By Neta Golan
I work in the ISM media office. On February 19th 2006 the Israeli milit1ary once again invaded Balata Refugee Camp.
I remember the first invasion that Sharon orchestrated into the camps during this intifada, in February 2002. I remember that I could not believe it was happening. Never in my worst nightmares would I believe, had someone told me, that four years later such horror would become “normal.”
IWPS and ISM volunteers called me in the office as they accompanied Palestinian medics in their efforts to give medical treatment to the wounded and sick in the camp. They called me when the Israeli military shot towards ambulances and denied them access to Balata. They called me when they witnessed unarmed 22-year-old Mohammad Subkhi Abu Hanade being shot in the chest by a sniper through his bedroom window. I wrote a press release, emailed and faxed it and then called the news agencies and journalists.
No one wrote about it. Not even the Arabic press which is always more responsive.
The next morning I looked everywhere for news of the invasion and found none.
That day Sixteen year old Kamal Khalili was shot and was clinically dead by the time he made it to the hospital. The woman that answered the phone at Agency France Press said “call us back when he dies” and hung up.
The volunteers called me when soldiers refused to let them treat ill people in families whose homes had been occupied. They called me when people in the camp ran out of food and baby formula. They called me when the youth of the camp who defended their homes with stones and makeshift barricades were shot at wounded and killed. They gave me the names and the ages of children shot at with live ammunition.
I wrote it all down even though I knew that the mainstream media did not want to know.
I wrote it down knowing that wounded, hungry and imprisoned Palestinian civilians are simply. Not. News.