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Eyewitness Report from Al Biereh

This is the text of an email I received from a friend of in Al Biereh. Sam Bahour is well know to many Middle East peace activists in Chicago, having lived for years in the Midwest before returning home to Palestine with his family.
Eyewitness Report from Al Biereh
By Sam Bahour

AL BIEREH, West Bank: As I write the Israeli army is going from neighborhood to neighborhood demanding all males from 16-60 exit their homes and gathering them at a local school (Mugtarabeen) yard. My sister-in-law just called and advised that her husband, Mohd Yacoub, was one of the tens that were rounded up in her area.

The Israelis have taken over Al-WATAN local TV channel in Ramallah and is airing programs that are anti-Palestinian. This aggression is much more than the tanks you are seeing on CNN.

Electricity is off in several areas. We were without it for the most of yesterday. Israeli tanks make systematic rounds through the neighborhoods. Gunfire was heard most of the night.

A lot of physical damage is being done to the city, but that is secondary right now while human loss that still threatens us.

The real damage is to the children. Sharon has created another generation of resistance that will not know the notion of reconciliation or have hope for peaceful co-existence.

The US and Israel will torture the word terrorism for months and years to come, but the Palestinian resistance, armed and otherwise, that the Palestinians will embark on for years to come will be all the more legitimate and justified given the terror of 37 year of military occupation and 18 months of aggression led by an Israeli war-criminal cabinet. Frankly, I do not think that Palestinians will give a damn from now on how the powers-to-be term their struggle.

And as for the suicide bombings that Sharon has bluffed the world into believing he is stopping with his aggression, well, painfully they will increase, to the disliking of all, even those under the occupation. More and more Palestinians will now equate life and death and undertake actions that reflect such a mental and physical condition.

Our Palestinian brothers and sisters within Israel have taken to the streets today in commemoration of LAND DAY and to call for an end to the latest Israeli aggression.

No one here is surprised at Sharon's actions or the US's pitifully inaction. But we wonder where is the Israeli public? Where are those that know damn well that when all is over and done they are going to live with us, happily or not? Do they know that their silence will create an amount of hate that will need decades to repair? Do they care? Can they not see a people in desperation? Do they not have limits to their personal involvement in humiliating a whole people? Do they not fear their children's lives as they rampage Palestinian cities?

As for Arafat, Sharon has put Israel in a corner. If he is killed, the ramifications in the region will bring many black days on Israel. If he lives, the Palestinian people will have, yet again, defeated Sharon with barely no resources.

Well, I leave to spend some time with my daughters before becoming a prisoner of the occupation...



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