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The double standards of the Israeli Army

Settler Violence Increases in Hebron Region

1- Non-Violent Demonstration Against the Wall in Ar-Aram Attacked by
Israeli Military
2- The double standards of the Israeli Army.

Non-violent Demonstration Against the Wall in Ar-Aram Attacked by
Israeli Military
May 14, 2006
by ISM Media Office volunteers

Saturday 13th May: Around 800 Palestinian and 200 Israeli and international demonstrators, representing a broad coalition of people, united in a march to call for the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall in the Palestinian town of Ar-Ram, just north of Jerusalem. With the participation of schoolchildren, teachers, neighbourhood residents and representatives of all the different Palestinian political parties, it was carefully prepared as a non-violent protest. It was well disciplined, with a line of organizers at the front of the march preventing any impatient youth from provoking a confrontation with the soldiers.

The large, peaceful march was headed by a children's marching band.
Despite this, it was violently attacked when Israeli Border Police shot round after round of tear gas at the demonstrators as it approached a checkpoint, forcing demonstrators to flee for cover in nearby homes.

Chief Muslim Cleric, Sheikh Taiseer Tamimmi, Palestine Chief Justice, was among the injured, IMEMC reported. A few children in the crowd then responded with rocks to the tear gas attack. As is their standard practice, the Border Police afterwards lied to the press, saying that they were attacked by the demonstrators, and it seems that all the press (including al-Jazeera) took their lies at face value. We have photos and video footage proving that the demonstration was peaceful and was attacked by the Israeli soldiers.

The Border Police continued to shoot tear gas preventing protesters from regrouping. They also denied the entry to many Israeli activists through Ar-Ram checkpoint from Jerusalem, forcing some to crawl through the fence and others to hold a solidarity protest on the other side of the fence.

In conjunction with the regular Israeli police, the Border Police arrested 11 people - 7 Palestinians and 4 Israelis, including one man who it seemed was arrested for carrying the Palestinian flag. They also confiscated the protestor's signs saying they wanted them "for evidence". The three Israelis were all released that afternoon, but all the Palestinians were accused of stone throwing (supposedly "endangering people's lives") and participating in an "illegal protest". They were taken to the Russian Compound jail in West
Jerusalem and held overnight. All seven were released today (the 14th) on condition that they will have to return to court if the state decides that they will be proceed with prosecution.

The Wall divides the main street of Ar-Ram in two. Contrary to the myth popular in the Israeli and international press, the main effect of the Wall is to divide Palestinians from each other, because it is built within Palestinian territory, and not on the internationally recognized 1949 armistice border, or "Green Line". It has critically damaged the life of the residents of Ar-Ram. It has divided families, stopped workers from reaching their workplace and cut off teachers and students from their schools; in fact, three schools have already been forced to close.

The mayor, Sarhan Al-Salaimeh, stated after the demonstration that
Palestinians will continue their joint activities with Israelis and internationals against the occupation and the wall and for a peace that is just for both peoples.

This was a continuation of demonstrations organized by a broad coalition of forces in the Jerusalem area including: the Ar-Ram
Council, the Popular Committee to Resist the Wall in the Jerusalem district (which represents districts and villages surrounding Jerusalem on both sides of the wall), the Concord for Jerusalem, the Islamic and National Parties in the Jerusalem area, the Palestinian National Initiative (former Presidential candidate and Palestinian MP Mustafa Bhargouti's party), The Stop the Wall campaign, the International Solidarity Movement, Anarchists Against the Wall, Gush Shalom, Ta'ayush, and other Israeli peace organizations.

For pictures:

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/05/14/non-violent-demonstration-against-the-wall-in-ar-ram-attacked-by-israeli-military/

Gush Shalom site: http//www.gush-shalom.org/

The Double Standards of the Israeli Army
May 14th, 2006
"I Am Not a Good Jew": Israeli Soldier Brutality and Incompetence
An editorial by a Human Rights Activist in Hebron

http//www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/05/14/the-double-standards-of-the-israeli-army/

Israeli settler children throw rocks while soldier does nothing

Yesterday I went to the demonstration in Bil'in which started out fun and happy, with people singing songs and generally having a good time as we usually do at these demonstrations.

Upon confronting the soldiers there was some pushing and shoving, some sound bombs were tossed into the crowd by soldiers, and soon the soldiers started firing rubber coated metal bullets without provocation. Two ISM activists were hit in the head with rubber bullets, one seriously. He suffered a brain haemorrhage but doctors say he is going to be okay. The other ISM activist required stitches.
So, this is what happens at demonstrations. This is how the soldiers react. Are you ready to learn about what happens when soldiers are put in a situation where they are supposed to control violent Israeli settlers? Ok here we go!

