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Arrested for holding a Palestinian flag

Arrested for holding a Palestinian flag


1. Against the Fence: Children of Bil'in Village demonstrate in front
of the Supreme Court
2. Israeli Democracy
3. Internationals Abducted by Israeli Security Forces
4. Bil'in and Ramadin to demonstrate against Annexation Barrier this
Friday, June 17th
5. Balata Video Collective
6. Bil'in demonstration reported in local English newspaper
7. NYC Activists Take Message Against Caterpillar to "Business and
Sustainability" Conference at Waldorf;

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1. Against the Fence: Children of Bil'in Village demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court

Translation of http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3098699,00.html

After the Israeli Army forbade adults resident in the village to enter Israel in order to protest in front of the Supreme Court that has been deliberating their appeal against the building of the separation fence on their land, dozens of children were brought from the village to demonstrate. Friction was created between them and the police after the children waved Palestinian flags. One of the adults that was permitted to accompany them said: "We had hoped the children would create sympathy".

Children's demonstration: Dozens of Palestinian children, residents of Bil'in village that is located between Modi'in and Ramallah demonstrated today (Tuesday) in front of the Supreme Court after the army forbade the adult residents of the village from entering Israel. Light friction developed between the children and the police after the children waved Palestinian flags and the police ordered them to desist. An argument developed between Israeli and international activists accompanying the children and the police. One international activist was arrested.

Ahram Khatib is one of the adults who were permitted to accompany the children. According to him: "These children are the first to be directly affected by the wall, and we had hoped that they would create sympathy in the Israeli court system, but I am afraid the decision has been taken ahead of time".

In their appeal, the residents of Bil'in, located east of Modi'in and adjacent to Kiryat Sefer, state that the building of the fence is confiscating more than half their lands – 2,300 dunums out of a total of 4,000.

In the appeal, it is argued that the village lands are used for agricultural purposes, including olive and almond trees. The appealers argue that the confiscation of land hurts their income as well as their dignity, and does not allow them to exist and to grow the produce on which they rely, and hence that the confiscation of land contradicts the basic law: human dignity and freedom, and also the basic law: freedom of employment.

According to Khatib, there is an additional problem with the building of the fence on village land: "They are not taking our land just to build the wall. They are building settlements behind the fence. They are building five and six storey houses, and that is for the settlements".

Bil'in, like the other villages in the area, has stood out in the last few months in non-violent struggle against the separation fence. The residents said that they want to use this struggle to highlight the damage to their lives and to recruit as many people as possible from the Israeli peace camp and international supporters.

Over the weekend, demonstrators in Bil'in used a new weapon to protest against the wall. They threw balloons filled with chicken excrement towards security forces.

Photos of children's demo at: https://israel.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3283/index.php

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2. Israeli democracy

In a true example of Israeli democracy Sam from Britian was arrested today for holding a Palestinian flag in Jerusalem. He was released with a caution not to disturb the peace a few hours later.

See: Police detain peace activist for waving Palestinian flag near High Court by Itim at http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/587685.html

Police detained a peace activist on Tuesday after the man waved a Palestinian flag outside the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem. The activist took part in a demonstration against the construction of the West Bank's separation fence.

Protesters included Israeli, Palestinian and foreign participants waving signs and chanting slogans. One of them, waving the Palestinian flag, refused to abide by the police's request to put it away and was taken in for questioning

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3. Internationals Abducted by Israeli Security Forces

Yesterday, Tuesday 14 June, three internationals were abducted by two undercover Israeli agents on the streets of west Jerusalem in broad daylight. At approximately one PM local time, the three internationals, who have chosen to keep their identities anonymous, walked downstairs from the flat they had stayed in the night before and into the arms of the officers, who promptly surrounded them.

