My first time in Jail.
In December 1995 the Israeli military administration “AKA. the Israeli military occupation” left the city of Nablus, as was incorporated in Oslo agreements.
The Israelis left the city 4 days earlier than scheduled. As soon as the last soldier left the city around midnight, people stormed on to the streets, to watch the Israeli caravans as they were leaving the city. Successively the people began storming into the building the IDF used to control, they entered the offices, where previously had spend days for simple papers work to be done”unless it was a passport then you are done in seconds”, they set foots into the rooms where they were interrogated by the Shabak, and finally they rushed into the cells where they had spend many nights.
I must admit, I was a sleep when the Israelis left the city, but as soon as I woke up, a total different world had come to light. Dad was still having his coffee in the living room with mom as usual, but this time there was way too much commotion outside, and all the sounds coming from the streets nearby, sounded way different.
My cousins came later, they were holding posters of Arafat(the head of the PLO, and later the first president of the PA.) I seized one of the posters and joined them, as they drove towered Jnaid jail. (Jnaid was originally designed as an eye hospital. After the 1967 war, however the Israeli had turned Jnaid into a jail, and thus the building became a symbol for the years of horror and torture the Israelis has reflected on the Palestinian in Nablus, specifically on the political prisoners that were viciously kept in Jnaid. Now, Jnaid is still used as a jail, however this time under the control of the PA).
The car drove through Rafidiah street, I never knew their is a world, with land, sky and people after the dark end of the street, I was seriously astonished, we reach the huge building that looked exactly like the one in the east side of the city. This was the first time I had ever seen Jenaid in my whole life.
We walked down the towards the building and found too many people had already reached the place. Many came to take their first look, many brought their kids to show them, where they spend their youth, and to remember all comrades.
we walked down the narrow orange colored corridors, everything smelled bad, the cells and it’s gray walls, the small windows, the iron doors, the chains…I later used these mental image to imagine the French Bastille. I tried to read what was written on the walls, I failed in most of my attempts. Meanwhile people kept pushing me forward, until finally I was pushed out of the building. This was my first and last time i would have seen this place from inside. But from that moment on I had become aware of the existence of places like these, a truth that terrorized my thoughts until this days.
The French Bastille
Although I grew up to oppose the Oslo accords, yet I can’t deny the magnificence of that moment for many Palestinian in the West bank and Gaza.