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THE ANGRY DOVES

By Dorian Scott Cole

Copyright 1980, 1987, by Dorian Scott Cole

This book is copyright material, not public domain, and all rights are reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form, in any media. This book may not be sold or included in any collection. The reader may make a printed copy of this book for his personal use.

All characters in this book are a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental


Doves 249

CHAPTER 21

 

Kenza and William returned to Morocco, where they rested and were married. But in a few short weeks, they both felt the pull to continue doing something to help peace in the Mid East. Tensions were growing quickly in the area. William contacted Samuel and got permission to return to Lebanon for a week to locate Ismail. They traveled incognito and checked into a safe hotel as journalists.

They talked about ferreting out the terrorists who had kidnapped William, but he questioned if they could ever destroy enough of the organization to keep Ismail safe. The terrorists would probably plague them for as long as they worked with Ismail in the Mid East. The terrorists didn't want peace with Ismail's influence involved. Did this mean terrorists like Khaled would win? William couldn't just give up.

As he was pondering the situation, Israel began its invasion of Southern Lebanon to smash the PLO strongholds. The first news hit them like a sledge hammer. It was the end of stability that they had worked so hard to protect, and it left them with no direction to work toward with Ismail. But beyond that, both William and Kenza had made friends with many of the Palestinians, and they feared for them.

William and Kenza made their first venture back into Beirut's Palestinian area. William was hesitant, realizing that Israel usually had US backing, and the US had not yet declared its position. And they could all too easily get captured again by Khaled's men.

As they returned from that excursion, Kenza had tears in her eyes. "Mothers know their sons are dying. They cry, but not out loud. At least not until the body comes. Sons and husbands are coming back all broken and dying. The Israelis are running over them like a giant mowing machine. And there is no real hospital for them, nothing."

William gave her the only advice he could that would protect her, but heknew she wouldn't take it. "Don't go back there. It's going to be nothing but pain and suffering for those people, and there's nothing you can do for them."

She looked at William and replied simply, "I can share it."

 

250

After a few minutes he added, "Be careful, they may come here to Beirut, and it may be very dangerous in that area." Even though he resigned myself to her helping them, he vowed secretly to myself not to allow her out of his sight.

The next day by midmorning she completed the tour she had started the day before, with William at her side. The news coming in from southern Lebanon was gruesome. At first they thought the people were blowing the fighting way out of proportion. Then he began to hear stories first hand from injured men who had managed to escape with their lives. Beirut was their home, their headquarters, their only hope of refuge and support - a final stronghold - so they came back to die, or heal and fight again.

Their stories time and again told of an unrelenting Israeli invasion smashing the PLO everywhere it had a fortress or a supporter. Entire villages were being blown off the land if they were even suspected to contain PLO. The Israeli forces were bitterly avenging themselves of the menace at its border that had day after day launched terrorist assaults on innocent Israelis in their homeland. Peace was a word to be found only in the farthest recesses of the mind, a word to be remembered in philosophical moments and savored during any hint of good news.

William talked with Samuel that evening.

"William, I want you to pack up and return to Washington. Men

 

251

in the know here, privately say that Israel may storm through Lebanon and into Syria. There is no reason for you to stay in the middle of a battlefield. With Israel invading Lebanon, there is nothing for Ismail to negotiate."

William knew Kenza wasn't going to buy that. "I would like to hang around for a while and keep track of Ismail and see if we can be of any humanitarian aid to the people here."

 

252

Samuel thought for a moment, and then answered, "I have some problems with that. Number one, I have to put your safety as first priority. In view of everything that has happened, we need to do the safest thing."

"I understand."

"Second thing, anything you do publicly there, even humanitarian, makes it a political problem. I don't know whether you've heard or not, but the US isn't backing Israel in this campaign in Lebanon. Things are extremely sensitive at this point. If we have people in Lebanon as government representatives that appear to be assisting the Palestinians, we're going to really begin catching Hell from every Jew in the world, not to mention Israel."

