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ISM Updates

ISM Updates 07/28/03 21.39:52

1) Correction 2) Apartheid Wall breached by activists 3) A Nation or a Prison _ Mike McCurdy

1) Correction: Our earlier report stated that 30 internationals and 20 Israelis joined the villagers in Anin. More accurate numbers = over 50 internationals and 30 Israelis.

2) Apartheid Wall breached by Palestinian, International and Israeli activists July 28, 2003 written by Polly ISM Jenin

[Anin, JENIN] Today activists from the International Solidarity Movement, working with local Palestinians and Israelis succeeded in opening a small but symbolic hole in the Wall of Apartheid in the village of Anin, west of the city of Jenin.

The Israeli Occupation Forces responded by opening fire with rubber bullets on members of the International Solidarity Movement who were taking part in a non-violent demonstration against the Israeli Apartheid Wall [named the ’security fence’ by the Israeli authorities]. Five ISM activists were injured by the rubber bullets fired at close range by the IOF from behind the fence the activists were attempting to tear down. Two were hospitalised. Several other Israeli and ISM activists were injured by sound grenades exploding in close proximity, or by tear gas canisters fired directly at their bodies.

The demonstration was called by local Palestinians from Anin and the surrounding villages, of whom approximately 250-300 participated together with 50 ISM and 30 Israeli activists. The goal of the demonstration was to symbolically force open the gate in the Apartheid Wall, which separates the village of Anin from over 11,000 dunams/2,750 acres of its land.

Activists withstood tear gas and rubber bullets long enough to force open the gate. The activists had intended to also pull down segments of the fence. However, due to the injuries the group sustained this action had to be aborted.

The officially stated reason for building the ’security fence’ is to prevent the unauthorised passage of Palestinians out of the West Bank. However, the route of the so-called ’security fence’ does not follow the internationally recognised pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel. The Israeli authorities refuse to publish the official path of their ’security fence’. However, research carried out by the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, the planned route for the fence will isolate a number of Palestinian villages and rob a great many more of their farmland. Thereby, enabling the acquisition of even more Palestinian land by the Israeli state. B’Tselem estimates that the Apartheid Wall will cause direct harm to at least 210,000 Palestinians in 67 cities, towns and villages.

The action in Anin is one of many planned by Palestinians living in the affected areas to oppose this internationally condemned injustice being perpetrated on the long suffering Palestinian people in the name of security.

For photos, see:

For more information: Anin village council head (Abu Antar): +972-52-351-517 ISM Media Office: +972-2-277-4602 Huwaida: +972-67-473-308

The injured: Thomas Bacon (US) - two rubber coated bullets to the back Sam Tsihonis (Olympia, WA: US) - rubber-coated bullet in the leg; puncture wound Greta Berlin (US) - rubber-coated bullet to the leg Jordan Flaherty (New York, NY: US)- shrapnel wound to the hand Kelly (Ireland)- rubber-coated bullet to the hip Andrew (Scotland) - rubber-coated bullet to the leg and stomach

3) A Nation or a Prison

Gaza 28 Jul 03 Mike McCurdy

After a while it is difficult to know what to write. How do you wake up a sleeping world? How can one use the written word to reach in and grab someone out of their comfort and apathy and make them care. That is how I feel here in the Gaza Strip in the city of Rafah. A small city full of dignity and pride, hospitality and friendship. A place where one feels welcomed like a long lost family member. That is, as long as they are one of the lucky few to get permission from the Israeli military to enter this prison.

Putting aside the many other daily violations of Palestinian dignity for a moment I would like us to consider what it means to place serious restrictions on who may enter the ever shrinking Palestinian regions. As of now for instance one may not enter the Gaza Strip (or many other Palestinian regions) to visit friends, go shopping, swim at the beech or do any of the things normal people like to do. To get into Gaza one must have some form of official permission from the Israeli government. The requirements of Israel vary and change with time but it is clear that very few are allowed to cross into Gaza. This is especialy frightening when one considers the vast network of fences and walls currently being biult to contain, seperate and isolate the Palestinian population. Prisons give visitation rights to inmates yet most Palestinians cannot be said to have these. Perhaps pr

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