PALESTINIAN HOSPITALITY -- PART 3
I'm back in East Jerusalem now, and will sadly probably be riding out the rest of my stay here - I say sadly b/c I wanted to go w/ a small group to Nablus today, but it would've been too risky, checkpoint-wise and transportation-wise, since I'm supposed to fly out of Tel Aviv Sat at 4:55PM. I may make a brief visit to Ramallah tomorrow, depending on what's going on there...
I plan to go to a pro-Palestinian demo this evening in Jerusalem -- just found out about it -- not sure if it's organized by internationals or Palestinians or both.
You have probably heard about the bombing in Tel Aviv yesterday. This and other violence erupted in part because of it being the Jewish holiday Tish'a Ba'v. Last evening at sundown, just outside our hostel by Damascus gate, the IDF came in and totally shut down this area of the city in preparation for an Israeli/Jewish march that passed by here at around maybe 9:00PM. We went out on the street to watch -- one of our friends wore a keffyha (sp?) -- traditional Palestinian head (etc.) wear -- and drew some interesting comments from some paraders -- like, "death to Arabs".
Yesterday there was a demo in Ramallah where Palestinians and internationals broke curfew in defiance. Some IDF came in with an armored personnel carrier -- they seemed understaffed for the event. I know this because one NYer was there with video camera and he caught some amazing footage.
Three internationals were arrested, and several others were nearly arrested, but escaped, due at least once to the "puppy pile" technique (where a group of activists pile on top of someone to protect the person from arrest and/or bodily harm)! This is really amazing footage and if you're active around Palestine stuff in NY or wherever, you'll probably see it some day. Also yesterday, two Palestinan children there were shot by IDF --they were out playing football after curfew. One kid had his head blown to bits.
F16s yesterday bombed a factory very near Nuseirat (middle Gaza), where some of our group just left from on Tues -- actually some of the group was still there for this. It was only a five minute walk from where we'd been staying. This happened before the Tel Aviv bombing, and is rumored to be 'justified' by IDF as a strike against what they thought was a weapons factory. The people in our group who were still there went to the site and they report that it was in fact a factory that made food-processing equipment. Other IDF gunshots could reportedly be heard through the night, but the target(s) is/are unknown.
Also, I believe yesterday, in a West Bank town called Immanuel, there was an ambush by Palestinians (Hamas and others all claimed responsibility, I hear) on a settler bus, whereby a bomb went off near the bus as a diversion -- settlers exited the bus, and a Palestinian gunman dressed as IDF opened fire on them and killed seven.
Two days ago, also near Nuseirat, F16s struck a court where they were trying to assassinate a Hamas member. He escaped. The court was totally destroyed.
Freddie and Juan are in Tel Aviv today interviewing (a) refusenik(s) [Israelis who refuse to serve in the military]. Juan leaves Saturday also, but through Jordan.
Most of this news is regrettably imprecise but it's very difficult (ironically) to get good, reliable news here.