The Taste of Mulberries

“At that moment, together with the scorching sun and the dust, I felt in my mouth the taste of the mulberries, and I understood what homeland means, and also, for the first time, vaguely and at a distance and a little bit afraid, I understood that this homeland, the homeland of the songs and of school textbooks, is simply just the taste of mulberries, and the smell of dust, and the moist earth in winter, and the colour of the sky, and that it is a homeland not only for me, but also for Rashid Masarwa.”

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‘A dog in Tel Aviv lives better than we do’

Border Guard jeep No. M-20-471 drove at a mad speed over the immense sand yard, scattering the masses of people with its wheels and leaving a cloud of dust in its wake. It drove many times, back and forth, back and forth. That is exactly how they round up cattle. In the jeep sat the cowboy, a Border Guard soldier whose blue cap also gave him the look of a cowboy trying to control his herd. He had rage in his eyes combined with a strange smile when he drove thus, back and forth, into the sea of people. More than anytime else it appeared that he enjoyed his work to frighten the Arabs.
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An Order from the Shabak

The Shabk maintains an almost absolute rule over the Territories and the residents of Gaza fear that even when self-rule is established, there will be no change in that unlimited authority. The Shin Bet decides who will receive a telephone, who will be allowed to study at a university, travel abroad or return from travels. The Shabak also determines who will go to work to support a family. The sanctions imposed on the Palestinians on orders from the Shabak require no explanation, they do not oblige any Israeli authority to officially accuse the victim, arrest him or bring him to trial for an offense or crime committed.

 

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The Battilo file: a non-story

A trial before the Military Court of Ramallah is right now in progress. This fact deserves a mention, since the overwhelming majority of cases end up with a deal [between the prosecution and the defense]. The rule according to which the defendant is to be considered innocent until proven guilty, may be acknowledged in the [Occupied] Territories, but if it is, then in [legal] theory only. The operating assumption is that all the defendants are guilty.[1] Accordingly, the Israeli authorities avoid wasting their precious time for reviewing evidence or for meeting other customary preconditions of convicting people. This would be too tiresome and superfluous anyway. Punishment is therefore fast.
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Curfew scenes

Next day, Monday morning, under the cover of curfew, a sightseeing bus arrived with 5-6 individuals – probably settlers – in the Rimal Quarter of Gaza, close to the house of the head of the Palestinian delegation, Dr. Haidar Abd A-Shafi. Noisy music was heard from the car. From the car stopped down some Jews with skullcaps, wrapped in prayer shawls. One of them was armed with a gun. Frightened inhabitants were looking at them from the windows. Nobody knew what the armed man was going to do. A military jeep or two arrived to guard them and the settlers in the bus offered them pancakes.

 

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No end in sight

Out of its 10,000 inhabitants, over 1,000 of the villagers [of Beit Furiq] have been placed under administrative detention in the course of the last five years, and 1,000 persons are being currently detained. Twelve wanted residents have been constantly on the run for the past few months. They live in caves in the mountains surrounding the village, slip out for quick visits once or twice a week. are received as heroes in any house on which door they knock. They are given food and drink, their clothing is changed and they are given supplies for the coming days of flight.

 

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Corruption as a method of controlling a population

When there is a list of thousands of families who wait for the "humanitarian" mercy of unification of families. and a governor decides, in a superhuman gesture, to put somebody on the top of the waiting list, it is part of the management in the military administration, not a normal public administration. Also granting special documents to dignitaries and to others who are close to the authorities, allowing their holders to pass the roadblocks without a check and to go in the street during curfew, is something that smells bad among the public. In the atmosphere reigning in Gaza, some pay for it with their life.
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Israel cuts off electricity to 50,000 Palestinians in Gaza Strip

The Military Administration in the Gaza Strip area has cut off on the 15th of November the electricity supply to some 50,000 Palestinian inhabitants in the northern Gaza Strip, between Bait Lahya and Jebalya, because of unpaid debts. As a result, the inhabitants have also no water in their houses…The Civil Rights Association says that the Military Administration is imposing an unlawful collective punishment.

 

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Attorney Jabareen Wants to Live in a Jewish Settlement

"So, what is your name?" Ms. Nachmani asked the two interviewees. "I replied", Jabareen said, "and then she blushed, opened two wide eyes and said: ‘just a minute, the nationality, what is the nationality?’ So I said: ‘Arab’. The poor woman nearly fainted in her chair", he smiles. "When she regained her composure she told me: ‘I am sorry we cannot accept you’. I asked why and she replied: ‘Because you are not a Jew’. Hilana and I tried to argue, we said that as Israeli citizens it was our right to live in Katzir, but they explained to us that according to the Jewish Agency regulations they did not accept Non-Jews in their settlements. I asked how the Jewish Agency could decide upon the matter, since the place was built on state land and Housing Ministry built the houses. I said that I was an Israeli citizen and had a right to that land. Then Miryam Nachmani said: ‘Don’t argue with me’…

"The Arab construction workers who built our houses want to live here. They are impressed by the view and the tranquility. I get along fine with them so long as they know their place. Actually they are nicer then the usual Arabs. I have nothing against Arabs",.
 

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Ransacking Palestinian homes

The invaders of five days ago were all masked, say the members of the four families. All of them wore a kind of hat made of stocking which reveals only the eyes. On their hands they had black gloves, some of them with the fingertips cut off, they all wore army uniforms and sport shoes of various colors. They had no search warrants or written orders, and they gave the family members orders in broken Arabic.
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