Everyday the Palestinians experience in harsh and dangerous ways the oppression of the occupation. They daily face soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Force on the streets, near the entrances of the villages, on the roads and at the checkpoints. the humiliation and heaviness of their presence is always with the people and with us.
The morning of April 15 at 7:00 a.m., an Israeli army jeep drove through the streets of Haris where we are staying, announcing a curfew on their loud speaker. Two of us, one IWPS and one MPT went to the street to check with a person in the village and to walk near the school to check on any children who might be in danger. One MPTer stayed home to call the Israeli District Coordinating Office (DCO).
As we walked up the hill to the empty main street through town, the army jeep was talking to a young man on the street. We have been told that the army tries to get young men to spy on one another and collaborate with their harassment by giving information. A little money or a promise of no arrest could be tempting.
The army asked what we were doing and we said we were walking out and they told us to go out. Since it was the direction we intended to go, we continued on to talk to the family who told us the little they knew.
We then walked back toward the school, but were stopped again by the Israeli soldiers in the jeep who ask us to leave. We explained that we were concerned about the children coming to school. Since all the children were in their homes looking out from upstairs windows and rooftops, we decided to return slowly to the house. There was no school in Haris this day.
The MPTer who called the DCO was told that there was a curfew in the village until 10:00 a.m. because children had been throwing stones at the entrance of the village the day before. We are told that the army often uses this pretense.
When we meet with Palestinians they often say, "We want to have peace, but the Israelis do not."