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Held Without Charge

1. URGENT ACTION: Jaber Dalany's condition worsening again!
2. Link for April 28th Bil'in demonstration
3. Deir Al Ghasoon-Another Village under Threat - Written by Flo
4. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Written by Ernie


1. URGENT ACTION: Jaber Dalany's condition worsening again!
After 20 days, Jaber Dalany, the Palestinian with meningitis who was arrested at Huwara chekpoint on his way home from the hospital on April 21, is still being held with no charges.

On Monday, May 9, a judge ordered that Jaber see a doctor immediately. The first time Jaber saw a military doctor while being held at Salem detention camp, on April 22, the doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told army officials that he was fine. It was only after worldwide pressure that the Israeli army admitted that Jaber's illness was more serious and transferred him to a hospital for 6 days of treatment. He was released from the hospital and sent back to Salem on April 29, and his condition has worsened since then. He has been asked questions only once, which he tells his lawyer is because he has no information to give the army.

Jaber is in a cell with nine prisoners who may be at risk of contracting meningitis. There is no bathroom in the cell, and the food is inadequate to feed all the detainees. He desperately needs proper medical care and bed rest. Please call, fax, and write the following people to ask why the army continues to hold a very sick man with no charges. Express your concern about Jaber's medical situation and demand that he be transferred to a hospital and allowed to fully recover.

*Keep in mind that Thursday is Israel's "Independence Day," and that most offices are closed until Sunday morning. Fax and e-mail might work best until Sunday.
Israeli army head prosecutor:
Fax: (972) 3-569-4370

Public Appeals office of Israeli army (it's their job to talk to civilians!):
Phone: (972) 3-608-0219

Israeli Minister of Security:
Shaul Mofaz
Phone: (972) 3-697-5436
Fax: (972) 3-697-6218

Israeli Minister of Justice:
Tziti Livni
Phone: (972) 2-646-6666
Fax: (972) 2-646-6357

Background/timeline on Jaber Dalany's case:

April 21 – Jaber is on his way home from 5 days in a hospital in Nablus, where he was diagnosed with viral meningitis. He is held at Huwara checkpoint in the sun with no food or water for 10 hours, then arrested and taken to Salem detention camp.

April 23 – After two days in Salem detention camp with no food or water, Jaber is transferred to HaEmek Hospital in Afula.

April 27 – In the absence of Jaber and his lawyer, a military court extends Jaber's detention for 15 days.

April 29 – Jaber is released from the hospital and taken back to Salem.

May 2 – The lawyer's appeal to cancel the 15 days of extension is accepted. Jaber's court date, scheduled for this day in Ofer, is moved back to Salem and postponed. May 3 – A military court in Salem extends Jaber's detention for another 6 days.

May 9 – A military court in Salem extends Jaber's detention again, and schedules another court date for May 19. The judge orders that Jaber see a doctor immediately.


2. Link for April 28th Bil'in demonstration


3. Deir Al Ghasoon-Another Village under Threat Written by Flo

Deir Al Ghasoon (Deir), in the northern West Bank region of Tul Karem, is a village of farmers. Tractors as a mode of transportation are not rare in this village as in many farming communities throughout Palestine and although poverty strikes Deir as in the whole of Palestine, it is not uncommon to have every meal be fresh vegetables, homemade cheese with yogurt and virgin pressed olive oil.
In a valley below the village, shared with the neighbouring village of Atil, the farmers have the bulk of their greenhouses and fields. While most Palestinians suffer from unemployment as a result of the occupation, the farmers of Deir have largely survived due to their farming practices and ability to sell their produce in local markets.

With the building of Israel's Wall within the West Bank, the situation for the Deir farmers has changed drastically. The Wall now cuts directly through the Deir farm lands, forcing the farmers to either apply to the Israeli military for permission to cross the Wall's gate in order to work their lands, or to forego their lands altogether. Those that decide to seek and are granted permission are then forced to wait daily for the Israeli soldiers to allow them through the gates in the morning and night.

The Wall in this agricultural area of Palestine resembles a wire fence, with barbed wire along the top and sides, two patrol roads on either side,and a series of two main gates and a smaller middle gate that is built into the actual Wall. The entire area becomes its own personal war zone, with chaotic piles and rolls of razor wire covering every open surface, trenches cut into the earth long side the patrol roads and concrete-barricaded soldier's posts.

There are large yellow signs posted at the gates detailing when the soldiers will arrive to let the farmers through. These signs state that the soldiers will arrive between 7 and 8 am, 11 and 12 noon, and
2-3pm. In actuality, the soldiers arrive daily at differing times, if they arrive at all, leaving the farmers who wish to pass waiting and wondering if they will be able, for one more day, to reach their lands. On the days when the soldiers do show up on time, any farmer who is even a minute late is refused entry, sometimes causing farmers to get stuck on the western side of the Wall until as late as 8 pm. In same cases, as in this past week, the farmers were let through the first series of gates, but not the second, stranding them in the middle of the wall for the entire day; unable to work or return home, and without any protection from the scorching sun.
Those holding permits must renew them every three months, with only individuals who are 1st degree blood relations to the landowner being allowed to apply for permission. This means that grandchildren will lose access to their grandfather's land, and in essence lose the land altogether. Along the path of the entire Wall, this is the situation for the framers; Deir Al Ghasoon becomes an example, not a unique entity.

