Undercover Israeli Special Forces assassinate 2
Undercover Israeli Special Forces assassinate 2, injure 4, Witnessed by ISM activists.
On Thursday, On April 10, an undercover Israeli special forces team assassinated two Palestinian men in the middle of the lunchtime rush in Tulkarem’s downtown market area. The Israeli forces came dressed as civilians and were traveling in a Palestinian plated mini-van. At least two other Palestinian men were arrested, one of whom may have been injured. One man standing inside the hospital gate (approximately eighty meters away) at the time of the operation was shot in the leg.
Three ISM volunteers (two Americans and an Irish national) arrived on the scene minutes into the operation. They could see one man lying face down on the ground who appeared to be critically injured and demanded that an ambulance be allowed access to the wounded. Soldiers randomly fired towards the responding ambulance in the direction of the Tabbit Tabbit Hospital and Red Crescent Center, wounding a 23-year-old man standing in the ambulance receiving area. Meanwhile Border Police shouted at the activists and ambulance staff to stay away. Minutes later the dead, wounded and arrested men were dragged into a military ambulance and taken to the DCO.
A few hours later, shortly before 6PM, the same group was alerted to the presence of an APC and a Border Police jeep patrolling the streets near the house of one of the deceased men. At the time there was a funeral gathering taking place. After throwing tear gas at the local children, the APC parked outside the family’s house and demanded the IDs of the men inside. After checking approximately twenty men’s IDs and questioning one man, the army left the area. The funeral gathering then continued.
Israeli Army Shoots 2 More Civilians In Jibna, Rafah. ISM Activists Working As Human Shields In Area.
April 10, 2003
On the morning of April 10, Israeli soldiers shot and injured two civilian Palestinian brothers, both teenagers, in the Jibna area of Rafah, Palestinian witnesses say.
According to these witnesses, at 6:00AM Mustafa Jaber, 19, was shot through the leg. Two and a half hours later his brother, Rushdi Jaber, was shot through the neck outside the local Mosque. He was walking to the Mosque to pray at the time. Rushdi is 15 years old and is in critical condition. His older brother, Mustafa, is expected to be fine.
The Israeli soldiers who shot the two brothers were occupying an abandoned house in the Block-J area of Rafah overnight. Both victims were unarmed and neither have been involved in any armed resistance groups. Prior to these attacks, there had been no shooting from the Israeli side; and there was never any fire from Palestinians.
The Jibna area of Rafah is a very dangerous place for the many Palestinians who reside there. Children still live in frontline homes riddled with bullet holes and pick their way through the rubble of their neighbours houses to go to school.
This is also the current site of construction of the 'Iron Wall', for which the Israeli’s have taken the homes of more than 5,000 Palestinians in Rafah. These homes have been taken only because Israel has decided that it would be more convenient if these people did not live there. The residents have not been accused of being involved in any terrorist activity, nor have they ever been suspected of being involved in any terrorist activity. For many, it is perhaps the second or third time that they have become refugees.
Volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement this morning maintained a presence in the dangerous area, acting as human shields to make the street safer for people trying to live a normal life. Tonight, they will commence sleeping in the home of approximately 30 people, including the 2 wounded boys. The internationals will make their presence highly visible with a large group; using banners, reflective jackets and megaphones. Two activists will then stay in the house overnight for the forseeable future in order to deter the Israeli army from shooting into the house or demolishing it.
Every day in Jibna there is a tank which sits menacingly in view of the mosque. Every night it drives up next to the Mosque and shoots down the main street. There is no pretence that this is a military operation. Most of the time there is no-one to shoot at. The army wishes the population to leave, so they terrify them.
Tomorrow, in order to challenge the army's night-time terrorism, the activists will commence sleeping in a tent next to the mosque. In addition to preventing sporadic shooting, the activists hope to help the residents of Jibna to pray in peace. Obviously Rushdi, the 15 year old who was shot in the neck, was unable to do so.