The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

  ..: A Tour of Hebron during Peacetime :..
July 5, 2004

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Here are some clips which I filmed in Hebron during the peacetime, before the Intifada broke out September 2000. The clips depict the conditions prevailing in Hebron and the rest of Palestine which caused the second Intifada break out in first place. Hebron had been under continuous curfew for 535 days, continued random abuses and shootings by the IDF and the jewish squatters were the normal course of things when the Intifada broke out. These scenes were filmed in the "good" old times when it had not yet become the norm in Israel to shoot journalists on sight. The soldiers you see in these clips have instructions to show some semblance of civilized behavior in front of cameras.

A note to American readers: every single piece of gear used by the Israeli soldiers in these clips is payed for with American tax dollars. The uniforms, the boots, the M16 assault rifles, the ammunition, the helmets, the radios, the flac vests, the backpacks, even the fence at the checkpoint, ... are all financed by American tax money lavished upon Israel by the American Government and so many "Dual Loyality" Representatives and Senators of the USA.

(Click on the images to view or download the videoclips)

At a Checkpoint in Hebron
Tour of Hebron 1
11.8 MB 6min 48sec .wmv clip

Filmed 2000 - In this clip you see a checkpoint at the entrance of the passage between Al-Shalaleh street and Al-Shuhada street. The Palestinian teachers in this clip, who are on their way to their schools, are stopped by the soldiers before and after the barrier. The soldiers decide on a whim for how long they will have to stop before being allowed to continue their way. In the normal case, the Palestinians will be standing in the corner for 2 to 4 hours, and the passage through a checkpoint like this is often accompanied by beatings and insults. In one part of the clip some soldiers are seen a bit down the street. This is the "separation area", and according to the Oslo Agreement these soldiers should not be there.

Background: Al-Shalaleh street is about 500 meters long. It is connected to Al-Shuhada street which is about 900 meters long. This street was an important passageway through the center of Hebron and it was also an important market street. in 1999 Al-Shuhada street was renewed with American funds. After that, the squatters from Beit Hadassa settlement, about 400 inhabitants, had the IDF close the street to the Palestinian population, about 40.000 persons. Most shops had to close as a consequence, and the Palestinian population of Hebron must now walk several Kilometers to reach places which would normally be a 5 minutes walk away.

The clip is commented by me.

Reading a Newspaper
Tour of Hebron 2
5.4MB 7min 5sec .wmv clip
Filmed 2000 - In this clip I follow a group of soldiers through the market in Al-Shalaleh street. They take interest in a shop owner reading a newspaper. If they had caught the man out of sight of the camera, he would probably have been beaten and arrested for reading his newspaper. I follow the soldiers to Beit Romano settlement on Al-Shuhada street, where we see a row of Palestinian shops looted by the IDF. After Beit Romano I pass by a Palestinian Gas Station which should have been reopened according to an Israeli court order. IDF Commander Weinberg instead implemented the wishes of the squatters and did not reopen the station.

The clip is commented by me.

Reading a Newspaper
Tour of Hebron 3
3.7 MB 4mim 50sec .wmv clip

Filmed 2000 -  In this clip I show the old vegetable market, the way to the Abraham Mosque, turned into a rubbish dump; some telephone company workers trying to fix a wiring cabinet opposite to Avraham Avino settlement destroyed by the squatters; we see closed and burnt-out Palestinian shops sprayed with graffitti by the jewish squatters, and a market with almost all shops closed and empty of people.

The clip is commented by me.

Shoooting at Children
Tour of Hebron 4
4 MB 5min 22sec .wmv clip

Filmed 2000 - This clip would more appropriately be called "Battle against the Children". I follow a group of IDF soldiers on Haret Al-Salaimeh street. From their attitude it is clear to see that the soldiers are at no time in danger. We see some pedestrians, and nobody is shootong at them.

Children in the houses along the street taunt them "Kadima, Kadima !" and "Homo !". "
Kadima" means "To the front !" in Hebrew. "Homo" is how the soldiers address Palestinians. The children don't know the meaning of the word, but they know that it is an insult. The children are at home because their school, the "Khaled Ben-Walid" school was confiscated by the IDF to serve as a military emplacement. The building of the school offers a good lookout over the area.

You can see the soldiers pointing their weapons at houses, randomly shooting at a group of people standing down the street, shooting into the yard of a house where they hear or suspect children.

A Squatter Blocking Traffic
quatter obstructing traffic
6.1MB 1min 22sec .wmv clip

Filmed 1999 - This clip is part of the movie 'Detained'. What can be seen here is a squatter from one of the illegal jewish settlements in Hebron driving into Al-Shuhada street against the traffic. As a consequence, all traffic is blocked for hours. The squatter will call the IDF to his help in an attempt to make all the Palestinian drivers, who happen to drive according to existing traffic regulations, back out. This clip is representative of the attitude of the squatters and the IDF, as the squatters use any chance to annoy Palestinians and provoke them into violent reaction. If no chance is at hand, the squatters will invent a pretext to provoke Palestinians, as we see in this clip.

With no real obligation to work and endless amounts of money lavished upon them by the governments of the U.S.A. and Israel and many wealthy individuals, what further removes from them the incentive to look for any occupation which would represent a constructive contribution to society, the illegal jewish squatters in Hebron can well afford psychopathy as a way of life.

Note: The person in the captured frame left is one of the terrorists from Kach.

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