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ISM Updates 09/29/03 - Yet *another* lockdown


ISM Updates 09/29/03 - Yet *another* lockdown.

Yet *another* lockdown.

Jenin 28 Sep 03 Aaron

As of this morning, Jenin is, yet again, locked down tight by the Israeli army. As far as we can tell, the army isn’t actually doing anything.

The tricky thing about these lockdowns is that they’re even more disruptive than their duration would indicate. That the whole town is frequently paralyzed is bad enough, but the worst part is that the timing is impossible to predict. It’s incredibly hard to carry on the regular business of life, or develop civil society, in such circumstances. Even our little ISM team has failed miserably to prepare for the upcoming Olive Harvest campaign, on which may depend the very survival of a dozen villages in the Jenin area. I have no doubt that the consequences for more elaborate business and civil projects are even more severe. At any rate, the concensus among internationals is that there are probably two reasons for the current.

First of all, today is the third anniversary of the second intifada, and the Israelis are presumably worried about celebratory demonstrations, or something of the sort. It’s hard to imagine, however, what the Palestinians might think they have to celebrate, and it appears that nothing, in fact, has been planned.

Second, a 19 year old boy (about the upper limit for ’shabab’ kids) was shot through the neck about a week ago while he was throwing rocks at a tank. He died four days ago, but apparently the family tried to keep the death a secret for fear of demonstrations to which the Israeli army would respond with more killings. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to conceal the very fact that my son had been killed, out of fear that the the very vengeance I surely would crave would simply bring more death upon my people.

At any rate, the news got out after a couple of days (there are very few secrets in Jenin), and the funeral was held yesterday. There is a great deal of anger over the boy’s death, particularly because he was not a member of the armed resistance. The way one can know this is one of the more bizarre aspects of the conflict. Apparently, there is a great value placed upon not dying as a helpless victim of the occupying forces. Because of this, a huge number of older boys and young men get their pictures taken with rifles, whether they’re involved with the armed resistance, or any other kind, or not. Whenever a boy/man is killed, or dies in a suicide bombing, these pictures are used for martyr posters that are put up in various places around Jenin. Basically, this means that, while a picture of a young man with a rifle doesn’t necessarily mean he was actually a member

Shanah Tovah, Aaron

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