William hesitated, trying to think of some way to hedge. But Samuel knew William and Kenza too well, so he was straight forward. "I don't think I can persuade Kenza to turn her back on the suffering here, and I'm not so sure I could just walk out, either. I'll try to get us out as soon as possible, but why not put me on leave for now, and we'll keep a low profile - no official status. "

 

253

Samuel sighed. "I won't argue with you - I know you two will do what you feel you have to do. You're off payroll and no longer representing the US."

William and Kenza returned to the Palestinian area. Broken bodies were being brought in by truck - bodies of fighters, bodies of supporters - men, women, and children seeking refuge to die or nurse their wounds. The little huts they had for hospitals were immediately exhausted of space and supplies, so the wounded were taken to homes with little or no medical supplies available.

They met the woman, Shahad, who Kenza had helped first with the garden. She said, "I told you the Israelis would not allow us to live here. We are a thorn in their side since they know they are responsible for our losing our homes and land. They will come to Beirut and kill all Palestinians."

They said nothing, realizing the ominous horror of her prophecy that was coming closer and closer to reality every day, regardless of perspective of who was right or wrong. No matter whose fault it was or what the Israeli's real purpose was, they were coming, just as she had said. The fact that they had announced plans only to end the threat near their border did not mean they wouldn't soon be in Beirut.

"How can we help?" Kenza asked.

"Allah have mercy, there is no help. We fight and die. As we breath, the Israelis come to kill us. Only when we are dead will they stop." Shahad paused and looked at Kenza. She remembered

 

254

Kenza's kindness and smiled and put her hand on Kenza's arm. "Only a small number of the wounded have come. There will be many more. They will need help day and night, and we will be exhausted. You can help with the wounded." Her face lost its transient, rare smile and she started to go. "How is your heart?" she asked. "There will only be terrible sadness and grief. Many families will lose their menů before we all die."

Kenza turned to William after the woman left. "Can you go into the city and try to get medical supplies with our money?"

Yes, of course."

"I'll meet you in front of the woman's house in three hours."

It took four hours and William returned empty handed.

"They are preparing for the worst. Everywhere I went they were either sold out, or were holding their stores in reserve for the hospitals. Even the markets are out of first aid supplies.

Kenza shook her head. "Well, they wouldn't have gone far anyway. While you were gone, they brought in a truck with eleven men; three women, and two children, all hurt. They are in these three houses. I'm told there are some doctors going around and they will be here when they can. Until one comes, it's up to us. Do you want to help with the injured?"

William shrugged. "What can I do? I only know a little first aid."

"Same for me." She took William by the hand and pulled him to the first house.

 

255

Kenza seemed to be a natural nurse. Just as she made plants grow, she also seemed to know what people needed. She made them as comfortable as possible and tended their wounds with whatever material she could devise; usually the person's own clothing was made into a bandage. The people accepted her help gratefully. William, on the other hand, felt like a fifth wheel. The people looked at him, and then looked away, disinterested. His skin wasn't the same and it was obvious he didn't know how to help. But after a few hours, Kenza had coaxed and demonstrated until he was doing the same as she and the others.

At midnight, even though more wounded had came in all evening, he made her stop and took her to the hotel room for food and rest. Then after a good breakfast, they were back. They learned the Israelis were only a few miles from Beirut and were storming ahead.

"Kenza, the Israelis are bringing the war here. I don't want you in the middle of it. There is no point in innocent people being killed."

"I don't hear any guns," she replied and continued dressing wounds.

At mid afternoon, they heard a shriek, followed by loud wailing. They both ran outside and saw Shahad standing in her garden with a man. She was wailing loudly. They ran to her. "What is it?"

"My son, my son," she wailed. "The Israelis have killed him and he is buried on a battlefield." She began wildly pulling the plants. Kenza finally stopped her.

"What use is it?" Shahad asked. "The Israelis hate us,

 

256

the Americans hate us, Christians hate us, even the Lebanese hate us - we are cursed of God. Now even my son is dead. We all will die - what use is raising food? It is so hopeless."

"The wounded need food. You all need food, " Kenza replied softly.

"Let them have it," Shahad said, and walked slowly to her house, wailing loudly for her son.

