Guest contribution by Wedad Yassin
On July 3, 2012, I was detained by Israeli police and soldiers in Al-Khalil (Hebron) simply for being Palestinian and walking on the wrong road.
My friends and I were walking in the Old City and found ourselves on Shuhada Street. We were almost at the end of the street when we were stopped and told that we were not allowed. Why?
“Because,” the soldier said, “this road is for Jews and tourists only.”
Reflexively, I pulled out my American passport and flashed my visa and said, “according to your law I am a tourist. Here is my visa.”
The soldier looked back at me with confused eyes. I did not at all fit the description of a “tourist” the way it’s described in the Israeli school system, for example. I am Arab, I am Muslim, and I wear the hijab. Tourist? No. I’m the perfect example of a “threat.”
After seven hours of interrogation, my friends and I were released from the station at midnight, all thanks to the lawyer who helped us and found absolutely no legal basis to preventing Palestinian pedestrians from walking on this road. The only things prohibited—and for no legitimate reason—are Palestinian-owned vehicles.
Again, this experience happened in July, two months ago.
Today I’m sitting in Amman in Jordan, writing this piece far from home because on August 31st, I was denied re-entry into my homeland. [Read more...]