Kawther Salam's Diary 

Hell made in Israel (1-5/4/02)

The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

My "visa" card that's available to work in all over the world, is not available to work in Israel.

The Israeli goverenament imposed siege on the Palestinian Banks and visas cards. My Israeli friends helped me always to survive, and "DINA LEE" is still responsible about all of my expenses.

It's enough to be a Palestinian to live in a "HELL".

I'm not allowed to live in my house, because the Israeli soldiers occupied it, I'm not allowed to renew my press card, because the Jewish settlers dont like to recognize me!!

I'm not allowed to work and move freely in Hebron, because of the Israelis are not satisfied from my work as a journalist!!

I'm not allowed to work out of Hebron, because of the Israeli military blocked siege! I'm not allowed to live in Israel because I'm a Palestinian. Do you have an advice thats may help me to live, work and move? Please tell me. Do you have an advice to builed a "Paradise" in the middle of the Israeli "Hell"? Pleas advice me.

what shall I do in order to live and work normaly like all of the Human Biengs?.

Friday, 5th April .2002

Today, the French T.V representative approached me to work from the territories, when I told him that I dont recieved the "GPO" Israeli government press card, he called Mr. Daniel Seaman and he asked him about it. Mr. Seaman was very angry when he heard my name, he said that we dont want this journalist to approach us and if she approach our office to aske about her card I will kick her out of Israel!! (he meant arrest).

Mr. Seaman confirmed to the Israeli French T.V representative that he will through me out of Israel insted of helping me to exercise my professional duties like all other journalists who work in the democratic countries in the world!! The Israeli government press office nowadays, is chasing the PAlestinians journalists.

The press officeis is playing the roll of the Israeli Police, maybe becuase the Israeli policemen are very busy under the policy of chasing and arresting the Israeli Peace denostratores in the streets!!

Wednesday, 10th,April 2002

The US radio program which is heard on radio station coast-to-coast and also Worldwide over the internet posted my dairy on it's website www.rense.com Mr. Jeff Rense who was interviewed me on the US radio alive programon on Monday April 8, at 9pm pacific time in Israel Tuesday morning said, that it is very important to hear voices like yours in such difficult times, because of that I posted your recent report on the news services at rense.com On 10th, April 2002, I recieved many International calls from the State, California, Germany and Viana.

The people said, they heard my intrview on the US radio program and they were encoureging me to continue writting my diary on Gush Shalom website.

Professor Dr. Arick from the US University toled me that he send my diary on Gush Shalom website to the Observer newspaper for publishing, he said that many journalists are interesting in publishing my diary after the US radio world wide internet posted it on it's website program.

Saturday-Sunday, 13th-14th, April 2002

The Israeli soldiers shot on our car on the road 60 at the entrance of Halhol, we were 9 persons, a small child was injured in his right arm, all the passengers were screaming.

The soldiers continued the shooting while the driver tried to rescue our life, he returned to Jerusalem to search the way incase he find another road that help us to reach our homes in the city of Hebron.

An Israeli officer from the civil administration said, "the soldiers were shot on road 60 in order to prevent the moving target after the Palestinian woman from Biet Fajjar was exploded her self in Ben Yahoda street in Jerusalem yesterday!!"

I asked the officer, is it fair to shoot on the moving targets on the road and causing injury and death for the innocent civilians?? The officer hanged up the telephone!!

On 14th, April 2002 I was walked in Al-Shallaleh Street under the Israeli

control area H2 in Hebron I realized 5 Israeli soldiers were stopped 10 Palestinians youth on the wall in the corner of a narrow road, all of them were naked and under body assaulted search. I stopped to take some documentary pictures while one of the soldiers noticed me and he informed his friends about that, the soldiers asked the youth to put there clothes on, while the other soldiers stopped in front of the camera!!

I continued on my way, I reached Biet Romano settlement when the barber asked me to stop, he was complained against the IDF soldiers practices.

He said that the soldiers prevented the Palestinians to open their shops after the curfew was left for awhile!!

I was listening to the barber when the Israeli soldiers were yelling at me, one of them was pointed his gun at me, he ordered me to show him my ID and not to move one step!! the other soldiers on the roof top were pointed there guns at me too. I showed him my ID, but the soldier asked the barber to took it and give it to him!! The soldier said, she is a terrorist,

I asked him what did you say? he said you are a terrorist!!

