Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Last night

Last night we watched a beautiful, huge orange moon rise, while we sat on our balcony, enjoying the cool air.

I woke up to the news that the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) had been in our little village for most of the early hours of the morning. They raided houses up the hill from us. One of the houses was that of our good friend and his roommates who are here from America for the Arabic language program. They woke up at 2:30 to soldiers whose heads were covered with black fabric bags. Later, several other soldiers with black face paint followed. One of their roommates was already outside, made to stand there in his underwear after he tried to crawl to the other roommates' room to tell them he thought someone was breaking in. Mid route, when he was on the floor in the kitchen, he saw red lights on him and got up and had to go outside, where they made him wait.

The soldiers eventually understood that this apartment was full of American students, but they held them, with at least two men pointing their guns at them-at their kitchen table until 4:30 while they raided all the other apartments in the building-a family with a small baby among them.

The soldiers finally realized that they had the wrong house, went next door and took 3 men, blindfolded them and drove away in their vehicle. One of the town's roads had been closed off. Our roommate watched the road closure and the military vehicles from our balcony, having been woken up by a text message from our friend.

As I walked to work this morning I thought about my friend and his roommates. I thought about the young family in the building. I thought about the 3 blindfolded men and their families. I thought about the great, kind man we interviewed this weekend who had simply lost years of his life when he was held in administrative detention-charged with nothing-held in the desert for two years. I thought about how the occupation seems to permeate everything.

[Israeli jeep outside of Habla]

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