(This is part of my memoir I published successively on the pages of Countercurrents on the Zionist invasion of Lebanon 1982 and the destruction of the Palestinian refugee camp.)

Lebanon War 1982

At that time, most of my dreams at night were constant nightmares, something I didn’t know before.

Perhaps this is a natural matter because dreams reflect the reality that a person lives in. Our conversations are about tragedies, daily anxiety, and an uncertain future.

We were wondering if the occupation would be permanent as in Palestine or if it was temporary. No one was able, of course, to answer this question.

In ordinary life, a person is busy with his daily life. As for us, we were busy with the existential question. Because it was easy to be shot or arrested at any time. And without any reason, investigation, or even an echo in the media.

We were waiting hope, resembling perhaps the characters of Samuel Beckett in the play waiting for Godot. In this play, there are two people, Vladimir and Estragon, waiting for Godot, who may symbolize hope or salvation. The difference is that the two men were not in a state of anxiety for fear of being killed or arrested at any moment as we were.

We heard all the time frightening stories, such as the Israeli backed Lebanese agents arrested a Palestinian and then told him that they had released him, and when he came out, they shot him claiming he had escaped from prison.

A friend told me that the Israeli Lebanese agents groups arrested him and his father. When they asked them to get out of prison, he told his father to sprint in one direction and him in another, fearing that they would kill both. But they were lucky and left safe

There was a big dog in the neighborhood, and it howled a lot at night. I didn’t know if its

Howling was usual or only when there was movement outside.

Once I wanted to make sure if its howling was a routine thing or if it howled when there was movement. When I heard the sound of howling, I went out quietly from the house and stood in the corner of the place where I could see, and no one would see me, and it was dark.

I didn’t see anything at first, but I saw lights used by Zionist soldiers as they crossed the road after a short time.

We used to hear news about people from the camp who disappeared and did not return every time.

This is the hardest thing, especially for parents.

Because it is somehow easier to deal with when there is a grave, but disappearance and the absence of a tomb are complicated things for the family.

And I know several cases whose traces of their sons disappeared and never returned. One of them told me that he knew that his son had been killed, but he wanted a grave for him.

I thought of how abusive a situation we reached when the dream of a mother or father to have a grave for their son!!

Israel is the only state in the world that holds the dead bodies of Palestinian fighters. And there are hundreds of corpses of those in a cemetery inside occupied Palestine called the (Cemetery of Numbers). This is how the Palestinians became a figure for Zionists!

One day a German television came and interviewed the people in the destroyed camp. A friend said that one should be careful of the television team because they might be Zionists working under the cover of the media.

And the reason for the suspicion is that the same TV team filmed in the camp a few months before the Zionist invasion, and rumors were spread that they photographed the shelters which were bombed by Israeli planes.

I do not know how true this is, but I have heard many stories that Israel sends spies in the form of journalists or doctors. I listened to a tale spread after the invasion about a beggar in Beirut who turned into an Israeli officer.

Those who spoke to the German television were women or old men. Among them was our neighbor Umm Nabil, although she had little education, she was of a great deal of intelligence. She told them that they talk in the West about human rights. Do these rights not include Palestinians, or are Palestinians not human?

On Friday evening, I was sitting at a friend’s house, and his brother-in-law, Abu Saleh, was with us. It was early in the evening, and I usually stayed at a friend’s house if it was night until the next day.

The talk was about the same topics that we were discussing daily, and all of them were terrible news.   After that, I went to overnight in the house of Abu Saleh, who died about 10 years ago. I was worried that evening, and I slept in a room opposite the room of Abu Saleh, and there was an open door between the two rooms so we could hear each other.

Abu Saleh’s house is located at the last point in the camp. Below the house lies a valley, which is lemon orchards and others.

Abu Saleh was a calm and religious man. He told me that he knows his fate is unknown. But he puts his future in the hands of God, and He is the one who decides.

I did not want to comment because I believe that the Zionist criminals are the ones who decide our fate now. But I think that faith helped him remain calm despite the worry that was evident on his face.

I was feeling very anxious that night. I was trying to sleep, but I woke up all the time. A little while after midnight, I heard the dogs howling. I called Abu Saleh and told him that I had listened to an intense howling, and he said that the howling was usual.

Some time passed, and I told him that the howling sounds were getting stronger and stronger, and I was sure that this meant that there was movement in the camp. Abu Saleh said we wait for the morning to see.

I was almost certain that something was going on. But I had no other option but to wait until morning because it is impossible to go out from home at this time, and even if I wanted to go out, where to go?

As soon as dawn approached, I began to hear the sound of a microphone calling from inside the camp. I called again Abu Saleh and told him about the call of the microphone.  He said they were calling for the residents of the neighboring Lebanese village.

I told him that I heard that they were calling for the camp people saying that all ages from 16 to 60 to gather in the camp yard by orders of the IDF.

We were silent for a while, and Abu Saleh heard the call from the microphone that the target was the camp. We drank a quick cup of coffee, and I felt strongly that it was my turn to arrest.

In this case, the only thing I could do was to prepare my psychological arsenal to face the worst conditions.

We went to the assembly, and on the way, we saw the people walking toward the camp yard in a state of refraction. I will not forget the scene of the camp residents strolling as if they wished that the road extend longer to the camp yard.

When I remember this scene now, I feel angry despite the passage of all these years. I witnessed with my own eyes the people being humiliated and terrorized by professional  Zionist criminals who had no conscience or morals who came to us from the ghettos of Eastern Europe, carrying with them a culture of hatred and death .

In the gathering, as it was in the first time, cars came behind them were masked men, and they told us to stand five by five each time. My father had preceded me to the gathering, looking at me with obvious concern.

As soon as my turn to stand up arrived, the mask man pointed at me and a soldier shouted, “You are a teacher.” They wrote on my back something in Hebrew.

Then I was placed with those who were arrested. After a time, the rest of the people left. As for us, they tied our hands and blindfolded us, then put us on the bus heading towards the city of Sidon. We did not know where they are taking us, but we knew that our fate became in the hands of the Zionist fascists.

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.


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