The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

  ..: Palestinian flag like a red rag for settlers :..
23 January 2007
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This article was published in a Dutch newspaper in 1996.

I found it in my archives and decided to publish it here on my website. This is the English translation of the original article.

Palestinian flag like a red rag for settlers

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians about a follow-up autonomy treaty have broken down on the question-Hebron. Israel refuses to evacuate the several hundreds of settlers who live in the old Jewish district. “Here the Jews are always right.”

  HEBRON, 18 SEPT. “Piece of shit, get lost. You dog, go away, go, go…” screams a jewish woman at Beit Hadassah, a house where some tens of Israeli settlers live in the old Jewish center of Hebron, to the Palestinian journalist Kawther Salam. The journalist herself comes from this city on the still occupied West bank of the Jordan, where Israeli and Palestinians are after each other’s blood. For this outburst and its aftermath was not any reason. To probe the feelings of the settlers on the day that the Israeli minister of foreign affairs, Shimon Peres, and the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Taba should have broken the deadlock in the negotiations on autonomy for Hebron, I and my Palestinian companion had a conversation with a settler at an Israeli military post near Beit Hadassah. Before the man was able to explain why he doesn’t see anything in the Israeli-Palestinian conversations in Taba, women came screaming to the military post which is made of concrete blocks. “Don’t speak with that journalist!” After that the anger directs itself to the Palestinian woman. “Move on”, says a soldier at the post. “This becomes a riot. You actually should not be here”. Later it turned out that the area had been declared closed territory by the military authorities. Diagonally opposite Beit Hadassah is the Kurtuba school, an elementary school for Palestinian girls where last week occurred rather serious incidents, when women from Beit Hadassah tried there to pull down the Palestinian flag and intruded violently the school building. Shortly after we entered the room of the manager of the school, the substitute military governor of Hebron let us know by phone that we had to get out immediately. If we did not obey this order, then we would be arrested. Kawther Salam, it was said, intended to pull up the Palestinian flag on the school again. The substitute governor was aiming obviously at this Palestinian journalist, after she had complained by him by phone about the insults she had to deal with at Beit Hadassah. She had no Palestinian flag hidden in her small white bag.
On suggestion of the Israeli occupation authorities the Palestinian flag doesn’t blow anymore at the front side of the school, but on the terrace behind the room of the manager, after a high wall, out of the sight of the settlers. “Since 1 September 1994 we have the right to put out the Palestinian flag on all schools at the West Bank”, says Rajid Ja’abari, director of the Department of Education in Hebron. “At 220 schools in the city the Palestinian flag blows. Only here we have trouble, because the military administration surrenders to the settlers.”

(Continued: Hebron, page 4)



‘All settlers must go’


Two investigators of the Palestinian institute for human rights Al-Haq from Ramallah, take testimonies from female teachers about the threats which female settlers uttered last week to the children during their attack to the school.“We'll cut your throats. Goldstein (Dr. Baruch Goldstein murderes last year 29 Palestinians in the Ibrahim-mosque) you are a martyr of the Jews, come and kill the children of this school” they shouted to the Palestinian schoolgirls, according to these witnesses.“The children are traumatized. Some of them wake up screaming at night”, says Firgal Abu Haikal, since two weeks the manager of the Kurtuba-school.“If I defend myself physically against these insults, the soldiers will intervene against me. Here the Jews are always right”, says the Palestinian journalist excitedly.

(translated from the Dutch newspaper article)

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