Under the Occupation 

Blood ledger / Rita, International Solidarity Movement

it has been so stressful again here in Ramallah, not only strict curfew and the sounds of bombing and shooting basically all night, but today, emergency has meant that many people, simple ordinary citizens, are in a serious need of assistance:

  • two old people on their own right behind the Muqata'a ( the president's compound) with all their home's glass shattered because of the detonations of the past two days, swimming in dust. The woman has just come out of hospital and now she has an attack of coughing and they need to be evacuated to their son's house, but they cannot even step out, and the ambulance is not allowed to reach their area by huge tanks that threaten to shoot
  • the old father of a doctor friend and his wife going through the April like detonations all over again now in September, and right next door ,shattering the glass of their home for the 10th time probably, and still thinking that we have to withstand all this as there is no other choice. He insists on keeping himself and his wife seated or in bed, and not hiding in the supine position on the floor when detonations takes place, as he finds the thought of dying while lying on the floor like that totally indignant! The last time in April the stress was so high this father went into the heart attack mode in the middle of the night. His son, the doctor, stayed on the line with the wife, the doctor's mother, through the night, and nothing that we did could get the ambulance or anyone else to that area up till 8 am. He was lucky enough to survive.While he was in hospital, the army came at night again and bulldozed the pavement infront of his house and the house's front wall and brought the rubble right to the front door. In the morning, the mum was very shocked to find out that she could not open the front door, but the thing that made her angriest and saddest was the destruction of her garden, including her precious Yasmineh ( her jasmin plant).
  • the wife of a friend with their house occupied by the army, phones taken away and no contact with the outside world. She and 3 little girls stuck inside one room, locked up, the husband in jerusalem finding out about the occupation of his house from neighbors who still have phones, feeling terrible about the wife and his knowledge that the children have no milk. Several homes have been occupied in that area, but I do not know the exact number. I know of at least 5-6
  • others with not much food at home any more and not knowing what to do, with tanks right infront of the houses, constant bulldozing and bombing and that dust, but day and night. We can even see the dust cloud coming up after a detonation and after we go through the shock of the noise which resonnates right through the Wadi and shakes our windows. With the sound, we rush out to the veranda and watch that awful dust cloud, going high up, above the building that stand on the hill and separates us from the Muqata'a area, where whatever is left of the president's compound lies.
  • The sound of my 6 year old nephew crying just after a blast today, a crying of an abnormal sort, of a child's desparation at no longer being able to cope with what is happening around him any more. The family ran out of milk and very soon, even bread.