Today in Tel Rumeida, a fellow ISM volunteer and I were walking a Palestinian child home. In order to reach his home, he has to pass by the Tel Rumeida settlement where settler children and teenagers were standing around, waiting for him to pass so they could throw rocks at him. This happens on a daily basis, so we are prepared.

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/05/14/the-double-standards-of-the-israeli-army/

We accompanied him so that, hopefully, the rocks would hit us and not the child. I had a video camera ready to record the rock throwing. We walked up the hill and, predictably the kids started throwing rocks. There were three soldiers standing around who - instead of controlling the children - came after me.

They asked me to stop filming, I said no. They demanded that I give them the camera, I refused. Then, as the settler children were throwing rocks and me, my fellow ISMer and the Palestinian child, the three soldiers tried to take the camera from me. They were unsuccessful because they were fat and they have not studied Kung Fu.

While my fellow ISMer was trying to get the soldiers to control the kids, a teenaged settler girl said "Jews do not throw rocks, Arabs throw rocks," and she was standing in front a bunch of settler children who were throwing rocks at us!

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/05/14/the-double-standards-of-the-israeli-army/

At this point more soldiers arrived. I asked them to control the settler children so the Palestinian child could go home. They told me they couldn't control the children. I told them, "All it would take to control these kids is some tear gas or a sound bomb, or, you know, how about some rubber bullets or live ammunition like you shoot at
Palestinian kids who throw rocks?"

They kept covering the lens of my camera with their hand and I kept avoiding them. At one point three soldiers and a bunch of kids cornered me. The soldiers tried to take my camera, and the kids hit and kicked me. When I used my arms to block their attacks, the settler girls who were attacking screamed at me "don't touch me, you fucking paedophile, you're just filming so you can go home and masturbate to your porno." and "The Arabs will kill you if you don't watch out, just like they kill the Jews." I said "I am a Jew and they don't kill me." A teenaged settler girl yelled back "You are not a good Jew!"

Eventually, I decided it would be better off if I went up to the apartment to film. That way I would not get attacked. A soldier saw me retreating, and tried to take my camera again. He was unsuccessful. I began filming from the second floor balcony of the apartment building.

I caught the soldiers and settlers attacking members of TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron). As soon as the settlers saw me filming, they started throwing rocks at me again and yelling they hope the Arabs kill us.

In my opinion, if these people want to get good at throwing rocks, they ought to take lessons from the Palestinians, because they couldn't hit a fucking elephant if it was standing in front of them. Eventually I went into the apartment to film from the window so I would not have to dodge rocks. The police finally arrived and the situation died down.

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/05/14/the-double-standards-of-the-israeli-army/

So, this is the irony of the situation. Palestinians and internationals peacefully demonstrate and get shot with rubber bullets. Israeli settler children throw rocks and hit and kick people and the soldiers refuse to stop them and instead attack the internationals.

Later in the day I was down on Shuhada street with another ISMer and settler children began throwing rocks at us again. The soldiers made a halfhearted attempt to control them but gave up. I called the police.

The children kept throwing rocks and tried to prevent a Palestinian family from passing. I went over to where the family was and attempted to escort them past. The kids kept throwing rocks and the soldiers kept doing nothing. After I made a second call to the police, they finally showed up and got the children under control. I asked the police officer to remain there to control the children. He told me I should leave if I didn't want to be attacked. Fortunately though, he stayed and got the children under control. After about 20 minutes, he left and the children began throwing rocks again.

So, this is Tel Rumeida during Shabbat, the Jewish holy day, and the
Jews here act like fucking animals. I wonder, what would Moses do if a Palestinian child was walking past him. Would he throw rocks? Are Jews obligated under Jewish law to throw rocks at Palestinians? I feel like I am obligated under human law to protect anyone from attacks from these fucking religious extremists.

Oh, and by the way, while I'm still pissed off, I should write about the fact that Palestinians here are suffering severely from the funding cuts. People are so poor. A friend of mine who works for the
Palestinian Authority hasn't been to work in 20 days because they can't pay him and he has $30 to his name.

The international community is punishing Palestinians because they voted for Hamas and it's turning into a tragedy. One man told me today that economically, the past 3 months has been the worst it has ever been. So please, people in the United States, if you have not written to your congressperson to vote against the so-called Palestinian "anti-terrorism act,".

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