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ISM: Reports from Tulkarem/Jenin and Bethlehem

ISM: Experiences in Violence vs Kindness/ Reports from Tulkarem/Jenin and Bethlehem

1) From an Ambulance In Palestine _ Lisa Beth

2) Update from Jenin: Situation intensified _ Tobias Karlsson

3) Experiences in Violence vs Kindness _ Megan


1) From An Ambulance In Palestine (second installment)

Date: February 18, 2003

Author: Lisa Beth

Area: Tulkarem

Two nights ago we transported a six year old boy, accompanied by his mother, from his home in a nearby village to Dr. Thabit Thabit Hospital in Tulkarem. This boy had a seizure earlier in the evening; he had no history of seizures, but his parents remembered that he had fallen the week before without apparent cause, and had been somewhat confused after that fall. At the beginning of the transport, this boy did not interact much with his mother and at times had a "fixed gaze" to the right, both signs of probable brain injury or abnormality. Although his behavior became more normal by the time we reached the hospital, it was clear that he needed doctors who have access to specialized diagnostic equipment. When we returned to the ambulance dispatch center, i asked one of the managers--who happened this evening to be dispatching--if the Tulkarem hospital has the diagnostic equipment this patient needs. He informed me that this equipment, as well as appropriately trained personnel, are not avay


2) Situation in Jenin intensified. Seven arrested, one injured and ISM-activists shot upon / More on the case of Esma Seba'ana Date: February 17, 2003

Author: Tobias Karlsson

Area: Jenin

After a relativly quiet week, the situation in Jenin has intensified over the last 24 hours, begining yesterday at 6 pm, when a number of tanks, APCs and jeeps entered the refugee camp overlooked by at least one Apache helicopter.

Live amunition was fired by snipers, by soldiers on the ground and by the apache. The targets were both palestinian fighters in the camp, who returned the fire, and groups of civilians gathering on the border of the camp.

Three ISM activists were at the border of the camp with a group including local journalists - one of them wearing a bulletproof west with "TV" written highly visible on front and back - and 30 to 40 civilians. Among them several children. The ISM activists were standing in the middle of the street with their hands defensively in the air, when a tank shot 15 to 20 rounds of live ammunition upon them. None got injured in that specific episode.

During the two hours the israeli soldiers were present in the camp, two Palestianians were arrested and one man was injured in the leg.

Monday morning the soldiers entered central Jenin two times. First time around 6 am, when five to six tanks arrived and five palestinians were arrested. Second time at 11 am. This time no shooting and arrests were reported.

The following medical report has been sent to HR-groups and media today.

Today we got some new information on the Medical condition on Esma Seba'ana, detained by the Israelis since Tuesday 11. We met Doctor Jamal Nassar, the last physician to examine her condition. He informed us that Esma was treatened for her Brain-tumor the first time almost ten years ago. She then had a surgery in the Makhassah' hospital in jerusalem, where they removed the tumor. It turned out not to be Maligint, the kind that spreads fast through your body, but maningioma, a slowly growing type. A few years after the removal the tumor grew back in the same place and she was subject to another operation in the same hospital. This time they also had to perfome a Bone-graft (bone transplant) to replace the original bone where they entered her brain for the surgery.

Since then she has been free from symthoms until a month ago when she contacted Doctor Jamal Nassar, suffering from a severe headache and with swollen periorbital and frontal region. He performed an X-ray examination that failed to determine the reason behind her symthoms and he appointed her to a CT-scan, a more reliable method of discovering tumors, in the end of this week.

Since she is now detained she will probably not get the opportunity to get her condition suffitiently examined. DR Nassar claims that he has prior experience of patients being detained in the process of treatment/examintion. His feedback from these patients, when released, is that the Israelis has eiter neglected their condition or given improper and/or delayed treatment.

His oppinion on Esma's condition based on the incomplete examination he has done is that she etither has a serious infection in the area of the performed bone-graft or that the tumor has started to grow back. In any case it is of great importance that she recieves proper treatment, an infection in the brain area poses a great risk and if it is a tumor the risk of it tuning malignant increases with time. Even if it doesn't a Meningioma tumor is very serious and it can, if it is allowed to grow cause sudden death.

If you are interested in Esmas condition contact us and we can provide contact information for Dr Nasar and Esmas Lawyer, Taofhi Bassoul


Information below is provided by MSN Health;

What is adult brain tumor?

