I was prohibited from writing stories containing references to sex in my newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, the same like my other colleagues. The undeveloped societies are prohibited from free speech about sex-related issues, even when it is about harassment and abuse by the IDF. This is has to do with traditions which still put sex in a forbidden circle.
I still remember how Al-Quds newspaper owner, the old man with crooked back and long feet threatening me when he discovered the story “Boys with Toys” I had published in the weekly newspaper “The Jerusalem Times”, about IDF sexual harassment at Al Ram check point.
Mr. Mahmoud Abu Al-Zolof was very angry. He said I am not allowed, as a woman and a worker in his newspaper, to write such sensitive stories like what I had written in the Jerusalem Times. He informed me that I was not allowed to write under my name for one month in his newspaper, and that all of my stories should be published without my name.
Mr. Abu Al-Zolof didn’t stop his oppressive decision after one month of punishment. He expanded his punishment for another month. This happened during the year 1995.
Since the Oslo agreement and after the IDF redeployment into Hebron, the IDF soldiers used to subject Palestinian women and men to sexual harassment, this was a “civilized” way of the IDF of exerting harassment.
The following episodes happened under Colonels Ygal Sharon and Baruch Naggar.
I experienced sexual harassment by the IDF in Hebron. Sexual harassment at home, in the streets and during work. Colonel Baruch Naggar, the head of civil administration office in Hebron, told me once after having listened to my complaint against the IDF sexual harassment during the year 1996, that he considered the Israeli soldiers the “most developed and civilized” soldiers in the world.
These “most civilized” soldiers wrote on their uniform “NICE MOTHER FUCKER”, and they detained Palestinians youth who refused to read these civilized signs. My camera captured in 1998 the IDF soldiers detaining Palestinian youths and searching their bodies after they disobeyed the military order “read the sign of nice mother fucker”. When I heared the soldiers asking the youths to read the signs, I became curious and hid myself behind a car, watched and filmed the IDFs civilized play, and I took some pictures.
A winter day in 1999 the earth was dressed in white, the snow covered everything. I held my camera, the only friend that never left me walk alone. I walked in Al-Shuhada street. It was a beautiful day and everybody should enjoy it, but the IDFs abuses kept everybody at home. The street was empty, nobody was allowed to walk in Al-shuhada street during the normal weather and day.
Loud voices came to my ears: “Kawther, Kawther, let us take some pictures”. I turned my face, I saw a big snow sculpture made by two IDF soldiers at the entrance of Al-Shuhada street, the nice civilized soldiers called me and started playing and licking their snow sculpture. I took some pictures and I left, the soldiers shouted at me to stop and help them to enjoy Orgasm.
One of the most terrible stories of abusive treatment was about of 24 Palestinian youths who had violated the curfew in Hebron, and received their punishment from the hands of the Israseli border Police unit called “Shmark Fuhl”. The soldiers had cursed the youth, spit on them, beaten them, and forced them to sing humiliating ditties: “Hoto Al-hummous al Al-Fuhl, ana baheb abos teez le shmark fuhl”, which translates into English as “put humous on bean, I love to kiss the border police buttocks”. The border police brought their Palestinian prisoners bottles filled with urine to drink, and everybody was forced to sing and drink. This happened 1996, when occupied Hebron was under the authority of Colonel Baruch Naggar.
After the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out during May 2001, the IDF soldiers stopped a Palestinian in transit at the Al-Takrori checkpoint in front of Gross square. A Russian IDF soldier wearing thick gloves collected his friend feces and smeared them on the the faces of the detained youth. While doing this, the soldier sang happily and loudly “An Al-Mafia Al Rosieh”, meaning in English “I’m from the Russian Mafia”.