The number of wounded steadily grew, but they knew most of them were cut off from Beirut. The people tending the wounded seemed to decrease as they put wounded in their own homes to tend, or were too grief stricken to help. Kenza wouldn't leave at midnight, there was too much to do. William slipped away to get some food, and found all of the streets into the area had been blocked by the PLO to keep the Israelis out. They allowed William through, saying they would not do it again. After he returned, Kenza ate and they sat in a corner and dozed for a few hours.

Morning brought the first artillery shell. The Israelis had battled to one side of the area. The PLO returned fire, bringing in more shells.

"Kenza, we have to get out of here before we're killed." One of the women grabbed her by the arm. "You've done enough. Go! Save your own life now."

Kenza looked around at the wounded, and then shook her head. "If the Israelis fight here, there will be countless wounded." She looked at William. "These are my people, William. I can't leave them."

William looked her straight in the eyes. "I've been with the Arabs

 

257 for almost twenty years. They are my people, too. But for God's sake, there isn't any reason for either of us to stay here and be killed by artillery shells."

"If you feel that way, then go," she said, and she went to a small boy who was crying in pain. She sat with him and held him. His mother hadn't been seen and was probably dead.

William continued changing dressings and wondering where the food would come from. He didn't dare leave Kenza now, even for a moment to try and get food.

The artillery shells were terrifying, nerve shattering things that continually and indiscriminately destroyed sections of the area. Every time William heard a concussion and whistle of an incoming shell, he held Kenza down, knowing it could be all over for them.

They shared what little food hehad in the car with everyone. It didn't go far, and then they were all hungry. By the next morning, the Israelis had surrounded the entire Palestinian area, and then they shut off the water and electricity. There was no way to sterilize bandages and very little water to drink. They passed the word that everyone but the PLO could leave, they would be permitted through the lines. With no water or electricity, and artillery shells being exchanged regularly, many were persuaded to leave, but most stayed.

Again William tried to get Kenza out. "Look, the PLO has barricaded the streets to keep the Israelis out, It's not like we could just jump in the car and drive out whenever we felt like it. Let's get out of here while it's still possible."

She looked at William with fire in her eyes. "I remember the day

 

258 when hundreds of Moroccan men were beaten by the French just for resisting French ways. I remember how the Moroccans had to fight and many had to die to regain their country so they could be who they were. Now this is their fight and I want to help them. No one ever said it would be safe or fun." And then she added a nasty blow. "No one ever told Mike it would be fun to fight in the Falklands so a few shepherds down there could be who they wanted to be, but he went."

The Israelis shelled the area lightly for three days, giving every opportunity to get out, and then they smashed the PLO defenses. When William realized the PLO had lost and the Israelis had broken through, he again asked Kenza to leave. "It's over. The wounded will be taken care of. Now let's try to leave."

She shook her head.

"You haven't had any food for four days, and very little water."

"We're healthier and stronger than most of them. Maybe the Israelis will turn the water on, and then we can tend to the wounded."

Two hours later William heard heavy equipment moving through the streets, and then he heard automatic weapons fire.

"It's not over, it's going to get worse," he said, expecting house to house fighting to erupt to wipe out pockets of resistance "Maybe the Israelis will kill them all, just like the woman ~said. "

Suddenly an Arab burst through the door. "It's the Christian

 

259

Phalangists! They're killing everyone! Hide!" He left just as quickly.

William knew there was only one chance. In that darkened room, they would not discriminate, but would kill all. But on the streets they might see his white face and American clothes and overlook them. If they made it to the Israeli lines, they would be safe. He took Kenza's hand and pulled her along behind him. She didn't resist.

Just outside the door they heard gunfire from Shahad's house. Kenza clutched her face. William again took her hand and pulled her along. They ran as fast as they could. They passed a militiaman who drew down on them, but as William dodged them out of the way, the militiaman realized they were not Palestinians and let them pass.

william din't remember the grenade that went off, or know who threw it. All he remembered was waking up in an Israeli military tent and discovering a bandage on his head, arm, chest, and leg.

"Where's Kenza?" were the first words out of his mouth.

"Kenza? Who is Kenza?" the Israeli Lieutenant asked.

"My wife. She was with me."

"I see." He turned to a medic. "Did a woman come in with this man?"

