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Israeli Military Invade ISM Office: Jenin Lockdown


PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
Thursday March 27, 2003 For Immediate Release

Jenin Under Lockdown

ISRAELI MILITARY INVADE ISM OFFICE

[JENIN] Jenin has been under 24-hour curfew for 5 consecutive days. During this time 4 children have been shot by the Israeli Occupation Forces, two of whom, age 14 and 15 have died. One 12-year-old is in critical condition and the other is hospitalized. Twenty-six houses in the Jenin camp and city have been occupied by soldiers for the positioning of snipers and other military purposes.

At approximately 4:30am on Thursday March 27, individuals staying in the apartment of the ISM in Jenin’s town center were awakened by the sound of heavy gunfire. One hour later there was another blast. The people in the apartment went to the window to see what was going on. They spotted two military jeeps in the streets below. One of the volunteers went into the hallway to see what was happening and met a young man coming up the stairs. He looked terrified, was soaking wet and appeared to be in pain. Concerned about his welfare – under Israeli military curfew, Palestinians spotted in the streets are shot on site – he was brought into the apartment. He spoke only Arabic, which none of the ISM volunteers present understood. He was given a change of clothes, a hot drink and a blanket. Some of the people in the apartment went down into the street to find out if there was anyone else at risk outside. They were subsequently prevented from re-entering the building by Israeli soldiers. Two women remained with the young man in the apartment. The women began to hear loud noises and banging down below and became frightened. They did not want to leave the apartment or risk the young man leaving – Palestinians found in the streets during Israeli military curfew are shot on site – so they stayed inside.

The Israeli Occupation Forces were breaking into offices in the building, including that of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Medicines San Frontiers. Eventually the military knocked on the ISM door and 30 soldiers entered with their machine guns trained. They arrested the young man, claiming he was “wanted.” The two women were not able to prevent the soldiers from taking the young man, whose name they did not even know, but requested that he be treated humanely.

The Israeli Occupation Forces have labeled every Palestinian man, woman and child a terrorist to justify their widespread use of collective punishment, which include lockdowns, home demolitions and random mass arrests. ISM is concerned about the welfare of this young man and all Palestinian detainees being held in conditions that do not meet the minimal standards set by international human rights laws. They are held without charge and denied medical and legal access.

For more information please call the ISM team in Jenin at: +972-57-836-527

END

Tom ISM Media Coordinator Beit Sahour Occupied Palestine Phone: +972-2-2774602 Cell: +972-67-862 439 web: http://www.palsolidarity.org

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