Clarification / Love and Resistance from Yanoun
Clarification / Love and Resistance from Yanoun / Gaza / Mid East plea
In a previous report I said “They'll show you the blown up buses and the Israeli spokesperson crying "terrorism" but you'll never hear why.....” Nothing can justify the killing of innocent civilians, nothing. But as long as people, and especially the Israeli people, continue to accept that these are acts of terrorism based on Palestinian culture and/or revenge, they will contribute, with their silence, to a continuing cycle of violence. The person that turns him/herself into a human bomb is not doing it because he/she hates Jews or Israelis. Suicide bombings are not isolated phenomena, but rather a direct result of the oppression of occupation. As a gentle man, a father of four from the Tulkarem refugee camp told me today….”What’s happening to the Palestinian people, the life and the conditions that we are forced to live is abnormal, and therefore it is not unreasonable to expect that these conditions will produce abnormal acts”
>From Maya, a 14 year old Israeli girl: ”a friend of mine, a 13 year old boy named Yuval who had blue eyes and told me really dumb jokes died on that bus- his father heard him blow upon his cell phone. five more acquaintances of mine are no longer with us, including a very close friend of mine's girl friend….”
For the sake of all of people that have needlessly had their lives ripped away from them by this conflict, let us all ask why.... and unite for an end to this evil system of terror called occupation.
1) Love and Resistance from Yanoun _ Emily Winkelstein 2) Israeli Army Continues Killing Spree in the Gaza Strip _ Kristen Ess 3) Mid East Peace Plea (London Houses of Parliament) _ Courtesy of Nick Cheel
1) Love and Resistance from Yanoun March 9, 2003 Emily Winkelstein Yanoun, Nablus
hope this message finds you all well...i'm sorry it has been such a long time since my last report. i am spending just about all of my time in the village now and get to email very infrequently. i would like to urge anyone who is considering traveling to Palestine, first, to do it - the presence of internationals here is really important and the support and validation that it provides to the Palestinians - a people who the world consistently ignores - certainly seems to be valued and valuable. Also, i would urge people to consider spending a significant amount of time in one place. Getting to know people on a more intimate and personal level has been an incredible experience for me. i am gaining all sorts of insights about the depth and reach of the israeli occupation and while i want to avoid making this a report about me and my journey (that is for another email), i will say
of course, to see trees and homes bulldozed and land cleared for the building of an immense wall that will cripple an already devastated Palestinian economy is jarring and awful and upsetting and deserves the attention of all of the world. to see settlements that are lavish and soo comfortable built with the resources of others on the land of others and consistently infringing on the lives of the Palestinians, just next to the remains of homes that have been demolished - remains littered with toys and chairs and clothes and photos and the belongings of its former inhabitants - next to shops that are closed or streets that can hardly be called that because they are made more of potholes and rubble than anything or schools that have no heat and little protection from the elements and villages that have light and electricity for only 4 hours a day because they either can not afford a another experience, however, is to sit by a fire at the end of a long day and talk to a father about how he feels like a failure to his children because he has to struggle to provide food and clothes and still can't keep his children safe when armed settlers come into his home when he is out minding his sheep and ransack his home and frighten and harass his wife and his children - of course with no recourse - except to maybe leave his village - with no where to go - to see more of his land confiscated. to hear about how the joys of everyday life have been stripped from him, how living to him has become only about waking, working, eating and sleeping - to just get by and provide for his family, unable to enjoy things like the snow or the changing of the seasons, which once used to provide enjoyment and now just offer added stress. because the settlers have confiscated his land or t the other morning, after her son had left for nablus to attend university, i sat with a woman who has become like a mother to me, she cried quietly, listening to the news about 5 killed in gaza and the impending war and the fear that her son could be stopped by soldiers as he traveled through the mountains to try to reach his university - or that he would get caught there under curfew with no access to food or a way to get back to his home in Yanun. or maybe, she feared an event like last year when a tank fired on his home in nablus as he and his brother were studying, leaving him with shards of metal still in his hand from the blast. later that day, when we heard that the presence of soldiers in Nablus had decreased, again there was fear, that this was not a good thing, but rather a sign that the IOF was clearing their people out to hit by the air or because of the war on Iraq and when i visit the school, or ask children to make drawings for me - it is almost always some version of the same picture - Palestinians pleading for their land as settlers and army fire weapons at or beat them - pictures of their fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters getting assaulted - bleeding - screaming for their land and for peace and their lives - and the sun still has a smile on it's face. this is real. this is what these children experience daily. in america, we dance around issues all of the time - especially with children. we paint the picture we want to see out of fear that we might shatter some mythic vision of a happy day to day where everything is flowers and sunshine. well, here, a 9 year old child can more succinctly sum up the situation facing Iraq than probably many people in the US and could certainly give a more realistic image of what the Palestinian there are many many more stories like this. i will continue to write them so that they can be heard. i will continue to talk and to learn. i appreciate so much this experience and these people - and of course i say that with a deep anger and confusion that i have come to meet them under these circumstances...that i am able to 'appreciate' this experience - i don't know - it is hard to communicate...as much as i love the people of yanun - i wish with all that i am that these experiences did not exist to be shared.
