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ISM: Women's demo in Biddu and other reports

Women's demo in Biddu and other reports

1) Wall NO, Peace YES! - Report of Women's demonstration in Biddu
2) Enduring violence - Update from Biddu
3) Israeli confessed 'under duress' to killing peace activist _ The Independent
4) LIFE HAS LOST ITS TASTE – A Visit to Jayous_IWPS

===================================

1)
Wall NO, Peace YES!
Women’s demonstration in Biddu
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

[Biddu, NW Jerusalem] Around 11 o'clock this morning about 60 women of Biddu, Israeli women from different organizations such as The Women's Coalition and Bat Shalom and internationals met at the Biddu village council for a joint protest against the construction of the Apartheid Wall in the NW Jerusalem area. This demonstration was organized despite the many problems that had arisen due to the first exclusively women's demonstration in Biddu which took place a little over 2 weeks ago. Many women have since been afraid of participating because of the aggressive and violent reaction of the soldiers who attacked the women with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and baton wielding soldiers on horses. Also four women were arrested. Since then, the Women's Club of Biddu has been the forum for discussions regarding future actions and yesterday the women of Biddu decided to go through with another protest. For that they wrote a statement for all the participants of the demo, the media and all who might listen and support their plight:

Letter from the Women from the Village of Biddu, Northwest Jerusalem District

The women's demonstration today is a peaceful protest against Israel's construction of the Apartheid Wall which we consider a terrible Israeli plan to seize Palestinian land, expel thousands of Palestinian residents from their homes and transfer them. This Apartheid Wall will deprive the Palestinian people their right to have their own state. The building of this wall will also prevent students from reaching schools and universities, the sick from reaching hospitals, farmers from reaching their land and workers from reaching their work. The Wall will further Israel's efforts to acquire and control water resources. All that Israel is doing, from seizing land to depriving residents of basic humanitarian services, is in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and all international laws relating to peoples under military occupation. We call people on good conscience and on human rights organizations worldwide to stand with us and support us in our peaceful activities until the Wall falls.

Signed,

Women from the Village of Biddu, Northwest Jerusalem District

The demonstration peacefully walked towards the construction site of the barrier, but soldiers blocked the road at the edge of the village, with jeeps and horses waiting in the background, so the demonstration stopped on a distance of approximately 30 meters. The demonstration didn't try to confront the soldiers, because of the women's fear of violence from the soldiers. They, instead held hands and chanted in Hebrew and Arabic, “Wall NO, peace YES!” Two Israeli women then approached the soldiers and handed them a letter calling on them to refuse to serve the occupation. In their march back, the group of Palestinian, Israeli and international women turned down a path where the women of Biddu were able to show their sisters where their land had already been destroyed and point out the dozens of olive trees that had been uprooted by Israeli bulldozers but replanted by Palestinian farmers. A jeep of gun-wielding soldiers followed the women and ordered them back, at which time the demonstration turned around and headed towards the council for a short meeting to evaluate the experience of today and to plan possible future actions.

The goal of the women today was to show that they were not going to let the violence of the soldiers scare them away; that they would continue to peacefully express their rejection to the destruction and confiscation of their land and the ghettoization of their community. They hope that their determination will encourage other women to join them and get the world to hear their cry and stop this crime.

========================

2)
ENDURING VIOLENCE – Update from Biddu
By: Pat
May 7, 2004
Biddu, NW Jerusalem

The residents of Biddu’s neighborhoods near where the wall is being built regularly find their homes taken over by soldiers or inundated by teargas, and are questioned and harassed by the soldiers who maintain a constant presence. Their only crime is living close to the path where Israel has chosen to build the wall, a path that has no logic relating to recognized boundaries. The residents of Biddu have been particularly angered by the behavior of Israeli soldiers over the last few days. While soldiers regularly stop Palestinian cars driving through town, a few days ago they called one mother who was driving with her child a prostitute. From the rooftops of Palestinian homes that they occupy, they also threw small rocks at young Palestinian girls as they were walking to school.

