War of Thirst

I used to buy the water to fill my tanks.
The soldiers used to cut my water tanks and drain the water off.

I used to collect the rain water for my daily use.
The soldiers used urinate and throw feces in the place where I collected the water.

It's difficult to have a glass of water in Hebron.
It's difficult to buy a water tank...

In Hebron, each housing quarter was receiving water for three hours every 60 days.
The Jewish settlement were stealing the water...
The Israeli government didn't fulfill the water agreement which concerned the Palestinians water allocation.

The Palestinians were using the contaminated water for the day to day use. During the Intifada the Public services such as water deteriorated rapidly. Almost 60% of the children in Gaza suffer parasitic infections attributable to dirty water.

In Hebron, 80% of children suffer of illnesses related to amoeba infections of drinking water. The situation caused acute shortage of water, and as a result Typhoid fever and Amoeba contamination related sicknesses were spreading in the southern area of Hebron even before the Intifada as a result of the use of the contaminated water.

Under this shortage of water, the Israeli infrastructure Effi Eitam banned Palestinians from drilling for water in the West Bank, and put a freeze on the issue of permits for future drilling.

Feces and garbage (bottles full of urine) thrown on Kawther's roof in Hebron by the occupying soldiers. This is where the rain water is supposed to be collected.

Water tanks, a broken solar water heater and a position held by the IDF on Kawther's roof in Hebron. Everything is damaged by the soldiers.

posted by الفــ العربي ــارس @ 9:41 PM, 0 Comments,

Leaders of the STARVATION War: Gilad and Tzadaka

On Sunday, October 13th, 2002 the Major General Amos Gilad, Coordinator of Government Activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, told a meeting of senior government officials, "There is no starvation in the territories because Israel allows donations to be delivered there on time ..."

On July 20, 2002, I faxed the Major General Amos Gilad, Coordinator of the Government Activities in the West Bank and Gaza, asking him where did he learn to be a liar, and if there is a University offering a special degree in lying in Israel.

I included in my fax a copy of a press release by Ms. Lynn Gefsky, Press Officer at Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. , who released a statement in the U.S.A. saying that the government of Israel is not delaying my travel through Allenby Bridge. The Embassy released it's response after some Americans from Ohio University requested information about my case. The General Gilad's office was -at that time- obstructing my travel to Vienna for political reasons. He had already delayed my travel for over one month, denying me the right to travel through Allenby bridge.

This is just one example to show how things are going on at the General's office, he is always saying one thing but in fact doing the opposite.

As a journalist I know Major General Gilad, I know his assistant Aviv and his spokesperson Ofer Hakam. I do also know General Dov Tzadaka, who represents Gilad's activities in the DCL office at Beit Il.

Both of the Generals Gilad and Tzadaka should be given the epithet of being the Generals of “LIE and STARVATION”.

The strong Israeli propaganda taught these Generals that they are always right and others are always wrong. They reach the International organizations and public opinion by turning the truth up side down and spreading lies and false rumors.

When the American Ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer, delivered a message sharply criticizing Israel's failure to implement humanitarian measures and the IDF activities in the territories, the Major General Gilad made his denial statement claiming that there is no starvation in the territories because Israel allows donations to be delivered there.

Actually, there is a very real situation of starvation made by the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and no humanitarian measures are implemented. These are the values and considerations under these generals military orders.

Since the outbreak of the Intifada or uprising on late September 29, 2000 in the occupied territories, the Palestinian economy has been operating far below productive capacity due instability and economic sanctions imposed by the military occupiers, the generals Gilad and Tzadaka.

The percentage of unemployment has been increased during the last year alone to over 90% in Gaza strip and the territories. In some cities the unemployment has reached 100%. One example is the old city of Hebron, which is under the Israeli control.

The Curfew has been imposed on Hebron, the old city since before the "Intifada", and for over 600 days the Palestinians were living under the Israeli curfew imposed by the military commander colonel Dror Wienberg. Wienberg delivered over 300 military orders which included closing closing the old markets, Palestinian shops, stopping the infrastructure construction and occupying the rooftops of hundreds of Palestinian houses, mine among them.

There are about 750 extremely poor families living in Hebron under colonel Weinberg's authority who depend for their daily food on a volunteer meal donated by a chartable organization. General Dov Tazadaka, who represents the Major General Amos Gilad had stopped the charitable organizations work of supplying the poor people with their daily meal.

