ISM: Report and Update on Kate and Kelly Arrest
ISM Digest: Report and Update on Kate and Kelly Arrest and Deportation
1.Jayyous in the news and on the airwaves 2. Report and update on Kate and Kelly, awaiting deportation: Statements from two activists 3. International Activists Demonstrate Against Israeli Interference In Palestinian Presidential Election 4. Report and journal from Leila on the Demonstration in Bil'in: Internationals, Palestinians beaten and arrested for protesting non- violently ___________________________________________________
1. Jayyous in the news and on the airwaves:
If anyone wants to talk with Allam who is from Jayyous and now lives here in oakland (as of two months ago)...much of this land being confiscated is from his family (Salim) (40 dunams which are his immediate family land)...you can call 1510 717 4547...and we can arrange for you to talk with him. His English is good.
1) John Petrovato, + two Jayyousi, may be on flashpoints tonight: http://www.flashpoints.net/ 6 pm PST.
2) Ireland indymedia posted the following call for help for Jayyous: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67921
2. Report and update on Kate and Kelly, awaiting deportation; statements from the two activists follow
The people of Bil'in came out on Tuesday 16th December to demonstrate against the large-scale theft of land from Bil'in for the construction of the apartheid wall. Despite an order prohibiting construction work before a court hearing on Thursday, private surveyors accompanied by soldiers were working in the area.
During the peaceful demonstration the villagers obstructed the surveying work and attempted to paint over the marks the surveyors had left on the ground. Women from the village came out to challenge the soldiers about the confiscation of their land. To suppress the demonstration, 30-40 Israeli Border Policemen fired tear gas and plastic-coated metal bullets into the crowd, before baton-charging those remaining. Several Palestinians were dragged off for individual beatings by groups of soldiers.
During the demonstration, Kelly Minio-Paluello and Kate Rafael Bender (Community Activists) were pointed out to the Border Police by plain- clothes Shabak employees [Israeli Intelligence Agency]. It seems that they were singled out for filming and for their history as activists. Both were immediately threatened with deportation. In contrast, a third international who was arrested with them was offered release if he signed the minimal condition of not coming back to Bil'in for 8 days.
After arrest, the three internationals were taken to the neighboring settlement police station. Kelly Minio-Paluello was forced to strip naked in front of two policewomen in a conscious attempt to humiliate her. Kate and Kelly were then transferred to the Immigration Authority in Talpiot for questioning. They are now being held in Hadera Deportation Prison, with women from poorer nations who Israel has decided are no longer needed to boost the workforce.
A judge issued both Kate and Kelly with deportation orders at noon on Thursday, but neither of them were allowed to speak or represent themselves or to have their lawyer present. Consequently, they refused to sign the deportation order. It remains likely that they will be deported in the next few days.
For more information, please call:
Kelly: ++972 54 6346923 Kate: ++972 54 7870198
Statements from Kate and Kelly from their deportation cell
Kelly Minio-Paluello (Community Activist and Journalist) "I saw gangs of heavily-armed soldiers attacking women and teenagers who dared to say, `Stop stealing our land!' Israel depends on shooting mothers with tear gas and beating their children with batons to enforce the occupation and subjugate the people of Palestine. Yet it hides this fact from the world - that is why I am in prison.
While here I have met amazing women who Israel is mistreating in parallel with the assault on Palestinians. One woman was beaten heavily during her arrest yesterday. She appears to have a ruptured spleen, but has received no medical attention."
Kate Rafael Bender (Community Activist):
"I witnessed the brutality of the Israeli military suppressing a peaceful Palestinian protest. I was arrested while filming an unprovoked attack on a teenager, who was repeatedly kicked and beaten with clubs by a group of border police.
I came to this activism in part because of my identity as a Jewish American. Apparently Jews who care about human rights and justice are not welcome here. This is a dangerous policy which makes the world unsafe for Jews everywhere.
I demand to be released to continue my work to dismantle Israeli Apartheid and replace it with policies that promote freedom and security for all!"
