“Warriors or martyrs”: The fate of children in the Jenin refugee camp

Children every time Jenin refugee camp They go to school, they leave a lot behind. A plotline that has taken on new meaning in recent months. The lifeless bodies of some of his friends or siblings lie under the damp soil. new releases “martyr” cemeteryThere are still empty holes dug in the ground for these students. “Kids here say they want to be when they grow up. warriors or martyrs“, mint Salwa Abughali Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The dates of his death, his “martyrdom” dates as they are called in Palestine, are close and close together. Some agree. Before nightfall, a few people were seen under the cotton candy clouds from the rain. youth They meet to talk with their friends. But they cannot answer these. They talk to them, pamper their altars with flowers, caresses and pampering. Palestinian flags. At the gates of a closed school, they know that maybe this will soon be their bed.

Ahmed Sadi He hasn’t slept in his bed for weeks. “Is Very dangerous“He explains, completely pointing at this 12-year-old kid rebel, like the rest of his house on the main street of the field. The previous afternoon, Israeli troops once again stormed the alleys of the camp in their tenth illegal attack of the year. from October 7, increased. “They come every other day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, as if Turkish soap opera“, blames Ahmed’s father, Halit, looked with teary eyes as he looked at his worn-out house. This is their fifth time entering. Upstairs, his brother’s house was also turned upside down. There is a plastic chair by the window. “This is where the sniper sits“says Ahmed, pointing to a wide view of the damaged street.

Ahmed and Halid Sadi are at home. ANDREA LÓPEZ-TOMÀS

“When the Israelis come and stir things up, they’re looking for evidence to use against us and they’re bringing out teenagers and teenagers. children in prison“, he tells EL PERIÓDICO in perfect English. “First in his class,” his father congratulates. cry soon with a proud smile. Five months ago one of his four children 18 year old arrested and they don’t know why. He doesn’t want his other children to be taken away from him. Therefore, they spend their nights away from the countryside, which has become one of the main strongholds of the Palestinian resistance. more than most 270 murders In the last two months, there have been incidents in these alleys and inside these houses by Israeli forces. Every day at seven in the evening, the Sadis set out for a house on the mountain above Jenin. “It’s still not painted and we don’t have electricity, but we’ve put some in. sheets on the floor “This is enough for us,” says Ahmed. This is his safest shelter.

resistance stronghold

Jenin refugee camp has historically been one of the Muslim strongholds. Palestinian armed resistance In the entire occupied West Bank. “I don’t want to normalize this, but the people of Jenin used to all this violence Because it has been there since we were born, since we were children,” says Abughali, from MSF’s mental health team. Although she does not live in rural areas, Salwa is also a refugee. The Israeli Army, Jenin fighters did not let down their guard, and civilians and militias paid the price. 66 percent of Palestinians were killed They died in “search and capture operations” by Hebrew troops in occupied areas since October 7. Fetus and nearby TulkaremAccording to the United Nations.

“The resistance in Jenin was specially created” to fight against every Israeli attack“They won’t fight or attack outside,” he says. Irene Huertas, MSF coordinator in this Palestinian city. “A group of people who decided to arm themselves so as not to make it easier for the Israelis, even though they knew they would become targets and many would die,” he tells El Periódico de Catalunya. Prensa Ibérica group. Before October 7, the Jenin refugee camp had been the scene of the deadliest Israeli attacks since the Israeli offensive. Second Intifada. In addition, in this city in the north of the occupied Palestinian territory, in 2023, for the first time in 20 years, many lives were instantly destroyed by using unmanned aerial vehicles against houses or mosques.

war situation

Although the large-scale attack was concentrated in the region Gaza StripThe atmosphere in the occupied West Bank is one of war. Israel’s increasing attacks on places like Jenin are not producing results. “Each time they enter, three more people join the resistance.; With each murder, he becomes more supportive of Hamas, or any group that better defends its interests,” Huertas confirms. In the midst of the turmoil in his home, Khaled Sadi collapses into a chair, demoralized with pain. “They’re trying to show it to the world. O We are terrorists and they are hostagesBut what can we do?” he asks in despair. “Everyone is against us, even the Arabs,” he complains to this newspaper. Sadi’s ancestors were already expelled from their land, a village in the mountains. It no longer exists, but you can see its ruins, colonialistsfrom his home in the countryside.

Bullet holes on the facade of the UN school in Jenin. ANDREA LÓPEZ-TOMÀS

“This is our country, this is our land, we came in 1948 and we are here” like a temporary shelter Until we get back,” Khaled recalls. He speaks loudly and forcefully so his son can hear him, convinced. love for his land This is the only legacy that Palestinians can pass on to future generations. “I don’t know how to feel when I hear that children want to be a warrior or a martyr as a Palestinian. proud or sad“Abughali admits this. “I know it’s just an idea but how can we avoid this as parents, sisters and brothers? When we lose them our community It affects,” complains this 33-year-old educator.

Before reaching the “Martyrs” cemetery, there are ruins of a collapsed domed structure. At their feet are the names of those who gave their lives to defend the countryside. 2002 invasion of Israel In the middle of the Second Intifada. Some fragments of his weathered portraits survived the Israeli attack. ” symbols of Jenin They are being devastated in this larger campaign to terrorize everyone and demoralize“, Huertas accuses. For now, they have not succeeded. Neither the rain, nor the mud, nor the roads cleared by Israeli bulldozers prevent the young people in the Jenin refugee camp from approaching their dead to talk to them. his heroes. The sky surrounds their pain and pride with cotton candy clouds as a promise of their struggle for a free tomorrow.

Source: Informacion


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