I requested the military commander of Hebron Colonel Dror Wienberg to take the humanitarian need of these poor people under the poverty line in his considerations. I sent him an official appeal but he didn't respond ...

Mrs. Ronet Yadeyah, the wife of Oded Yadeyah, who had been worked with General Tzadaka in the south of Lebanon, tried to convince General Tzadaka to grant a permit for supplying the poor people with their own meal, She explained him the real starvation in the city. The General Tzadaka said that a political decision had made the military to stop the food donations, and he couldn't change that ...

The last couple of months before I fled to Austria, I observed real starvation in Hebron, the old city. I was following the IDF soldiers searching Palestinian houses. The soldiers raided the house of an old woman aged 92 (Im Mahmoud Herbawi). Finally they found a bag of rests of dry bread she had collected from the military garbage to soak it in water and to eat for over months. The soldiers, of course, took this away from her. The woman cried endlessly after the suspension of the meal donations made by the chartable organization, "I used to have my only meal from this donated food, but now I was collecting crumbs of bread from the soldiers to survive !"

Inhuman stories like this one example nobody has heard or read until now. Both Generals Gilad and Tzadaka should be aware of what they are doing and saying ...

There is real shortage of food in the territories, a real starvation caused by the tight military closure. Donations to be delivered to the territories and Gaza, “like what General Amos Gilad said”, need to seek a special form of request from the offices of both generals Gilad and Tzadaka. The Generals usually delay their response for over one month. During the "normal" situation before the Intifada raised, the Generals used to delay their response for only two weeks.

In cases such as donations of fresh food, the food stands rotting in lorries behind the Israeli border checkpoints at Tarkomia and Eriz as a result of the delays in their responses which the generals implement only for the sake of humiliating the Palestinians. Any journalist (or just anybody) who wants to see how the Generals Gilad and Tzadaka implement their genocidal measures aimed at humiliating and starving a whole people, needs to just go to the israeli border checkpoints at Tarkomia and Eriz.

The generals offices have a well studied method of dealing with requests aimed at alleviating the dire humanitarian conditions in the territories and Gaza: they postpone, bargain and humiliate.

Any organization or person wanting to send donations for Palestinians should apply and follow the formal way of the Generals offices. The instruction would be:

1.- The office of General Amos Gilad and Dov Tzadaka should receive an official request by fax concerning the humanitarian help to be donated one week before the specific time of entry ...

2.- The application should include, a copy of I.D, passport, the car number ...

3.- Each request should include CV and further informations about the donating organization or person, about the receiver of the donation, the purpose of donation, and the exact place (address) where it is going to ...

4.- If the originating person or institution of the fax request is Palestinian, he should have a magnetic card, “an intelligence certificate of good behavior”...

5.- The Palestinians should follow different steps to apply for the magnetic card, if they do not have one:
a) He should apply personally for this card through the Israeli civil administration office...
b) He should fill in the special application form for this card, at a cost of 45 Shekel (about 12 Euro) ...
c) The form should include a copy of I.D, and two pictures ...
d) The application form should be given by hand to the Israeli officer ...
e) Each request should pass through the intelligence “Shabak” office, which will give its final response
after 1 to 3 weeks ...

After about three weeks, the person should ask the civil administration office about the outcome of his application for a magnetic card application. The default response will be either “REFUSED, or that you are WANTED for an INTELLIGENCE meeting” with the Shabak.

During this "INTELLIGENCE" meeting, which normally is delayed three to five times (that depends on the the assigned intelligence officer), the Shabak asks the person for his help to work with them as an informant, a “SPY”. Requests of humanitarian nature such as the request for medical treatment, economic or educational treatment must pass through the same steps mentioned above, so everybody who needs anything will be delayed, humiliated and coerced into "cooperating". For sure both of the Generals Gilad and Tzadaka know about these steps and have instructed them, but they don't talk about them ?!

After the person manages to pass these INHUMAN measures, he will be placed on a waiting list for humanitarian requests at the offices of the Generals Gilad and Tzadaka. This takes at least one more month of waiting ...

