B’Tselem Newsletter: events of October 2015
I have worked to protect human rights for more than half of my life, first with Al-Haq and later with B’Tselem, which I joined years ago. In that time my hair has gone gray and the world has changed tremendously, yet the Israeli occupation that oppresses my people has become ever more entrenched.
In recent weeks, each new day brings news of another incident, more victims. Sometimes this comes on the heels of harm to Israelis, sometimes not: instances of killings or violence by the military and settlers, collective punishment, movement restrictions, home demolitions, arrests, abuse, and so on and so forth. All this happens without any domestic or international accountability, an absence that contributes to escalating violence.
Even during the years that Israelis enjoyed a relative calm, I saw dreadful things in the course of my work and they left their mark on me. But it’s not just me. Every person in Palestinian society is affected by the ongoing lack of security and uncertainty. Sometimes I avoid taking roads outside Ramallah for fear of settler violence. Doing my job puts me at risk when I approach clashes – I inhale tear gas and could be shot by security forces even as a bystander. As I penned this letter, I received word that my colleague in Hebron, Manal al-Ja’bri, was injured on the job. Israeli security forces fired a rubber-coated metal bullet at her, a bystander observing and filming a protest in Hebron.
Recent event has made me particularly anxious about my family’s wellbeing. Two of my children attend universities outside Ramallah and must cross several checkpoints a day to get there and back. Like any father, I want them to get an education so they can become contributing members of their society, and I wish them quiet, stable lives. Has the time not come to do away with the occupation and make a reality of the dream of peace and stability for all?
Field Researcher – Ramallah District