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Soldiers attack children / Human connections


Action alert/Soldiers attack children / Human connections

1) Rachel Corrie resolution in Congress: ACTION ALERT for US citizens_ISM

2) Israeli soldiers attack children in Bethlehem_Kristen Ess

3) Human Connections _Mary

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1) Friends,

Many of you may have already received action alerts asking you to call/write your members of Congress to ask them to support H.Con.Res.111. If you have not, please refer to the text and details below:

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. CON. RES. 111

Expressing sympathy for the loss of Rachel Corrie in the Palestinian village of Rafah in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES March 25, 2003 Mr. BAIRD (for himself, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. INSLEE, Mr. SMITH of Washington, Mr. DICKS, Mr. LARSEN of Washington, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. WU, Mr. HONDA, Ms. ESHOO, and Mrs. CAPPS) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

---------------------------------

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing sympathy for the loss of Rachel Corrie in the Palestinian village of Rafah in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) expresses its sympathy to Craig and Cynthia Corrie and to their extended families, friends, and co-workers for the loss of Rachel Corrie in the Palestinian village of Rafah in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003;

(2) calls on the United States Government to undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie; and

(3) encourages the Government of the United States and the Government of Israel to work together to determine all the circumstances that led to this incident and to ensure that an incident of this kind never occurs again.

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From ISM:

Rachel gave her life fighting against the policy of home demolitions and the system of occupation, which aren’t addressed in this resolution. We know that Rachel would not have wanted the focus to be on her but rather on the continued violence against the Palestinian people. Rachel’s family is continually speaking about the violence that their daughter gave her life to try to stop and are urging people to turn their attention to what’s happening in the Occupied Territories. This resolution does not address these issues, but we hope that the passing of H.Con.Res.111 will open the door for the larger policies of violence against Palestinian civilians to be addressed in the United States.

Please, if you haven’t already, call, write or make an appointment to visit your members of congress to express the importance of this resolution and your support for your members of congress signing on.

You can get contact information for your members of congress by going to www.house.gov and http://www.senate.gov. You can send letters directly from any one of the following sites; http://www.aaiusa.org http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=1750

http://www.cflweb.org

2) - Israeli Soldiers Attack Children in Bethlehem - Author: Kristen Ess 29 March, 2003

Over 3,000 children, aged roughly between 8 and 12 years old, gathered today in Manger Square in front of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity to demonstrate in support of the Iraqi people. The kids were holding hand-made signs and banners. Manger Square is not near an Israeli imposed checkpoint, nor is it near an illegal Israeli settlement. It is the center of an Area A Palestinian town under Palestinian Authority control (before Israel’s invasion). According to numerous eye-witnesses, two Israeli jeeps drove up and began throwing sound bombs, firing tear gas at the children, and shooting into the air.

These kids came from the Bethlehem area, from Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, from Azzeh, Aida, and Deheisha Refugee Camps. The Israeli soliders injured three of the children who are now in the hospital.

One of the directors of Aida Camp's Lajee Center says, "The children were crying, you know, because they were scared. Some threw up from the gas."

3) - Human Connections: Author: Mary - March 28, 2003

Salaam Friends!

I have so much to share with you I am not sure where to begin. I had heard about the generosity and beauty of the people in Palestine, but I do not think I could fully comprehend it until I experienced it. I wish there were words to describe my feelings and experiences.

I am staying in the home of the Helfa family. After my first two days, I am now called sister and daughter. I have a new mother,a sister, and two brothers. I cannot wait until the end of the day to return to my home and share dinner, stories, games, and laughter with my family. Wednesday was Hanna's birthday and she did not even remember it until her daughter called to wish her a happy birthday from Egypt. By chance I brought home some fruit and cake that evening, so we had a great celebration. We had an extra guest in the home one night so Hanna shared her bed with me. It was cold that night so she held me and kept me warm both inside and out. Rawand sits up at night with me while I am writing in my journal. She takes stickers off of her own notebook to put in mine. We often exchange books to write notes to each other. Rajae is trying very patiently to teach me to play chess. He is full of energy and quite playful. Mohammad provides me with updates on the war. We talk about politics and our hopes for the future. I am deeply connected and love each one of them.

My first two days were spent visiting two families in homes that are occupied by the Israeli Military and visiting Betiba checkpoint. Things were not good at any of these places. We were able to negotiate extra clothing for one family. After people, including women and children, were standing in the rain and snow for one and half to three hours negotiations helped their passage through the check point. I cannot grasp the idea that internationals can have this kind of influence it seems crazy as my Palestinian family would say. Imagine yourself reading this email and sitting in your home. You cannot go outside. You must wait in line for an undetermined amount of time to pass through a check point. Now imagine Africans, Arabs, Canadians, etc... come to your land to help you. How would you feel with them walking freely through the streets? How would you feel waiting in line at a check point while they walk around freely and can come and go to get food and water? I struggle with these questions daily. Regardless of how I would feel, I am greeted with warmth. I have been thanked and welcomed to Palestine too many times to count but none have been forgotten.

Yesterday about ten or twelve internationals were involved in a direct action at Asmut (please forgive my incorrect spelling throughout this email) checkpoint outside of Askar Refugee Camp. The weather has created a passage problem. The road has turn into a huge mud pit. People were having trouble passing and many were losing their shoes in the mud. We purchased a few dozen wooden pallet and carried them down the hill to create a walkway.

The soldiers were watching with binoculars. They began to become annoyed and decided to collectively punish the Palestinians by not letting them cross the checkpoint. My friend Marcus, from England, and I went to negotiate with the soldiers. We were able to obtain passage for teachers, students, women, children and men under fourteen and over forty. We then asked that all men be allow to go home with their food and necessities for their families. The soldiers became hostile and shots were fired. We tried to keep our dialogue going but were shut out. We made several phone calls after hours of waiting. Marcus was able to get a hold of the DCO. Their soldiers came and checked each man and his belongings. Men were allowed to pass but the searches were humiliating. I had to walk away when the personal belonging of these individuals had to be displayed.

I knew my father and male friends would not want me to see them go through this. How can we call this type of injustice a success?

As I struggle with these questions, the people here remain composed and maintain positive attitudes. I have so much the learn and think about.

Thank you all for helping me come to Nablus and experience such a beautiful land and make the human connections I had hoped for. I struggle with things in my mind but I go to bed each night happy with the warmth of my new family and friends. There is hope and I hold in closely.

Habibi, Mary

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT

http://www.palsolidarity.org

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." Robert F. Kennedy

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