sending love to everyone - take good care of yourselves and lets hope that next week the world is able to stop Bush from pursuing the war he wants so badly.
in solidarity and resistance from Yanun -
2) Israeli Army Continues its Killing Spree in the Gaza Strip Use of Illegal Flechettes 8 March, 2003 Kristen Ess Gaza
At 8 this morning Gaza City shook. One man just told me, “I was coming up the stairs to work. I thought the whole building was going down.” Neighbors stuck their heads from windows to see what was happening. Four US donated Apache helicopters hung in the sky, two on each side above our heads, firing missiles directly into a car. The explosions were terrifying to an already targeted and terrorized people.
This was a targeted assassination. One of the people they murdered was a dentist working in a clinic in Gaza City’s Islamic University. He was a leader in the political wing of Hamas, Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad al-Maqadmeh.
After the Israeli military finished firing its missiles, the helicopter gun-ships hung arrogantly in the sky for 15 more minutes. No one knew if they would keep shooting. A man here tells me that they wanted to make sure they killed the people inside the car. “They waited to see if anyone would get out alive.” No one did.
Those murdered by the Israeli military this morning are, in addition to the Dr., are: Abdul Rahman Zuheer al-Amudi, a 29 year old from the ash-Shati Refugee Camp, Khalid Jum’a, a 30 year-old man from Jabalia, and Ala’ Udeh al-Shukri, also 30 years-old, from Gaza City. Two other people are injured. Several houses and another car were also damaged.
The night before last, the Israeli military murdered ten more people, 8 from el-Bureij Refugee Camp and two from the Namsawi area of Khan Younis. Now its about 100 Palestinians murdered by the Israeli military in just over a week in the Gaza Strip alone.
Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital is over-flowing. There is controversy internationally as the Israeli military government denies using flechettes, made in the US and illegal under international law, packed inside its tank shells while perpetrating its massacre in the Jabalia Refugee Camp two days ago. I’ve just been speaking with Dr. Mu’awiya Hassanain, Director General of Casualty and Emergency, Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health, Chief Surgeon of Casualty and Trauma, Vascular Surgeon in Shifa Hospital (Gaza City’s main hospital).
“I would like to say, and I would like to present, that the Israeli army is using the tank shell which is full of flechettes. Those flechettes penetrate the human body causing death by penetrating on the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and arriving to two big vessels, the aorta and femoral and its causing this due to hemeologic shock an due to hemolytic shock and other causes.
“I am the responsible and medical/legal doctor for all of the Intifada. I am in the position of ‘Dr. of Intifada.’ I am the first one who sees and examines victims of Israelis killing and shooting of Palestinians. What I saw and what I received on the crime day, the bloody day, which was what happened in Jabalia Refugee Camp due to the using of tank shell, which is full of flechettes from the Israeli army, which caused in a few minutes death for eight Palestinian persons and injured more than 60 by the flechette and tank shell. What I would like to mention is that the flechette penetrating on the head, arriving in the brain, causing death. Its penetrating of big vessels causing severe hemorrhaging and its penetrating of the chest, localizing on the heart causing explosion for the heart and explosion for the lungs and explosion for the abdomen. All the Palestinians [in this attack] are dead due to using those flechettes.”