When the person calls back the offices to ask the officer in charge, like Gilad's assistant Aviv or Tzadaka's assistant Beny about the "progress" of their case, they will receive the default answer “the officer is not here, call in three hours!". After three hours, he receive the answer “the officer assigned to your case is not available to talk right now, he is in a meeting, calls after five o'clock!!”. After five o'clock, another answer will be delivered: “the officer is on the telephone, call in five minutes!”. After five minutes, the final response will be ”the officer left, call tomorrow !”

In the same way, people can be delayed for two weeks or a month. In this case, the officer in charge is "sent" on a vacation. Everybody knows this is the formal way of the Generals activities in the territories and Gaza.

Everybody knows that he must request the generals offices to grant them a permit for allowing a truck of food to enter Gaza or get out to the territories. Everybody must request from these Generals to grant them a permit for Cancer medical treatment. In this way, many patients have been quietly "died" for political reasons, just by delaying their requests for access to medical treatment ...

There are no human considerations under the occupation. There is a real starvation going on in Gaza and the West Bank, there is shortage of food, children diseases and deaths related to malnourishment death. There are deaths due to killing and siege ...

The Israeli siege deprived more than half a million of Palestinians working in Israel of their income, and deprived all the Palestinians from the villages to worked in the cities.

Over two million Euros a day are the daily losses of the Palestinians due the Israeli measures implemented to prevent them from working in Israel, and even more because they can't work even in the and in Palestinian cities themselves.

Some scenes from the Hebron of the generals Gilad and Tzadaka

Poor kids in Hebron. They are denied donated food since 2000 by the generals Gilad and Tzadaka.

Implementing the generals genocidal orders, this bulldozer is destroying agricultural land near Hebron, which will soon be given to settlers.

These soldiers are destroying vineyards belonging to a Palestinian farmer. The land will be appropriated for jewish settlers.

IDF soldiers stealing Palestinian Olive trees at mount Jabbar near Hebron. They cut the trees leaving the Palestinian farmer without their livelihood, then load them in army trucks and sell them to rich Israelis. The white Jeep in the foreground is from the civil administration. The soldier standing behind the Jeep is Rafi Geuli from general Tzadaka's office. This picture was taken during 1998, when the West Bank was under the command of the generals Tzadaka and Gilad.

posted by الفــ العربي ــارس @ 9:26 PM, 0 Comments,

Memory of the historical Palace

At morning and at evening, each hour and moment I turned my eyes in front of my house in Hebron, I used to see a historical highness palace standing on the nearby hill like a piece of natural art mad by a proficient artist.

Since hundreds of years, the grand-grand-grand ... fathers built their palace in the middle of a high rocky hill called Abu Seneneh. The Amero family was owned this palace until the beginning of the 4th, Oct. 2001.

Since before Oslo agreement the palace became an occupation target. The palace and the hill Abu Seneneh took a place through Taba negotiation and Hebron re-deployment. The Israelis claimed the hill and the palace looking out over the Jewish settlement of Avraham Avino at the vegetable market. Both sides, the Palestinians and the Israelis accepted to stop daily joint patrols, Palestinian and Israeli patrols to stop on the hill near the palace.

The fact that the occupational authority read about the history of this ancient palace which in their version threatened the presence of the Jewish settlement Avraham Avino, which stands directly in front of the palace and the hill.

In 1997 the IDF soldiers occupied the rooftop of my house which gives an lookout over the palace and the Abu Seneneh hill.

During the Peace time 1997-1998, the Jewish settlers tried several times to re-occupy Abu Seneneh's hill. Since the beginning of Al-Aqsa intifada, the occupational greed increased to destroy the historical palace. The IDF soldiers shelled the hill several times, but failed to destroy the palace.

On October 5th, 2001, at 3:45a.m strong explosions agitated Hebron and woke up everybody in the city. At that moment I felt like the rooftop of my house fell on my head. It was still too dark to recognize anything, and I counted the moments waiting for the morning to arrive and the sun to rise. The morning arrived, with Israeli flags raised over Abu Seneneh's hill.

The historical Palace was leveled to the ground. The settlers were dancing nearby.

How difficult it is to see your enemies celebrating your calamities in your homeland.

posted by الفــ العربي ــارس @ 9:23 PM, 0 Comments,

The Author

Kawther Salam

A Palestinian Journalist...

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