Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bombs Over Fakhit

I traveled to the south, within throwing distance of the border with Israel. The area is incredibly rural with villages scattered sparsely amongst the desert hills. This area scattered with these rural Palestinian villages is within an Israel military firing range. There are consistently explosions and bursts of machine gun fire. Helicopters, tanks, hummers, and other vehicles are constantly patrolling the area. Sometimes the vehicles seem to be doing training maneuvers and sometimes they are acting as border patrol for Palestinians trying to cross into Israel to find work.

As as I sat in the village of Fakhit, taking the testimony of a man who's tractor was confiscated (read stolen) in the middle of the night by the Israeli military, a helicopter appeared. The helicopter flew a circle pattern around the village, touching down 3 times for no apparent reason (although the whole touching down incidents basically caused a dust storm to rain over the village). The helicopter banked a hard turn just feet over the ground and within a dozen meters of the nearest home in the village.

Military training areas should not include residential areas, they should be on unpopulated land, NOT on stolen land, wait no, they shouldn't exist at all, but that's a different argument. Helicopter training courses should not use Palestinian homes as flagsticks, bobbing and weaving amongst the villages. Israeli military helicopters shouldn't fly in the West Bank. Helicopters shouldn't send dust storms over remote villages. Need I go on?

Oh and by the way, this EXACT SAME incident happens once a day, 5 days a week.

4 comments:

MoneyMouth said...

I wish you still had the "infuriating" button so I could click it about five times...

Samuel Nichols said...

Right? If I would have got my camera out in time it would be that much more infuriating. Big old war bird dusting all the villagers. Ugh.

Steve said...

miss you.glad to see you re-engaged in the lives of the people in Palestine

freefun0616 said...
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