3. International Activists Demonstrate Against Israeli Interference In Palestinian Presidential Election
A group of international human-rights activists, from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), along with Israelis and Palestinians, demonstrated today outside the Israeli military courts of the Russian Compound in Jerusalem. The activists were demonstrating against the Israeli Occupying Force?s attempts to interfere with the Palestinian presidential elections by refusing freedom of movement for the Palestinian presidential candidates.
The Israeli Occupying Force stopped and detained a Palestinian presidential candidate earlier today, at Al-Ram while he was attempting to travel from Ramallah to East Jerusalem to attend an election campaign meeting. He was brought to the military courts in the Russian compound for a court hearing, accused by the Israeli Occupying Force of attempting to enter Jerusalem without the proper permit and of attacking a Border Policeman. These accusations have not been confirmed by eye-witness accounts. The court hearing was taking place when the demonstration began.
The peaceful demonstration stayed outside the military courts until the end of the court hearing. The demonstrators chanted anti- occupation slogans, such as "Occupation, No. Peace, Yes" and "Israeli Justice, No Justice", in Hebrew and English. After the court hearing, the detained Palestinian presidential candidate was taken from the court to an Israeli police station, within the Russian Compound. The demonstration moved to outside the police station when he was moved. The candidate was eventually released this evening, on bail, to appear in court in the future for his trial.
The Palestinian people of East Jerusalem have the right to participate in the Palestinian presidential elections, and so should be allowed access to the presidential candidates in order for a "free and open" election to be possible. Israel has promised to help facilitate the Palestinian presidential elections; the Israeli Occupying Forces restrictions on the movement of the presidential candidates are a violation of that promise.
As part of ISMers Election Campaign, ISM activists will continue to monitor, report and demonstrate against the Israeli Occupying Force's movement restrictions of Palestinian presidential candidates and Palestinian voters. If these Israeli measures continue the right of the Palestinian people to "free and open" elections will be denied.
4. Report and journal from Leila on the Demonstration in Bil'in:
Internationals, Palestinians beaten and arrested for protesting non- violently
Internationals from the International Solidarity Movement and the International Women's Peace Service today joined with Israeli peace activists to support the village of Bil'in in their second day of resistance to the construction of the Apartheid Wall. Approximately 150 men, women, and children from Bil'bin walked onto their confiscated land and halted surveying work.
During the demonstration, plastic-coated bullets, tear gas, sound bombs and batons were used by the Israeli soldiers and border police against the demonstrators. Five Palestinians were wounded, and three Internationals and four Israeli activists were beaten and arrested. Soldiers and construction workers eventually left at 1.30pm.
Construction of the Wall began in this area yesterday, when the villagers nonviolently halted bulldozers. Bil'in village, located in the Ramallah region of the West Bank, has a population of 1,500 people. The village farmers own 4000 dunums of land, 2,380 dunums of which has been confiscated for the Wall construction and given to the nearby illegal Israeli settlement. This land includes up to 3,000 olive trees.
Shortly into the demonstration, when Palestinians halted surveying work, soldiers began to fire tear gas and sound grenades into the crowd . Israeli activists arrived and were immediately targeted by border police, who arrested four as they attempted to protect Palestinians and Internationals. An ISMer witnessed one sound bomb deliberately thrown directly at a Palestinian man, who was wounded in the neck and hand when it exploded. As he was carried away for medical help by four other Palestinians, the soldiers again fired sound bombs directly at them. Sound grenades, tear gas, and plastic- coated bullets were continuously used from this time on. Soldiers and border police began to drive the demonstrators back, using physical force and repeated beating with batons.
At approximately 9.45am, a Palestinian man was violently beaten and detained by soldiers; he was later released. ______________________________________________________
ISM Journal from Leila, Dec 15 Demonstration in Bil'in
I am going back to the hostel to look at film from yesterday's demo at Bil'in, which seems as if it is very good documentation of the violence of soldiers towards Palestinians. I hope so, because the woman who filmed it is being deported as a result. But she got her footage out, and I hope this is some comfort to her.
It was so crazy, you know? First of all it felt a bit like a street demo. The people go onto their land. Then the soldiers, who were some distance away, come down to tell them they can't be there. So some stay there but some go to another bit. So then the soldiers go to tell THAT lot they can't be THERE. It was a lot like that irritating scenario you get with the police and protesters in the UK where one group draws an imaginary line which they don't want the other group to cross, so then that group tries to cross it, so the imaginary line moves, etc. Except all over steep hills and a deep valley and rocky rough ground with trees.
