Friday, December 19, 2003

Last Christmas I phoned Judeh at Jerusalem ymca to see how things were in that land called holy.
I will seek out the text of that and clip it for you here.
today I received this ...... and would like you to read and let it in because it is reality......

They destroyed my house
Jamal Khader, a Palestinian lawyer living in Ramallah, lost his apartment and all his belongings on the night of Sunday, 30 November 2003. The whole night, from9p.m. until 12a.m. on Monday, the Israeli Army, allegedly searching for Hamas militants, forced all the inhabitants of Khader's building to undergo a collective punishment: the destroying of their house and their belongings.

 Jalal Khader lived in a residential area in a South-West neighborhood of Ramallah. In the mid-evening around 9 p.m., he and his neighbors were woken by the Israeli Army during an incursion in the main Palestinian city of the West Bank. Jalal remembers vividly those terrifying hours: 

 "The IDF first entered the opposite building; I was watching from the window.  I thought I would be safe there and that it wouldn't affect me this time. In March 2001, when the IDF entered into Ramallah for a two months incursion, they destroyed my office, which is located in the Natsheh Commercial Center of Ramallah. It was terrible. The doors, the walls, the windows were broken. This weekend's attack reopened my wounds.

 "Around 9.30pm, with a loud speaker, they ordered all inhabitants to switch their apartments' lights on, to open all windows and doors, and to get down on the street. There were approximately 10-15 jeeps, armed cars and snipers all around us. Children cried, everybody was stressed and scared.

Once in the street, one by one, we had to step ahead and listen to their orders, "go right!", "go left!", "stay!", "move!" These are the words they shouted in Arabic at the one who stood in front of them, sometimes in his or her pajamas, in the cold. Men had to take their cloths off. While I was doing so, one of my neighbors told me she saw a red dot on my breast. I understood later that they were ready to shot at me if I wasn't doing what they wanted."

After their collective humiliation, everyone was asked to enter one apartment and to stay there until the soldiers would ask them to enter another room, individually, where interrogations were held.

 "They were looking for information about a man I maybe saw once entering my neighbor's apartment. I don't know his name or anything else about him. They were not violent with me, but I heard my neighbors screaming and saw fear in the owner of the building's eyes. The IDF asked the latter to look for the suspect in his building. He refused twice, saying he didn't want to be shot at by the hidden man. If ever, there was a hidden man. He then accepted under pressure."

 Khader does not know what they found at that time, but a dead body was discovered later in the destroyed house. Jalal fell asleep in what he called the "detention apartment." At 1
0.30 the next day, a boy woke him up. "Get up! They are about to blow the building" he said.

 "I got up. The IDF were outside giving instructions. They were going to explode it all. And we had just 15 minutes to take out our belongings."

 I didn't know what was worth taking with me It was a large four-floor building with 7 apartments and approximately 40 people living there. Today they are all homeless.

They lost everything.

The pix with this are powerful ..... I can send you if you wish.
I have no more words......................................................