Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some confrontations with soldiers.

We received an urgent distress call from Silwan last night that they thought that the bulldozers were to come this morning. I wont get into the details about how they knew or in the preparations that went into Silwan's defense. But I will say that they were extensive and if the Israeli military wants to come demolish homes, there will be an incredible and forceful defense. After arriving at 5am, we waited for hours for the inevitable onslaught which never came. While waiting we heard that Israeli soldiers were spotted in force with bulldozers in Esewiyeh in Jerusalem.

We arrived at around noon to find the soldiers already taking up residence in front of several houses, and on a hill overlooking us.
We found from the beginning that the Border Guards were going to try to impede our movement. They called it a "closed military zone". When we asked why, they refused to tell us and they also refused to show us written proof.

We tried walking around, but the border guards became angry and started yelling at us. They called in several police cars as backup. The head officer demanded our passports, which we were not carrying. He photographed us, but we stayed firm that we wanted to know what was going on. This left some heated discussions with the police and border guards.

Sky news, Reuters, and AFP showed up and the border guards let them through. They did try to intimidate the Palestinian children with dogs that they had. We found out that what they didn't want us to. There was construction going on further up the hill. It seemed possible that they were constructing a temporary separating ramp in order to cleave the outlying houses in east jerusalem from a massive hill where a settlement could possible connect with Male Adumim. (the largest settlement bloc in the west bank) This would cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

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