I asked him why? He said because you are a Palestinian!!

I told the soldier that it's very clear that I'm a journalist and this is my camera.

The soldier said no it's not a camera. it is a gun!!

The officer said you are a "Fascist" and you deserved to die!! the other soldiers were pointed there guns at me!!

they ordered me to return, they said no body is allowed to talk and answer the army and every body should listen!!

The people are not allowed to walk and talk to gather in the area H2 under the Israeli control in Hebron, and every one should walk alone for security reasons the Israeli officer said!!

The Palestinians are not allowed to live normally like all the human beings in Hebron,

they are not allowed to send there children to the schools,or to drive in there cars, to marry or celebrate ...etc.

they just allowed to leave there houses in city. this is the main strategic policy of the occupation...

15th,April 2002

The soldier's were calling me "Fatimah, Fatimah, givaret, givaret" what are you doing? They continued yelling on me while I ignored them, I was filming the mass that left in my house by the IDF soldier's. The soldier's were inside my private room, my clothes on the floor full of dust, my papers spread out of my room. The Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement on the West Bank and Gaza strip book and other political books were cut to small pieces, some papers were with shit on it!! The sands spread in my rooms covering all the electricity equipments, the soldier's made every thing upside down in my house, they made a clear revenge on me.

I was shocked in front of this terrible mass, while the soldier's continued yelling on me. I decided to ignored them, I was very angry about what they did in my house, they damaged every thing, they took my cassettes, necklace, all the silver and gold things. They left for me two words on the wall, "Fuck you".

The night came very quickly, I found myself alone in the middle of the IDF soldier's mass without light, the soldiers were cut the electricity and the telephone wire.

I didn't have glass of water to drink, I didn't have any thing to eat, the bad foul spread, O God, I had really terrible feeling, fear mixed with anger and humiliation. I said to my self, how I will sleep in my house, It's not a house, this is a military occupation mass, I remembered the Jewish family I lived with them in Tel-Aviv.

and the small child I left him there, I should be with "Romi" instead to be in the middle of the garbage.

I was upset while the soldiers continued made a lot of noise on my roof, bangining on the water tanks and stomping on the metal under neath the roof. They were calling me all the time, throwing stones, and opening the radio wire loudly.

At 10pm, 20 soldier's were on my roof, the soldier's were calling each other's, they started singing, they offered me to sing with them and two soldier's invited me to share them happiness, they said we want you!!

I didn't answer, and I left my house at 10:30pm to sleep with my neighbors.

16th, April 2002

Today, I send a letter to the IDF commander in Hebron Colonel Dror Wienberg concerning his soldiers practices toward me on the streets and on the roof top of my house.

The letter enclosed copies of my diary from 13th-15th, April 2002. I wrote to Wienberg, "... I think you can stop this game if you want. I'm not interesting in writing any more about your soldiers if they stopped harassing and bothering me sexually in the streets. Thank you for your consideration". 7:30pm yesterday, I was walking In Al-Shallaleh Street under the Israeli control in Hebron on my way to stay in a hotel.

The street was completely empty, I realized a military jeep stopped near the border between the area H1 under the Palestinian authority and the are H2 under the Israeli authority. One of the Israeli soldier's was shooting toward the Palestinian area, "the center of the city", while there is no clashes. I took a picture and I kept going on. The military jeep drove very quickly and stopped in front of me, the soldier open the door and said, "Kawtaw how are you"? He was the same soldier who was shooting toward the Palestinian area.

I identified the soldier, o God he is the killer officer who I was met before twice, once he threat to shoot on, and the other he told me that he loved to talk with me!! I was scared, when he asked to stop and have a talk with him, he was confused, maybe because I filmed him shooting!! The officer asked,"where are you? I didn't see you since three weeks!! I said I wasn't here, and I continued going on. The officer said, please stop for awhile I'm talking with you, I missed you, I want ... !! I said, no, I couldn't, I should leave now.

The Palestinians were watching us though the windows!! I crossed the street to another one, The military post near Bet Hadasah settlement called me, come here.

