapped around my wrist so it won't go. The soldiers just twist my hand and my fingers, as much as they can, and just pull the camera to make the ropes break, but the only thing that breaks is my skin. I scream and scream fearing the worst - that they will break some part of my body or that they will arrest me. Finally I understand that I, a woman, can't win against eight or nine soldiers, men, so I have to let the camera go. In normal circumstances I would bite and (aranar) but, apart from the fact that these "men" have weapons, if I do that, then they would have a reason to arrest me, and they dont seem to be arresting me, otherwise they would be dragging me to their car, and they are not, they are just struggling to get my camera. When the soldiers finally get my camera they leave me there, violently shaking, needeing a hug desperately.
A Palestinian woman touches my shoulder and shows me a glass of water. She then literally pours it inside my mouth - so much for lack of communication. I say "shukran" but she insists that I drink more, and I do. Then I look around me and see that the whole street is full of people looking at the group where I stand, which is pretty big now. People with badges showing their names and pictures, others with EAPPI vests.. (chalecos). Later I learn that they are Israelis and internationals from different human rights organisations. They ask us what has happened and we tell them.
Someone has called the police but J and D say that they know, from experience, that if we stay and speak to them, we will be arrested -it always happens when they intervene in conflicts between us and the soldiers. So we come up to the flat and write a report. J calls IDF and the woman on the phone says that they will give us the cameras in a few minutes, but an hour passes and the cameras are still stolen.