The agents demanded passports and cell phones, and told the internationals that they were needed at the nearby Russian Compound police station and jail for questioning. All three internationals refused, asking for warrants or any materials that could prove beyond reasonable doubt that any Israeli agents might have legitimate reason for detaining or arresting them. No reason was given. Instead, the agents told the internationals that they were only going to be detained, and that if they did not get into the unmarked car they would be arrested and dragged to the compound against their will. After a pointless argument about the nature of democracy and police action, the three internationals agreed to go with the agents.

Upon arriving at the compound---a place notorious for torture and the bloody screams that emanate from its basement---the internationals were, after a series of more pointless arguments with other Israeli agents, shuffled into a storage closet to await further direction. At this point, approximately 1:30, the internationals had not received any answers about why they were being detained, or who had issued the order for their capture. It should be noted that it is extremely rare for internationals to be arrested in the Israeli half of Jerusalem.

The internationals were left to sit in the storage closet until some of their friends arrived with their baggage and food. They were then allowed to sit outside and eat lunch. Finally, after being moved back into the storage closet, passports and cell phones still out of reach, the internationals were called, one by one, into an office with who they suspect were members of Israel's General Security Services (GSS), the Israeli equivalent of the American FBI. While two of the internationals had overstayed their visas, the third had only been in the country for two weeks on a three month visa and was completely 'legal'. It should also be noted that for the entire duration of their stay at the compound, amounting to four hours, the internationals persistently requested to call their lawyers and were completely ignored.

The 'legal' international was summoned to the office first. One of the plainclothes agents that had abducted the three was in the room, along with two other people not yet seen by the internationals. One of them had a digital camera, and though the international in question refused to have her picture taken at first, the agents made a (false) threat of arrest if she did not comply. They took perhaps 30 pictures of her. Finally, the other hitherto unknown character put a piece of paper in front of her, asking her to sign it. The paper said that she would be required to go to the immigration police office the next morning, Wednesday, at 9 am. Signing the paper was the condition for her release from the Russian Compound. Though she initially refused, the officers told her that if she did not sign she would be kept in the jail overnight and driven to the office by the police the next morning. She signed.

The other two internationals were brought into the office, their pictures were taken and they were processed as arrested. They were then moved to the jail adjacent to the police station and kept overnight.

This morning, Wednesday, the third, 'legal' international appeared at the immigration police station with her lawyer. The immigration police had no idea why she had been summoned, and said they had nothing to do with it. After laughing for a few minutes with the Israeli lawyer, they said goodbye to the international and her lawyer and the international was free to go about her business as usual.

The two other internationals are awaiting deportation. One is in the process of being moved to Ramle prison, the other to Hadera prison. They have been told that they will stay perhaps one or two days in these prisons before being deported to their respective countries, the UK and the US.

The entire affair is difficult to analyze due to the nature of Israeli secrecy related to these matters. What we can be sure of is that the It seems that the Israeli police were in some way collaborating with the GSS. who were monitering the internationals According to Israeli law, the police must have a court order to tap phones, whereas the GSS does not. There seeme to be no other conceivable explanation for the presence of the two undercover agents outside the flat in west Jerusalem. They had been waiting and knew exactly where the internationals were. The 'legal' international has been working and living in East Jerusalem, doing research for the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) through a grant provided by the Human Rights Project at her college in the United States. She had never been arrested or detained by any Israeli 'security' forces before yesterday. Though her lawyer urged her to sue the state for detainment without cause and personal damages, she has declined due to lack of funds.

Written by Kate

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4. Bil'in and Ramadin to demonstrate against Annexation Barrier this Friday, June 17th

This Friday, June 17th, the villages of Bill'in (at 1pm) and Ramadin (at 11am) will continue their non-violent campaign against the Annexation Wall that is being built on their land, depriving them of their livelihoods and annexing their lands to Israel.

