everything you ever wanted to know about zionist colonialism and terrorism in palestine can in many ways be encapsulated by visiting khalil: from refugees (new and old) to martyrs, to house demolitions, to political prisoners, to military and colonist terrorism all within a few square kilometers.
my friend and i went to khalil today to do some shopping–she wanted to visit a pottery factory to order plaques for her parents’ graves and i wanted to continue my quest for palestinian-made kuffiyas, which are only made in one palestinian factory now. and it is in khalil. (for those in the united states who wish to buy palestinian-made kuffiyas please click this link for the kufiyeh project–and they also have a video on their site about the last palestinian kuffiya factory.) everywhere else in palestine if you really ask and look closely you will find they are all made in china now. and we finally found them at the palestinian women’s cooperative in the old city. but we wandered around the old city of khalil first and along the way met some interesting families. the first family who invited us into their home live at the end of a street because it has been boarded up because israeli terrorists colonized the entire area on the other side. he wanted us to come up to see his home which has been taken over, on one side, by the colonists, and on top of his roof is an israeli terrorist sniper tower. the room on the top floor of his house was set on fire by these israeli terrorists and two of his brothers were murdered by them as well. he gave us an overview of his neighborhood from the roof of his house. for instance, he showed us where some families had cows, but israeli terrorists poisoned them.
as we walked around the city we saw dozens of israeli terrorist soldiers’ jeeps patrolling the streets and terrorizing the palestinian residents. we saw dozens of israeli terrorist colonists in full prayer gear with m-16s strapped around their back. we saw palestinian homes demolished. we saw dozens of checkpoints compacted into a tiny area. i’ve been here before, but not for at least three years–not in this area where the streets are blocked off and where many palestinians cannot walk down the street (we actually got stopped at a checkpoint for walking the wrong way today). we also met another man who lives across the small valley separating his street and the israeli terrorist colony known as kiryat arba. he gave us tea and some respite from the sun and showed us film footage of his neighbor’s home in the valley below that was set on fire last december by israeli terrorist colonists (i blogged about this here). the photographs i took today that you will find below are pretty much self explanatory, but important with respect to showing the ongoing nakba of khalil. this is, of course, no different than the ongoing nakbas in al quds or aqraba or the naqab, but the difference here is that it is tightly packed into such a small space. below you will see many israeli terrorist colonists and their settlements, including a new one that is merely a tent right now. rory mccarthy’s report in the guardian the other day makes it clear that there is increasingly stronger rhetoric from the u.s. about israeli terrorist colonies. however, in electronic intifada ali abunimah reminds us of the fact that words mean nothing unless followed by action:
Obama has told Netanyahu firmly that Israel must stop building settlements on expropriated Palestinian land in the West Bank, but such words have been uttered by the president’s predecessors. Unless these statements are followed by decisive action — perhaps to limit American subsidies to Israel — there’s no reason to believe the lip service that failed in the past will suddenly be more effective.
for those who do not know a lot about khalil here are a few short videos that explain the context with maps and palestinian witnessing of events in their own homes and neighborhoods: