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ISM Bulletin – 4 April 2005

ISM Bulletin – 4 April 2005

1. Israeli activist in hospital after a head injury sustained during anti-Wall protest
2. Az Zawiya protests isolation of their community
3. Victory for non-violent tactics in Asira al Shamaliya
4. CKUT Radio - A new resistance to the Apartheid Wall


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1. Israeli activist in hospital after a head injury sustained during anti-Wall protest

Israeli activist, Jonathan Pollack, was hit in the head by a tear gas canister shot from an M-16 when Israeli soldiers fired at an anti-Wall demonstration in the Ramallah region village of Bil'in. He remains hospitalized in Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv after receiving internal and external stitches and being diagnosed with a hemorrhage in the brain. His medical situation is currently stable and he is conscious.

One hundred protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Ministry of Defense this evening protesting the tactics the Israeli military uses in its attempts to silence dissent against the Wall. The village of Bil'in has continued it's resistance to the Wall, which will effectively confiscate fifty percent of their agricultural land, despite nightly raids, harassment and arrest campaigns by the Israeli military conducted in the village. ISM (The International Solidarity Movement) is currently maintaining a presence in Bil'in to document and report human rights abuses.

Despite Israeli claims that the Wall is intended to safeguard the security of its citizens the route of the Wall near Bil'in has been specifically designed to incorporate the current construction of the settlement of Menora in addition to the existing settlement of Kiryat Sefer.

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2. Az Zawiya protests isolation of their community

Friday morning, April 1st, the community of Az Zawiya decided to change the location for Friday prayers. Instead of gathering at the village mosque, 500 men and boys marched to the site of the Wall and prayed with the Imam on the bulldozed earth, near uprooted olive trees.

As people gathered, an elderly man spoke about the loss of eighty dunum of his land to settlements. "I am ready to accept the '67 borders, even a Wall there, but this taking of land is just too much," he declared.

The noisy, colorful procession left the village at noon to meet in a peaceful unity in prayer. Following the prayer, after walking down the bulldozer's path of destruction, the youth turned over and set alight a container used for storing work materials for the work on the Wall.

The Wall cuts deep into the West Bank around Az Zawiya, in order to include the nearest Israeli settlement. This has the effect of cutting Az Zawiya off from the neighbouring village with which Az Zawiya has close ties of economy and kinship.

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3. Victory for non-violent tactics in Asira al Shamaliya

Thursday morning, 200 school students, teachers, local women and a dozen Israeli and international supporters successfully confronted the Israeli army in a nonviolent show of strength on the blocked path between Asira Al Shamaliya village and the city of Nablus.

For weeks villagers have been prevented from taking this direct route to Nablus by the Israeli army, contradicting public statements made by the Israeli authorities to the effect that all restrictions were now lifted.

One school teacher reported that four ten-year-old girls on their way home from school were ordered by a soldier pointing at them with his rifle, to empty their school bags onto the road, to see if they were carrying weapons. They started crying and trembling. Another teacher reported how soldiers forced him and some others to stand thigh deep in a mud-filled puddle for half an hour in the winter as they tried to walk the route. Banners in English, quoting Thomas Jefferson, made clear the crowd's nonviolent stance and belief in their inalienable rights.

Finding their way blocked by 2 jeeps and an armored personnel carrier (APC), the demonstrators remonstrated with the soldiers who seemed unsure what to do, faced with this non-threatening crowd. A sound bomb failed to disperse the crowd, nor did the slow advance of the army vehicles and a tear gas grenade. The army had also tried to prevent other villagers from joining the demonstration but after a short negotiation they relented. After one hour the demonstrators left of their own accord, without even one stone being thrown, determined to work towards the objective of opening up this route in the near future.

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4. CKUT Radio - A new resistance to the Apartheid Wall

Listen to an interview with Mansour, a coordinator with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Biddu, Palestine. Mansour has been actively involved in non-violent resistance against the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Palestine, especially since the final route of the Wall was approved by the Israeli government on February 20, 2005.

March 30th marked Palestinian Land Day. In Palestine, this day was recognized in Bil'in, Bethlehem, Wadi Kana, Beit Hanina, Abu Dis, and inside Israel in Sakhnin and the Negev, as land everywhere is being destroyed to make way for the Wall and the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements.

To listen or download the interview, visit: www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=11820

Produced for CKUT community radio (90.3fm) in Montreal by Aaron Lakoff http://aaron.resist.ca

For more information, check:
http://www.palsolidarity.org
http://www.stopthewall.org
http://www.ckut.ca

Campaign to Stop the Wall - please read and support: http://www.palsolidaritygrp.org/apartheid%20wall.htm


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