It has been one month since we came back from Palestine. We are a team of eight people from CICD, interested in 21-century conflicts currently going on. This is why Palestine was our destiny for the investigation week. Before going, we learned about the Arabic culture, the story of the Palestine-Israel conflict and we took our backpacks and left.
Once we landed, we faced a first passport control where we were asked the reasons to fly to Tel Aviv, where we would stay and if we were going to Palestine, even if we knew people there. One of us, with origins in an Arabic country, was asked to do a second interview with more detailed questions. After two hours waiting for the Israeli approval to allow her entrance to the country, we continued successfully our way to Bethlehem.
During our stay in Aida Camp, we felt the non-violent peaceful movement that Palestinians use to resist the force of occupation. They developed a culture of resistance through which they live by existing and keeping their traditions and culture. We felt an open and very welcoming environment. Nevertheless, we also faced situations where the use of force by the Israeli army against Palestinians was executed. We met many youngsters who had been arrested or injured by the army.
On our way back, we were stopped in Tel-Aviv airport, as we were already stopped as a group when we entered the country. Two teammates were interview and asked again, where we had been, why and where we stayed.
After, we continued through the security check and there we were again stopped and asked to open our bags, because one of us had a picture of a “terrorist”. We had a picture of a Palestinian Activist, Laila Kahled. They check all of us, one by one. We felt how they use their power against those supporting Palestine and how they intimidate and pressure us by asking the same questions repeatedly to see if we fail.
Listening to all those real stories, meeting the people in first hand and living this situations of power abuse, made us realize of the importance of the issue. Now we cannot anymore look in another direction. We are back to share the reality we saw there and spread the word.
Roser Maura Riera
12 month February 2018