Inside A Massacre - Report
From Jenin Camp
By Kev S

We entered Jenin camp on the morning of the 14th. It was and still is a closed zone, but we didn,t ask permission to go in, and the few soldiers that saw us, did not intervene.
The lower portion of the camp appears to be almost completely deserted, except for some wandering chickens and goats, and it looks like every house has been damaged in some way by fire, or tank, or rockets... but most are still standing.
The destruction in the center of the camp though is totala huge area that is nothing but rubble in what was once the densest, most populous, and poorest area of the campit was also the area of the strongest resistance in the camp. Estimates form inside the camp varied between 250 350 homes demolished, or 450 to 600 families, or something 2000 people with no home at all.
The soldiers were working on this area with heavy equipment for over a week, demolishing the houses, digging a huge trench, and filling it with debris
This is the area where the horrible stories of people having their houses pushed down on top of them were. We heard theses stories as well from people who had escaped, many who had lost children or other family in the attacks. Some people said they were given a warning and time to flee, others heard no such warning and just found the house collapsing around them as they hid in what they thought was the safest room of the housemost often the one nearest the bottom with no window or escape route.
None knows the number of dead buried under the debris, but at this point it would take an sifting operation something similar in technique to the efforts at the world trade center to collect all of the bodies and body parts..everything that is under there has been crushed to small pieces by the 70 ton Macerva tanks.
Total numbers of dead inside the camp range from 200 to 500. No one really has any realistic idea yet and no one here knows how many where removed by the Israelis, but witnesses in the camp saw at least two large refrigerated semi trailers in the camp, and the UN aid people here maintain it is a relatively open secret that the Israelis maintain an "enemies graveyard in the Jordan valley for events like this.
There are still many families living in the top of the camp, and probably 2/3rds of the houses there are still relatively intact. There are still perhaps 2000 to 3000 people there, and we stayed inside the camp with a family over night there and were able to talk to lot,s of people there.
Many women took us inside their or the family members home to show us the damage caused bytthe soldiers. What was particulary upsetting to most women was the damaged caused by the soldiers in their house to house searches. Some houses were completely ransacked inside and everything of value destroyed,,s, radios, glass ware, etc. Even old linens destroyed or used in the bathrooms by the soldiers.
In other houses the actions did not appear to be quite as malicious, they just tore everything apart in the search. In other houses the sodliers camped out, left Israeli packaged food trash everywhere, ate the Palestinian food in the house, and used the WC in inappropriate ways..
One universal complaint though was the looting of valuables by the Israeli soldiers. Every woman complained of valuables being stolen; gold, money, a camera etc. This has been a very common story all over the west bank, people describing having their valuables or money stolen in a search.
No one really has good numbers for the numbers dead or homeless. Not he hospitals, or aid agencies, or the red crescent. None of them has officially been allowed back in the camp to do real aid work yet, though yesterday they allowed two ambulances in to collect some of the remaining bodies under Israeli escort, and they took out around ten. They are hoping for more acess today. It appears the Israelis are finally relaxing their control a bit, and several press went in yesterday as well. The people inside the camp spent much of the last two weeks hidden in their homes, so their information is not good eitherand they have no real idea of the dead. There are volunteers going in now the last couple of days, without permission like us, and yesterday they carried a dehydrated women down to the hospital by hand. Today there will be an attempt made to drive in a truck full of food.
There are probably still several dozen bodies laying in houses and even in the streets. Some women and children took us to photograph some of these people, many dead for two weeks now. Some were burned, some half buried, some laying under blankets in bed where they clearly died wounded in their sleep. The smell in many areas of the camp is of course very bad...

Email This Article


This Site Served by TheHostPros