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ISM: Please Don't Stay Silent - Rafah Action

PLEASE DON'T STAY SILENT!!

Israel continues its military operations against the people of Rafah, demolishing homes at an unprecedented rate, burying some civilians underneath rubble, injuring and killing others.

Yesterday an estimated 3000 Palestinian civilians took to the streets to protest Israel's military aggression against the people of the Tel al Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, peacefully walking towards Tel al Sultan, they were fired upon by the Israeli military, first from an Apache helicopter, then from a tank which fired 3 missiles, then machine-gun fire at the demonstrators. TV cameras captured horrifying images of people running in all directions, carrying bloodied children. Over a dozen Palestinians were killed in this atrocious, inhumane act and dozens more were injured.

We need you to raise your voice against these war crimes and force the international community to take action!

Please organize or join a demonstration/vigil in your area, contact your local media, contact your congressional representatives. Help us educate the world about what's happening in Rafah and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

SINCE SATURDAY IN RAFAH:

* at least 54 Palestinians killed, including women and children -- more each day

* 116 homes destroyed

* 1,160 people made homeless

"Altogether since the beginning of 2004, the IDF has demolished 284 homes in Rafah, leaving 2,185 Palestinians homeless. Over the past three and a half years, the IDF as demolished some 1,800 homes in the Rafah Refugee Camp. Such massive destructions of civilian property are illegal under international humanitarian law. The death of IDF soldiers cannot justify the severe harm to civilians, who were not involved in the hostilities. " -- Israeli human rights group Bt'Selem

"At least 15 Palestinians, many of them said to be school students, were killed and dozens were wounded Wednesday afternoon when Israel Defense Forces helicopter gunships and tanks fired missiles and shells into a crowd of protestors in Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. "

-- Israeli journalist Amira Hass

To see photos of Rafah:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=Rafah&ei=UTF-8&fr=fp-tab-img-t&cop=mss&tab=3

To listen / download a CKUT interview with Mohamed from Rafah visit: http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=9222

Stories from the corporate press:

- BBC: Israelis fire on crowds in Gaza http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3728681.stm

- BBC: Israel seeks Mass Gaza Surrender http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3728495.stm

- Agence France-Presse: Ten dead, 40 wounded as Israeli helicopter targets Rafah protest http://sg.news.yahoo.com/040519/1/3kedo.html

- Reuters: Israeli Forces Fire on Crowd in Gaza, Killing 10 http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=574&ncid=721&e=1&u=/nm/20040519/wl_nm/mideast_dc

- Al Jazeera.net (English): Israeli forces massacre protesters in Rafah http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/130B11F6-E96E-4B3B-93CB-55DDC8CE7FCF.htm

Breaking News from Palestine (websites)

- Palestine News Network http://www.palestinenet.org/english/

- Rafah Today http://rafahtoday.org/index.htm

- Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza http://www.pchrgaza.org/

- Electronic Intifada http://electronicintifada.net/new.shtml

- Gaza Blog http://gaza.blogspot.com/

Report: Amnesty International: - Israel and the Occupied Territories: Under the rubble: House demolition and destruction of land and property

http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde150332004

PROTEST AGAINST THE CRIMES IN RAFAH!

WHO: Israeli and international peace activists

WHERE: At the entrance to Gaza

WHEN: Friday, May 21, 2004

TIME: 12:00 Noon

Transportation:

Akre (Akko) the taxi station near Egged, Haifa: 8:30 Solel Boneh Square. Contact: Dalit 066-693120 Tira, Taibe, Kalansawa, Raanana, Kfar Saba: 9:00. Contact: Samer 068-820798 Jaljulia 9:00 Kfar Kassem 9:30. Contact: Muhammad 065-406650 Tel Aviv: 9:30 El Al terminal, Rakevet Merkaz. Contact: Tali 052-3367102 Jerusalem: 9:30 Gan Hapa'amon. Contact: Neve 052-3368603 Beer Sheva & South: 10:30. Contact: Anwar 050-7250191

INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS

Seattle, WA:

EMERGENCY VIGIL AGAINST THE ASSAULTS ON RAFAH THURSDAY MAY 20 5:30 PM Westlake Plaza 4th and Pine Seattle

A silent vigil. Wear black. We will have masks and kufiyehs, plus a ground display of massacre silhouettes updated to include the escalating numbers from Rafah.

