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First-hand Accounts of Oppression in an Occupied Nation.

Today the Meta Peace Team completed the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) training. It was another wonderful experience in learning about solidarity, non-violence and responding to violence, concensus decision making, self-care, sexual harassment, cultural differences, weapons used against activists and Palestinians by the Israeli Military and the legal implications of being arrested by the Israeli Police.

I continue to witness first-hand experiences of oppression like the military checkpoints stopping buses and hauling off all Palestinians under 30 years old, lining them up at gun point and questioning them before allowing the bus to continue. With M16's pointed at the young men the Israeli military made them all pull their shirts up and their pant legs up and then hand all of their passports to one boy who brought them to the military to inspect. As the international peacekeepers on the bus watched and filmed the oppressive behavior, the military threatened us to not photo them. I also heard first hand experiences of other international peacekeepers that witnessed situations like the ISM apartment in Hebron being raided by the Israeli military  and the international peacekeepers were forceably removed today.

I look forward to being a witness and helping with the olive harvest tomorrow. I find it amazing that most of the trees and most of the birds I see are olive trees and doves, both symbols of peace in one of the most violent places on the planet.

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