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International Solidarity Movement News Update

International Solidarity Movement News Update

1. Israeli Army Attack Nablus; Kill at least six Palestinians, including an 11 year-old girl

2. Residents of Three Villages March to Stop Bulldozers

3. An Activist Returns Home

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1. At least 5 Killed in Nablus Overnight, Raids Continue

Early this morning the sounds of pitched battles could be heard by friends One fellow ISM volunteer staying in the Old City described the situation in the following terms in an SMS: :"Sum explosions, shooting &apache at this end. Dnt knw wot they r doin. Mayb we shud chek it out in the morning. (05:20:50)." Now the news is slowly filtering in that at least five people have been killed. The mosque here in Balata still hasn't been able to gather the names of those killed, but it's already read statements from the Al-Aqsa Brigades and the Al-Awda Brigades denouncing the killings. Medical teams are still being denied access to the area of the clashes, so the death toll could be higher. From reports on the ground there is a group of D9 bulldozers moving into the area at this moment, presumably to demolish the home - and tanks were also brought in and are still on the streets.

Haaretz is reporting the IDFs claim that its forces were fired upon while conducting a routine nightly raid. Details are sketchy. I'll post more information as it becomes available. In the meantime I will be with the joint ISM/PMRC team being formed to assist in efforts aimed at negotiating medical access to the site.

According to eye-witness reports, the Israeli army entered at 1:00am and occupied several homes and a church. They entered the church and detained members of the church, including 13 disabled children and elderly men and women who were living in the centers belonging to the church. When the priest attempted to enter the church to check on the condition of the people, an Israeli soldier pointed his machine gun at his head and threatened to shoot jhim. They were forced to remain in one room without foor or water until 12:00pm.

Two apache helicopters continue to circle shooting randomly at homes and toward the mountain in order to frighten the people. The area has been declared a closed military zone.

Please call the DCO and demand that the Israeli military withdraw its forces from the city: + 972 2 5486218.

Update on situation 9/15/04:

By noon, Wednesday, at least 24 Palestinians have been injured, one is in critical condition. The Old City is under siege and confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers continues. The city has declared a strike.

Internationals Solidarity Movement activists have joined the UPMRC Palestinian Medical teams to attempt to reach the area that was attacked last night and document the damages and identify injured. The Israeli army has demolished one home in the old city.

At the scene of the destruction, ambulances are not being allowed in to retrieve the bodies and search for wounded. ISM activists are presently in the area of the attack and are updating the media office on an hourly basis. Funerals for the six killed will be held tomorrow at 10:00am.

Contacts/More information:

Qusay: 972-59-776-162 Siama: 972-52-594-5760 Kole: 972-59-737-118 ISM Media Office: 972-2-277-4602 or 547-358-579

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2. Stopping the Bulldozers in Hebron: Palestinians, Internationals and Israelis March

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7A1982B9-EF9F-463E-BEE5-88209C2078FA.htm

Israel Intensifies Land Seizures

On Tuesday Israeli soldiers guarding the bulldozers used to level Palestinian fields west of Hebron, fired teargas canisters at Palestinian and international protesters, injuring a number of youths. Hundreds of farmers and their children from the nearby villages of Dir Samet and Beit Awwa tried to protect their olive groves from the onslaught of the bulldozers.

Hundreds of Palestinians, joined by internationals and Israelis rallied in Dir Samit and marched to the site of the wall construction where their land is being leveled and fruit tress are being uprooted. Men, women and children marched together in an attempt to stop the bulldozers from continuing to destroy land and their livelihoods.

The mayors and municipalities of the three villages are determined to resist the construction of the Wall and will continue organizing marches and protests.

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3. An Activists Returns Homes

Report from Damian

On Saturday I went from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to visit some of the holy sites there. I had finished volunteering for ISM and wanted to play tourist for a day. I caught a Palestinian service taxi to get there.

For full report and photos:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0409/S00156.htm

END

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