Information: (206) 633-1086 // palestinejustice@aol.com

Albuquerque, NM

Friday, May 21 - protest/sit in in front of the Congressional offices downtown from 12-1:00 pm during people's lunch hours with signs

Chicago, IL:

Friday, May 21: Emergency Demo to Protest Latest Israeli Massacre of Palestinians in Rafah.

When: Friday, May 21, 4:00 PM Where: Israeli Consulate. 111 East Wacker Drive - just east of the corners of Michigan Avenue and Wacker.

Los Angeles, CA

LOCATION: Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles 6380 Wilshire Blvd (between San Vicente and Fairfax) Los Angeles, CA 90048

DATE & TIME: Thursday, May 20th, 2004 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Louisville, KY:

Sit-in on Friday, the 21st of May. Meet during or right after the regular (noon-1:00) Mid East Peace Vigil held at the corner of 6th and Broadway. Delegations will then organize and go to congressional offices

London

Daily vigils at:

Israeli Embassy - Kensington High Street - 2 - 7 pm and Parliament Square - 6 - 10 pm.

CALL / WRITE / FAX !!

Contact people (First try the US, European and UN officials. All the fax numbers work):

(1) President George W. Bush -- Tel (202) 456-2461; Fax (202) 456-2461.

(2) Secretary of State Colin Powell -- Tel (202) 261-8577; Fax (202) 261-8577.

(3) US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer -- Tel in Israel: (+972-3) 519-7575 webmaster@usembassy-israel.org.il

(4) Your member of Congress: Call the Capital switchboard toll-free: 1-800-839-5276 and ask to be connected to your member of Congress.

(5) UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, coi@un.org

(6) Council of the European Union, public.info@consilium.eu.int

(7) European Union, civis@europarl.eu.int

(8) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Fax (+972 2) 670-5361 rohm@pmo.gov.il

(9) Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz, Fax (+972 3) 691-6940 sar@mod.gov.il

(10) Minister of Justice Yosef Lapid, Fax: (+972 2) 628-5438 sar@justice.gov.il

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

Alert

by

Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations " PNGO "

The city of Rafah and Rafah's refugee camp in the Gaza Strip are being ravaged by Israeli occupation forces, creating a massive catastrophe in this already devastated Palestinian refugee camp. We cannot contain our shock and anger at the impotence of the international community in curbing Israeli war crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

According to human rights organizations, within less than two weeks, since May 1, Israeli Occupation forces have destroyed hundreds of homes in Rafah's refugee camp, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless. This wave of inhumane destruction continues with acts no less criminal in nature than those committed by Milosevic in Kosovo.

Since Monday May, 10 2004, at least 60 Palestinians have been killed during Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip and more than 300 Palestinian civilians injured. It is indeed extremely dismaying that at a time when people around the world are expressing their desire for peace and their condemnation of military aggression and oppression, Israel continues to pave the way to the future with machines of war, consolidating injustice and domination of a whole nation, and crushing their legitimate rights.

PNGO calls upon the United Nations and the international community as a whole to bear their responsibility and confront the aggression Israel has been perpetrating with impunity for the last half a century, and which is continuing with Israel's construction of the Apartheid Wall and settlements, further dispossessing the Palestinian people of their lands, water resources and threatening their very livelihood.

We call upon the international community, particularly signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the High Contracting Parties to ensure an immediate halt to these escalating violations of the Convention which are being perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces in the OPTs. Specifically, we call for the immediate dispatch of international protection for the Palestinian civilian population.

"With these disproportionate military operations, Israel is in grave breach of international humanitarian law. This collective punishment can do nothing to calm the situation in Gaza or enhance Israel's own security".

(Statement made by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Peter Hansen: Press Release No. HQ/G/11/2004 16 May, 2004)

The Palestinian NGO Network


INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
www.palsolidarity.org


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