Report from a Cambridge student in Palestine, 13 April 2002

Mika is a student at Cambridge University who went to Palestine a few days ago and is still there. This is an extract of a telephone conversation with him today, 13 April 2002, approx 10pm.

Q: ...has anything interesting happened?

Mika: so far yeah, quite a lot of stuff I couldn't get through to you the last few days We tried to get into Jenin which is under siege, but couldn't because there are too many soldiers, but ended up witnessing hundreds of refugees arriving from a refugee camp and we've been chased by tanks quite a bit today.

Q: Ok. What was happening with the refugees, they were...where are you now?

Mika: We're now in Nablus. We tried to get into Jenin but that didn't work Jenin refugee camp, there's a refugee camp inside Jenin which the israelis have practically raised to the ground they've just demolished most of it and uhm were going through taking all the men and torturing them and checking them and then dumping them outside the village we were staying in, near Jenin, so we had about 600 refugees on our doorstep and uhm

Q: right OK so what having been tortured? and er

Mika: Well some of them, one guy had been paralysed cause he'd been hit with a gun by to the back of his neck so half his face was paralysed Most of them had cigarettes stubbed out on them, they'd been forced to drink urine, they'd just been beaten up and cut up, and forced to lie on glass and walk on glass and lots of not very nice things and uhm and then been stripped naked and sent off in the middle of the night walk in random directions but because we couldn't we tried to get into Jenin to witness things but there were too many

Q: But you couldn't?

Mika: There were soldi they were shooting at anybody trying to walk in and every time we found a way that might passable a Palestinian would end up getting shot somewhere nearby and it wouldn't work, so we came to Nablus which was also under siege, but we managed to walk over the mountains and get in But dodging the hiding in the bushes from the tanks.

...

Mika: Actually an ambulance just drove past, why did that happen? Why did they just go out? That's really dangerous. Ambulances aren't allowed to go out after 5pm because otherwise they get shot at. Like today we're at the moment we're escorting ambulances

Q: so have you been inside some ambulances?

Mika: yeah yeah we're driving around today and they didn't shoot at anybody today but that's because we didn't go into the areas where One guy got shot in the neck i think or something and we were supposed to go out and pick him up but the soldier said if you come into this area we'll shoot at your ambulance so I think the guy died which is kind of frustrating for the ambulance drivers and everybody else as well. but uhm Nablus and also the old city of Nablus we drove round and its just a complete and utter ehm everything is demolished every second or third house is gone, the street is torn up traffic lights are felled everything is gone.