I approached the soldier's, they asked who are you? I said I'm a journalist, the soldiers asked, what are you doing? I said I'm on my way back to the hotel. The soldier's said, It was shooting here just three minuets before you pass. did you see any one in the street? I said, yes,

I saw a military jeep was shooting toward the Palestinian area. The soldier's said, so go away from here very quickly and take care about your self!!

Today 16th, April 12pm, It's a miracle!!

The Israeli soldier's talked to me very polite when they were stopped a woman near Al-Shuhada street border, the soldiers asked me, who are you? I said I'm a Palestinian.

The soldiers said, no, you are kidding. I said, yes I am a Palestinian.

The soldiers asked me about my political point of view, we talked together like human being, I respect all what they told me,

I understand that there are many soldiers carrying the same point of view, but they didn't have influence to make any changes!!

I kept going on, the soldier near Bet Romano settlement asked me if I need a help when I passed next to them!! It's a miracle!!

Near the vegetable market, the soldier's asked me, who are you,

and after I left the area, I met five soldiers getting dropped off at Abu Sineneh.

The officer spat at me when he became very closed to me, he is the same officer who told me two days ago that I'm a "Terrorist"!!

Thursday, 18th. April 2002

My father taught me to say the truth "salt" or "sweet". How I do this today? It's just one way to be witnesses for the truth, witnesses against wrong and injustice.

In this way I contribute toward the injustice and healing required for the preservation of life and the holding back of evil and death.

I want to bear witness today to what I have seen in Hebron. What I'm reporting to you is not imaginary. It is simply a record of the event taking place today in the empty streets in Hebron under the curfew.

The streets were empty when I made my tour in the city, the cats, the rats and the dogs were running along my way acting the play of the city of the ghosts!!

I was looking right and left all the time, the bullets passed over my head, all the military posts where shooting.

I should walk on the safety side I said to my self turning my face to the left side to identified an old man 35 years was naked and masturbating!!.

As I decided to take some pictures and I shouted, the man ran away, five Israeli soldiers approached me, they asked, "what happened"? When I told them the story, they drove quickly to search the area!!

Friday, 19th April 2002

I didn't know how to survive as a woman and a journalist under the daily psychological pressure made by the IDF soldiers. In the streets, the soldiers calling me with bad names and sexual remarks, at home they continue throwing the garbage as well they call me with bad names. I guess the military commanders are playing a political game with me as journalists. Two days ago I send a letter to colonel Dror Wienberg, the IDF commander in Hebron, concerning the soldiers practices toward me in the streets and on my roof. Today my house entrance was damaged and blocked. I asked the soldiers stationed in the street in front of my house "point,4:5" to come and help me to open the door, I called Mark from the "CPT" too.

Five soldier came, and Mark tried and tried until he open the door, the hand was damaged. The soldiers came to have a look inside my house, they were polite, one of them said he saw me in Al-Shallaleh Street one month ago, the soldiers saw the military mass in my balcony, garbage,sand, stones, bottles of coca cola, urine, broken glass ...etc. The officer said, he is going to report his seen to the officer!! I was reported to his commander two days ago, maybe he was busy in shelling the Palestinians homes in "Dora" west of Hebron!! Near to Bet Romano settlement, the soldiers asked me to stop, they were yelling "witch witch Makashefa, Dana International, how are you"? The soldiers asked me not to record them, they threat to shoot at me!!

sunday, 21 April 2002

When I arrived at the Beit Romano Jewish settlement (the Yeshiva School) in the city of Hebron (area H2) under the Israeli control, it was 11:30am. I heard voices calling loudly:"Kawther Salam the Makhashifa (witch) is coming!" I turned my face to the right and as I identified the IDF soldiers who were called me, I saw a crowd of Palestinians, Israeli Police and soldiers stopped in front of the Palestinian gold shop for Mr. Khalel Abu Shekhedim. Mr. Abu Shekhedim said that the settlers had broken into his shop from the back side which faces the settlement of Bet Romano. They opened his shop and stole between $50,000-60,000 in gold jewelry and money.

