The call came in just after a long, early morning at the checkpoint. I had taken my shower and was getting ready to go to the baptism of the daughter of a friend here. Scott knocked on my door and said, “Don’t get too comfortable – no time for a nap. There’s a house in Husan that’s been occupied by the army.” And off we went… That’s how it happens here, the IDF decides to make a move and a whole network of people’s lives are interrupted.
On the ride out to the village, we gathered information. It seems that a motorist on one of the apartheid settler roads complained that a rock had struck their car in the area of this small village. They didn’t see anyone throwing anything, but they wanted to make an insurance claim, so charges had to be filed. And that gives the army a way in…
Husan is an unusual village because the people here have relatively good relations with the nearby settlement folk – some of the residents work in the settlement and the settlers often do some shopping in Husan. But not this weekend.
At 2 am Saturday morning, the army rolled into town and took occupancy of one of the most prominent homes, forcing a family of fifteen out into the streets, without any notice. They raised the Israeli flag, covered the front porch with camouflage mesh netting, and blocked the front with their oversized vehicles. They don’t suspect any member of this family – it’s just a nice house, in the center of town, right across from the mosque. So the family had to go.
Fortunately, an uncle lives in the village, so at least they weren’t stuck out in the street. Unfortunately, all their belongings are now out of reach. In fact, it’s fairly certain their home will be thoroughly searched and turned upside down, simply because the soldiers are bored as they watch a community where not much out of the ordinary happens – at least until the army comes to town.
When we got there, a group from the International Solidarity Movement was sitting watch with some of the family in the (now closed) shopping strip next door to the home. Ta’ayush, an Israeli peace group had been there, as well as Haaretz, the Israeli news agency. Neither had been able to help much, but they were told the IDF has a one-week order of occupation. It doesn’t say in the order what the family who lives here is supposed to do for the next week or what is going to be done to rebuild the relationships in this town. Tonight, we got a call asking us to come in the morning and be with the children as they walk to school tomorrow – trust has been broken and everyone is afraid it will only get worse.
Salaam/Shalom – Pastor Pat
1 Comment »