(Continuing my testimony about the massacre Zionists committed in the Palestinian Burj shimali camp during the Israeli invasion to Lebanon in 1982)
One day someone came from the camp and told us that the Israelis did not enter the camp. We were tired of being in the Lebanese village, and we were in a horrible situation, although the Lebanese owner of the room was kind with us and did not try to pressure us to leave.
The difficult question was how to return to a destroyed camp surrounded, as we heard, by Israeli army checkpoints. But in the end, we decided to return to the camp, whatever the results.
We were dozens of people, men, and women walking towards the camp. We were hungry and thirsty. The shops were closed, and we could not buy anything. I told them I knew a fellow teacher in the school, his name is Hussein Hashim, and he is a kind man.
I was in a miserable condition. My beard was thick, and my clothes were dirty. I did not take a shower for two weeks. I knocked on the door, and he asked about the knocker while he was still inside, and I told him who I was!
He cautiously opened the door and shook hands with me warmly, shaking his head in regret over the tragedy. I told him the reason of my visit. I drank coffee, and he offered me a packet of cigarettes. His wife came with a bundle of cheese, bread, and olives. I left while he was repeating words from The Qur’an that God changes the situation to another situation.
I went back to my friends and gave them food, and we sat under the trees to eat and rest.
On the way, we met soldiers from the forces of the Palestinian middle battalion. They were four fighters retreating north, and they were exhausted. They told us that the whole region fell into the hands of the Zionist invaders. They also told us that the resistance forces collapsed and major Bilal, commander of the middle battalion was killed. Major Bilal was a brave leader who the people respected.
He was the commander of the middle battalion for several years. He also fought the Zionist invasion in 1878.
They also told us that Major Azmi, commander of the western battalion, was also killed with other comrades.
And although what they said was not surprising to us, we felt feelings of sadness and despair. We gave them what we had left of the food, then they said goodbye and went north.
We were about thirty people at the time when a pickup truck stopped for us, usually carrying vegetables and fruits from the nearby orchards. We got into the car and sat in the place designated for the vegetable boxes, and the car went towards the camp. On the way, I saw Israeli military vehicles near us for the first time. The sight of seeing the Star of David, which for us is a symbol of death, was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. But we had to continue towards the camp without knowing what awaited us.
The question was whether to go to my flat in the city of Tyr or go to the camp. I decided to stay with my people because it was a difficult time, and I had to stay in the camp alongside my family and people, whatever the price could be.
Close to the camp junction, an Israeli checkpoint was not stopping anyone. Someone told me that if they allow people to return to gather, they shall begin to arrest people, and he was right because that’s what happened later.
We entered the camp and saw in the camp yard some people. It was the first time I saw the destruction in this way.
The camp was lumps of rubble everywhere an earthquake struck.
People were trying to collect what was left of their homes and searching to find half-destroyed houses to stay in.
The whole camp was destroyed except for one neighborhood, located behind the orchards, and the Zionists did not know that it was part of the camp.
People started with primitive means to remove the rubble. They were men, children, and women removing the rubble with their own hands. There were no Arab or foreign journalists to cover it.
So I wish I had a camera to document this great work of the camp residents.
I was told about 150 Palestinians of the camp residents mostly woman and children were killed and buried under the rubbles.
Our house was destroyed, as was the whole neighborhood. So my father went to a half-destroyed house and lived there. My grandmother slept in a small room next to the house. And one evening, I heard my grandmother screaming that the Jews would kill me! (The usual Palestinian language is to call them Jews and not Israeli or Zionists)
I calmed her and stayed with her until she slept.
I’m sure that Zionists will remain at war with every Palestinian generation. They indeed have an enormous capability for oppression and killing. The hypocritical West certainly supports them. But the world changes and nothing remains the same. And the victory of Palestine is coming no matter how long it takes.
I devote this article to the soul of my parents , they never live in peace in their life because of the international Zionist criminals.
Salim Nazzal is a Palestinian Norwegian researcher, lecturer playwright and poet, wrote more than 17 books such as Perspectives on thought, culture and political sociology, in thought, culture and ideology, the road to Baghdad. Palestine in heart