Saturday, December 06, 2003

90 years old ...... a story from my colleague in Palestine ......... a ymca worker like me ..................
"xcept for cranky knees, Hanna is in very good shape. He has witnessed 90 years of tumultuous history in his homeland,Palestine, and remembers it clearly – the Ottomans, the British, the Jordanians. He emphasizes how lucky he has been and how much he has been spared compared to other Palestinians. But the history he relates makes it clear that his conclusion is more a matter of attitude than fact. 

 To punish Yasser Arafat for his inability to stop suicide bombings, Israeli forces conducted a particularly punishing incursion on Arafat’s headquarters and the city of Ramallah. For 39 days, the city was under curfew while tanks and planes wreaked havoc. For a full week, much of the city was without electricity, ambulance service, or breaks for purchasing food and removing garbage. Military units moved from house to house in neighborhoods, using them for temporary headquarters and destroying them in the process. When the soldiers ordered Hanna to leave his home, he refused. The commander told Hanna that it was war and that he had no choice but to leave. Hanna asked the soldier where he should go after he left the house. He opened his shirt, pointed to his chest, and asked the soldier to shoot him quickly."