Life During Wartime: Living in the Middle of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

| November 1, 2000

Life During Wartime: Living in the Middle of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Graham Usher, Al-Ahram
In the town of Hebron, walking across the town square can be lethal. In the 1995 Oslo agreement, the town was divided into separate Palestinian (H1) and Israeli (H2) zones, with the dividing line running right through the town square. In the last two weeks, courtesy of a new Israeli army machine gun post, the square has become a near no man's land, and Graham Usher of Arab newspaper Al-Ahram talks to residents about life under such deadly conditions. 'To run the gauntlet between H1 and H2,' explains Usher, 'you scamper up a hill, cross a school courtyard, climb an ancient and crumbling stone wall and press through a thicket of wire and fence. You move quickly because you are clearly in the sights of the machine guns and, perhaps, of Palestinian snipers behind you.'

Israeli troops are making their presence known, and not just in terms of body counts: one man's garden is now 'a garbage dump of fast food containers, coke tins and other detritus of soldiers at post.' But these are perhaps petty nuisances in comparison to the psychological impact to all those who live through this.
-- Amanda Luker
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