Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Here is a blog entry from a friend of mine, acting as international witness to what's going on in Hebron and around:

"It is January 11th, I have been in Hebron for two days now working with an international movement which will here remain unnamed, it is around 7;30am, Juan - my room mate - receives a call from a contact and wakes me from my aching slumber, he has heard that an Israeli demolition squad has been seen assembling outside a small village in the desert south of Hebron, we gather ourselves as quickly as we can and leave at once with the intention of reaching the target before the bulldozers.

We are told to head for a town called Yatta and await further directions, we hurriedly oblige but before we make our destination our taxi hits a large boulder on an unlaid stretch of road, its engine is critically holed but even as the hot oil spews from its sump we successfully flag down a passing local who takes us enthusiastically to our first destination. From there we acquire further direction and another hard negotiated taxi which whisks us to the edge of nowhere and then a little further, finally leaving the road at its end and hopping the rocky desert toward our goal.

Our journey has taken us well over an hour to this point and our nerves are on edge, it seems that we have invested a lot in getting this far and this may be our first opportunity to engage in actively hampering the efforts of the IDF and could easily lead to our arrest and possible deportation. As we crest the final hill before the village though we are forced off the track by the yellowing girth of a bulldozer as it passes, it is followed by several more and then a monumental snaking cavalcade of military hardware which seems to take minutes to pass. The traffic is all heading out of town and I am - at once - relieved and disappointed not to be opposing them.

Momentarily I assume that they have been rebuffed by the locals but as the dust settles on their departure I see a settlement littered with flattened buildings and I can almost hear the air escaping my soul as my spirit deflates, this is a low. As we eventually exit the cab and enter the village we are swamped in a sense of utter loss, defeat and anger, the UN are there, they could do nothing, the EAPPI are there, they could do nothing, ISM are there, even they could do nothing and all anyone can do now is record the aftermath and intrude upon this tragedy by gently throwing questions at the the bedouin inhabitants. This is a low indeed, this is what it feels like to lose, to be squashed, to understand how utterly powerless we all are in the face of such unassailed might, as individuals and collectively. At the same time though I am pricked by the awareness that we came so close, we were so nearly there first and this stirs the hope within me that we can make it next time and even if we cannot prevent such an abominable act of mean spiritedness, we can at least witness it on behalf of the world and share the truth through images and words. (see video above)

As a result of the occupation the majority of Palestinians must seek planning permission from Israel before building any new structure, even in their own country and on their own land, in almost every case (94%) this is refused meaning that existing towns can neither expand or develop, this is one way in which the zionists seek to ethnically suffocate the West Bank of its inhabitants and seize land for its own settlements. Many Palestinians are thus forced to build without seeking permission, resulting in hundreds of demolitions each year.

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