Israeli soldiers tell Palestinian villagers “we will do to you what the Nazis did to us.”
Dura (West Bank): 2 January, 2003 (IAP News)
The estimated 25,000 people of this small town have been subjected to a fresh wave of “nightmarish terror” at the hands of the notorious Israeli border police unit whose largely undisciplined soldiers abducted and brutally murdered a Palestinian teenager in Hebron Monday night.
For two consecutive days, hundreds of soldiers, backed by military vehicles, two military trucks, and several large bulldozers, rampaged through the town, opening fire and stun grenades in all directions.
On Wednesday, the force held some 200 Palestinian youths inside the town’s only cultural Center for 10 hours during which the soldiers did, as one hostage put it, “what all Israeli soldiers do in the absence of television cameras.”
“They beat each and every one of us without any reason, they started cursing our religion and making other blasphemous remarks. Afterwards they, using large hammers, smashed all the windows and doors of the building. Then they smashed all the 30 computers, which had been donated from a European country. In short they were Gestapo in real life,” said Musa Abu Salameh, one of the hostages.
Abu Salameh also testified that the soldiers also stole at gunpoint 28 cellular telephones, large amounts of money and other valuable things from the hostages.
“They told us not to expect help from anybody, and when one of us told the officer that what they were doing was wrong, the officer said laughingly ‘what right, what wrong, what God…I’m God.”
When Other Palestinians walked toward the building to know what was happening to their sons, the soldiers didn’t hesitate to open fire, injuring several people, including 11-year-old Jihad Abu Arqoub, from whose belly doctors at the Princess Alya hospital in Hebron extracted two bullets.
As dark-fall neared, the soldiers began scouring through the town, blowing the sirens of their jeeps and shouting obscenities at the Palestinians.
Earlier, the huge bulldozers sealed all entries to Dura by dumping huge piles of dirt across the streets.
The draconian, medieval measure effectively meant that Dura became cut off from the rest of the West Bank and practically isolated from the rest of the world.
In real terms, the sealing of the town also meant that nobody, not even an ambulance, could move either into or out of the town. In shot, if some needed urgent hospitalization, he or she would have to die because “the army says so.”
Earlier this week, the Israeli army dynamited four homes belonging to the families of Palestinian resistance activists, three of them already dead.
Abed Elqiq, whose cousin’s home was among the homes demolished narrated that one of the Israeli officers who oversaw the destruction of the homes told the grieving women at the site that “we will do to you what the Nazis did to us” half a century ago.
“Ok, if you want call us Nazi, we are Nazi, but we have the upper hand and we can kill you and destroy your homes and nobody in this world can ask us ‘why’. And we are happy about it.”