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Behind Smokescreen Another 400 Made Homeless

Behind Smokescreen Another 400 Made Homeless In Rafah

[a] Behind smokescreen another 400 made homeless in Rafah
[b] Short actvism news

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[a] Behind smokescreen another 400 made homeless in Rafah

Gush Shalom sent out today a press release pointing out the cynical approach, typical for the Sharon governemt: "While the spotlight is on the theatrical removal of the improvised "Kahane synagogue" in a recently founded illegal hilltop settlement, 30 houses are being demolished in Rafah's Refugee Camp, in the Gaza Strip, without allowing the 400 inhabitants to take out their few belongings."

Here follows the report on the Ha'aretz website - http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/385036.html

IDF bulldozers Tuesday flattened 30 houses and a mosque in the frequently targeted Rafa refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strio, Palestinian residents and security officials said.

Frantic residents threw mattresses and blankets from second-floor windows as beams and walls come crashing down around them. One woman, standing just feet from a bulldozer, waved a white flag in a failed attempt to slow the demolition and buy time to salvage her belongings. A crying girl helped her mother carry a mattress.

The military said it did not know how many buildings were demolished, but said it targeted only those from which shots were fired at soldiers overnight. Army officials initially insisted the houses that were razed had been abandoned some time ago, but then said that claim was still being checked.

Israel has demolished hundreds of houses in the camp in three years of fighting, saying the buildings give cover to gunmen and weapons smugglers.

The Palestinians say Israel is systematically clearing large swaths in the camp to distance built-up areas from the narrow strip Israeli troops patrol along the Egyptian border. Israel has erected a tall metal barrier south of the camp, as a shield for troops patrolling the border.

The Palestinian governor of Rafah, Majed Agha, said 30 houses were demolished in an area near the metal wall, and that about 400 people were left homeless.

Also razed Tuesday was a neighborhood mosque, Al Tawhid, which had been partially demolished Saturday, residents said. The mosque is about 70 meters Israeli metal barrier.

"This is a crime against God's law and human law as well," said mosque preacher Ibrahim Abu Jazar.

The military said it was still checking the report of the mosque demolition.

In the past three years, troops have generally stayed clear of holy sites.

In Tuesday's raid, three bulldozers and several tanks rumbled into the camp before dawn, witnesses said. Residents said there was shooting by Israeli troops. Those in the targeted homes hastily gathered their belongings, and some raised white flags to avoid being hit by tank fire, witnesses said.

[b] Short actvism news

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Tree planting in Budrus, Wednesday - Thursday

------- Forwarded message follows -------

From: "Rabbis for Human Rights"

Date sent: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 19:59:50 +0200

Dear Friends and Supporters,

In addition to the tree planting advertised for Wednesday between the Green Line and the Barrier(Leaving Gan HaPaamon at 8:15 and the new Rosh HaAyin train station at 9:15), we will do an additional planting on Thursday. We will depart from Gan HaPaamon at 9:00 and from the new Rosh HaAyin train station at 10:15. Please call or email to reserve space.

B'Vrakha,

Arik

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The 5 imprisoned COs appeal to Military Appeals Court

English http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=384767&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y

Latest update which just came buy phone: The prison authorities want to get rid of the five, whom they say "are no soldiers, and never will become so." The five seem to cause problems for the "re-education" of the other inmates. The idea is to let them serve their year's term in a civilian prison - which is absurd after CO appeals to be judged by a civilian court were rejected in the past because "from the moment that they receive the call-up order they are soldiers."

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For participating in ongoing joint Israeli-Palestinian protest actions against the wall, call: Jonathan:066-327736 or Franceska:064-494030

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Veteran peace activist Gila Svirsky will be in the Philadelphia area in February, on a speaking tour. She has still time for invitations to Jewish audiences, in private homes or synagogues/temples or wherever. Contact: gsvirsky@netvision.net.il

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Reservist refusers don't receive the IDF salary compensation for lost income. Many of them have a family to maintain. With an increasing number of refusers, the Keren Yesh Gvul (specific fund for compensations) is emptying rapidly. If you want the refusniks also in the future to receive at least something, send a cheque to: "Keren Yesh Gvul", POB 10276, Jerusalem 91102, Israel. More information at http://www.yesh-gvul.org/

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New on the site: Security & The Wall http://www.gush-shalom.org/security/english.html

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