Update From Palestine
Palestinian Killed South of Tulkarem
Israeli Occupation soldiers killed a married Palestinian man, Omar Mutei Assrawe (25) at the Al- Kufrayat military checkpoint near Tulkarem as he was on his way to work. The Israelis prevented an ambulance from reaching the man following the shooting.
Palestinian Child Wounded
Israeli soldiers, stationed at the Al-Tuffah checkpoint, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire on Sunday evening on dozens of homes, wounding a 14-year-old boy in the leg. A source in the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis stated that the bullet was causing severe bleeding from a main artery in the right thigh of Atef Mohammad Abu Namous. Elsewhere, two other Palestinian youngsters were wounded by Israeli fire (see Attacks, below).
A mob of settlers, escorted by four Israeli soldiers, kidnapped a Palestinian from Aseera Al Qeblia and took him to a remote area, where he was beaten and left on the ground with his hands tied. The settlers then dug a hole and threatened to bury him alive. The ordeal lasted for six hours.
Annexation Wall Building: 23 sites
Attacks: 11 – in Occupied Palestine the following were some of the people and areas that came under Israeli fire:
People’s homes in the West Khan Yunis refugee camp – a child was wounded.
Palestinian houses in Bloc (J) and the Tall Zu’rub neighbourhood of the Rafah refugee camp.
Palestinian territory in Tall as Sultan neighbourhood.
11:30pm, the Israeli Army detonated explosives on Palestinian land near the Tall Zu’rub neighbourhood of the Rafah refugee camp.
12:30am, the Israeli Army fired a tank shell onto Palestinian territory south of the city of Rafah.
Medical obstruction: 1 (See Palestinian Killed South of Tulkarem, above).
Physical assaults: 1 (See Abductions, above).
Prisoners taken: 8
Ramallah & El Bireh – at 10:40pm, Occupation forces raided the village of Abud and villagers attempted to resist them. The Israelis wounded a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old as they continued their violent rampage through the community.
Settler violence: 2
Hebron – a gang of Israeli settlers from the Jewish settlement of Ma’on, southeast of the town of Yatta, set fire to approximately 20 hectares of Palestinian wheat. When Palestinians attempted to extinguish the fires, the Israeli Army fired tear-gas grenades at them and many were brought close to suffocation from tear-gas inhalation.
See also Abductions above.
[Source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group]
Times indicated in red contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children.
Zionism in principle
"When we [followers of the prophetic Judaism] returned to Palestine...the majority of Jewish people preferred to learn from Hitler rather than from us."
(speaking to a New York audience - Jewish Newsletter, June 2, 1958)
Israel has Buried 80 Tons of Nuclear Waste in Occupied Palestine
IPC reports the Palestinian Health Minister, Dr Thohni Al Wuheidi, accusing Israel of having buried 80 tons of nuclear waste near the city of Nablus. Dr Al Wuheidi said the waste was buried 300 metres away from Nablus and that the burial of more nuclear waste continues in other parts of the Gaza Strip and the cities of the West Bank.
The Health Minister confirmed previous warnings of hazards to health and the environment given by Dr Yousef Abu Safiya, the head of the Environment Quality Authority, who has on previous occasions condemned Israeli pollution of Occupied Palestinian land. Dr Abu Safiya said in a press conference with IPC on April 10 that these violations are in contradiction of international humanitarian law and global treaties on the environment. One of the more dangerous Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights has been the establishment of a landfill for waste near Nablus. He called on the UN agencies with environmental responsibilities to demand that Israel cease its gross violations, which endanger both human and natural resources.
At the Press conference, Abu Safiya said that Israeli pollution of the Palestinian environment posed dangers worse than the annexation Wall because, while the Wall was capable of being torn down at any moment, the environment and natural resources will take hundreds or even thousands of years to recover. Safiya commented that, since the Occupation of 1967, Israel has been systematically destroying the infrastructure necessary for Palestinian life in order to pressure Palestinians to abandon their land. He said that Palestinians are not just being killed by bullets, shells and other missiles but are also silently dying through the pollution of their water, soil and agriculture.
