Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Israeli occupation - force and fraud

Two personal stories i have heard in Abu Dis seem to sum up the nature of the occupation. These stories are not aberrations or 'bad apple' cases, they are in fact quite typical. A mix of physical violence and bureaucratic restriction is the nature of the occupation. For these things to end, the occupation must end and there must be justice for the Palestinians.

Personal story 1 - Hammam is a 17 year old resident of Abu Dis. Last year he joined a peaceful protest in Abu Dis against the Israeli assault on Gaza. During the protest an Israeli soldier came out from an alleyway near to where Hammam was standing and shot him three times in the head. He was then beaten and left to die. Thankfully, he survived, but some of his capacities for speech and movement have been seriously impaired. No Israeli soldiers have been arrested in relation to this case, and there is little possibility that they ever will be.

Personal story 2 - An english teacher at the Arab Institute is married to a woman from East Jerusalem. After Israel built its separation wall, Palestinians in East Jerusalem were issued with a blue ID card, and most of those in the West Bank a green ID card. A green card means you cannot travel to East Jerusalem, a blue card means you cannot live or work in the West Bank. Therefore the teacher has been living apart from his wife and children for 5 years. They see each other through clandestine arrangements. One time they went somewhere together by car. They were stopped at an Israeli checkpoint and the teacher was forced to leave the car on account of his green ID. People with blue ID cards cannot travel in the same car as people with green ID cards.

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