Hallas.

This is the remains of the sound bomb the army threw through the opening above the door in the middle of the night.  Image

When it went off, its force cracked the plaster of the interior walls.  There were 5 children sleeping in the house at the time, the youngest around 5 months of age, the oldest perhaps 8 years, along with parents and elders. Can you imagine it, the loudness of the sound, the sudden terror?  And then the soldiers coming in?

The soldiers had blocked the village road for hours beginning in the middle of the evening, but it was around midnight when they invaded, hundreds of them storming the community, and began to enter the houses.  They didn’t tell anyone what they were looking for, but they systematically broke through dressers full of clothes, pulling the doors off rooms, and generally causing mayhem.  They arrested a young man and took him four kilometers away, bound his hands with a zip tie,  held him until 4 AM, and then released him to walk home in the dark, with his hands still tied.  It was a cold night, in a dark place with only the light from the moon and stars.

It’s not the first time.  It’s an ongoing problem for these people; this has happened several times.  And I could tell you where, and I could show you pictures of the door that was bashed off its hinges or the piles of clothing and mattresses thrown on the floor.  Pictures of the tired little children.  But I’ll just leave it at this:

As I left, one gentleman said to me kindly, “This is your village now. You are welcome.  Come anytime.” 

They gave us coffee and then they made us tea, and they told us the story and they showed us the damages.

I am at the same time overwhelmed by hospitality and completely full to the brim with this kind of story.  I am sick of cruelty.  Hallas. Enough.

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