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Coming back to his house on October 7, world-renowned activist Issa Amro was dragged away by 15 armed Israelis, blindfolded, gagged, and cuffed so tightly he now needs an operation on his hands. The settlers and soldiers kept him imprisoned for days, beating and torturing him, constantly simulating his execution.
Speaking with MintPress News, Amro told the story of what life is like for Palestinians living in the West Bank city of Hebron. “In my city where I live now, since October 7, there is a curfew,” he told Mnar Adley and Alan MacLeod.
But this curfew is far more restrictive than others. Palestinian families – those who have not already fled the genocidal Israeli violence – are given only six hours a week to leave their homes. They are not even allowed out into their own yards. This means that school has stopped, work has ended, and life is on pause.
In those six hours, Palestinian families must buy all their food, pick up essentials such as medicine and conduct any social activities. But being outside is dangerous, as they have to pass though multiple checkpoints with armed guards and AI smart shooters pointing guns at them. Violence from vigilante settler groups is also a danger.
“It’s scary to walk alone between armed soldiers and armed settlers, all of them pointing their guns at you. Then, when you come back, it takes them five to ten minutes to search every person,” Amro said, revealing that the guards wanted to go so far as to cut open his potatoes and tomatoes to check for “weapons.”
“It’s a kind of jail” right now, Amro said, although he notes that being in jail is considerably safer than being a Palestinian in Hebron right now.
Issa Amro is an activist and the co-founder of the grassroots group Youth Against Settlements. He has led campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience against apartheid and Israeli occupation and has been recognized and given awards by international organizations, including the United Nations. He joins MintPress to chronicle recent Israeli attempts to force Palestinians from their homes and their ancestral land.
Anyone familiar with the Israeli occupation would find the following story impossible, but Issa Amro was able to pull it off.
While leaving the house is extremely dangerous, staying inside is barely safer. Amro and others have experienced Israeli raids where troops tell Palestinians that they have 24 hours to leave or they will be murdered.
“History is repeating itself,” Amro told Adley and MacLeod today, “Now I understand why my people left in 1948,” referencing the Israeli genocide of three-quarters of a million Palestinians from their land in order to create the state of Israel.
It is no exaggeration to call the current Israeli actions genocidal. Indeed, senior Israeli politicians are directly comparing it to the events of 1948. Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter, for example, described his country’s actions as the “Gaza Nakba 2023.” “We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba,” he told local outlet Channel 12 on Saturday. “From an operational point of view, there is no way to wage a war – as the Israeli army seeks to do in Gaza – with masses between the tanks and the soldiers,” he added.
In this conversation, Amro provides a crucial first-hand perspective rarely heard in corporate media. Watch the full interview only at MintPress News.
Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh
Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.