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Israeli Activist At Arafat's Besieged Headquarters

1/4/2002

Message from Neta Golan (Israeli activist at Arafat's besieged headquarters)

This evening we got a call from our fellow-activist Neta Golan, who yesterday succeeded in entering Yasser Arafat's besieged headquarters. It was only a short conversation, since the call broke off and could not be resumed. Neta Golan, who is known for her courageous solidarity actions and has spent weeks in besieged villages, told that the mood in the compound is good though the supply of food and water is running low and in spite of the army's psychological warfare. Through loudspeakers there are made constant threats and from time to time "shock grenades" are lobbed. These grenades cause loud explosions but little physical harm. She said, everybody there is steadfast and determined not to leave except as free persons. "I and my friends - international peace activists from Italy, France, the US and other countries, some of them of Jewish origin - have come here to act as a human shield in case of any IDF attempt to break in. The government should know that among those determined to face the soldiers unarmed and bar their way is also an Israeli from Tel-Aviv."

Neta Golan started to tell about members of the International Solidarity Group, located in Beit Jala, who marched today unarmed towards the Israeli tanks stationed there, and fire was opened at them. Seven of them were wounded, one was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Then the call was abruptly cut off and could not be resumed - as happened on several previous occasions.

Ends

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