ISM Update From Palestine
International Solidarity Movement
Human Barrels Block Annexation Wall
Urgent Appeal from Jayus (written by Abdul-Latif)
Palestinian Families from Tel Rumedia, Hebron Welcome Israelis for an Urgent Solidarity Visit (written by CPT [Christian Peacemaker Teams])
Thoughts on "Israeli independence" and the "Palestinian Nakba" (written by Hanna Mermelstein)
1. Human Barrels Block Annexation Wall
For pictures of the event see: https://israel.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3137/index.php At 6am this morning Israeli forces that were securing the building of the annexation wall in the west bank village of Bil'in found five human barrels blocking the construction route. As part of a joint Palestinian/Israeli/international non-violent direct action, four Israelis and one Swede barricaded themselves inside metal barrels placed on the route of the annexation wall that is to annex 50% of Bil'in farm land. Other Palestinians and internationals were demonstrating along the route of the wall.
The military announced that the area was a closed military zone and arrested five Israelis and one international, using metal cutters to pry the peace activists out of the barrels. Before his arrest Johan Persson from Sweden explained why he was in a barrel on the route of the annexation wall: "It is the responsibility of the international community to enforce international law. Since our governments and the UN are allowing Israel to continue committing war crimes with impunity it has become the responsibility of citizens like myself to do what we can to stop them." Johan has been handed over to the Ministry of Interior by the police and is likely to have a deportation order issued tomorrow. He is currently still in Givaat Zeev Police station and will be kept in custody overnight. The arrested Israeli activists were released after several hours on the condition that they stay away from the village of Bil'in for seven days.
2. Urgent Appeal from Jayus (written by Abdul-Latif)
We call you to do something to help the farmers in Jayus who couldn't reach their land for 5 days continuously. Everyday the farmers go to gate number 25 and wait at the gate to open but no way. The farmers and their families wait under the hot sun looking for this gate to open, but the hope disappears. The source of living for 300 families in Jayus is through this gate. Who is responsible to feed the kids of these families? Who is responsible for the trees and vegetables which will die if this continues? If this wall is built for security then who should be responsible for the life of 300 families in Jayus? Let us raise our voices "open the gate and let the farmers go to their land".
3. Palestinian Families from Tel Rumedia, Hebron Welcome Israelis for an Urgent Solidarity Visit (written by CPT [Christian Peacemaker Teams])
Palestinian families near the Tel Rumeida settlement in Hebron are in a crisis situation. Families are living like virtual prisoners, enduring violence and harassment every day. Children are stoned, their school is blocked, and access to their homes is dangerous and extremely difficult. Only approximately 30- 50 settlers live in Tel Rumeida, but their presence and violence subject Palestinian families to constant terror. Palestinian families welcome Israelis to visit their homes, witness their living conditions, hear their stories first hand and lend support to their struggle against settler violence and land theft. In addition, Israelis will be able to walk the path of the proposed new settler road connecting Tel Rumeida settlement with the settlements of Beit Romano and Avraham Avinu. The proposed road will cut through a Muslim cemetery and olive trees and confiscate more Palestinian land. Media will be invited and we encourage those who attend to invite any media contacts they may have. Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), based in Hebron, supports this urgently needed solidarity visit. CPT calls on Israelis to engage settlers in their Tel Rumeida stronghold where, with the protection of the Israeli military, they operate with almost complete impunity.
Visit Date: Saturday, May 21 at 4:00 pm
4. Thoughts on "Israeli independence" and the "Palestinian Nakba" (written by Hanna Mermelstein May 13, 2005)
For photos from this week, visit http://community.webshots.com/album/337455763xTGXyd (last 3 pictures on that page, and the next page). The photos show and tell more about demonstrations and other events this week than this report does. There is always too much and too little to write. Everything here is extraordinary, and nothing is new.
