Water Wars and Human Shields
Today six ISM activists based in Rafah (3 American, 2 British, 1 Swedish) are accompanying municipal workers who are rebuilding a road to Rafah's main water pumping station northwest of Tel el-Sultan. The road has been destroyed by the Israeli Army and both the road and the pumping station are overlooked by the Rafih Yem Settlement. Repairs on the road have been prevented from machine-gun fire from an Israeli tank situated within the settlement. (Last night a 12 year old boy was shot in the leg by machine-gun fire from the same tank.)
The activists have used a megaphone to inform the tank crew that they are international volunteers and are riding with the bulldozer crews of the municipal council who are repairing the road. Tonight they intend to sleep at the water pumping station and tomorrow they intend to accompany municipal workers responsible for installing the new equipment in the station.
This action follows on two other successful
actions carried out last week when the Rafah ISM activists
acted as human shields by standing in between an Israeli
tank and municipal workers fixing a ruptured water main that
had been flooding a street in Rafah's Brazil area (the
municipal workers had not been able to repair the pipe due
to machine-gun fire from the tank) and when they slept at
the Tel el-Sultan wells preventing their demolition (two of
the wells had been destroyed by Israeli Army bulldozers on
the previous night cutting Rafah's supply water by half).