Deportation hearing / Statement from ISM prisoners
Deportation hearing / Statement from ISM prisoners and more.....
Friends, Due to technical difficulties, we were not able to send out messages for the past 36 hours. Thank you to Gush Shalom who immediately sent out our report about the deportation trial for the internationals that is scheduled for TODAY.
WARNING: There are people trying to silence us by getting you to ignore our mailings and are sending out viruses in our name. The last one was saw was sent in the name of Huwaida Arraf with the subject line: ISM: Kristen reporting from Gaza. This is a VIRUS. Please note, ISM (the palsolidarity email list) will NOT send attachments.
Below is a digest or actions / reports since Friday July 11.
1) Internationals facing deportation in Trial on Sunday 2) Deported? We have done nothing wrong _ Statement from internationals in prison 3) Another Roadblock Removal _Jenin 4) Freedom Summer continues ============================= 1) July 11, 2003
ISRAELI PEACE ACTIVISTS RELEASED
INTERNATIONALS FACING DEPORTATION IN SUNDAY'S TRIAL
Outside the villages of Til and Iraq Bureen, in the area of Nablus, giant dirt roadblocks stand as a testimony to the desire of the Israeli army to isolate the inhabitants of the area, and prevent any communication with the outside world. Yesterday the efforts of the Israeli army was proven futile by the work of peace activists from around the world, including two from Israel itself.
Over 30 peace activists worked with the Palestinian inhabitants of the area to remove the roadblocks together and restore traffic and a small slice of normality. Unfortunately, the Israeli army threatened violence almost immediately by attempting to seize the mayor of Til, and the bulldozer owned by the village. After protracted negotiations, it was agreed that the Palestinians and internationals would replace the road block, in return for being allowed to return peacefully to their homes.
As the work was nearing completion, the Israeli army reneged on their promises, and 6 peace activists were arrested attempting to protect the villagers.Since then, the internationals were brought before an initial hearing of the Ministry of the Interior at 1 o'clock in the morning, without either their respective consular representatives or legal representatives present.
Today the two Israeli activists, Avi Zer-Aviv and Aviv Kruglanski, were released from Ariel police station, where they were being held.
For those who are near enough:
The deportation hearing for the internationals has been scheduled for Sunday, 1:30 in the afternoon at the Tel Aviv District Court (Weizman St., corner of Shaul Hamelech), under presiding Judge Fogelman. They will be represented by Attorneys Shammai Leibowitz and Yoni Lerman.
For "overseas readers" - you can send a protest to your nearest Israeli Embassy.
A directory of Israeli embassies and consulates can be found at:
and alarm your own representatives
For more information contact:
Huwaida Arraf, ISM Spokesperson +072-67 47 33 08
ISM Press Office +972-2 277 4602
2) DEPORTED? WE HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG Statement from the Jenin Four via cellphone text message from Ariel police station July 12, 2003
To all supporters of justice: peace be upon you and forgiveness and blessings. We write to you from cell #4 in a police station in the illegal settlement of Ariel. We are all together, in good health and in high spirits. We are determined to stand up for justice and human rights.
Deported? We have done nothing wrong. We were arrested while at the peace camp in Arrabony, a village of 900 people on the outskirts of Jenin.Israel has stolen more than half of Arrabony's 5000 dunams of land (4 dunams = 1 acre) since 1967 with the army stealing 800 dunams directly for the building of the Apartheid wall. The people of Arrabony are filled with rage and despair at the loss of their lands and their livelihoods. The people of Arrabony led a protest against the wall on July 6 2003, which was followed by the establishment of the peace camp. We, as internationals, stood with the people of Arrabony in reclaiming their land.
Our goals are simple: to encourage other communities to resist the theft of their lands and to show the world the atrocities committed in the name of Israel's state security. Israel's theft of 9500 dunhams from Salem to Elqana alone is recognized to be about changing the facts on the ground, as Condoleeza Rice once stated. This is an extension of Israel's infamous policy of stealing Palestinian lands for building illegal settlements. At our peace camps we are involved in the most dangerous activities of all: regaining dignity and building hope. In the daytime we play football, chess, other games, and play with the children. At night, the men and women sit and discuss the path their lives will take as a result of the apartheid wall, a serious discussion punctuated by beautiful cross-cultural curiosity and exchange. We spoke about the past present and future. The future of the camp is far from certain, but we know our obligation. As international citizens, we plan to document the effects of the apartheid wall on the lives of the Palestinians, taking down personal stories and facts about the devastation.
We also plan on making clearer our opposition to the apartheid wall, both in our media work and actions. The end result will hopefully be [to] stand in solidarity with the Palestinians to form a legacy of resistance against the despicable apartheid wall that is another attempt to break them. The oppressed people of Palestine will not be broken. As we meet our fellow prisoners we realize this more and more. Their mistreatment makes us ashamed we are telling our story and not theirs.