Adult brain tumor is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells begin to grow in the tissues of the brain. The brain controls memory and learning, senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch), and emotion. It also controls other parts of the body, including muscles, organs, and blood vessels.

This PDQ summary covers tumors that start in the brain (primary brain tumors). Often cancer found in the brain has started somewhere else in the body and has spread (metastasized) to the brain. This is called brain metastasis.

A doctor should be seen if the following symptoms appear: frequent headaches, vomiting, or difficulty walking or speaking.

If there are symptoms, a doctor may order a computed tomographic scan, a special x-ray that uses a computer to make a picture of the brain. A magnetic resonance imaging scan, which uses magnetic waves to make a picture of the brain, may also be done. Often surgery is required to determine if there is a brain tumor and to see what type of tumor it is.

The chance of recovery (prognosis) and choice of treatment depend on the type of brain tumor and the patient's general state of health.

Further information on the disease is provided on;

If you didn't recieve our initial report on this case, contact and I will send it to you.

Tobias Karlsson ISM-Coordinator Jenin area +972 (0)67-437690


3) Experiences in violence vs. kindness

Date: February 17, 2003

Author: Megan

Area: Bethlehem / Tulkarem

ok... here is what happened in bethlehem.

i went to Jerusalem, to the damascus gate, and took a cab to a side route into bethlehem because the town was under curfew so no one could enter or leave. i hiked up a small rocky hill and to the other side where the cabs waited to take the people who were sneaking back in to their homes. i was met by the trainers of the group i am working for. and not long after went to the house i was staying at. we had made signs at the office announcing that international presence was at the house in hopes that if the military came back they would attempt to evacuate the house before destroying it.

The military had broken into the house at midnight the evening before and tore it apart, broke all the windows and told the family they would be back to demolish it as an extra punishment for one of the sons who had lived there who was now in prison. the family spent the night moving their belongings into neighboring houses and distributing the women and children to other houses in the refugee camp. at this point i would like to point out that it is illegal to punish the families and friends of prisoners and suicide bombers and to come in and destroy their homes to punish someone who has already been punished. i stayed in the home with another observer listening for tanks. the military never showed back up. they often don't, they come into houses and scare the families and cause them to evacuate and then wait for months to take any action. for the most part when they really intend to tear houses down they just arrive and shoot into the house and give the family a few minutes to leave before they tear it dow I spent a lot of time with the women and their children. I can't help but think what it must be like for a child to grow up with this. In a discussion with one of the men of the camp i apologized for my horrible, and i mean horrible arabic and he said " they don't teach arabic in your schools, they teach english in our so we should be able to talk to you but half the time our towns were under curfew and we couldn't go to school that's why our english is so bad" this man was in his late thirties... this has been going on for years. will the children here ever be able to go to school regularly? I spent a lot of time with the school kids in the house helping them study their english going through their school books with them.. i wish i had been there long enough to have really helped. i left bethlehem after two days with the family. they asked me to return before the end of my trip but i doubt i will have time.

i am now in Tulkarem, also in the west bank. the trip here took a few hours. they had raised curfew in Bethlehem from 10am to 4pm.. this is not for the sake of being kind to the people who live there but to give the people they are looking for a chance to return to their homes so when curfew begins again they will have a better chance of catching them.

On the bus ride to Tulkarem we were stopped and all the men had to evacuate the bus and wait in the rain for the military to check their id's. after they had done that a soldier entered the bus and checked out all the seats and the women. he pointed his gun at all of us as he checked our seats then he left. the path into town was covered in mud, horses and mules splashed mud on everyone in their attempts to get up the hill... one woman fell in a large puddle but as is the custom here everyone stopped and helped her and held her hand the rest of the way...

i will write more about my experiences here in Tulkarem later, but would like to take a second to point out the immense kindness of everyone i have met here. everyone knows who we are and why we are here and are thankful for it. the economy here is in a horrible state of affairs because people cannot go to work outside of town and often with curfew people cannot open their businesses yet when i go to the market to buy fruit and vegetables they don't want to accept my money. anytime i have looked even close to being lost, which has been a lot, yet not as much as i expected, people are rushing to help, to walk me or drive me to where i need to go and oddly enough for what they have to deal with here on a daily basis they are always smiling and laughing. the mother of the house i stayed at in Bethlehem gave me a pillow covering she embroidered and apologized for not having time to make one personally for me but having to give me one she made months ago. her daughter embroidered my initial in it and her as well

I hope you are all well.




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