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Crack in the Wall – Aida Refugee Camp \ Jelena Džombić

    Graffiti at the Palestinian side of the wall in the Bethlehem; The wall is 8 meters tall and 700 kilometers in length Graffiti at the Palestinian side of the wall in the Bethlehem; The wall is 8 meters tall and 700 kilometers in length

    First impression that I had while we're approaching the Wall in West Bank overwhelmed me and for the first time here I felt really sad. I couldn't believe that someone could use Holy place (as Israelis understand Rachel Tomb) as actual military zone. Israeli side presents the Wall as defense of attacks of the Palestinian side behind the Wall. They thoroughly explained how threatened they are from the attacks and constant danger imposed by the Palestinians. When we finished the visit to Rachel Tomb, I found myself wondering – is it safe for us to cross the Wall, and go to the other side? What will we find there?

    Entering the Bethlehem and arriving to the other side of the Wall was second shock. Inhuman conditions in which members of Palestinian community are living their lives are simply indescribable. We found out that actual victims were they. Story of 16 years old boy who was shot by solders from the towers last week.

    Scattered windows from sniper bullets from last night. Dirt and used gas bombs on the streets of Bethlehem. I started to wonder – who is actually threatening whom here? 

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    Israeli soldiers entrance to the Aida Camp; Palestinian side of the wall; Towel with the sniper

    This moment was very special for me. We were standing in the middle of deserted street full of used bullets with our guide, looking up to the soldiers who suddenly opened the gate of the wall and started to watch us. Through crack in the Wall I could see people crossing the street, walking towards their holy place of Rachel Tomb. I was there 30 minutes ago, and now I can’t believe how swiftly my perspective was changed.

    I saw many kids on the streets of Bethlehem and couldn’t help myself thinking that their lives are practically destroyed. What opportunities do they have behind the Wall, living in these conditions? Which values and opinions can they develop? My heart stopped when I realized that some of them were born here, inside this cage from which they aren’t allowed to exit.

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    Inside of the Aida Camp

     

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    Graffiti at the Palestinian side of the wall in the Bethlehem

    My only thought leaving Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem was: this wall must fall. I’m thankful that there are people in Israel who are breaking it every day, little by little. I like to believe that our visit and showing solidarity with them is maybe small and insignificant, but still contribution to the process of making that crack bigger and bigger, and eventually taking the wall down for good.


     

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