He said yesterday, when the curfew was lifted, "I came to open my shop, but the IDF soldier's didn't allow me. I realized the light switch was on inside the shop, so I tried to open the door, but it was closed from inside. I called the Israeli Police, they came, and they went inside the settlement to check. They came after awhile and they said, we didn't find any thing wrong in your shop."

The Israeli Police told Abu Shekhedim they couldn't take his complaint now because of the Jewish festival, and because many settlers were crowding the area. They advised him to call them tomorrow if he found something had happened in his shop.

Abu Shekhedim came with a torch-cutter worker to help him to open his shop today, and he found everything inside was stolen!! His shop was opened from the back, inside the settlement, and the settlers left the equipment they were using inside his shop.

He called the Israeli Police, they came but they didn't allow him to enter his shop. I saw the Israeli Police officer from the investigation unit, and he went inside the settlement. After he came out and he advised Mr. Abu Shekhedim to visit them on the next day, tomorrow morning, 10 o'clock to file his complaint. Abu Shekhedim said, "I expect that the settlers did the same to the other gold shops in the market," which is called the "Gold Market" in Hebron. He added that the Israeli army didn't allowed his neighbor shopkeepers to open their shops, even after the curfew was lifted. In a different incident, Mr. Shawkat Al Fakhouri found his shop, located in front of the Israeli Police station in the area of the Abraham cave, broken into and all his goods were stolen. When he went to the police station to file a complaint, the police refused, and told him, "We don't take complaints during the war!!"

The officer said, "We don't work as observers here. We are busy in our offices." After the curfew, which was imposed on Hebron last week, the Palestinians found all the shops along Al-Shohada, Al-Shallaleh Streets and the vegetable market were opened and stolen!! The Israeli Police officer said they will accept the Palestinians complaint, andthat they would try to catch the settlers who did this damage to the Palestinians shops.

Monday, 22 April 2002

A Letter to the Colonel Dror Wienberg

After I crossed Al-Shalaleh Street, I heard the IDF soldiers yelling (Marwan Al-Bargotti, Osamah Ben Laden wait)!! I didn't realize that the IDF soldier's were yelling at me.

I kept going on, but the soldiers ran after me, they called me bitch and witch, they asked me to return to the old city, or to change my way back to the hell, hundreds kilometers around the street where they stopped me!! when I asked them about the reasons, they said, (It's sagor), (closed). I asked why? The soldiers said, for no reasons, this is the order!! I asked them if they have assigned authorizing paper to stop journalists and return them.

The soldiers said, no we didn't have any thing. One soldier bushed me back in a violent way, he threat to shoot at me, but I didn't scared, I asked him to stop harming me, I stopped in the same place where they detained me, I refused to return. The situation was very quite, the streets were empty, and the soldiers continued harassing me one hour!! They called the Israeli Police to force me to return. The Policemen came, but they didn't made arrest on me, they were surprised of what the soldiers did to me.

They asked me to keep going on the same street!! I recorded the conversation with the IDF soldier's. The record voices will be on Gush Shalom web site as soon as possible. As a result of this event, I wrote to Colonel Dror wienberg, The IDF commander in Hebron. This is my letter.

To: Colonel Dror Wienberg

From: Kawther Salam

Subject; The IDF Threaten

Dear Commander,

I'm deeply concerned the violation of the Press free movement in the city of Hebron, the area H2 under your authority.

Really, I'm not sure if delaying my work as a journalist two hours daily, under detention on the wall near Beit Romano settlement, and calling me (Marwan Bargutti, Osamah Ben Laden, Whore, bitch and witch, is part of the IDF security mission in Hebron or not??

Is this your military instructions, as Colonel Dror Wienberg? Or such of the crazy behaviors reflect the sick nature of the IDF soldiers??

What I'm sure about, that I'm not Marwan Bargutti, or Osamah Ben Laden, I'm not a killer or a terrorist, and I'm not committed to suicide operations in Israel.

I'm a journalist and a defender of the human rights, and I wonder if the others are human being or they came from another planet to kill each other??!!

I informed you that my life in danger under your soldiers daily threat to shoot on me, that means, you are responsible as Colonel Dror wienberg, about any shoot or harassment or damages made by your soldiers on me, after you received my letter dated 22 April 2002. This letter will post either to the International world for security reasons.


