crossposted from Mondoweiss

Lamia Khatib, wife of detained organizer Mohammed Khatib, of the Popular Committee Against the Wall And Settlements in the village of Bil’in, has an essay up on Huffington Post recounting the arrest of her husband. The article includes a description from her husband of life in the village lately:

As I write these words, it’s almost midnight and we are sitting on the roof of my house, on the look-out for the Israeli army. It’s been two months since the most recent wave of night raids began, with the army now employing a new strategy of arresting every villager who attends the demonstrations, in an attempt to crush our campaign of nonviolent resistance. Up until now eleven people have been arrested, but the list of those wanted is much, much longer. So in Bi’lin, no one goes to sleep before four or five in the morning. We stay awake all night, observing the movements of the Israeli military, fearing that we may be the next person to be kidnapped and thrown in jail. Our nights have become our days, and our days have become our nights. For some it is more difficult than others because of work commitments, but we have no choice.

But it’s not only the adults who stay awake. Our children can’t sleep either, afraid that the army will burst into his or her room in the middle of the night. They don’t knock on the door during the night raids. So imagine the horror for a child to wake up to find a stranger with a painted face pointing his gun in their face. We don’t stay up so much to avoid arrest, but to avoid facing this terrible moment.

Mohammed begins his story recounting a nightmare his son Khaled had where he imagined being shot by an Israeli soldier. The photo at the top of this post is from a delegation to Israel/Palestine that I co-led in 2007 when I worked at the American Friends Service Committee. The boy in the photo had been collecting bullet shells and tear gas canisters that the IDF had shot at unarmed protesters during the weekly protests in Bil’in. The boy himself had already been shot three times by rubber coated bullets. Still, he attended the protests against the Wall.

Khaled’s nightmare was unfortunately not the product of an excited imagination, but from seeing his friends and family invaded, harrassed and at times killed by an occupying army that operates with impunity. When will the world say “enough”?

(Thanks to Ethan Heitner for passing this article along.)