Fragmants of evil- Bili'in Village demonstration, 10.06.2001

The  man was marching in the middle of the crowd, holding a megaphone and calling the soldiers, demanding that they leave the territory, being it  Palestinian ground. The man was mocking the soldiers orders to evacuate themeslves from the closed military zone. " You have ten minutes" he shouted. This is an order worth mocking. On many occasions I have witnessed the soldiers violating their own orders, starting to use violent means to disprese protestors before a couple of minutes passed.
 "This is a liberated area" the man chanted as the march approached the fence.
The military forces were already there, prepared, as if they were facing an armed brigade.
The skunk truck was there as well. The sight is absurd, almost surrealistic. Military Jeeps. Shielded soldiers.
Facing only a bunch of stone-hurling youth & international peace activists.
The man with the megaphone stated that this is a non violent protest, & that the protestors don't intend to hurl stones. Some of the local activists approached the fuffer zone and opened the yellow gate. The skunk truck sprayed them.
It is ridiculous that the skunk, a foul smelling liquid is considered a "human" mean to disprese protests, being it non lethal. The odor sticks to your body if it hits you. and can't be wash away. It might take weeks till it's gone. It is so revolting one can wish his skin be scrubbed from your own flesh. And one might never know even what is the thing that hit him. The skunk sprays were soon followed by an intensive salvo of tear gas canisters, forcing the protestors to retreat. Due to the scalding heat, fires broke in the weeds, approaching the olive groves that provide the village's economy. One old local man laid down, knocked out by the gas. Other protestors approached him, one man gave his chest massage. An ambulance came to evacuate him, in a short time. The soldiers continued to fire the canisters even while the ambulance was treating the almost unconscious man.   . Near a low fence of walls, protestors laid crippled and panting.
I was covering my head with a scarf, trying not to breath the chocking gas. 
But in the end  I was caught in a cloud of gas. 
My eyes were shut with tears and for a several minutes I felt nausea, as I was about to pass out.
At this stage I don't experience the stones  the Shebab (youth) hurl as violence
Mostly, it feels like a manifest of frustration , the kind a caged animal feel. 
After the demonstration, when the group of protestors dispresed, we- Haitham- the photographer & Samara, and Micha an Israeli activists stayed behind, trying to extinguish the last flames that consumed batches of crops near the olive groves that grow by the fence. After we finished, we took a breake by an olive tree , a few meters away from the soldiers who were still present, despite the absence of any protestors from the scene. They chuckled. Samara was swearing the soldiers. The more angry we were, the louder their laughter grew. "GO HOME" we shouted.
They were only shooting  because of boredom & cruelty. Perhaps intending to start the fire again. "Do you see this?" Haitham was hugging the olive tree. "This is a 6,000 years old woman".  I went towards Waji's house, where we usually gather, enjoying Waji's great hospitality.
I was dreaming about a day we'd all meet in Tel Aviv, in Waji's coffee shop. Right now Waji is "mamnua" , banned from entering Israel. But I refuse to give in to despair.

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