The village of Bil'in has been organizing non-violent demonstrations against the barrier being built on their land for many months now. The demonstrations have been organized by the local Popular Committee Against the Wall, whose members have been detained, arrested, beaten and threatened, and their families have been harassed in the middle of the night. The entire village has suffered at the hands of the Israeli army for their persistence in non-violent resistance. The army commander in the area, Lieutenant Colonel Tzachi Segev was recently quoted as saying: "The stronger the activity against the fence, the stronger our operations will be. We reserve the right to enter the village at any hour ... sometimes there is no escaping collective punishment, even if it has a negative impact. Collective punishment is closure, prohibiting people from entering a certain village, blocking the Bilin-Safa road [referring to the neighboring village] as a lever of pressure if the village does not behave properly." (Meron Rappaport - Gandhi Redux - http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/586551.html).

All forms of collective punishment are illegal under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The village of Ramadin, in the ultra-impoverished district of South Hebron, will once again demonstrate against the theft of the villagers land this Friday. The Annexation Barrier, if completed in this area, will cut the village off from their olive groves, throwing the community into further poverty. The village demonstrated twice last week, managing on one occasion to stop the work of the bulldozers. The response of the army was very violent.

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5. Balata Video Collective

Film is an important means of both resistance and communication. The Balata Film Collective was initiated to enable young Palestinians from Balata to break their isolation, challenge their oppression and represent their lives to the world.

The Balata film production collective films, edits and produces movies in Arabic and English. Films produced will include shorts uploaded to the internet and full-length movies distributed on DVD and VHS. Interesting footage will be made available on a server for other filmmakers across the world.

http://www.balatacamp.net

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6. Bil'in demonstration reported in local English newspaper

Peace protestor Sam Grafton this week told of how violence broke out at a march in Palestinian. The 24-year-old, of Willes Road, Leamington, was part of a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bi'lin.

He claims he tried to stop aggression towards Palestinians protesting against a 'security wall' being built on their land.

Mr Grafton said: "The march was led by people who've been disabled by the occupation forces and other people carrying placards bearing the names of the 3,800 Palestinians who've been killed since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000.

"As soon as we left the village the army fired plastic bullets and tear gas directly into the crowd at head height.

"They acted completely recklessly, especially as the demonstration was being led by people who were blind and in wheel chairs. For the full story see: http://www.leamingtonspatoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=i1&ArticleID=54882

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7. NYC Activists Take Message Against Caterpillar to "Business and Sustainability" Conference at Waldorf;

1 Arrested Later at CAT Presentation

For photos, visit http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/152583/index.php

NEW YORK – NYC activists on behalf of Palestinian rights brought their message to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel this morning, where an executive from Caterpillar was scheduled to appear on a panel about social responsibility and sustainability. The spirited rally excited police attention but no arrests. Later, while the CAT executive's talk was underway, an activist was arrested attempting to make a presentation to the same audience on CAT's role in Israel's ongoing campaign to destroy Palestinian homes, while another activist leafleted the conference attendees.

In Israel/Palestine, CAT has clearly overwhelmingly chosen business value over social responsibility. The D9 and D10 bulldozers that CAT sells to the Israeli government are designed specifically to destroy Palestinian land, roads, water supplies, and sewer systems and to uproot hundreds of thousands of fruit and olive trees – the main livelihood for many Palestinians.

In recent weeks the Israeli government has announced plans to demolish 88 more Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem using Caterpillar bulldozers, as Israel continues to bulldoze Palestinian homes throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories. According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (www.icahd.org), "Since 1967 Israel has demolished almost 12,000 Palestinian homes, leaving some 70,000 without shelter and traumatized." CAT bulldozers have helped to facilitate Israel's policy of sustained destruction of the Palestinian economy and communities.

Latest information is that the arrested activist was taken to Manhattan North precinct, to be charged by the hotel with trespass. The protest earlier this morning was endorsed by the International Solidarity Movement - NYC, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, Queer Resistance for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Women of a Certain Age, Jews Against the Occupation NYC, and the BootCAT Campaign. The conference itself was organized by the New York-based Conference Board, whose senior vice president, Gail Fosler, also serves on CAT's Board of Directors.

ENDS

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