To read the full report, please see: http://www.palsolidarity.org/reports/writings/7May04_03_58_26JerusalemPat.htm For photos from Biddu, please see:

Prayer on land http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_23Apr04_17_30_30JerusalemHuwaidaISM.htm Women’s demonstration http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_25Apr04_07_44_03JerusalemGoranTomasevicforREUTERS.htm

Israeli military arrests 11 nonviolent activists in Biddu http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_15Apr04_17_14_21JerusalemAssociatedPress.htm

Villagers protecting their land in Biddu http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_13Apr04_15_28_10JerusalemEmilie.htm

Trying to stop the destruction of land in Biddu http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_7Apr04_01_19_13JerusalemNewsAgencies.htm

Awaiting the bulldozers in Biddu http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_5Apr04_09_07_46JerusalemISM-Huwaida.htm

People of Biddu chase soldiers and bulldozers out of village http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_4Apr04_19_21_30JerusalemWarrickPage,AssociatedPress,ISM.htm

and

http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_4Apr04_13_22_02JerusalemHuwaida&Jeff(ISM).htm

Biddu / Beit Surik struggling against the Wall http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_27Feb04_04_04_13JerusalemVarious.htm

========================

3)
Israeli confessed 'under duress' to killing peace activist
By Terri Judd
11 May 2004

An Israeli soldier went on trial yesterday for killing the British peace activist Tom Hurndall, who was fatally wounded 13 months ago while trying to protect Palestinian children.

In a conflict that has seen thousands of deaths but only a handful of soldiers arrested, the trial of Sgt Idier Wahid Taysir for manslaughter was described as an historic one, a result of a campaign for justice by Mr Hurndall's family.

Mr Hurndall, 21, a photojournalism student, was working with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement in Rafah, Gaza, when he was shot in the head by the Israeli soldier as he tried to get trapped Palestinian children out of the line of fire. He died nine months later, after being brought home in a persistent vegetative state.

His parents, Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall, fought for a new investigation, refusing to accept an initial inquiry which exonerated the army. Eventually in January on the anniversary of their son's death, they learnt that a soldier had been charged with intent to cause injury, which was later upgraded to manslaughter.

Yesterday at a military court in a desert base in southern Israel,Ilan Bombach, a defence lawyer, requested that the judges ignore a confession by Sgt Taysir, insisting it was "given under pressure". Sgt Taysir is facing one count of manslaughter, two counts of obstruction of justice, one of submitting false testimony, one of obtaining false testimony and one of unbecoming behaviour. But Mr Hurndall's family, which insists there is "overwhelming evidence" that Tom was deliberately killed, said they would not be satisfied until the charge is murder. Their lawyers made representations to the Supreme Court yesterday for the Israeli army to release details of its military investigation.

The family, which was only given a three-page summary, believes the full evidence will support its case for a murder charge and perhaps reveal a widespread culture within the Israeli Defence Force.

Lawyers for Sgt Taysir, who admitted shooting at Mr Hurndall "as a deterrent" even though the student was unarmed, insisted that their client was being "hung out to dry" and was "following orders". The trial was adjourned until 19 May.

Mrs Hurndall said outside court: "I accept that to have got this far is a significant achievement, indeed an historic one. There have been no trials of this magnitude relating to killings in the occupied territories in the three years since the intifada, which has seen over 3,000 innocent non-combatants killed and over 40,000 seriously injured in the region. I am committed to getting to the truth about the killing of my son. There are questions that need to be answered as to whether there are policy issues which led to Tom's death. Indeed it is likely that there are others who share responsibility."

The UN said yesterday that Israel had left 1,100 Palestinians homeless in the Gaza Strip this month, by destroying 131 homes. It called the first 10 days of May "one of the most intense periods of destruction by the Israeli military". More than 18,000 Palestinians have been made homeless since the intifada began in September 2000.

11 May 2004 09:58 THE INDEPENDENT

============================

4)
IWPS House Article 56 -
LIFE HAS LOST ITS TASTE – A Visit to Jayous
May 10, 2004
Text and photos by Angie, IWPS.

The last time I was in Jayous was just after the expropriation orders had been left on trees informing the local villagers that their land was going to be taken for the Wall[1][1]. There were large nonviolent demonstrations going on to protest and to try to stop the threatened theft of the land and water resources that would be the other side of the wall. We were shown the route of the planned wall during a demonstration and witnessed the prayers for peace on some of the Fridays when villagers prayed that the wall would never be built.

Unfortunately the wall was built and now, 18 months later, the disastrous effects are clear for all to see. IWPS chose to spend a day in the company of one of the more well-known farmers and listen to his story to gain an insight into the problems.

For the full report with photos, please see:

http://www.womenspeacepalestine.org/iwpsre8.jpg

=======================

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT

www.palsolidarity.org

At a time when the Israeli military is daily raiding, destroying, arresting and killing with near total impunity, we need you!

Join the Palestinian struggle for freedom and human rights Freedom Summer Palestine June 25 - August 19, 2004 For more information, see: www.palsolidarity.org

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT

www.palsolidarity.org

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." Robert F. Kennedy


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