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IOF Outrages Continue in Nablus, Palestine-Activist Reports

by ISM Media Office Sunday, Feb. 23, 2003 at 9:31 AM
www.palsolidarity.org

The Latest ISM Activist Reports

There are 3 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. NABLUS: Outrages Continue
From: "michael_shaik <michaelshaik@hotmail.com>" <michaelshaik@hotmail.com>
2. ISM Reports: Midnight Victim / No School Today
From: Huwaida Arraf <huwaidaa@yahoo.com>
3. Nablus Update
From: "International Solidarity Movement" <ism-alerts@palsolidarity.org>


________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 23:07:38 -0000
From: "michael_shaik <michaelshaik@hotmail.com>" <michaelshaik@hotmail.com>
Subject: NABLUS: Outrages Continue

NABLUS: Outrages Continue

Today in Nablus the Israeli Army continued its campaign of terror
and vandalism against he Old City.

All of the 12 the ISM activists based in the city (from Sweden,
Switzerland,, Palestine, Ireland, South Africa, the UK, Denmark and
the USA) were active around the city escorting people who were
fleeing their homes to other parts of the city, working with
Palestinian UPMRC (first aid) volunteers to rescue the injured,
visiting houses and buildings that had been ransacked or demolished
by the Israeli occupying army and following groups of Israeli
soldiers who had taken Palestinians with them as human shields in
their house to house terror campaign.

With the coming of daylight the activists were also able to
investigate an explosion they heard the previous night. When they
did so they discovered that the Israelis had demolished an historic
Turkish bath-house - part of Israel's ongoing campaign against the
Palestinians' cultural and historical heritage. During the day two
more demolitions were carried out. One of demolitions was of a
goldsmith's store (where the soldiers found acid, which they
concluded might be used in the manufacture of bombs).

As they surveyed the Old City the activists discovered that
throughout entire neighbourhoods there was not one house that had
not been trashed and that many had "rat holes" blown through the
walls.

Several homes throughout the city were occupied by the invading
troops including that of the long term Israeli peace activist, Neta
Golan who is nine months pregnant and now has two of her Palestinian
brothers in law being used as human shields by the Israeli
occupiers. The two men are among seven Palestinians civilians who
have been forced to march in front of a Israeli troops during their
house to house searches. The weather throughout the West Bank has
been cold and wet today. When the soldiers are conducting a house
search or occupying a house the activists are made to stand
outside. When the soldiers retired to Neta Golan's house for the
evening the men were made to stand outside in the rain until 8.30
when the soldiers took them inside. No one has been able to contact
them or gather any information on how the men are being treated.

Tomorrow, the ISM is having a strategy meeting of its core activists
in Beit Sahour. When its two representatives from Nablus were
leaving for the meeting through the Huwarra Checkpoint, one of the
soldiers stopped Susan (from the United States).

"You're a trouble maker," he said to her before confiscating her
passport. "You're not going anywhere."

When the other activist, Robin (from South Africa), refused to leave
without her, his passport was taken too and both were detained at
the checkpoint until the border police arrived to arrest them.

When Susan phoned through the news of their arrest I contacted the
US consulate to inform them of her situation but they hung up on
me. With some difficulty I was able to let the South African
consulate know about Robin's situation and they are considering a
lodging a formal protest to the Israeli government.

When the border police arrived they took Susan and Robin to the
police station at Arael Settlement and interrogated them both.
After an hour Robin was released and taken to a bus stop at the
settlement from where he intends to catch a bus to Tel Aviv. Susan
is still in custody. She has been working as an ISM activist in
Occupied Palestine for the past six months and had a certificate in
her passport advising that her visa extension was under
consideration. The police have told her that they have phoned the
Ministry of the Interior and that her extension has been refused.

The ISM have notified a lawyer who is lodging an injunction with
Israel's supreme court against her deportation but the police seem
intent on transporting her to Tel Aviv from where they hope to
deport her.

Susan is a woman of almost boundless energy and compassion and has
been a pillar of strength to the activists who worked with her. She
has displayed the most remarkable courage and resourcefulness and
never lost her cool, even under the most trying of circumstances.
Her deportation would be a heavy blow to the ISM as the Israeli Army
steps up the tempo of its terror campaign in the lead up to the next
Gulf War.

I have just been on the phone with our activists in Nablus who have
been working since nightfall to deliver food and baby formula to
houses in the Old City and gathering together the wounded into
places where the ambulances were able to collect them. At around 9
pm they received a call from the neighbours of an occupied house to
report that a twenty four year old woman was being held alone in her
house by Israeli soldiers. When the neighbours had tried to take
her out of the house to the safety of their own homes the soldiers
had refused to release her.

