EVERY ‘TERRORIST’ HAS A MOTHER Another tale from the hospital…..



Desertpeace


September 26, 2008

Another tale from the hospital…..

During
my first week at the hospital I was witness to the first hand brutality
against the people of Palestine. A bed was wheeled into my room by two
young Israeli soldiers wearing identification badges of the Military
Police. In the bed was a young boy, both legs in casts and signs of
beatings on his head and face.
I
innocently asked the soldiers what was going on…. and was quickly
informed that the boy was a ‘terrorist’ and is in their custody until
he is able to leave the hospital and go to a military prison.
"Terrorist" I declared….. you guys are holding loaded machine guns
while he is strapped to a bed all broken up from head to foot!!! He has
a bullet in each of his legs and you say he’s the terrorist…The
response was that "he threw stones at an army jeep". I asked where the
jeep was at the time and they told me it was in a small Palestinian
village just outside of Bethlehem.
I
went to talk to the young lad at that point…. he denied all charges,
told me his name was Hanyeh and begged me to get word to his family
that he was in the hospital and alive. He apparently was in custody for
two weeks at that time and his family was not informed if he was dead
or alive or where he was. A young lad of only 17 possibly being mourned
by his parents who way to often witnessed young boys disappear never to
be seen again…
I
asked him what his home phone number was, there wasn’t one. I asked the
name of his village and was told. Fortunately I knew some people there
and was able to reach them and was able to get word to Hanyeh’s mother
about his whereabouts.
The
next morning there she was standing in front of me. Disregarding all
traditions associated with religious Muslim women, she put her arms
around me and kissed me on both cheeks, crying and thanking me at the
same time. The boy was asleep, I woke him and told him he had a
guest….. "MAMA"!!! It was a very moving scene. The police intervened at
that point and told her to leave and not speak to him…. my immediate
reaction was "not on my watch!" I told the young soldier to shut his
eyes and his mouth and allow them to have a short visit. By some
miracle, the soldier turned around and left the room…
After
a few minutes the mother asked me for my cellphone number and asked if
her husband can call later and speak to the boy… of course I agreed. I
also told her that if she was able to visit again to tell the soldiers
that she was visiting me, and from my bed she could speak to her son.
A
week later the boy was moved to a different ward where it was a bit
more difficult for family visits. The soldiers informed me on more than
one occasion that Hanyeh asked for me every day, my new friend the
‘terrorist’.
I
can’t help but ask what would have happened if I wasn’t in the room
when the young lad arrived. Would his family ever been told where he
was or why? This is not an isolated incident, unfortunately these
actions by the Israeli Military are the norm. The prisons here are full
of young Palestinian ‘terrorists’, many of whom were never brought to
trial or officially charged , as was the case with Hanyeh.
The signature quote on my email is "To believe in something and not live it, is dishonest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~
I think I was being honest by living my beliefs during that period.
It
also made me realise how more efficiently the hospital itself could run
if it wasn’t used as an extension of the military prison system.


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