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Nablus Home Occupied / Appeal for server space


Nablus Home Occupied / Appeal for server space

1. Press Release – ISM Demands Israeli Retraction and Apology over Mike's Place Bombing Allegations 2. Nablus Home Occupied 3. Appeal for Streaming Media Server Space

1. Press Release - ISM Demands Israeli Retraction and Apology over Mike's Place Bombing Allegations

ISM Demands Israeli Retraction and Apology over Mike's Place Bombing Allegations The International Solidarity Movement demands a retraction of statements made by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a full apology. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website makes the following accusations against the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that "ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations". This is incorrect. The International Solidarity Movement does not and has never worked under the auspices of, or in cooperation with, any armed Palestinian resistance group. The ISM does not undertake any activity in the Occupied Territories this is violent or illegal. On the contrary ISM activists have been harmed by and threatened with harm by Israeli army personnel.

In connection with the two British suicide bombers the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that "The two terrorists were careful to establish their presence in Judea and Samaria by forging links with foreign left wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)". This is incorrect. No ISM activist had contact with the two men in the West Bank. Their sole contact was a brief social encounter in Rafah in the Gaza Strip and no "links" were "forged" in short time. See attached press statement for full details.

Immediately after the suicide attack on Mike's Place Israeli intelligence stated that the men had entered the Gaza Strip posing as international peace activists with the ISM. In their report of June 3 Israeli investigations now prove that "On April 24, 2003, the terrorists entered the Gaza Strip via the Erez checkpoint, along with the Italian woman journalist and additional Italian journalists, which greatly assisted them in avoiding suspicion at Erez". The ISM has been shown to be innocent of this false accusation by the Israeli government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that "It has become clear from the investigation of the Italian journalist that the terrorists exploited foreign left wing activists in the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas for the purpose of covering their movements throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Even though the latter were unwitting, they in effect were accomplices to terrorist activity". This is incorrect. The Italian journalist was interrogated by the Israeli authorities and has subsequently been found to be unaware of their intentions and so is not guilty of being an accomplice. Similarly the ISM activists in Rafah were entirely unware of the men's intentions to commit an attack in Israel. Moreover ISM has not been approached for questioning by the Israeli authorities in connection with the contact they had with the suicide attackers. Further to this the only contact ISM had with these men was a brief social meeting in Rafah, not in the West Bank and it has been proved that the men used a journalist as a cover for their movements. It is important to state that since it's founding ISM activists have been denied entry to the country and many have been deported. Moving around the Occupied Territories is not made easier as a peace activist.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that "None of the persons involved - neither Palestinian nor foreign - bothered to contact any official body, despite their familiarity with the terrorists, even after they understood that they were involved in the attack, until they came under ISA investigation." This is incorrect. ISM held an open press conference a few days after the attack on Mike's Place and explained the circumstances under which the activists in Rafah briefly met the British men. The ISM has never been approached by the Israeli authorities in connection with an investigation.

2. Occupied Houses in Nablus

Early in the morning of Tuesday, June 3rd several houses located in Askar Refugee Camp, (Nablus) were occupied by IOF forces. Members of ISM Nablus were able to visit three of these houses in order to assess the situations of the families involved.

While attempting to gain entry to the first house visited two soldiers opened the door and pulled a Palestinian passer-by inside at gunpoint. After repeated attempts to contact the soldiers the ISMers with the help of a neighboring family were able to open a door into the house. Two internationals entered the house and negotiated with the two visible soldiers inside. They were allowed to communicate with one man in the house for approximately ten minutes. From this conversation it was learned that there are thirty people being held in one room of the house, of these 11 are children. There are ten soldiers occupying the house. From what we were told no one has been brought to the house other than the one man who we witnessed, and no one has been mistreated. Apparently the family has enough food and drink. When questioned, the soldiers gave no solid reason for their occupying the house and they stated that they would be staying only one day. They also stated that the man dragged in off the street would be released within a few hours. While the house appeared to have been searched there was no apparent damage.

The second house visited is being occupied by six to seven soldiers with surveillance equipment. They entered the house at 4:30AM. Five adults and two children ages 3 and 4 years live in the house and are located on the top floor. One of the family members has diabetes but has access to adequate medication. Another woman is six months pregnant. The soldiers brought their own food and water with them and the family seems to believe that they will stay for up to a day and a half. Apparently the family has not been mistreated and the house appears in good condition.

At the third house the internationals were not allowed entry into the house but two family members, a man and a woman were able to speak with them from a window. The soldiers entered the house around 5:00AM and there are now twenty soldiers inside. There are twenty-eight family members living in the house. From what we have gathered they have not been mistreated and have enough food and water but are all being held in one room. The soldiers informed the family that they will stay for one day. Follow-ups with all the families involved will be conducted in order to assure the departure of the soldiers.

House occupation is one of many illegal tactics used by Israeli soldiers to phychologically damage the Palistinian people. The trauma and embarassment of occupation has long reaching effects.

For more information contact: 067 938 401

3. Appeal for Streaming Media Server Space

Friends,

You may have noticed that we are starting to add flash photo galleries to our website. We have thousands of photos and hundreds of hours of video taken by ISM volunteers that we would like to publish. Unfortunately, many of these videos and galleries are quite large and downloads are very time consuming. Some users are unable to view them because of the size of the files and time required to download them. Therefore, we are in need of streaming media server space so we can publish more videos and photo galleries depicting ISM volunteers in action, human rights violations committed by Israeli forces, and the contradictions of joy and despair that is the reality of life in Palestine.

It is vitally important that these photos and videos be made available to the public. Rarely is the human side of Palestinian life reflected in western media. A photo or video can be worth a hundred articles and is not as easily passed off as propoganda. We are sending an appeal for a donation of streaming media server space or contacts where server space could be purchased at a reasonable price. Please send suggestions or contacts to mailto:webmaster@palsolidarity.org.

Thank you in advance,

Palsolidarity webmaster


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