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From Burqa to Homesh, In Spite of It All

The army blocked the route along which Peace Now activists planned to march together with a whole coalition of organizations opposing the Israeli occupation – so 300 people, young and old, began to walk near Ramin, having to progress on hot and dusty dirt roads, and they persisted even when no clear track lay ahead.

Thus, I watched those strange people today, walking in the great heat over back roads, insisting on continuing among dried grass fields and olive tree groves, and continued walking when the Israeli army - Colonists’ Defense Forces - fired stun and teargas grenades into the fields and groves around them. They never gave up, those strange people, marching inside the furnace furnished by the sun and the soldiers who were only following orders. The smoke followed them, choked and enveloped them and they continued on that weird walk of strange people with a purpose, with humanism and justice in their minds and a heart where one’s heart is supposed to be. Not dust nor searing heat, nor thirst and smoke, nor the soldiers and officers and ready weapons, not the loud announcements of uniformed men, nor the sirens heard from their armored military vehicles, nor the silly, dismissive smiles on their faces – nothing and no one could stop them from meeting their Palestinian friends who mixed with them until you could no longer tell who was a Jew and who an Arab, and some little joy sprouted there, on the road leading to the illegal colonist outpost of Homesh.

I watched the quiet satisfaction they could afford that moment on the asphalt road on the verge of which the fire halted. Some of them clapped their hands in spite of their exhaustion. I was excited because my friends of Looking the Occupation in the Eye were there too and were seen on Jude’s live camera. Yes, Jude, the photographer of activism in Palestine, that phenomenal woman who does not cease to advocate in English the horrors that the State of Israel perpetrates in the Occupied Territories, so that the whole world will hear and see and know. When I hear Jude’s breath quickening live, when she coughs, or takes a drink of water, when she scolds a soldier standing in her way, when she steps on dry thorns in order to take a better picture, I am certain that occupation can no longer hide from view. Not in Homesh, not in Sheikh Jarrah, not in the outposts around Beita, Not in Kedumim which overlooks Kafr Qaddum village.

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