ty krystianku, no i co ci z tego glupiego ironicznego pisania o naszych
wojakach? zmienisz tym fakt, ze to jedna z najlepszych armii swiata, i wasza
polska jeszcze sie moze duzo od naszych nauczyc ,... Czego , ciucka ?
Someone even managed to defecate into the photocopier
By Amira Hass
The IDF soldiers who moved into West Bank cities left behind destruction and
degradation, Amira Hass reports.
No one deluded himself that the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, which takes
up five of the eight floors of a new building in the center of El Bireh,
would be spared the fate of other Palestinian Authority offices in Ramallah
and other cities - that is, the nearly total destruction of its contents and
particularly its high-tech equipment.
After all, Israel Defense Forces troops were deployed in the building for
about a month.
Armed vehicles were always parked in front of the building, around which the
familiar pictures of destruction accumulated; crushed cars, banks of earth,
deep ditches in the roads, broken pavements, dismantled stone fences,
toppling electricity poles, loose cables and clouds of dust and dirt
enveloping every vehicle, tree and roof in thickening layers.
The Ministry of Culture is located in the large residential area the IDF kept
under curfew, even after its partial withdrawal from Ramallah on April 21 and
its focus on the siege of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's
Every night the neighbors, who hid in their houses, heard the sounds of
objects smashing as they were hurled through the windows of the Ministry of
During the 10 days that preceded the lifting of the siege on Arafat's office,
the force in this building shot every night at the Asra, a large commercial
building opposite the ministry, on the slope of the hill.
The residents of the neighborhood at first tried to locate armed Palestinians
who had perhaps opened fire at random in the direction of the military base.
But there were no armed Palestinians there.
The neighbors concluded that this was nightly entertainment for the soldiers.
All that was left for them to do was to stay awake and alert for four or five
hours every night and listen, against their will, to the ceaseless shooting
that the walls and windows of the Asra building, causing fragments of
building stone to fall straight onto the roof of the small stone house nearby
with a noise that echoed through all of the valley east of the building.
After one bullet got stuck in the wall of the home of H. and her two
daughters, they decided to leave.
One night the neighborhood awoke to the sound of barking: They saw that
someone had attached a speaker to a tape recorder and was playing a recording
of barking dogs. Within a few minutes all the dogs in the neighborhood woke
up and joined the racket. Very soon the barking reached more distant
neighborhoods. A night's sleep down the drain.
This is an established neighborhood of single-story or two-story stone
houses, surrounded by gardens and thick with cypress and fruit trees. L.
remembers how her husband planted some of the trees several decades ago. The
rural character of the neighborhood was unaffected despite its proximity to
the busy main streets and the tall commercial buildings that have sprung up
during the past 10 years.
A few days after the partial withdrawal, neighbors were astounded to hear
bulldozers and the cutting down of he shady row of cypresses.
One cypress tree was lying across the road, a natural barrier against cars,
and an apricot tree laden with fruit had been uprooted from the garden of one
woman who lives in the neighborhood and whose entire world is her 35-year-old
son who is mentally retarded.
On the evening of Wednesday, May 1, when the siege on Arafat's headquarters
was lifted and the armored vehicles and the tanks had rumbled out, the
executives and officials of the ministry who had rushed to the site did not
expect to find the building the way they had left it.
Employees of the local radio and television station, Amwaj, also hastened to
the scene, as did the employees of the local television channel, Istiqlal,
which take up three stories of the building.
But what awaited them was beyond all their fears, and also shocked
representatives and cultural attaches of foreign consulates, who toured the
site the next day.
In other offices, all the high-tech and electronic equipment had been wrecked
or had vanished - computers, photocopiers, cameras, scanners, hard disks,
editing equipment worth thousands of dollars, television sets. The broadcast
antenna on top of the building was destroyed.
Telephone sets vanished. A collection of Palestinian art objects (mostly hand
embroideries) disappeared. Perhaps it was buried under the piles of documents
and furniture, perhaps it had been spirited away. Furniture was dragged from
place to place, broken by soldiers, piled up. Gas stoves for heating were
overturned and thrown on heaps of scattered papers, discarded books, broken
diskettes and discs and smashed windowpanes.
In the department for the encouragement of children's art, the soldiers had
dirtied all the walls with gouache paints they found there and destroyed the
children's paintings that hung there.
In every room of the various departments - literature, film, culture for
children and youth books, discs, pamphlets and documents were piled up,
soiled with urine and excrement.
There are two toilets on every floor, but the soldiers urinated and defecated
everywhere else in the building, in several rooms of which they had lived for
about a month. They did their business on the floors, in emptied flowerpots,
even in drawers they had pulled out of desks.
They defecated into plastic bags, and these were scattered in several places.
Some of them had burst. Someone even managed to defecate into a photocopier.
The soldiers urinated into empty mineral water bottles. These were scattered
by the dozen in all the rooms of the building, in cardboard boxes, among the
piles of rubbish and rubble, on desks, under desks, next to the furniture the
solders had smashed, among the children's books that had been thrown down.
Some of the bottles had opened and the yellow liquid had spilled and left its
stain. It was especially difficult to enter two floors of the building
because of the pungent stench of feces and urine. Soiled toilet paper was
also scattered everywhere.
In some of the rooms, not far from the heaps of feces and the toilet paper,
remains of rotting food were scattered. In one corner, in the room in which
someone had defecated into a drawer, full cartons of fruits and vegetables
had been left behind. The toilets were left overflowing with bottles filled
with urine, feces and toilet paper.
Relative to other places, the soldiers did not leave behind them many sayings
scrawled on the walls.
Here and there was the candelabrum symbols of Israel, stars of David, praises
for the Jerusalem Betar soccer team.
Someone had forgotten to take his dog tag with him. His name is recorded in
the newspaper's editorial offices.
Now the Palestinian Ministry of Culture is considering leaving the building
the way it is. A memorial.
No response was available from the IDF by press time