Jalal Aziz, a farmer from Deir, has more than half his land on the western side of the Wall. Unlike the majority of farmers in this area who have their olive groves on the other side, Jalal's land consists of greenhouses. With olive groves, the necessity for maintenance is reduced to sporadic need throughout the year to plough the land and a week to 10 day period in the fall to harvest. For farmers with greenhouses, such as Aziz, the ability for daily visits is essential. Without irrigation and constant upkeep, the crops are lost.

During the month of March, Israeli soldiers were ordered by their superiors not to open the gate near Deir for two 5 day periods of time. Last month, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, the gate was closed for four days straight and opened 2 hours late on the fifth. Because of these closures, Aziz lost an acre of newly planted potatoes that he was not able to irrigate and a crop of cucumbers that he was unable to harvest in time. These closures cost him over 70,000 shekels(more then 16,000$ U.S.). This was all in a one month period of time.

While the international community praises Ariel Sharon for his disengagement plan and the world media speaks of a cease fire, the people of Deir feel the reality of life. The word normalization is used here a lot these days; spit out as if something dirty on the tongue. "How does the world expect us to believe in these supposed moves toward peace, while still we have no jobs, our land has been stolen, our movement controlled and a wall around us?" asks Ziyad, a farmer from Deir,"This is normalization", he says with a sneer, "making it seem as if life is moving forward and all are happy, but for us nothing is normal, and we cannot except this situation or conditions as such. We have nothing in this scenario, and even that is being taken from us."

The Wall is built, almost fully complete from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south. Reports claim that it will be finished within the next six months. Those affected by this construction understandably cannot seem to accept it as okay even if they would like to.

Of the several hundred farming families in Deir Al Ghasoon, only 50 have been granted permission to pass through the gate in the Wall, leaving the rest to slowly wither financially like their lost crops on the other side.


4. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Written by Ernie

On Friday May 6th I attended an inspiring event for Palestinian Christian kids organized by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation. The joyful mood of all the kids and their teachers stood in sharp contrast to so much daily suffering caused and experienced in this broken yet also "Holy Land". Almost a thousand Palestinian Christian children from 13 towns all throughout the West Bank converged on Jerusalem's Holy sites to pray together. The kids were Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant from the Greek Latin, Syrian, Armenian, and Lutheran churches to list some.

They came from cities, villages and towns including: Taybeh, Zebabde, Nablus, Ramallah, Jifne, Aboud, Birzeit, Beit Sahour, Bethlehem and Beit Jalla, and more. For many of them it was their first time ever in Jerusalem - even though many live short kilometers away. Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks dispersed thickly throughout the Palestinian territories of the West Bank in the hundreds routinely inhibit freedom of movement. And the required "huwiya" or identification cards all Palestinians must carry restrict travel outside of one's own immediate town. Most Muslim Palestinian children have also been prevented in this way from ever coming to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, one of the most Holy sites in the Islamic world.

As George Ghatas an organizer of the event ushered hundreds of kids into the Old City through the Jaffa Gate into the Christian Quarter, he said, "For us it is a message that Jerusalem is shared. It is a Holy City for Christians, Muslims and Jews... It is a message of peace and wanting to share Jerusalem". Children in brightly colored hats, one for each town, tromped happily through the Old City down the Via Dolorosa, lit candles in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, peered into ancient caves used by the first Christians under the Church of St. Peter in Galatea, and played in the private gardens at St Ann's Basilica.

They began the day atop the Mount of Olives where the buses converged from all the distant points and the adults tried to teach the kids songs to sing together - which was not the most successful venture. The kids were just too excited. Next they all marched down the traditional path of pilgrims to the Garden of Gethsemane carrying balloons in a rainbow of colors to match their hats, as well as flags and banners with sayings from the Bible which called for peace and justice. On arrival at the garden and the Church of All Nations the children poured in and tried their best not to completely disrupt a mass that was going on. Then they filed by the stone where Jesus is said to have prayed to God to spare him. Even amid the chaotic crowd scene the kids one by one took the time to kneel and pray and kiss the stone. Outside the church, as Israeli fighter jets swooped through fancy manoeuvres, the kids released pigeons from cages they had carried from their home towns while others let loose their balloons filling the sky above the Dome of the Rock with their hopes and shouts and songs.

The seriousness of the day was not at all lost in all the usual kid stuff but merged with it. While running and playing and exploring and gossiping kids spoke of how happy they were to come to pray in Jerusalem and to learn more about the life of Christ and the Hoy sites. George, a kid in a bright red hat from Ramallah said, "I came here to pray and to say hi to God. And I am asking them to give us peace in Palestine."

One day maybe it will not be an extraordinary thing for Christian and Muslim kids to have the freedom to pray in their Holy City along side their Jewish sisters and brothers. As little Maria from Bethlehem said (in forgivably imperfect English), "It's our places".


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