Act Against New Expulsion Of Cave Dwellers
Act On The Ground Against New Expulsion Of Cave Dwellers
GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/
[During the past days news came out that 118 cave dwellers whose dwellings had been demolished a few months ago and who survived in make-shifts, were chased from their lands during the Jewish New Year feast - following an action of Israelis to bring them food and water (sic!). This is a description of what happened + a request to the supporters worldwide to phone and/or write letters, followed by a text about what we try to do locally. (NB: Israelis will find there important additional information about the logistics of the Tuesday action.) The text of the call in the name of a still growing coalition of groups (so far: Gush Shalom, ICAHD, Rabbis For Human Rights, Ta'ayoush, Women's Coalition) was written by Rabbi Arik Asherman. We edited it a bit to make it understandable also for those who are not acquainted with the Jewish religion.]
Dear Friends and Supporters
Over a year ago, 300 Cave Dwellers from the South Hebron Hills were evacuated from their homes. You were kind enough to write letters to the relevant authorities, which assisted us in returning the cave dwellers to their homes. We are again asking for your help.
Erev Rosh Hashana - the evening which marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year celebration, this year on Sept. 17. In utter cynicism this was the time chosen by Israeli security forces for the expulsion from their homes of 118 cave dwellers of the South Hebron Hills. This happened in spite of an explicit written promise from the Attorney General's office to attorney Shlomo Lecker not to do so without giving time to appeal. The expulsion was apparently retaliation for the Ta'ayush group's activity bringing massive amounts of humanitarian aid a few days earlier.
In this precedent setting desecration of Rosh HaShanah, soldiers arrived around 11:00 PM and evacuated Yusaf Akel Al-Jabur and his 11 family members from his 11 family members. The soldiers damaged property and tents. After a verbal confrontation the soldiers agreed to leave one tent for the children until 5:00 AM. Security Forces moved on to the tents and homes of the families of Ahmed Nasser al-Nawajeh and Jaber Hamad Nasser Al-Nawajeh (10 people) They also made appoint of demolishing the water cistern filled by Ta'ayush. The scene repeated itself on the property of Halil Mahmad Smallem Al-Nawaja. His 14 year old son was arrested for an unknown reason for 7 hours. He was eventually released and left him to walk the 10 kilometer return trip. The sixty five year old wife of Nasser Mahmad Al-Nafajeh (sorry that the report which I received does not have women's names) was dragged on the ground, causing injury to both her legs and body. The families of Issa Ahmad Shnaran (5 people) Musah Ahmad Shnaran (4), Hasin Ahmad Shnaran (8), Naaman Shnaran (7), Bnei Mahmad Abed Al-Mahsan Rashid (18), Halil Mahmad Hamdan Massalem Al-Nawaja (4) , Halil Mahmad Abed Al-Mahsan Rashid (18), Halil Mahmad Al-Harini Al-Nabi (5), Mhmad Hamadan Blal Al-Harini (6); Musa Asmail Hamad Blal (7), Yusaf Al Daramin (6), Aref Mahmad Al-Bedarin (12),, Assmail Sallami Al Nawajeh (9).
I know this is holiday time for many, while others are still wrapped up in the terror attack on the US. However, please dig deep and find a moment to write letters with copies to us of letters and responses:
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: The Office of the Prime Minister, Kiryat
Jerusalem, Israel; Office Tel. 972-2-6705555/10Fax:
of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres: HaKirya Romema Jerusalem
firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. 972 2 5303531/3631/530 fax (+972-2) 5303506 /
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer email@example.com
Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin Pilosof, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colonel Dov Tzedaka, commander, Civil Administration Fax 972 2 9977326
President George W.
Secretary of State Colin
United Nations Secretary General Kofi
Personal Representative of the Secretary
General to the United Nations
Fax: + 972 8 282 0966
Advisers to Mr Miguel Moratinos - Special EU Envoy to
Fax: + 32 2 285 87 52;
Mr/M. Bernardino email@example.com;
Ms Karin Roxman firstname.lastname@example.org;
Mr/M. Christian Jouret email@example.com;
-------- appeal to the Israeli activists
DURING THE TEN DAYS OF RETURN, WE MUST RETURN THE EXPELLED CAVE DWELLERS TO THEIR HOMES
Friends, We have the opportunity on Monday to really make a difference in the lives of the at least 118 victims of the latest expulsion attempt in the South Hebron Hills. The lesson learned from our successful attempt to return the previous expelees is that a wide coalition and mass action are effective. However, to do this, we need you and everybody whom you know to be a part of this effort and insure that there are hundreds joining us, the cave dweller's attorney Shlomo Lecker and many other human rights organizations, in a mass action to return those expelled on Rosh HaShana itself and in spite of government commitments. You will determine whether or not Israeli security forces will successfully overturn the High Court's decision to reverse the previous expulsion and punish people for the Ta'ayoush convoy bringing humanitarian aid a week ago.
1. 8:30 departure from Binyanei HaUma in Jerusalem and the Northern Bus Station in TA. 2. 10:00 Shlomo Lecker will give an overview at the Shoket junction 3.11:00 entry into area in order to rebuild the cistern which Ta'ayoush had filled with water and the army destroyed, work in the olive grove and creating a protest tent. 4. Second group departs at 12:00 from Jerusalem and TA. 5. Those interested will sleep over
Please let us know if you are coming so that we can plan transportation. Please bring water and food. If you will be staying overnight, bring a tent and/or sleeping bag.
As of now, the sponsoring coalition includes:
Gush Shalom Israeli Committee Against House Demolition Rabbis For Human Rights Ta'ayoush Women's Coalition
A translated excerpt from David Grossman's article on 6.12.99 after the previous expulsion "I stand here at the cave opening, see and hear, but don't really grasp things: What is happening here, how is it possible that we, each and every Israeli citizen, is "signed on" to such a deed. We fund it with our taxes. We are accessories to it when we send our children to this army. What is the connection between the army we knew and this entity which oppresses defenseless people... Mr. Prime Minister: To put it as simply as possible, it is not fair to deal this way with people who are so weak. This is not what you or I were educated to do. This is not what you taught generations of soldiers This is not what we were thinking about when we first learned so many years about the Prophet Nathan's parable to King David about the last baby lamb stolen from a poor person."
Gmar Tov, Arik