Thursday, March 18, 2010

Erm...about that Intifada

At five A.M on Tuesday hordes of ultra-orthodox Jews entered the old city of Jerusalem and began waving Israeli flags, all the while celebrating what Palestinians call the 'Judaizing' of al-Quds. Israeli police surrounded the zealots as a means of protection, and an hour later Palestinian young men had gathered near the crowd, kept back by the police. The young men were shouting chants about liberating al-Aqsa mosque and tension between the two sides was growing thicker. The breaking point arrived after a new party of Jewish settlers arrived from behind the Palestinians, trapping them in the middle. The Israeli police force nonchalantly looked on as the settlers began to harass the Palestinians, and fights erupted. The Palestinians were out-numbered, and the settlers on one side and the police on the other obstructed their escape. Suddenly, one settler began firing his firearm, causing serious injuries to four Palestinians. The Israeli police finally managed to restrain the trigger-happy fool, and the Palestinians dispersed, but not before a good handful were arrested. The injured were prevented from receiving medical aid, and at around 7 A.M the old city welcomed its first martyr. News slowly infiltrated the rest of the West Bank and the world, and a general strike was called upon by the Palestinian territories. As the day went on, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers became more frequent, and casualties began to toll higher. Thousands took to the streets in Nablus, Jenin, Gaza City, Bethlehem, Hebron, but in Ramallah, Abbas's security forces, in plainclothes and in uniforms, heavily patrolled the streets and took random people for interrogation. In Qalandia, Palestinians were involved in a series of altercations with the Israeli soldiers, which prompted the typical Israeli response of firing live bullets to nullify the 'destructive' effect the stones thrown by the Palestinians were causing. Palestinian anger reached a point that led masses to surround Abbas's headquarters, al-Muqata'a, with women leading and protesting in the front rows. Back in the old city of Jerusalem, the reopening of the synagogue witnessed delays caused by the confrontations by the Palestinians and Israelis. In the courtyard of al-Aqsa mosque itself, Israeli soldiers barged in and removed Palestinians by force, which led to a killing spree. At the end of the day, 23 Palestinians in Qalandia and in the old city were killed. Amid the international out-cry, Israel forced another curfew on the West Bank, this time sealing it off for an undetermined amount of time. F-16 missiles were directed at the Gaza strip, and sonic helicopters hovered in the sky without any let-up. The Palestinians in the 1948 areas congregated in separate areas at midnight, condemning the Israeli brutal attacks and lighting candles in vigil. Abbas has expressed sorrow at the downturn of events, and pleaded with Palestinians via a televised message not to get carried away and to give negotiations another chance. Meanwhile, protests erupted around the rest of the world--

HOLD UP. You want to know what really happened that day?

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers near the Qalandia checkpoint.

Have a nice day.

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