i would like to share with you some of my dairies , it has been edited by Nahla Abdo and Ronit Lentin book,
Diary of the Dispossessed: Women’s Misery and Suffering under Israeli Occupation
ps since that date , big crimes against palestinian people were committed
women ,children,health workers,students ,farmers workers,every palestinian were target ,of a big systematic well organised planned agression , there was no military acts by Palestinian people in the 1st few month of the intifada ,the intifada started with nonviolent protests against occupation ,yet in the 1st few month , at least 334 were killed many more were injured , while protesting against the occupation.
here is my diaries i wrote more and more since that date.........
At the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada I invited my mother, a seventy-nine-year-old widow and retired head teacher, to stay at my place so I can look after her during this state of national emergency. Her house is near settlement areas in Khan Younis, south of Gaza city, and the situation is very unsafe, with daily violent confrontations between protestors and the Israeli army. Everywhere in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Palestinian stone throwers face an army shielded from any serious threat to its safety by armored vehicles, tanks, and highly protected barracks.
Since my mother came to my place, her only contact with our neighbors has been by telephone. The news about house demolitions, land leveling and tree uprooting reached her only gradually. Sensing unexpected events, she could not sleep for many nights, and worried about her house, unable to reach it or send anybody to get her special belongings.
On 22 November 2000 we hear about our next-door neighbors, a very poor widow and her two children. The bulldozers started their work at eleven o’clock at night. In great shock, and unaware of the danger, our neighbor threw herself against the bulldozer. She hoped to save her house, her only shelter, but she could not. She collapsed in agony, pain, and hatred. The Israelis had given no notice prior to the demolition. All the houses on their street were demolished, with the furniture inside. In some cases, the Israeli bulldozers started their job with families still indoors. To this very minute, families have not been allowed to return to their houses, or their leveled land.
The Israelis continue their inhuman actions. The amount of damage is far beyond any warranted by the security measures they claim were necessary. It is simply collective punishment, humiliation, and harassment.
On 26 November 2000 I received the shocking news of the demolition of my mother’s house; I expressed my feelings in the following letter, which was distributed worldwide.
Best Wishes from Gaza
I woke up this morning to hear the shocking news of my mother’s house demolition. The Israeli bulldozers demolished the well adjacent to the house, as well as dozens of houses in the area. They also uprooted vast areas of bountiful agricultural land that includes orange, olive, and guava groves. Many families in the area are homeless, with the Red Cross just recently supplying them with tents. I cannot explain to you how bad I feel. All my childhood memories…I still remember my late father’s rare photos, the minute I first drank that water from our well out of his hands. I still remember the joy of the relatives, friends and neighbors coming to celebrate this moment with us. The olive, orange, and guava trees, and many other trees, do not carry symbolic value only; they also have great economic value. They are lifelines for many families in the area. Agriculture is these people’s only income. The Israelis aim to decimate our already annihilated economy, to uproot us, to destroy our culture and to deny our very existence on this land for thousands of years.
It is worth telling you that the Israeli army did not give any warning. The houses were demolished with the furniture inside. As you know, my mother lives in that house, but recently I invited her to stay with me because of the difficult times. My mother feels so bad about what happened. Our thoughts are with our neighbors, who are very poor and have no alternative homes.
Besides everything else I have mentioned, these demolitions are as huge blow to the environment. Some of the trees, especially the tall beautiful trees we call Jumaiz, are very rare species. What is happening is a major violation of human rights, a blow to the economy, environment, and peace. I feel angry, helpless, devastated, abandoned. The sad fact is that despite all these crimes against humanity, most Israelis do not care.
During these difficult moments, I remember a very touching poem, by the most gifted Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish:
I came back from the dead,
I represent an uncompromising wound,
The brutality of my executor has taught me,
To bite the bullet,
And carry on,
I will sing,
I will resist,
I will resist.
I can assure you that one day, we will replant these trees and rebuild our houses, and water will flow again, even stronger than before, hopefully washing away the horrific memories of the decades-long Israeli aggression. We may be weak, but justice is on our side and one day it will prevail.
I suffered from a sleeping disorder. My mother did as well. I am still experiencing different sorts of nightmares, up to this very minute.
I felt strongly that I must go to the area, to see what is going on, to meet with the families, to express solidarity and to find out if they need any help. I had personal feelings. I felt as if I had lost one of my children, and could not grieve before holding it in my arms.
The main road leading to Khan Younis, where my family lives, was closed. It was diverted to a country lane under the supervision of army tanks, and is open, theoretically, for only two hours a day, though most of the time it is not. I am talking about the only connection between Gaza city and the southern part of the Strip. Medical supplies were delayed in reaching hospitals, and medical teams faced many serious effects, especially when the Khan Younis hospitals lacked oxygen cylinder supplies. The siege continues on and off. Still, I insisted on going. With the help of a friend, using side roads, we walked for one hour. I was greatly shocked to see the extent of the damage, the uprooted trees, the ruins of houses, the uprooted plant nurseries, the destroyed wells and poultry farms. I could not recognize my very dear place. My God! I could not recognize the area; it had lost its identity completely. I could not but burst into tears, crying loudly, as did my companion.
