[This is an email sent from Bethlehem on August 9 by Beverly Boos, a
of the Compassionate Listening Project. Beverly talks about the Palestinian
children she has met, who have been subjected to unimaginable acts of
brutality by settler extremists. She also reports on one girl who has a
bullet lodged in her brain (it penetrated through the wall while she was
asleep) but whom the Israeli forces refuse to permit to seek medical
Hello, here I am in the Internet Cafe in Bethlehem-who ever thought
be? When I used to think of Bethlehem, it was about Christmas song of my
childhood, the song "Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie!"
Anyhow, today I know a different Bethlehem.
Since you are one of my sponsors and my friend, I will give you my update.
I arrived and photographed the Yatta cave dwellers who the army has
collapsed their caves and filled their water wells so that they have no
water, when the Red Cross came and gave them tents, they bulldozed down the
tents...when we went with blankets, the soldiers said they would arrest us
if we gave them...so we snuck them in through a different car.
Next I photographed individual tortured children in Hebron-mostly I
boys under the age of 14 who have terrible stories about being picked up
when they are just eating their ice cream cones at the side of the road, the
children in these areas are all regularly beaten...the boys are taken to
settlers caravans and have the M16 rifles shoved up their butts and boxes of
bullets placed on them and they are told to admit to a crime, like to say
they were throwing stones...they even beat a 7 year old and a ten year old
girl- even in detention they are made to stand on one leg for hours, or they
make them repeat obscenities in Hebrew etc...when I was driving down I saw
two soldiers removing a teen/man from a refugee camp at Beit Ummar, they had
him bound at the hands and blindfolded, just like your worst nightmare.
Then I photographed a little 10 year old girl who was sleeping one night
her home and the army shelled the neighborhood (illegal collective
punishment) and one of the bullets went through the window and, while she
was sleeping, straight into her head, and logged in her brain, she is awake,
seemingly unimpaired, but has a huge bullet in her head and a bandage around
her head, just sits on the couch all day in this condition, her family have
no resources, nor are they allowed to leave the Hebron district, unless we
can find someone who would be willing to sponsor her to come to a hospital
with the sophistcation needed to remove the bullet from inside her head,
Maurice she is ten years old, and soooooooooooosweet, just like my
Sofia...she is so brave, she takes it like a toothache, but, I fear if we do
not bring this to international humanitarian attention what will happen to
her? I have seen the bullet in her xrays...it is huge and in the middle of
her small head.
Then I went to the little town of Etna where I photographed a mother
mourning-her 3 month old baby (a test tube baby that she waited 11 years to
have) was killed by a group called the Kach(Jewish extremists). The baby
was in the car with his uncle and aunt on their wedding day, and some other
people, they were ambushed by the Kach who killed 5 people in the car with
machine guns...she is so sad...she showed me all of the babies clothes and
his swing and she cried.
Then we had a Press Conference asking for International Peacekeepers...and
outlining a list of non-violent resistance that will be done, these actions
begin tomorrow...the group has had training for two days but I have been off
shooting so could not be at the training.
Today I was at the scene of the explosion suicide bomber in Jerusalem,
was quite surrealistic as another bomb scare was always present, all of us
were afraid that while we were shooting the scene (news teams like CNN and
everyone) that another bomb would go off...it was such a scene...then
everyone started freaking out and running...I didn't know if a bomb was
about to go off or what...so as we were running people were saying that
another one went off at the Bus Station, later this turned out not to be
true, it was a tire exploding and we returned to the original bombing site,
this was a suicide bomber at a Sbarro Pizza place on Jaffe Street.
I immediately returned this evening to Bethlehem where I photographed
beautiful Palestinian 'Henna' in Beit Sahour which is a pre-wedding
party...it is so beautiful, about 500 women, so much gold, fabrics and
beauty, tradition, children dressed, dancing, a beautiful bride and
groom...smiles and laughter.
Now I am at the Internet Cafe, tonight I will write to you hoping that
Sharon will not bomb all of Palestinian areas due to the suicide
bombings...the suicide bombings they say they believe were in retaliation to
recent assasinations of the Palestinians...Sharon is out of town in Turkey,
so maybe they won't, the first night I was here there was much firing in
Beit Sahour, and since it has been quiet, they say they do not wish to harm
the Internationals (that's us!) so we think we are effective in helping to
prevent this but maybe we're not.
Anyhow, pray for no bombs in Bethlehem, it is scary, where the suicide
went off today was the area of Jerusalem where I had dinner last night and
spent the night with a friend just three blocks away.
The nights of Beit Sahour, conflict aside, are like a romantic dream,
the size of a saucer hanging in the sky, and a breeze that sends you to your
best feelings of freedom and happiness.
I am ccing to a couple of people who I know would like an update hope
don't mind I don't wish to write this out again.
I'm warned not to wear my flak jacket as they say it will raise the tension.
If you know of anyone who can help the little 10 year old get her bullet
removed in the best of care, please, please get the word out...some of us
here are trying to bring this case to the attention of the press, if not for
the suicide bombing today, I was about to meet with ABC news team on it.
Coincidentally, Maurice, I am in the land of grapes and fire, this is
season, they hang beautifully everywhere and well, you know the rest, the
fire is in the sky at night.