Only several days after his wedding, Jamil Al Damj, 30 was arrested by Israeli occupation forces from his home in the Jenin Refugee Camp.
His bride tearfully told the story. “I will never forget that night. The whole world says the Palestinian people are terrorists but the real terrorism is perpetrated by the occupation, which insists on our misery. What did my husband ever do? He did not even get to live those moments of joy that everyone dreams of. Instead they broke into our house and started shooting before arresting him with no mercy. They have taken away my joy – the joy that every young girl dreams of. This is so unjust…people were still coming to congratulate us on our wedding and now we are overwhelmed with sadness and despair because my husband has been taken away and I don’t even know where he is.”
Jamil was arrested at dawn on Wednesday after over 30 Israeli army vehicles entered the camp. Eyewitnesses say Israeli forces surrounded all the camp’s entrances in a campaign targeting the Islamic Jihad. They raided several neighborhoods amid heavy gunfire and surrounded homes before breaking into them and searching for wanted activists from the Quds Brigades.
At around two in the morning, the army had taken over several homes, positioning snipers at their windows. Jamil’s home was one of the first targeted according to his wife. “I believe God wanted a new life for us,” she says. “The soldiers did not knock on the door even though they had surrounded the house. My husband and I were woken up from shattered glass over our heads in the bedroom from the heavy gunfire.”
She continues, “Jamil and I jumped up. The bullets had come into the room.” The bullets were still scattered throughout the bedroom at the time of this article. “We couldn’t get near the window because it overlooks the street and the soldiers were still shooting at the house. So we started to crawl on the floor but I was almost frozen with fear. I cannot describe my feelings as I saw bullets flying over my head.”
There was so much gunfire at the door and windows of the house, the family gathered in the kitchen, the children screaming in fear.
This lasted about half an hour, she says until the soldiers called on everyone inside to come out with their hands over their heads. “When we got outside we found more than 50 soldiers waiting for us looking as though they were ready for battle. They took the men’s ID cards and started interrogating us. Another army force had broken into the house and was searching it. Then the soldiers took Jamil and his brother Adel on the side to check them again before handcuffing them. When my father-in-law tried to protest, the soldiers told him they had an order for their arrest. ‘If you do anything, we will take you too,” they told my father-in-law. He tried to explain to them that Jamil was newly married but they just said, ‘congratulations, but he will be spending his honeymoon in jail.’”