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Jenin: Army Harrasment on the Streets of Jenin Camp

A Ordinary Afternoon in Jenin Refugee Camp, 9th August 2007.

It is 5.00 pm at the Jenin Governement hospital when the first rumours are spread that the IOF is once again on its way to Mukhaiyem Jenin, the Jenin Refugee Camp. Ambulance drivers jump in their cars, make their self ready for what usually happens when the Israeli Army enters the town.

Half an hour later they arrive. 7 Israeli military jeeps and one caterpillar power shovel, coming from the north through Haifa street, enter the area around the hospital. They drive along the streets, sometimes stop for awhile, disappear and come back after a few minutes. The more laps they take, the more Palestinians enter the area. In the end more then 500 Palestinian men and kids border the street, turning the area into a this typical Palestinian battlefield, that is a stone rain against Israeli soldiers, sitting well protected behind some centimetre of bulletproof steel.

Out of tiny portholes muzzles of Israeli M16 rifles can be seen, when the first shoot are fired. The IOF shoots directly inside the camp, responded by single shoots of the Islamic Jihad fighters. 14.000 people live here, crowed on not more then one squarekilometer. The risk of killing somebody by randomly shooting inside this massive populated area is enormous.

But for the Israeli army it seems to be more a chance then a risk. Nobody of the Palestinians knows why they came this time and perhaps not even the Israeli soldiers would have good explanations. In the end it was just another example of the daily humiliations and provokations, the inhabitans of Jenin Camp have to bear. None of the soldiers made a single attempt to arrest or targeted kill somebody. It was just another episode of showing the Israeli supremacy, showing that the IOF can go everywhere, ausing massive violence without any reason, even in one of the last strongholds of Palestinian resistance. And finally it was another degradation of Fatahs al-Aqsa Brigade, who recently agreed with laying down their weapons and a mutual ceasefire and who didn’t fire a single shoot since this time.

More then three hours later the tragic game is over. The Palestinian kids go back to their houses, leaving back a street, covered with stones and garbage. Another time the IOF caused unprovoked and unnecessary violence, just because they are able to. The ambulance drivers return to their station, forntunatley empty-handed, knowing that it won’t take long until they have to come back.