Monday, August 18, 2008

Beit Furiq

We had been asked to come to the village of Beit Furiq, near Nablus, to witness and report on the damage done by invading Israeli troops the previous night. During this large-scale incursion soldiers had ordered villagers from their homes while they conducted intensive searches, smashing down doors and damaging property.

We were shown over the balladia, or council offices, where doors had been prised open and files strewn around the rooms. The soldiers had also attempted to break into the children's centre, housed in a newly renovated historic building. Luckily, they had failed and the computer equipment, donated by the Australian people through Ausaid and Austcare, remained safe. (It's not unusual for the Israeli army to smash or steal such equipment in these circumstances.)

Beit Furiq is a peaceful village and the villagers were puzzled by the incursion. Some said that it was a rehearsal for an attack on Gaza, or for a future invasion of Lebanon. Who knows? Whatever other reasons lay behind it, it succeeded in terrorising a peaceful village.

Australians, you can have no idea what it is like to live every day under such an oppressive and brutal military occupation.

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