October 18, 2002

The unbearable life in Beit Sahour these days………

As I was sitting home after work with my two daughters, I suddenly became very depressed and tears fell from my eyes.  I feel our life is just a waste.  The Israeli illegal occupation has turned our homeland into a concentration camp.  I said to myself what is this life, why should we look forward to tomorrow?  What is there to look for?  Today and tomorrow and the day after are the same.  The international community believes that the Israeli withdrawal from Bethlehem district is a real withdrawal, but the reality is far from what you can imagine.  Do you think for a moment that we live free and can move out of the city?  Sorry to disappoint you but it just is not true. I wish to go to Jerusalem and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and light a candle for a wish I hope to come true someday.  I wish to walk through the old city of Jerusalem like I once used to.  I wish to take my two daughters with me to visit the Holy places in Jerusalem and to walk through the doors of Jerusalem like I once did.  I wish to visit Ramallah and shop there.  They have destroyed the once beautiful city of Ramallah, like they have destroyed our lives and land. I cannot go anywhere, nor can any other Palestinian.

I feel the frustration and say to myself what is this life where yesterday Israel sealed all entrances into and out of the district because the Jewish Israelis wanted to visit Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. They prevented children who live in the nearby villages from attending school by setting up road blocks. They even prevented internationals from entering through the main check point that separates Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  This check point has been transferred into an Israeli Military camp and is the barrier that prevents us from visiting Jerusalem.   They have done all this in the name of protecting those Israelis who came to pray.

I want you to know how miserable our lives are, but still, this is nothing in comparison to what is happening elsewhere in Palestine.  Yesterday in Gaza, 8 more deaths, including children. Old women lying dead and bloody in the street from the tank missile launched on a residential area.   The world is going on and on about the issue of Iraq, and what is happening daily on the streets of Palestine is completely ignored by the world’s governments.  Israel wants to put us all in concentration camps and repeat the dark history they once faced.

 Please, I do not want to live like this anymore, not looking forward to tomorrow. I look at my two daughters and wish for them the best that any mother wishes for her children.  I wish for them to have a bright future full of peace and prosperity.  To be free to move and to decide and plan for tomorrow, not to continue life as an animal in a cage with no hope and no future.

Suzan Sahori
Beit Sahour Municipality