Wednesday, 24th April 2002

Appeal to the International World and the Democratic Countries

I'm calling upon the International world, the democratic countries, the human rights organizations, human rights defenders, and all the peace-lovers in the world to rescue my life for awhile, or to help me to seek asylum, in a peaceful country to write about my experience as a journalist in the area of the conflict. I'm calling upon every one who reads my appeal to pass it to the people to whom it may concern. I can't survive anymore, existing in a living hell alone with soldiers of occupation invading my living space -- they have a checkpoint on top of my bedroom roof!! I can't live like this: without water, electricity, T.V and telephone, in the middle of the smelly garbage and urine spread by the soldiers in front of my bedroom.

I can't live 24 hours a day, face to face with these soldiers who call me crazy names and make sexual remarks without hesitation. The soldiers used to watch me at night, they continued banging on the water tanks and stomping on the metal underneath the roof of my balcony. I couldn't sleep one moment during this provocative noise.

How many nights did I run away in the middle of the night to sleep with my neighbors? More than I care to remember!!

During the day, I walked alone in the empty streets under the curfew, with the soldiers always provoking me, and they stopped me in the streets under dentition, calling me bad names, and threatening to shoot me!!

The Israeli government refused to renew my press card in order to give legitimacy to soldier harassment and to make my work "illegal." The soldiers harass me, and one day they cut my International press card and threw it on the street.

The soldiers take revenge on me as a reporter and as a Palestinian. They call me a hostile journalist to make the settlers happy. The settlers are harassing me too, throwing stones, garbage, and eggs on me in the streets.

I filed several complaints with the police -- over 300 -- but I still live under the same situation.

Thursday, 25th April 2002

I decided to prepar my house again, I recommended the constructor worker to change the damaged glass, to paint the walls, to change the damaged lock-keys and doors..., while I decide to stay with some friends.

On the 4th, of May 2002, I went to my house, the settlers and the soldiers were crowded in front of my house. I kept going on, I tried to open the new lock-key, but I can't, it was bloked by waxy material!! when I called the soldiers to help me to open the door, the settlers stoned me and the soliers were laughed them!! I ran away.

Saturday, 4th May 2002

On Sutarday 5th, May 2002, the constructor worker called me, he said that his life in danger and he cant continue constructed my house. The settlers were break into the house and damaged his work!! All the new glass broken, the doors damaged.

One of the Israeli soldiers told me that the settlers plan to burn me in my bed room at night, he advised me to rescue my life.

Sunday, 5th May 2002

On Sunday, at 7am, I ran away with small things with me to live with my friend Dina Lee in " Jaffo " in Tel-Aviv. It took me 7 hours from Hebron to Jerusalem, all the roads, the streets and the ways were blocked, the snipers occupied the hills along the way.

The driver used the mountainous ways to drive in the middle of the fields, through the surrounding villages. the thick dust coverd the transportation while we can't open the windows.

We were all scared in the car through driving in the fields, the car was nearly to capized in " So'er " wadi. I took 10 cars through the transportation between Hebron and Jerusalem, and I walked hundreds of kilometers on foot in the fields, in order to make around of the block military posts which cut the ways between the villages.

Near " Al-obaydia " village, and in the middle of the I faced by a military war tank, hundreds of old men and women caring children were stopped by two Israeli soldiers, I was very tired and sweat, the people told me that they were stopped by the soldiers since four hours!! I asked them to open the way for me. I stopped in front of the soldiers, I beated the war tank by hand, and I asked them about what they were doing and why they just enjoy harassing the civilian people under the sun??

The soldiers realized that I was opening my recorder, they looked at me and they kept silence, other soldiers they were hidding them selves in the war tank, they raised their heads and were ready to shoot. All of them were in the age of 18th years old.

The soldiers asked me to leave them, they opened the way for the othersQ!! The crowded people rushed very queckly toward the cars after they thanked me, one of them carried my things, I felt of the pain after I beated the war tank in my hand!!

I arrived East of Jerusalemat 1:30pm, after 7 houres of painful travel in the mountains. I called " Nitsan " , friend of mine, he came from " Binyaminas " north of Tel-Aviv to pick me from Jerusalem.