I was fifty meters away from my parents’ place. An Israeli jeep stopped us. The soldiers pointed at me and threatened to open fire if I did not leave the place. Still in tears, I tried to talk to them. I hated myself later on for showing them my weakness and misery. They ordered me to leave at once. I felt abandoned, devastated, helpless. This is inhuman, I thought to myself! The anger and determination to resist increased inside me.
The Israelis will not succeed in demoralizing us, I swore to myself. It is not only my personal pain, but other people’s pain too. Twenty-five families are living in tents. These people are not just numbers. They are real people with stories to tell.
A week later I went to visit the families in these tents. What I found was shocking. These women refused to leave the sites of their houses, despite daily shooting intended to force them to leave. I met children who go to school while Israeli soldiers shoot above their heads to terrify them. I felt empowered by meeting these women. I felt it is my national duty to work hard to tell the entire world about the Israeli soldiers through real human acts.
While I was writing these words, I received a phone call from one of the families I had visited. A woman had given birth to a baby – another addition to the twenty-first century refugees. I received another call from a member of the UHWC (Union of Health Workers Committee), a doctor, who shared her ordeal with me. ‘I was stopped at the checkpoint, asked to leave my car and stand by the army tank,’ she said. ‘When I refused, I was threatened with being shot. Still I insisted on refusing to obey their orders. They stopped my car for one whole hour, then let me go home.’ ‘I admire your attitude very much,’ I said. But the fact is that my doctor friend went home completely distressed and psychologically shocked.
One only needs to go to al-Qarara village to realize that what has been done goes far beyond anything warranted by security, it is simply occupation, collective punishment.
On 27 January 2001 I revisited al-Qarara and met with the dispossessed families again. Every time I go there, feelings of anger and pain boil inside me. What I see is real: one of the houses was occupied by the Israeli Defense Forces while the family that lived there was relegated to the ground floor. Living with your killer under the same roof, and by force, is unbearable. And this is not the only house where this is happening, I was informed.
Walking through the Night in Labor
I met a woman who had just given birth to a little baby boy. While in labor, and with strong contractions, she had to walk for one hour to reach the nearest available transportation. Cars are not allowed to enter that road area after 8pm and the Israelis open fire without prior warning if any car passes by. An uneasy delivery followed. The baby is fine, but his mother was distressed.
I still cannot overcome that painful experience. I saw another baby who was malnourished. I arranged immediate medical help. I asked the women, ‘Do you believe in peace?’ and they all answered strongly, and without hesitation, ‘We pray for fair peace, not humiliating peace.’ I say with them, ‘We do not want peace that will divide us into pieces.’
I met with farmers in a protest tent near their leveled land. The destroyed land needs a lot of work to be planted again in time for the harvest. The farmers feel strong pain, watching the rain but not being allowed to reach their land. They feel helpless and isolated.
I am describing just some of what I met in al-Qarara village near Khan Younis. But this is the case in all agricultural areas of the Gaza Strip. All people of destroyed land, including myself, will sue the IDF in the high court. But who will return the environment to its original state? Old trees, landmarks on the road for decades, have been destroyed; rare species of trees have been uprooted. They are very old and real witnesses to the barbaric Israeli acts.
The Israeli practices are inhuman and out of control. Serious action must be taken by the international community to stop the Israeli destruction, the uprooting of our trees, culture, and history!
1 February 2001
I have just arrived from al-Qarara, the destroyed village. Here are some new stories.
The night the bulldozers started was so dark and frightening; children were crying. One seven-year-old girl escaped the terrifying scene, walking alone in the dark, unaware of time or space. All she wanted was to be away from the soldiers and the bulldozers. It was not until the next day that her parents found her in a terrifying state. The girl still suffers from psychological distress and learning difficulties, according to the family.
The women of al-Qarara insisted on not letting the Israeli soldiers demolish their houses and made a human shield with their bodies to stop the bulldozers. In response, the Israelis called further military forces who shot at the women and threw tear gas bombs until they surrendered. They bulldozers carried on with their destruction.
On her wedding night, Mrs. Algebra’s house was demolished with all the furniture and Gehaz (bride gifts she had brought with her) inside it. The newlyweds are still unable to overcome the trauma and the psychological effects it had upon them. The husband told me he would never forget or forgive the Israelis for what they did to his new home and his hopes.
To date, the Israelis are still occupying four houses in the area. The irony is that they are living with their victims under the same roof. As armed soldiers, the Israeli occupiers feel safe; meanwhile, the owners of these houses are being terrorized and feel unsafe. They undergo systematic harassment, and they are placed under curfew from 6pm until 6am the next morning.
I have to say here that I cannot describe the real suffering, distress, and agony which the people in al-Qarara have experienced in the several months that have passed since the beginning of the Intifada. There are no words that can express these people’s lives.
Every time I go there, the women in particular are happy to see me. I have the feeling that my presence empowers the women, but this is not enough. Serious actions must be taken. These people have to be reached and visited regularly by other humanitarian organizations and political solidarity groups. They need medical and especially psychological care and attention. They need the solidarity and support of all concerned humanitarian bodies and political groups.
Ps big crimes against palestinian people , during the intifada happened since that date , there was no military acts by Palestinian people in the 1st few month of the intifada ,the intifad started as protest against occupation ,yeet in the 1st few month , at least 334 were killed while protesting against the occupation.