But all of sudden it's not familiar because a soldier pulls out a tear gas canister and throws it amongst us - BANG - smoke. The shebab (teenage and young men) and children scatter shouting - they respond to everything in a fairly skittish way. We and most of the grown ups try to stand our ground, or move calmly if we have to. But there are more bangs - sound grenades are now mixed in with the gas – and more smoke, and people are shouting because you have to let those around you know when the soldiers are taking aim, when something is coming in your direction, when someone is hurt and needs help. And if you don't see these canisters thrown or fired then you don't see them till they land beside you or hit you, unless someone shouts.
And first you think it is ok because you can see the smoke, and it clears well on the hillside. But then you realize actually the white smoke is only part of it, the gas that affects you is invisible, you don't know it will get you till it does. I only get a taste of the burning of it, but others fall to the ground trying to catch their breathe, unable to see. People crush onions and lemons in their hands, hand them to each other, to breathe in to trigger their lungs to start up again. J, the Kiwi woman, has some green tea perfume she swears by for this.
Trying to look in all directions at once, I see a soldier take aim at a Palestinian man only yards away, and throw a sound grenade directly at him. It explodes and he falls to the ground, he cries out and puts his hands to his head; four men run to carry him away. It is a long way to a road, and we are in the countryside, I don't know where the nearest ambulance might be. Soldiers keep aiming at them as they try to run up the hill.
Palestinian shout angrily at this direct attack on unarmed people, Israeli soldiers shout back at them, I presume to leave, to move. A woman stands in the middle of the crowd, berating the soldiers at the top of her voice. Someone near me says that she is shouting - "you shot my husband, my brother, my son, now I want to die here, on the land." A younger woman tries to stay near her, whenever I catch sight of her she is clutching the same rock in her hand, as if she wants to throw it but knows how pointless it will be, or that she isn't strong enough to throw it far enough, or maybe just it makes her feel safer somehow.
The tension has heightened and suddenly the soldiers are aiming their guns, about to shoot plastic bullets. Many voices call out, in rage and despair - all I know understand of it is what us internationals are calling - variations along the lines of - "No-one is armed here!" "Why are you doing this? How can you do this?" "Please calm down!" "Shalom, shalom!" and "Schwee, schee" (slow, slow) to the Palestinians.
We try to move to leave no Palestinians unguarded, but there are not so many of us. I put myself somewhere between two groups of villagers, glancing back and forth between them, and to the soldiers, one particularly who is aiming for various men on the other side of me and only has to pull the trigger.
My arms are outstretched, spread wide, palms up, briefly we all freeze. I face the soldiers, the Palestinians are behind me. "Please don't do this." I call to them. "Please." My knees are trembling, but what I feel is just intensity and focus, as if with my body and my voice I must and can somehow keep people from dying today...
...later, after four Palestinians have been wounded with plastic bullets and sound bombs, I see these young Israeli soldiers who seemed to have such normal faces, viciously beating my new mate T, who is just 20 and so outraged at what he has just seen. T is shielding a Palestinian man who was already bleeding from the baton blows he recieved before T threw himself into the middle of the soldiers to take the blows instead...then somehow the Palestinian is dragged away but then they have K who was filming, who I was buddied up with - I try to get to them but I only get a grip on her jumper, she and T are clutching each other and have no limbs left to grab me, each time I almost get a grip the soldiers throw me back - I hear the blows fall on their shoulders - K throws her camera to me -
they are dragging them up the hill and other soldiers run forward to grab more of us -
I can't believe we are losing them both at once. K, who has worked months in a refugee camp, teaching women to use computers, teenagers to make films and documentaries, and who had months of projects planned. The Israeli authorities know this, and they will put her on the next plane out of here. T, who is a student, and new to all this sort of thing, and was only training with me yesterday, and is such a sweetheart.
And in the end, they are getting beaten and
arrested because they have looked at Palestinians and seen
fellow human beings. And known that no human beings deserve
to live like this.