Nablus - Freedom March Grows - Activist Detained
1. ISM Activists Witness Israeli Shooting of children and
youth; ISM Activist Shot with Rubber Bullet
2. Freedom March Day 13 in Budrus; March Gathers Momentum
3. Human Rights Activist Detained; Barred Entry at Ben Gurion Airport
1. ISM Activists Witness Israeli Shooting of Civilians; Tear Gas Homes; Activist Shot with Rubber Bullet
This morning around 8:30 am, five Israeli Army jeeps entered Balata Camp and occupied several homes in the middle of the camp and on the main road. They then stationed themselves at the entrances to the camp.
At 1:00pm ISM activists heard gunfire in the alley way and witnessed a young man, Abed Aburezik, shot in the arm and Ahmad Zaki shot in the stomach. One hour later it was announced that Abed had lost his arm as a result of the gun shot. Abed is a teenager.
In total, six Palestinians have been injured today, one young man is in critical condition.
By Thursday afternoon, Israeli Army jeeps remain in the camps and in the occupied homes. For the past three hours, ISM activists have witnessed the Soldiers throwing tear gas into the homes of Palestinians in the camp.
Thursday evening three ISM activists attempted to go into the street mear the center of Balata Camp to investigate the condition in the occupied homes and Israeli soldiers opened fire using rubber bullets. One activist was hit in the leg with a rubber bullet. His injury is not serious.
Wednesday night ISM activists learned of a night watchman in the bus compound south of Balata refugee camp who had been beaten by the Israeli soldiers. The ISM activists negotiated his release and managed to take him to the hospital for injuries sustained from the beatings.
Last night the Israeli Army also occupied the Walweel home, (whose 7 year-old son was killed last March by Israeli soldiers). The family includes the grandmother who is ill and the mother who is six months pregnant. ISM activists attempted to get to the home to verify their condition but were unable due to Israeli Army fire.
Update: Tonight, Thursday the mother, traumatized by the Israeli Army actions, lost her unborn child who died in the womb. Internationals accompanied the male members of the household in the dark of the night, to the cemetery to bury the child.
2. Freedom March Day 13: March Gathers Momentum in Budrus
Hundreds in Budrus Celebrate Non-violent Resistance, Israeli Army takes 15 year-old boy from March
Today the Freedom March crossed Deir Ballut Checkpoint, 10:00am. Internationals and Palestinians crossed without being stopped by the Israeli Army. The Israeli Army has controlled this important access point tightly for years. According to Fatima Khaldi of the Women Against the Wall of the Salfit Region, today was the first day since 1995 that Palestinians have been allowed to pass without being detained, denied passage or having to show their identification. Over the years the lack of access and travel by Palestinians due to the checkpoint has crippled the region.
Deir Ballut was once a vibrant economic center and surrounding villages have been cut off from Ramallah, an important center for trade, business, and education and health care facilities.
The Deir Ballut Checkpoint is opened by the Israeli military at 7:00- 8:88am in the morning and closes at 7:00pm. Vehicles attempting pass outside of these hours are denied passage. This has resulted in deaths at the checkpoint of Palestinians with medical emergencies, including the deaths of newborns.
The Freedom March grew in size as it traveled from Deir Ballut to Budrus. As the march approached Budrus there were at least 700 marchers, including representatives of several political parties and women's groups. They reached Budrus and were welcomed by the people who speeches and celebrated the power of their presence. The 16 year-old daughter of Abu Ahmed, one of the lead organizers in Budrus, spoke of the power of non-violence and the role of women in the resistance. She stated, "If Sharon creates death, you the people have the power to create life".
While the people were celebrating, the Israeli Army came in and grabbed a 15 year-old boy who had joined the march as it neared Budrus. ISM activists attempted to negotiate his release, and when they realized they were not succeeding, they threatened to surround the army jeeps and block their movement. The young boy, who was placed blindfolded on the hood of an Israeli Army jeep, was eventually released.
For photos see:
Additional Information From IWPS:
Salfit Girls Join Freedom March to Budrus
Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Ten girls from the new Salfit group, Flowers Against the Occupation, joined 100 international and Palestinian activists on the Freedom March along the path of the Apartheid Wall on Wednesday. The march, which began July 30 in Jenin, reached the Salfit district on Monday, marching from Mas'ha to Deir Balut. Thirty girls from Flowers Against the Occupation were among those who joined the march in Mas'ha.
One 9-year-old girl from Qarawat Bani Hassan was lightly injured when border police physically prevented the march from continuing to the isolated house of Munira and Hani A'amer.
On Wednesday, the 150 marchers crossed Deir Balut checkpoint and boarded buses to Shuqba, where after a rest they confronted the army and claimed the right to march along the Wall's path. A heavy military presence accompanied the five kilometer march to the outskirts of Budrus, where olive trees with their branches hacked off bear witness to the 38 nonviolent demonstrations that forced Israeli authorities to alter the path of the Wall to come close to the Green Line. There, the march was joined by over 1,000 villagers, including several hundred women and girls, who warmly greeted their sisters from Salfit. Border police threw one sound grenade just before the marchers reached Budrus.
Flowers Against the Occupation was formed at the end of a two week girls' summer camp against the Wall held in Deir Balut. Deir Balut and neighboring Az Zawiya were the site of numerous demonstrations in June and July, before injunctions halted work on the Wall. Girls participated in many of the demonstrations, most of which were attacked by Israeli forces with tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets.
The summer camp was organized by Salfit Women For Life, an association of local women working to stop the Apartheid Wall and end the occupation.
The girls, primarily ages 13-17, plan to create a website to tell the world about their situation, and connect with young women in other countries and around Palestine.
3. Human Rights Activist Detained; Barred Entry at Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport
Human rights activist from Great Britain has been barred from entering Israel and was detained this morning at Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport by security authorities.
Ewa Jasiewicz, a freelance journalist and writer, has also worked as a human rights activist in Palestine and Iraq. She has worked with women's organizations and workers unions. Two years ago in Nablus, Ewa witnessed the killing of a young boy by the Israeli Army.
In September of 2002, Ewa was one of five internationals who witness the gunning down of 14 year-old Baha Al-Bahsh in Nablus by an Israeli soldier who took aim from an APC. She spoke of her witness to the press before she left the West Bank and returned to her country.
She is presently in detention and is filing an appeal.
For more information contact:
ISM Media Office: 972-2-277-4602 or 972-547-358-579