When the activists arrived at the house they found a group of
fireman whom the soldiers had detained and proceeded to negotiate
with the soldiers for the release of the firemen and the woman. The
soldiers denied that there was a woman in the house but eventually
released the firemen. As they left the house the firemen said that
they had seen a Palestinian woman in the house. According to her
neighbours the woman's name is Roqaia Abu Aladas who is alone in the
house because her mother is in hospital suffering from a long term
heart condition and her father and brother have been taken away into
detention.

If you want to help free Roqaia you can phone the Nablus DCO on +972
2 5486 218 / 217 or +972 2 5486 301 / 302 and demand her immediate
release from the Abu Aladas House near Yasmina St of the Old City.

If you want to help Susan continue her humanitarian work in Occupied
Palestine over the coming months, you can contact the US consulate
in Tel Aviv on +972 3 519 7575 and demand they do their job
by intervening to ensure that Susan not be deported so that she can
continue her humanitarian work in the Occupied Territories.

For further information contact:
. Hussein on 059 355 404 or
. Maria on 059 381 803

=======================================
Michael
ISM Media Coordinator
Beit Sahour
Occupied Palestine
Phone: +972-2-277 4602
Cell: +972-67-862 439
web: http://www.palsolidarity.org






________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 2
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 17:53:38 -0800 (PST)
From: Huwaida Arraf <huwaidaa@yahoo.com>
Subject: ISM Reports: Midnight Victim / No School Today


1) Link to radio interview with Anne Gwynne, shot at and injured in Nablus while talking to KPFK
2) Gaza/Bethlehem + report "Midnight Victim"_Kristen + Neda
3) Hebron: No School Today _ Art Gish
4) Right to Education Campaign
================
1)
KPFA Flashpoints radio interview with Anne Gwynne, shot while talking to Flashpoints producer (his voice mail) in Nablus

http://flashpoints.net text summary with audio link
direct audio link: http://flashpoints.net/realaudio/fp20030219AnneGwynn.ram
audio download: http://flashpoints.net/realaudio/fp20030219AnneGwynn.ra


==================
2)
Gaza prison / Bethlehem nabbing
Date: 19 February, 2003
Author: Kristen Ess
Area: Gaza City / Bethlehem



The Israeli military murdered 11 Palestinians last night. They invaded Gaza City and Jabalia (the refugee camp just north of the city). It was about 10pm. US donated Apache helicopters fired into the city while 60 Israeli tanks crushed through the streets. They targeted infrastructure and industry, the police, houses and cars, things that keep the Palestinian people and economy functional. There was no way for anyone to get away, to hide from the missiles and shelling. Gaza is a prison. The dead are:

Munthir as-Safadi, 27
Ala' al-Hilu, 22
Saeed al-Hilu, 28
Abdul Rahma al-Qasas, 27
Tamir al-Qataa', 27
Muhammad al-Sahlub, 22
Ali Abu al-Khair, 30
Iyad Abid, 27
Abdul Karim Bakrun, 24
Amir ad-Dayeh, 19
Abdul Rahim Abu an-Naja, 30



Bethlehem

Yesterday Israeli soldiers were standing in the middle of baba skak (the main intersection in Bethlehem) pointing guns at school children and screaming at them to go home. All the little kids here wear uniforms to school, and all the kids are just so short in these little dresses and sweaters. A foreigner who lives in Hebron told me he asked Israeli soldiers why they were pointing guns at school girls the other day, preventing them from going to their elementary school. They answered him, "because they're terrorists." A young women named Neda wrote the following after talking to her friend just now, the girl in Beit Sahour who just got out of Israeli jail. Israeli soldiers abducted 3 young women from Bethlehem--one from Deheisha Camp, one from Beit Jala, and one from Beit Sahour--two nights ago.



Kristen Ess
Occupied Palestine
011.972.(0)67.341.268
011.972.(0)59.357.526



MIDNIGHT VICTIM by Neda

It could happen very simply to any girl of us, and without any consideration to any international law or any humanitarian sense, one girl of my classmates was arrested while she was drowning in her innocent's dreams, and has not any single political relation, in the middle of the night a tremendous number of Israeli soldiers, tanks and all kinds of weapons swept over Fida's house. FIda' which her mother died many years ago and living with her old father, were arrested in justification that she is planning to a suicide bombing, they searched the house and made upside down while there is nothing to find accept some canned food which kept for war, Fida and her old father were blind folded in a very windy night and it was raining very hard, they didn't allow her to take any jacket or blanket, they didn't take care about anything and treated her like animals, she couldn't hold on all that awful things that happens to her and her old father, after they put her in Jail with other two girls with same reasons, they brought her one female soldier to deal and investigate, but it didn't work and they couldn't communicate despite there is many soldiers that speaks Arabic but they attended to bother them as much as they can do, FIda' already got flue and sick physically beside to the nightmare they brought to her , and simply after one day they let them go and tell her that they mixed up with other Fida' ..they think. And this could happen to any Palestinian girl, and we are supposed to take it easy.