Nasser is one small example of the treatment we will never receive. He was jailed 4 months and 19 days ago. Nasser is charged with selling a stolen car to a known car thief on February 9th 2003. He has not yet had a proper judicial hearing, in which his lawyer might bring up the fact that the man he supposedly sold the car to has been in jail since 5 Feb 2003. Nasser knows not to expect much. He has spent 6 years in jail, 3.5 of them without charge. Since he got here, he has seen the sun twice, each time for only a few moments. We wish we could tell you that Nasser's case is an anomaly. The fact is that all of Ariel's prisoners are similarly treated. Justice, like the sun, is something the prisoners of Ariel can only dream of.
Peace be upon you and forgiveness and blessings. In solidarity we remain.
Bill, Fredrick, Tobias and Tarek
3) July 11, 2003
ANOTHER ROADBLOCK REMOVED
[JENIN} Today in Jenin, nearly 100 people, including residents of villages from all around the Jenin provence and 25 international activists from across Europe and North America, moved massive concrete blocks and opened an important access road in the Jenin region.
Recent Israeli Military actions in the Jenin area include closures, arrests, and assassination. On July 9, in a peace camp set up along the Apartheid Wall being built by the Israeli Government, four international activists were arrested. The same day, Israeli soldiers, looking for a wanted man in the Berqin Valley just outside of Jenin, fired into his neighbors house, killing a man inside and critically wounding his wife.
For the last two days, Israeli soldiers have closed roads all around Jenin, including in the Berqin Valley, Swatat, Al Jabriat, and Jannat. The roadblock cleared by activists today, near the village of Abaa, just outside Jenin, has created hardship for thousands of people. The roadblock prevents primary access to Jenin for the people of 8 villages, affecting more than 25,000 residents. It has been in place since the start of this Intifada. The roadblock consists of a line of large concrete blocks, weighing more than 2 tons each. The Palestinian road is also cut through by a settler road. While Palestinians from 8 villages must walk around a roadblock, and access to supplies and medical relief is severely restricted, the colonists from two small settlements enjoy protected travel, guarded by a military base.
The march approached from two directions, from the direction of Abaa came a large group including village leadership, men and women of all ages, as well as a small group of international activists. From the direction of Jenin, more than twenty internationals and twenty Palestinians marched to the roadblock.
Using large crowbars, shovels, pickaxes, and a carjack, activists were able to move the concrete blocks into a ditch, opening up enough space for cars to get through. Soldiers immediately arrived, and threatened arrests, but activists continued to work until the road was open. The demonstrators cheered, and marched away. As far as we know, this is the first time this type of roadblock - common throughout Palestine - has been cleared without heavy machinery. It won't be the last time.
We expect that the Israeli Miltary will once again block the road. We are committed to keeping the road open.
For more information in Jenin contact: Andrew (From the UK): 972 67 943 926 Jordan (From the US): 972 66 312 547 www.palsolidarity.org
4) INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT Saturday, July 12, 2003
FREEDOM SUMMER CONTINUES
On Sunday July 13, Palestinian villagers in the Tulkarem region, joined by internationals will work to remove a major roadblock closing off 5 villages in the area, inhabited by approximately 15,000 people. The action is part of the Freedom Summer Campaign and the effort to highlight the systematic denial to the Palestinian people, of their basic right of freedom of movement. For more information, call Flo - +972-64-309-753
On Monday July 14, Palestinian farmers from the Qalqiliya district will march from the Municipality of Jayyous down to their farm land which they have been isolated from by a fence that is to serve Israel's apartheid plans. For more information, Shariff - +972-67-369771
In the past week, efforts to peacefully protest land confiscation and roadblocks have been met with scorn and violence by Israeli soldiers. They are:
On Monday, July 7, Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals set up camp on stolen land to reclaim the site of the "Separation Fence" so the three groups could meet over coffee, not barbed wire and trenches, joining three other camps in the West Bank. By Wednesday night the camp had been raided by the Israeli military, and four internationals were arrested.
On Thursday farmers in the area of Deir Al Ghasoon merely attempted to gain access to their fields, through the "agricultural gate" in the Barrier that the Israeli government had promised them. Accompanied by volunteer peacemakers, they were instead physically forced off their land by Israeli security forces.
On the same day, in Til, near Nablus, Israelis, internationals, and Palestinians attempted to remove a roadblock that had prevented villagers from engaging in such "security risk" behaviors as getting to school, work, and receiving medical care. When the Israeli army attempted to forcibly seize the mayor of Til, two Israelis and four internationals protected him, but were arrested themselves.
On Friday, at a similar event near Jenin, Palestinians successfully removed a concrete roadblock with their bare hands and prevented, through negotiation, any violence from onlooking Israeli soldiers.
The next day, after a peaceful demonstration that once more brought together hundreds of Palestinians as well as internationals and Israelis, soldiers attempted to forcibly arrest international and Israeli activists. Although several peaceworkers were lightly injured in the scuffle, and the situation was tense, the Palestinians managed to negotiate a safe and peaceful return home for everyone involved.
Freedom Summer continues and so do the attempts of the people to move beyond the fragile hopes of eventual diplomatic peace, assume their rights, and take their future into their own hands.