I visited a boy in the hospital who was injured in this attack, one standing near the firefighters as they worked in Jabalia. Both of his thighs are wrapped in thick bandages. His nose is smashed and caked with blood, trying to heal. It is difficult for families to move through the hospital because there are so many injured, the rooms and hallways are stuffed with people. I ask the doctor to show me a flechette. He holds one in his hand for me to see and says,
“I remove it from the cadaver, the body, and other shrapnel. We suffer a lot from the Israeli army.”
3) Courtesy of Nick Cheel:
On the letters' page of the March 8 edition of the Guardian there appeared a letter signed by 46 MPs and Lords from the Houses of Parliament in London. “No doubt there's a long way to go yet before our career politicians reluctantly assume their responsibilities, but they can no longer claim ignorance to justify their inaction. Keep on keeping on . . .”
Mid East peace plea
Saturday March 8, 2003 The Guardian [letters page]
The terrible bombing in Haifa on Wednesday is a savage ending of two months in which there have been no suicide bombings within Israel. Until then, there had not been a single suicide attack since January 5 and not one Israeli civilian had been killed within Israel since January 12. In the same period, Israel has killed over 154 Palestinians. In February alone, Israel killed 79 and to date over 29 Palestinians have been killed in March. What message did this deliver to Palestinians? Would Israeli security have been better served by resuming the peace process and offering hope to the Palestinians, instead of continuing to use lethal force against them?
Since the intifada began in September 2000, Israel has insisted there has to be a period of calm and an end to terror attacks in Israel before it is prepared to resume peace negotiations. Why did Ariel Sharon and the international community miss this opportunity to restart the peace process? In this period, Palestinians have made real progress in implementing the reforms demanded of them, including promising to appoint a new prime minister.
In return Israel refuses to resume peace negotiations and continues to impose the collective punishments of curfew, closure and house demolitions on the civilian population. Nablus has been under curfew for 4,208 hours since June 18 2002. This has all led to a catastrophic humanitarian crisis for Palestinians. Almost 75% of Palestinians now live below the poverty line and over 30% of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
A possible war with Iraq is no excuse to delay the peace process or to allow Ariel Sharon to deepen the occupation by military onslaughts and the expansion of illegal settlements, all in violation of security council resolutions. There is surely a moral imperative for the US and UK to make resolving this conflict a priority for themselves and the UN. They must insist that Israel adhere to its obligations under the Geneva conventions and UN resolutions. A viable and sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security with Israel is the key to solving the longstanding problems in the Middle East.
John Austin MP Joint Chair Council for the
Advancement of Arab British Understanding Colin Breed
Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesman, CAABU Executive Robert
Key Shadow Minister for International Development Rt Hon
Nicholas Soames MP Chairman of the Conservative Middle East
Council Dr Jenny Tonge MP Liberal Democrat International
Development Spokesman Robert Jackson MP Joint Chair - CAABU
Angus Robertson MP Shadow Scottish Minister for Foreign
Affairs Richard Burden MP Chair of All-Party Britain
Palestine Group David Chidgley MP Foreign Affairs Select
Committee Jean Corsten MP Chair of Parliamentary Labour
Party Ann Clwyd Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Human
Rights Group Crispin Blunt MP Secretary, Conservative Middle
East Council Ernie Ross MP Chair, Labour Middle East Party
Simon Thomas MP Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Whip David
Atkinson MP Hugh Bayley MP Roger Berry MP Peter Bottomley MP
Alistair Carmichael MP Harry Cohen MP Frank Cook MP John
Cryer MP Hilton Dawson MP Janet Dean MP Paul Farrelly MP Dr
Hywel Francis MP Andrew George MP Neil Gerrard MP Dr Ian
Gibson MP Patrick Hall MP David Hamilton MP Jim Knight MP
Andrew Love MP Iain Luke MP Dr Lynne Jones MP Peter Kilfoyle
MP Bob Laxton MP Martin O'Neill MP James Plaskitt MP Greg
Pope MP Gordon Prentice MP Ernie Ross MP Christine Russell
MP Jonathon Shaw MP Howard Stoate MP Brian White MP Hwyell
Williams MP Tony Wright MP Derek Wyatt MP Lord Redesdale
Lord Phillips of Sudbury