"Yes, she was taken to another tent," the medic replied. "Go check on her," he ordered. He turned back to me. "What were you doing in there, anyway? Reporters?"

"We were tending the wounded."

"You put yourself in a lot of danger."

 

260

"It was worth the risk."

"You might have second thoughts when those pain killers wear off. What happened to you? I pulled a pound of shrapnel out of you."

"I don't know what happened. Al1 I remember is the Christian Phalangists began shooting up the place, killing all the men suspected of being PLO - and we ran for our lives. The last thing I remember is seeing the Israeli lines about two blocks ahead."

"What about the Christian Phalangists? That's the first I've heard of this. We had planned to take captives at this point, no massacre."

"There was a lot of gunfire. It was total panic and confusion. I understood they were killing everyone, house to house."

"Surely not... surely not." The Lieutenant turned to the door of the tent and waited for a few minutes.

Kenza rushed in and on seeing William, threw her arms around him. "Thank God you're OK," she said, as she stood back and looked him over. "Does it hurt?"

"Not yet. You just stay around and it won't."

She kissed him. "I was behind you. You were pulling me along when that grenade appeared in front of us, a long way up the street. You turned and pushed me off to the side, and when it blew, it knocked you over and you hit your head on the side of a building. But I have a little scratch." She pulled up her

 

261 right sleeve and showed a bandaid, and then continued, "The Israelis at the line came and got you; at great risk, I might add." And then Kenza turned to the Lieutenant. "But that's no excuse. Why did you have to come all the way to Beirut and destroy their homes, you beasts?"

The Lieutenant shrugged. "Did we have a choice? The PLO has been easily invading our land with terrorists and bombing our villages from across the border. This area is the root of the problem. Their economy is set up to support their terrorism, and the area is their main fortress for weapons storage, terrorist training, and support. Even their charities are used to finance terrorism. The only way we could make our land safe was to get the PLO out of Beirut."

"Couldn't they have been negotiated out?" she argued.

He snorted. "At what cost in lives? We talk while they kill. Now that we have a gun pointed at their head, they will gladly negotiate."

"I just don't think you've tried hard enough to save the Arab's homes and land in Israel. You've caused the very problem you're fighting."

"Lady, it's been tit for tat back and forth for too many years. Who knows who has wronged who. I was an American. Who caused all the trouble with the American Indians when the white man seized the land? It's just the way it is. We wouldn't know where to begin squaring things with the PLO. What most of the PLO wants to do is kill all Israelis that they can't chase off the land. It's just the way it is."

William's head was beginning to ache and he wasn't in the mood for the debate. "When can we leave?" he asked.

 

262

"Any time you feel well enough. There are no serious wounds, just some minor muscle damage that should heal quickly, and a few stitches. You'll find the less you baby those wounds, the better they'll heal. Baby them, and they'll get stiff."

"Shucks," he said, looking at Kenza. "I was looking forward to a long recuperation. This lady is an excellent nurse."

They returned to the hotel, contacted Samuel, and then waited impatiently for the fighting to settle so the airport could reopen so they could leave. It was a long wait.

Samuel asked William to come to Washington until the situation was stable. This time, with both of them tired of guns and war and endless frustration and the entire region in turmoil, they readily agreed to leave until things were more stable.

William's next assignment in Washington was as a State Department Analyst with frustrating CIA liaison responsibilities, which he kept for a few years, dabbling occassionally in Middle East assignmnets. Kenza found speaking venues about Middle Eastern countries. They felt they were still doing their part to assist peace in the region.

They knew that Ismaeil had closed up his house in Beirut, cleared his office, and left with Hadid. They later learned he had gotten one of the last flights out of Beirut before the airport was closed, and had gone back to Jerusalem, in Israel, where his family was from. They ran a business there. Each time tensions in Israel grew he made new plans to free the people, but before he could organize anything, tensions had eased. It became a predictable cycle. He ultimately overcame his dislike of Arafat and became a politician in Jerusalem, taking on much smaller and achievable goals, but always assisted by his associate Hadid. He often found himself contacting his friends, William and Kenza Duvall, for political help and advice in achieving his goals, and for dinner when they were in the area.

The End of Book 1

 

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