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Date posted: December 03, 2002
By Anonymous

Below is just a little vignette of the daily suffering, just a surrealistic chapter in the ongoing war of attrition against the whole of Palestinian society.

Nothing much is moving, but the carnage and destruction go on unabated in Gaza, Jenin, etc (even lost track). We have had our own little theater of the absurd in Ramallah.

On Thursday night it was "announced" (no one heard an announcement, but then no one is addressed in these communications, except for mysterious sources) that Friday and Saturday would be curfew--with no explanation as to why exactly.

On Saturday the school decided they would have classes on Sunday (the day off for most private schools); but then Sunday morning we discovered that the curfew was continuing. The kids had studied hard for a math test on Sunday, and all the work seemed to have gone to waste. The usual guessing game about the rest of the week started.

In the afternoon we heard that the curfew would be lifted at 5 pm, and people guessed it was so people could go to pray on the holiest night of the month of Ramadan (how sensitive the army is to the religious sensibilities of the Palestinians!). But then rumors appeared indicating that the curfew would be lifted only until 5 am Monday morning (today). Of course everyone went to bed not knowing whether they would go to school or work the next day.

Many phone calls beginning at 6 a.m. this morning did not bring anything definitive. Of course the curfew remained lifted, but no one knows until when (some rumors say 2, others 6pm). People were getting ready to go to Birzeit when they heard that beginning at 7 am the army at the Surda checkpoint was shooting tear gas and live ammunition at the growing crowds waiting to get into Ramallah (including many children who go to school here).

It is now 11 am and the checkpoint is still closed. No one can come into Ramallah or leave from the Surda Checkpoint. Students have been calling to see if the test is still on today (many hundreds of students, even those from Ramallah, now live in Birzeit town due to the checkpoint situation). What could the university authorities tell them? Go and ask the army! I may yet go to Birzeit, if we get word that the checkpoint is open. But then suppose they close it later? How can I get back home?

Excerpt provided by Yehudith Harel

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