World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


ISM Updates of 2 April 2003: Tulkarem, Rafah

ISM Updates of 2 April 2003: Tulkarem, Rafah

Tulkarem: Israeli Army Invades Tulkarem Refugee Camp; Stand-Off Outside Hospital

In the small hours of this morning the Israeli Army and border police invaded Tulkarem Refugee Camp with attack helicopters, tanks, APCs, hummers (special forces vehicles) and hundreds of soldiers and border policemen. After taking control of the camp, they began to round up the camp's entire male population between the ages of 15 and 45. At dawn the men were marched in groups to the Tulkarem Refugee Camp's School for Girls where they were held until for varying periods of time before being taken away in trucks. It seems that the majority of the men were taken to the Nur Shams Refugee Camps about 1.5 kilometres from Tulkarem Refugee Camp, where they were dumped in the streets and forbidden to return to their homes for three days.

Following the abductions, the soldiers began ransacking the houses of the Refugee Camp. Unlike their "house searches" in Nablus, which were carried out in a systematic, house-to-house manner, these seem to have been conducted at random, making it difficult for the ISM to anticipate where the vandals would strike next.

In spite of this, the eight ISM activists (from Ireland, the US, Germany and Occupied Palestine) did their best to monitor Israeli activities in the Refugee Camp and moderate their brutality through negotiation. On several occasions the border policemen threatened to arrest the activists unless they left the area and on one occasion a soldier forcibly stole a hand-held video camera that the activists were using to film the invasion. The camera was later returned to the activists but its video tape confiscated on the orders of the soldier's commanding officer, with whom he communicated by radio. The soldier who stole the tape claimed to be Moshe Cohen of the Golani Division.

In the afternoon Israeli border policemen entered the Thabbat Thabbat Hospital in Tulkarem City and bashed one of its visitors in front ot the ISM activists before dragging him away. About half an hour later they announced on loudspeakers that all men must leave the hospital and surrender themselves into their custody immediately. The ISM activists who were in the hospital then went out to insist that this would constitute a war crime and they had no right to round up hospital patients under the Geneva Convention.

The border policemen then claimed that one of the cars parked outside the hospital was stolen from Israel and they suspected that it had a bomb in it. They said that they intended to blow the car up and would have to evacuate the hospital before doing so.

The ISM activists refused to be taken in by this obvious lie and refused to leave the hospital.

The standoff between the ISM and the border police continued for about three and a half hours with the border police stopping cars and ambulances that were trying to enter and leave the hospital and threatening to blow up the car while the ISM activists refused to leave and contacted the Hamoked and Physicians for Human Rights Groups, which demanded that the border police respect the hospital's status.

At 8.10 pm the border police abandoned their blocade of the hospital but threatened to return tomorrow

Tonight the Tulkarem Refugee Camp is still under Occupation and both the camp and Tulkarem City are under curfew.

An estimated five thousand men were abducted from Tulkarem Refugee Camp today and, except for a handful who managed to evade capture, the camp is now empty of males between the ages of 15 and 45. . For futher information contact: Charlotte on +972 52 371 338 or Radhika on +972 52 574 754

Rafah: Israeli's Invade

At about 9.30 this evening a large Israeli force of tanks, bulldozers and armoured personnel carriers backed by attack helicopters began their invasion of Rafah, with the bulldozers clearing the way for the other vehicles.

The seven ISM activists in Rafah (from the US and the UK) were staying in houses in danger of demolition by the Israeli Occupation forces when the invasion began. They are monitoring the invasion from the houses in which they are staying and report seeing several missiles fired from helicopters followed by explosions and hearing the sirens of Palestinian ambulances. They also report that the city has been shaken by several powerful explosions, including one that is presumed to be the sound of a mosque being dynamited and that the tanks are firing their main guns sporadically.

Electricity has been cut off to Rafah so the activists are minimising their mobile phone usage.

For further information contact: Joe on +972 67 628 507 or Alice on +972 67 857 049

Michael ISM Media Coordinator Beit Sahour Occupied Palestine Tel.: +972 2 277 4602 Cell: +972 67 862 439

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news