Jewish Voice for Peace, Oct. 21, 2007
Palestinian Home Ravaged by Israeli bullets — Inhabitants unarmed.
Jewish Voice for Peace’s Health and Human Rights Project delegation to Israel/Palestine landed in the West Bank on Saturday.The team of 13 is posting both photos and stories on their blog daily at: http://hahrp.21publish.com.
Two days ago in Naublus, Israeli soldiers repeatedly shot at and then evacuated a house, consisting of five one-family apartments, and an apartment inhabited by a seventy-year-old man – the man was shot in the heart that night when he opened his front door to the Israeli soldiers; he was unarmed, and he died.
Today, our delegation visited the rebuilding site – windows and nerves shattered by bullets, frightening clusters of holes in the ceilings and walls. And we experienced the most disturbing image: the white knit sweater of a three-year-old girl, Laura, scorched and ripped up by bullets. She wasn’t wearing the sweater. It was in her bed, while the girl was clutched to her mother’s chest nearby.
As the story was told to us by the terrorized inhabitants, Israeli soldiers came in the middle of the night and shouted over loud speakers that everyone should get out of the house. They didn’t specify which house or why (the people believed it was because a “wanted” person was thought to reside in the area – the people living in the houses said they owned no weapons). The shooting then started from all directions.
One family came out with their hands in the air. They were told by the Israeli soldiers to remove their clothes and stand away from the house. The husband was ordered to knock on all of the doors and to and tell his neighbors to come outside, while the soldiers were shooting all around the house and the staircase connecting the doorways. The man said he heard two of the soldiers arguing about whether or not to use him this way, as a human sheild, but eventually did to protect themselves in case the inhabitants did have guns. The inhabitants did not have guns, and they evacuated. All were evacuated except for the older man who was shot and killed upon opening his front door. The Israeli soldiers occupied the house for one day, while the five families waited in neighbors’ homes.
One of the delegation wrote this poem about the incident described above:
I am Musab, six years old
Two days ago Israeli soldiers surrounded our house at 2 A.M. shooting
Helicopter gunships illuminated the night
Their rotors like giant fans hung from the sky
The whine of rockets like angry birds
Here 4 bullet holes through the door of the room where my brother sleeps
Here the shattered windows
“Take your clothes off, all of you,” the Israeli soldiers yell
Then father was handcuffed
Taken as a human shield to the apartment of uncle Hussan
Where bullets pierced another door
Pierced the chest of the old man opening it
Who bleeds to death for want of an ambulance
His body is removed
The soldiers withdraw
But brother is still crying
My city Nablus is still occupied
The old man remains dead
And I am Musab, six years old.