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The Sounds of War: Israeli incursion into Tulkarem

by Bill Dienst MD, November 3rd

04:15 – The roosters start crowing. The minarets start calling the faithful to prayer. I wake up here on the top floor dormitory of the Women’s Center in Tulkarem where I have been staying these past 4 nights alone. At night, I have had this whole building to myself. During the daytime a kindergarten and school for developmentally delayed children is held downstairs. Today at 07:20, I will be returning to Ramallah. I begin to finish my packing.

04:45 – I hear 2 very loud explosions and then the staccato of gunfire from a semiautomatic weapon. I hear shouts of Allahu Akbar! (God is greatest) twice. It seems to be coming from a pink and white building 3 blocks to the north. I look down the street and see an Israeli Armored Personnel Vehicle (APV) just 1 block away. I turn off the lights to my room. Now the APV passes just below my room, and I back away from the window until it passes. I hear stern shouts from a megaphone ordering someone to do something. I think the shouts are in Arabic, but with a distinct Hebrew accent.

04:55 – I hear another very loud explosion from the direction of the pink and white building and then another round of gunfire.

05:00 – I hear 3 low pitched loud thuds and a flash (Mortar Fire?). More shouts from the megaphone. More shouts in Arabic: Allahu Akbar!

05:08 – More shouts over the megaphone in Hebrew this time; more roosters crowing and crickets chirping.

05:13 – More megaphone shouts

05:26 – Electricity is cut off in several buildings to the North. I check; the electricity in our building still works.

05:45 – I think the Israeli occupation forces are gone now. I see people on the rooftops and out in the street.

I am not sure exactly what happened here this morning, but I am sure we will hear about it in the news.