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Invasion of Balata / Lowdown from Jenin


Invasion of Balata / Lowdown from Jenin / Mustafa sues Israelis

1) Invasion in Balata Camp _ Danielle 2) Lowdown from Jenin _ Ben J. 3) Toronto Man Sues Israelis _ Toronto Star

1) Invasion in Balata Camp Nablus, West Bank November 4, 2003 1:45PM Palestine Time Danielle

Today, the Israeli Army entered the Balata Refugee Camp around 3:30am and began building roadblocks on the southern and eastern entrances to the camp. Throughout the day, the army has shot both live and rubber ammunition, tear gas, and sound grenades.

The military presence in the camp is made up of three jeeps, one hummer, one armoured bulldozer, and two tanks, although there were eyewitness reports recieved from Huwara cheackpoint of five more tanks entering Nablus.

Soldiers have consistently engaged in provacative behavior, taunting groups of rock-throwing, Palestinian youth by driving their vehicles closer to them and then retreating a few dozen meters after attacking with their weapons. So far, nine Palestinians, mostly youths, have been shot with live fire in the legs, arms, back, and torso regions.

Ulrika Andersson, a 25 year old International Solidarity Movement female volunteer from Sweden, was shot in the collarbone with a rubber bullet while standing on the street in front of a group of children.

Later today, other ISM volunteers had been centimeters away from being hit with live fire as well. The injured have been treated by UPMRC and Red Crescent workers.

On multiple occasions, female ISM volunteers tried to engage with the soldiers in jeeps in verbal dialogue pertaining to the reason for the invasion but were met either with flirting or orders to leave the area. The Israeli military has seized control of and occupied at least two homes in the southern and eastern entrances to the camp, although this number may be as high as four.

Balata residents speculate that this behavior from the Israeli Occupying Forces is indicative of what potentially may be a larger invasion, since previous roadblock constructions in the same area have never before been accompanied by tanks.

By 11:00am all international media was expelled from the area. As of the time of this writing, the invasion still continues.

2) Lowdown from Jenin November 4, 2003 Ben J. Jenin

...Last night, after saying hellos and being welcomed back, we went and had a visit at a friends' home. Much of the talk revolved around his families experience during the Jenin Camp invasion in spring 2002.

After awhile his older brother, around 35 presented himself. He immediately struck me as a rather strange and haunted man.

We learned why, in painful detail, and it all stemmed from his experience during the invasion, in which his home was first attacked by an Apache helicopter, 2 rockets and many dozens of rounds of 5 inch long bullets, as he huddled in the back bathroom with his wife, 2 small kids and 2 day old daughter.

Read the full account at: http://www.palsolidarity.org/reports/writings/4Nov03_14_29_06JeninBenJ.htm

3) Toronto man sues Israelis Canadian activist held for 30 hours Blames his arrest on racial profiling

JOSH MITNICK SPECIAL TO THE STAR

Tel Aviv—Canadian political activist Mustafa Henaway testified in a Tel Aviv court yesterday he was the victim of racial profiling by Israeli police when they detained him for 30 hours last month without producing an arrest warrant.

The testimony was part of a hearing in a $6,700 suit Henaway has launched against the government of Israel. The 24-year-old political science major at York University accuses Israeli security authorities of false arrest, negligence and causing him emotional stress.

"Because of my ethnic background, I was clearly singled out and targeted," said Henaway, who spoke with the help of a Hebrew translator. "I looked like the archetype suicide bomber."

Henaway was born in Canada to parents who immigrated from Egypt.

Attorney Shamai Leibowitz said yesterday's proceedings marked the first time a foreign humanitarian worker had sued the Israeli government for false arrest and emotional abuse during questioning. The government plans to respond formally to the accusations within 45 days. No date has been set for a continuation of the trial.

Henaway arrived in the country July 8 as a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement, a group that brings in foreign nationals — mostly from North America and Europe — who agree to serve as "human shields" to protect Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza from the Israeli army.

Israel views International Solidarity Movement volunteers as a band of meddlers who make the army's job more difficult by inserting themselves in the middle of a war zone.

Henaway spent most of his time in the West Bank city of Jenin, escorting Palestinians who were breaking curfew in an area known as a beehive of militant activity.

On Oct. 14, Israeli police and soldiers forced him to leave the West Bank, declaring the Palestinian village in which he was staying a "closed military zone."

The following day, as Henaway and two colleagues boarded a taxi in northern Israel, police appeared and took the Canadian into custody after noticing his visa had expired. "They just pulled up and said that I looked suspicious," he said.

Over the next day, Henaway was interrogated by agents of Israel's Shin Bet security service as well as police, who accused him of involvement in terrorist activities. Henaway said his Israeli minders used demeaning insults like "Arab dog," but he wasn't physically abused.

Henaway, a Toronto native, was released Oct. 16 but ordered to leave the country by today. Yesterday's court proceedings were held to gather his testimony before his departure.

Leibowitz, who usually defends international activists against Israeli efforts to deport them, said Henaway's suit could set a precedent that would force authorities to treat the activists differently.

"Dozens of them are arrested, and here is a guy who decided to sue, and not just take this abuse and go back to his country," he said.

At yesterday's hearing, government attorney Yariv Ligumsky tried to expose inconsistencies between Henaway's testimony and an affidavit he signed.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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