The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

  ..: Hell Made in Israel :..
June, 2004

* * *   PAGE IN WORK   * * *

These are the original entries from my diary, which I wrote between 2001 and July, 2002 while still living in Palestina . The text of the entries was edited and corrected by Mr. Bruce Boccardy from the U.S.A. The original text can still be found at the website of Gush Shalom, here. They have also translated these diary entries to Hebrew. The idea of writing my experience as an online diary comes from Oren Medicks and Uri Avneri of Gush Shalom. We met during 2001 at a demonstration near Yatta to protest against the expropriation of Palestinian lands for the benefit of the settlers from a nearby settlement. We have been in contact ever since. Lea Tsemel, my lawyer from Tel Aviv, also encouraged me to write this diary.

Background and Introduction

Why doesn’t the Israeli press write about the IDF soldiers stationed on my rooftop in Hebron. They sexually harass me and insult me 24 hours a day? Why does Dror Weinberg, the military commander of Hebron, enjoy harassing me for political reasons? I am a journalist carrying an Israeli press card and another two international cards from the United Kingdom and Belgium. I am also a Palestinian.

The first attack on me was at the beginning of the Intifada. Since then I have experienced such things on a daily basis. I have filed numerous complaints against soldiers who have been systematically trying to prevent me from doing my work as a journalist. I have also reported the harassment and attacks by the Israeli soldiers to the commander of Hebron. He claimed that the presence of the soldiers on my roof is for political reasons. However, these soldiers are attempting to destroy my life in my own home.

Since Sept.1, 2001, I have not enjoyed even a glass of water in my apartment. The soldiers have cut the pipes leading to my water tanks on the roof. They use the area where the water collects as a bathroom. They also often make unbearable noise by banging on the water tanks. Their stomp on my metal roof and break the glass in my kitchen and balcony.

On September 20, 2001, glass fell on my friend, injuring his head and face at 1:30 am. I complained to the military commander about the constant destructive behavior of his soldiers. The next day, I asked him to take immediate action to stop these abuses against me, but again at 1:30 am the soldiers started banging on my water tanks and stomping on the roof.

They yelled "Prostitute, get out! We will leave you alone if you give us sex!"

The soldiers are always calling me, "Shermota” which means ‘bitch,’ ‘whore,’ and prostitute in the Arab language. The nicest word I have heard from the soldiers, is "witch". They begin making noise from 12:00 PM at night to 5:00 AM in the morning, calling me the same hateful names.

The most recent attack on me involved the soldiers cutting the electricity, damaging the television cable and throwing sand, garbage and urine at my apartment. They shot live bullets in the air and when I tried to film them they threatened to shoot me. They hurled stones at me and I was injured in my right knee. It is not the first time that I have been injured by the soldiers.

On the 5th of September the soldiers threw a chair at me. I was injured with a 20 centimeter cut on my chest. They arrested me and accused me of provoking them. Because I wear nice clothes, I am a provocateur. Because I am doing my job as a journalist, I am a provocateur. Because I live in this apartment, I am a provocateur.

The military commander, Hartzel, of the unit Shimshon, informed me that they would continue to harass me until I stopped my journalistic work and left Hebron. His assistant said to me "Bitch!" right in front of him. When Hartzel heard this, he smiled. Hartzel is always threatening me and hindering my work. He blocked the entrance of my apartment with barbed wire. He denied me the ability to get out onto the street. He instructed his soldiers to continue making noise for me until I leave my apartment.

   Diary entries from March, 2002

   Diary entries from April, 2002

   Diary entries from May, 2002

   Diary entries from June, 2002

   Diary entries from July, 2002

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