Neda, Beit Sahour 19 February, 2003

3)
HEBRON: No School Today

Date: February 17, 2003

Author: Art Gish
Area: Hebron



After a short break for the Feast of the Sacrifice, school began again on February 15--at least for some children. Other children never got to school again, because the 15th was the 93rd day of curfew in the area around the Old City of Hebron. Soldiers chased some children who slipped around the corner to get to school in the curfew area. They frightened some children enough to send them back home.



I accompanied two groups of girls past the soldiers. I also helped three women teachers to get into the school after soldiers told them they could not go. The Ibrihimi boys' school was locked shut, so those boys had to go back home. Three soldiers sat in a jeep and watched as two mothers accompanied their children up the street toward the school. When the mothers and children got near the school, the soldiers suddenly sped toward them in their jeep. One soldier jumped out, pulled out a pistol and aimed it at the women, forcing them back down the street. I asked why the children could not go to school. "It's because they are terrorists", they said. Soldiers told me that I was looking only at the local situation. If I looked at the big picture, I would see that keeping children from going to school does help make peace. A soldier told my teammate that if we were Israelis we would want all of these children to be dead. One soldier told us he was born without a heart.



It seemed that the longer we were in contact with the soldiers, the more relaxed and less aggressive they became. The problem is not with these soldiers, however. The problem is with the orders they receive. The problem is the occupation itself, which must be ended for peace to be possible here.



Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. Contact CPT, POB 6508 Chicago, IL 60680; Telephone: 773-277-0253 Fax: 773-277-0291.
=================
4)
Friends,

The International Solidarity Movement is urgently trying to get international volunteers to come to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to stand with Palestinians against attacks on their very existence.

Throughout the current intifada school age children have suffered from increasing exposure to violence, trauma and poverty as well as from confinement and a lack of educational, social and cultural outlets due to the closures and curfews. Palestinians' right to education has been violated through Israeli military curfews and closures, which prevent students and teachers from reaching their schools as well as the destruction and closure of some schools by the Israeli military. School children have been attacked by the Israeli army and illegal Jewish settlers while traveling to and from their places of study.

Please consider joining us in Palestine for the "Right to Education Campaign" - March 14 - April 30, 2003. For more information, please see: www.palsolidarity.org

==================
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
www.palsolidarity.org




[This message contained attachments]



________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 3
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 12:52:59 +0200
From: "International Solidarity Movement" <ism-alerts@palsolidarity.org>
Subject: Nablus Update

Nablus Update

Roqaia Al Aladas was freed from her occupied house today at 11 am. Feedback from our supporters indicates that initially the Nablus DCO denied that she was being held in the house and that the ISM were spreading lies to discredit the Israeli Army. Later they claimed that they were unable to do anything about her case because the house was held by Unit 35, a special forces unit that didn't answer to the DCO.

Susan, the American activist arrested at Hawarra Checkpoint, is currently being detained at Hadera Police Station, north of Netanya. Robin has told me that as soon as Susan and he arrived at the checkpoint the Israeli Captain recognised her.

"Susan," he said to her. "You've been interfering in things you shouldn't have. I thought you were a nice girl. You're very famous now you know."

He then confiscated her passport and made a phone call.

When Susan tried to explain her visa situation to him he said: "This has nothing to do with your visa. We didn't even know about you visa."

The ISM have hired a lawyer to represent her but when he arrived at Arael Police Station last night, he was refused a hearing with her. His advice is that the police do not have a leg to stand on concerning both her imprisonment and threatened deportation and that this is purely a case of illegal police harassment. He is also confident that as soon as she has her case is heard (probably Sunday) it will be dismissed and she will be freed. Feedback I have received from ISM supporters in the US indicates that they are mobililising on her behalf.

Meanwhile, in Nablus the remaining ISM activists have divided into day-shift and night-shift groups. Their activities will continue to focus on the delivery of food and medicine, rescue of the wounded and monitoring the activities of Israeli soldiers.

They are currently taking part in a demonstration organised by the Political Coalition (an alliance of Nablus community organisations). The demonstration commenced at noon outside the El Haj Nimar Mosque on the outskirts of the Old City.

The Nablus ISMers also report that another young man was killed today by an Israeli sniper while crossing the road. He was killed crossing the same street that his father was killed crossing yesterday.

For further information contact:
a.. Maria on 059 381 803 or
b.. Tommy 059 373 180
=======================================
Michael
ISM Media Coordinator
Beit Sahour
Occupied Palestine
Phone: +972-2-2774602
Cell: +972-67-862 439
web: http://www.palsolidarity.org


[This message contained attachments]



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