This week Israelis commemorated the Holocaust and their fallen soldiers, and celebrated "Independence Day." This week Palestinians lived another week under occupation, with an eye towards "Al Nakba" (the catastrophe), a commemoration of the tragedy that 1948 was for the Palestinian people. This week my Israeli friends were beaten and arrested by Israeli police officers in Tel Aviv while protesting against the Israeli army killing of two Palestinian boys the previous day. This week I stood in support of Palestinian villagers in Assira who opened the roadblocks that the Israeli army had placed to block them from going to Nablus on this road for the past 5 years. This week a friend in Dheisheh asked my advice on whether he should accept money for his organization from US AID, which requires a signature on an "anti-terror" statement ("I'm against terror," my friend told me, "but by my definition, not theirs. I'm against killing of Palestinian children and Israeli children..."). This week I asked the same friend what he thought of Jewish solidarity activists using Israel's discriminatory immigration laws in order to stay here and do this work. He told me what many Palestinians have said: you and hundreds of other like-minded people should get Israeli citizenship and vote the bastards out (paraphrased). But isn't that a bit like the soldiers at checkpoints who tell me, "I'm serving in the army in order to humanise it. I'm the good soldier"? You can't humanise a checkpoint, you can't humanise the occupation, and you can't humanise a state that was founded on someone else's land (like the US, I realise, but I was born in the US and my citizenship there was not a choice), and whose existence is based on the concept of rights for only a small group of people. There is a larger number of non-Jews in Israel than non-Christians in the United States. What if the US were declared a Christian country? Some may argue that our current leadership is bringing us closer to that, but Bush would never dare say that non-Christians cannot buy land, or build additions to their houses, or enjoy other rights of citizenship granted to the ever-shrinking majority population.
I am increasingly frustrated by "left-wing Zionists," people who believe in an end to the 1967 occupation and in the creation of two states, but who don't question the character of those two states; people who admit to me that they're not quite sure how Zionism and democracy can coexist, but that there has to be some way, and besides, their "bottom line" is that Jews need a state. They are not willing to take their thoughts to their logical conclusions. They simply end with their "bottom line," while millions of Palestinians live in refugee camps all over the world waiting for that bottom line to change.
The uncomfortable truth I've come to is that Zionism and democracy are incompatible. This is not to say that Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth. This is simply to say that you can't have a democratic state and a Jewish state at the same time. You can't have a democratic nationalism that is based on religion and ethnicity instead of geography. I've heard people say Israel can be a "Jewish state" if it embodies Jewish values of justice and humanity. Fine, then let Israel be that kind of Jewish state, which will also make it a Muslim state, a Christian state, a Buddhist state, a secular-humanist state...
Israel has been pushing and pushing at the borders, expanding and expanding, cantonising the Palestinian population and essentially making a two-state solution impossible. So some of the progressive thinkers on both sides may end up being right, and may find themselves living in the one state they've been calling for so long. I think this is a likely scenario for the far future, that all of historic Palestine will be one state (whether it's called Israel, Palestine, or something else), and that everyone in that state will have equal rights, at least under law. I don't see a viable long-term alternative. This is an end to Zionism. The question is, how long will it take until people come to terms with this necessity? How long will it take until people realise that Zionism is only a pit stop in the history of the Jewish people? And, perhaps most importantly, how many people will lose their land, their homes, and their lives in the meantime?
1. Please send in VANUNU PETITIONS to P.O. Box 56.150 Auckland 3 ASAP.
2. Remember Human Rights Film Festival still goes on till Thursday -- Academy Theatre Auckland. (Promises on this week)
3. Lunch tickets going fast... Please book early as below...
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS AND INDONESIAN HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNS are holding a joint fund raising lunch to celebrate and support our ongoing work. Our invited guest is Ahmed Zaoui.
Jack Dickey Hall 174 Greenlane West (near Gt. South Rd corner) Greenlane.
Saturday 28th May 2005 at 12 30pm.
Attendance ONLY by booking tickets. $20 Children Free.
Only 50 tickets available to each group so please book early.
David Wakim 520 0201.
Palestine Human Rights Campaign