For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news, things in Israel and Palestine aren’t too good right now. In June, 3 Israeli boys were kidnapped in the West Bank, and last week their bodies were found in a ditch. Since then, a Palestinian boy was kidnapped and killed as an act of revenge. There have been protests throughout the West Bank, and there has been a lot of violence here in Jerusalem - especially in East Jerusalem (which isn’t super close to me) and in the Old City (which I can see looking out my apartment window). Plus, Hamas and Israel are firing rockets at each other once again… From reports it looks like this might be the beginning of the third intifada.
With all this fighting, we have been told not to go into the West Bank, thus we can’t do our research. We tried to wait and see if things have calmed down, but they’ve only gotten worse, and it doesn’t seem like things are ending any time soon. Plus, the violence is, quite literally, outside our door, making it a little unsafe to be here. My research partner and I made the difficult decision today to end our research prematurely and return home this Thursdsay.
It’s a bittersweet feeling, to say the least. I don’t want to leave and give up on our research, but at the same time, waiting here and hoping for things to get better is a waste of time and money. Plus, if everything were to get better, organizations will be so focused on cleaning up the mess - they wont have time to help us. Nor should they make the time - I don’t want to take time away from those who need help.
I’ve got 3 full days to enjoy Jerusalem. It’s weird to think I’m going home, but at the end of the day I know it’s the right decision.