Beyond the Uprising Tragedies, Daily Humiliations And Pains With AM-Israel-Unrest,
Mar. 22, 1993
Beyond the Uprising Tragedies, Daily Humiliations And Pains With AM-Israel-Unrest, AM-Jerusalem-Ramadan
JERUSALEM (AP) _ ''I don't ever want to see you in this neighborhood again,'' an Israeli policeman warns an Arab driver after stopping him in a Jewish district. ''If I do, you're going to be sorry.''
The middle-class Palestinian protests he has a permit to visit. But the young cop cuts short the plea, searches the man's car, checks his identity papers and sends him packing.
The exchange, near a bus stop where an Arab stabbed a Jew to death last month, was a typical incident in Jerusalem as the Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the occupied territories approaches 5 1/2 years.
The revolt's effect is usually measured in numbers of killed and wounded, but it goes far beyond that. It has spawned widespread pain and fear in both the Jewish and Arab communities alike.
Palestinians feel humiliated and powerless against the soldiers whose guns have taken hundreds of lives. Israelis fear attack by Arabs with knives and resent being forced to live guarded lives.
Rami Suleiman, a 13-year-old Palestinian from Jerusalem, knows about the violence from both sides.
Last year, masked Palestinians stabbed and wounded his father as a suspected informer for Israel. During a stone-throwing clash last month, border police shot Rami three times in the leg with rubber-coated metal pellets.
Rami says he goes to school with a queasy feeling because border police often come and curse the students for sport.
In front of his school buddies, Rami puts up a brave front. ''If a soldier calls me a dog, I call him a bigger dog,'' he says.
But later, at home, he acknowledges: ''Of course, I'm afraid of them. I was seven when they first stopped me.''
In the occupied Gaza Strip, 40-year-old economist Fawaz Abu Sitte says he most resents the feeling of confinement since, like all Gazans, he needs a pass to enter Israel.
''I feel I'm in a large prison,'' says Abu Sitte. ''I don't dare to leave the house after dark because the soldiers seem very tense, and I'm afraid I could get shot in some mixup.''
In Armon Hanatziv, a Jewish district in Jerusalem that borders two Arab villages, 32-year-old Helen Hamani says she lives in constant fear of an Arab knifing attack.
In June 1990, an 11-year-old boy was stabbed by an Arab woman at a bus stop near Mrs. Hamani's house. She quit her secretarial job because she felt it was too risky to be away from her three young children.
During the past year, the front windshield of the family car was smashed twice by stones, and a neighbor's car was burned.
''I feel great bitterness because this affects our whole lives. We want to live in peace with them (the Arabs), but they won't let us,'' she says.
Still, military rule disrupts the lives of Palestinians far more than fear does that of Israelis, many of whom live distant from the occupied territories and worry more about monthly bills than knifings.
Since the uprising began on Dec. 8, 1987, some 1,050 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, 122 Israelis by Palestinians, and 709 Palestinians killed by other Palestinians on suspicion of collaborating with Israel. Around 120,000 Palestinians and 6,000 Israelis have been injured.
Troops destroyed or sealed 841 Palestinian homes, uprooted more than 154,000 trees and imposed curfews more than 11,800 times, according to a Palestinian human rights group.
Army figures show Palestinians were involved in more than 200,000 stone- throwing or tire-burning incidents, stabbed or tried to stab Israelis 2,073 times, tossed 4,852 firebombs and 222 hand grenades.
Palestinians torched 709 cars in Jerusalem alone in 1991-92.
Much of the day-to-day violence makes only the local news. But Gaza City psychologist Dr. Fadal Abu Hien says the house searches aren't quickly forgotten, and many children have nightmares after seeing their parents humiliated or struck by soldiers.
''Before the uprising, we didn't feel the pressure of the occupation so much, but now ... the percentage of mental disorders has risen drastically,'' he said.
Abu Hien said he found a rate of mental problems in Gaza about three times the average in the West. A survey of 3,000 Gazans found 13 percent suffer from anxiety, 8.5 percent from depression and 12 percent from such problems as migraines and ulcers, he said.
Doron Shochat, head of an Education Ministry department dealing with the uprising, says it has produced a negative image of Arabs among Jewish youth. He said the feeling ''among younger ones is hate and fear and among the older ones fear and extreme political views.''