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Israeli peace activist's night with Palestinians

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 – http://www.gush-shalom.org/

Press Release 1/11/2000

Israeli peace activist spent a night of bombardments with Palestinian friends in Beit Sahur

The increasingly bitter struggle is taking a heavy toll in human life and suffering. Repeated and increased bombings of the Palestinian cities as the answer to the Palestinian struggle for its independence is a sign of an ossified way of thought, which regards force as a solution to problems.

This approach failed, even when undertaken by countries bigger and more powerful than Israel. The source of the problem is the occupation, the attempt to hold on to Palestinian lands and settle in them. As long as the occupation continues, so will Palestinian opposition to the occupation, depite the increasingly brutal measures taken. Follows the story of an Israeli eyewitness

"The ongoing bombings by helicopter gunships create an atmosphere of fear among Palestinian civilians. Children are waking up with nightmares, night after night" says Neta G., an Israeli peace activist from Jerusalem who spent last night in the house of Palestinian friends at the town of Beit Sahur, south of Jerusalem.

"The town was subjected to heavy bombings. I could hear the explosions, all too clearly. In the morning I visited the bombed site together with my friends. One house had burned down completely, and two others were severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable - all of them the abodes of civilian families who had nothing to do with any shooting."

She says she had no apprehension about going to a Palestinian town and staying there the night. "I know many people in Beit Sahur, and have friends there. The Palestinians are well able to distinguish between an Israeli who comes to them as a respectful friend and guest, and one which comes as an occupier, gun in hand. As a matter of fact, these days I feel more safe as an Israeli in Beit Sahur then as a peace activist in the streets of Jerusalem, facing the extreme right".

Contact: Neta 972-(0)50-757504, neta_g@internet.zahav.net.il Adam Keller (Gush Shalom Spokesperson) 972-(0)3-5565804

JERUSALEM CAPITAL OF TWO STATES
Sign the "Our Jerusalem, Capital of Two States" petition
full text in Hebrew, Arabic and English at
http://www.gush-shalom.org/jerusalem


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