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International Solidarity Movement Update

International Solidarity Movement Update

1. Support Palestinian Non-violent resistance - Help release Bil’in youth.
2. Bil’in Cameraman Still in Detention
3. Journalists Join with Villagers of Bil’in in Solidarity With Emad Bornat
4. Nablus Villagers Face Impediments to Olive Harvest from Israeli Soldiers
5. Thirty Days in the Nablus Region
6. “My Name is Rachel Corrie” Opens in New York
7. Tel Rumeida Diary: The Israeli Idea of “Quiet”
8. Israeli Colonists Steal Palestinian olives in Tel Rumeida
9. Two Reports From Qalandiya Checkpoint
10. Soldiers Disrupt Medical Work in Tubas

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1. Support Palestinian Non-violent resistance - Help release Bil’in youth.

October 21st: Leith Yassin (19), a university student, and Mohammed Barakat (17), still in high-school, were arrested two months ago for cutting the annexation barrier that separates their village from more than 50% of its farmland. Both of the boys’ family lands have been lost behind the barrier, their olive trees uprooted and their land earmarked for the expansion of the Israeli settlement of Modiin Illit.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the barrier built by Israel on occupied Palestinian land is illegal under international law and should be dismantled. While Palestinian land continues to be annexed and Palestinian freedom of movement and worship continues to be denied, the international community is unfortunately doing nothing to act in response to the ICJ ruling. As a result, Palestinian youth like Leith and Mohammed, all over the West Bank, have taken implementing justice and international law into their own hands.

On Thursday 19th October an Israeli military judge sentenced Leith and Mohammed to six months and five months, respectively, in Israeli prison in addition to the two months that they have already spent in detention. After their release, Mohammed and Leith will be subject to a three-year probationary period during which they could be incarcerated for another ten months for this offense. The military court offered the families of the two youth the option of paying 1,500 shekels (~$350) for every month that their sons have been sentenced, requiring a sum of 9,000 shekels (~$2,100) for Leith and 7,500 shekels (~$1,750) for Mohammed.

1,500 shekels is the equivalent of one month’s salary for the providers of these families. Leith’s father, a school teacher, and Mohammed’s father, a muezzin (who announces the prayers at the mosque) have not received a salary from the Palestinian Authority in the past eight months due to the economic siege on the Palestinian people since the Palestinian elections. As a res῵lt, the two families, impoverished like the majoritΌ of Palestinians in the occupied Palesti΅ian territories, have no way of releasing their sons, who clearly are not a security threat given the judge™s willingness to accept $4,000 for their release. The humiliation and helplessness of not being able to free their children is anoῴher tool of the Occupation to weaken the fiber thatᾠholds together Palestinian society and t` force the Palestinians into submission.

This week Bil’in families will be celebrating the feast of Al-Adha, the most important Muslim Holiday and a time for families to be together.

Please help free Leith and Mohammed to spend the holiday with their loved ones and show Palestinians that they are not alone in their struggle for justice!

Please give generously to the ISM legal fund to:
Checks of any amount may be made out to “ISM-USA” and sent to:
ISM-USA
PO Box 5073
Berkeley, CA 94705
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation, please make your checks of $50 or more payable to ISM-USA’s fiscal sponsor: A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, (with “ISM-USA” on the memo line of the check), and send to the same address above.

You may also use your credit or debit card to pay via our PayPal account at www.palsolidarity.org. Donations sent through PayPal are not tax-deductible.

For Israelis contact: Sara Assouline 0523-899386


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2. Bil’in Cameraman Still in Detention

See ISM website for photos:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/19/emad-19-10-06/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 19th: Bil’in cameraman Emad Bornat remains in detention despite a military judge’s decision to release him today. The judge agreed to release Emad on 15,000 NIS ($3,500) bail and under house arrest to a neighbouring village to Bil’in. The judge, however, also gave the Israeli military until Sunday to appeal the decision. This is now the seΰond time a military judge has decided to release the Reuters cameramanᾠbut given the army the chance to appeal. Emad was seized after a demonstration on October 6th and has been charged with throwing stones and assaultinῧ a police officer, although he was filming at the time.

Whilst in the border police van Emad sustained severe head injuries needing hospital treatment and stitches. A judge ordered an investigation into the origin of these injuries, finding inadequate the border police’s explanation that communication equipment fell on him.

The villagers of Bil’in and supporters will be demonstrating in solidarity with Emad tomorrow. The demonstration will begin at the village mosque after prayers around 12 midday, and will march to the site of the wall, which has stolen over 50% of Bil’in’s agricultural land.

For more information:

Mohammed Khatib, Bil’in Anti-wall Popular Committee: 054 557 3285
Attorney Gaby Laski: 054 441 8988
Israeli video-journalist Shai Polack: 054 533 3364
ISM Media office: 02 297 1824

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3. Journalists Join with Villagers of Bil’in in Solidarity With Emad Bornat

See ISM website for photos:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/13/bilin-emad/

by Ash, October 13th

Palestinians along with international and Israeli peace activists gathered this morning along with cameramen from different press agencies in solidarity with Emad Bornat.

Emad Mohammad Bornat of the village of Bil’in, video photographer for Reuters and documentary film maker, was arrested on Friday October 6th, 2006 by an Israeli Border Police unit that entered the village, firing rubber bullets and sound grenades.

Holding a banner “Soldiers, Stop Your Lies!”, demonstrators marched towards the gate in the apartheid fence built on the land of Bilin where border police and soldiers were standing in a line. A group of Israeli soldiers were noticed hiding in an olive grove on the outskirts of the village.

Cameramen were marching at the front of the crowd to show their solidarity with Emad. Demonstrators chanted slogans in Arabic, English and Hebrew. One Palestinian activist from the village was detained and dragged away by border police and beaten. The Israeli soldiers didn’t listen to protesters demanding his release. A few minutes later, he managed to escape and run away. One Israeli activist was arrested in the process of de-arresting another activist but was later released.

The army followed the demonstration to the village firing sound bombs and tear gas causing damage to some Palestinian properties. A villager and a 14 year-old boy were shot with rubber bullets.

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4. Nablus Villagers Face Impediments to Olive Harvest from Israeli Soldiers

See ISM website for photos:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/18/qusin-soldiers/

by ISM Nablus, 18th October

Qusin is a small picturesque village located in the green rolling hills just west of Nablus city and adjacent to the Israeli colony of Qedumim. Since the height of the Al-Aqsa intifada, the village has been spared overtly violent military incursions, but there are many other problems that prevent the villagers from going about their daily lives as normal.

About three months ago, a several kilometer long coil of razor-wire was put up by the Israeli military in order to prevent university students and workers from the village from reaching Nablus without being forced to suffer an arduous wait at Beit Iba checkpoint. Many of these people, especially the young men, are subjected to daily internment in a special holding-pen at the checkpoint. Claiming to be œchecking their IDs, Israeli soldiers hold them prisoner there for hours every day, sometimes confiscating their mobile phones and refusing them access to water and bathroom facilities. The same people are made to wait day after day even though the soldiers manning the checkpoint know their names and faces very well by now. If they attempt to go around the checkpoint, their taxi drivers are invariably stopped and made to wait for at least two hours as a punishment. In some cases, the military even confiscate or vandalise the cars.

The village council has requested that international solidarity workers accompany farmers to their land during the olive harvest, due to harassment from Israeli military forces. Two days ago, a couple of families with land on the far side of an Israeli bypass road and about 200 meters from Qedumim colony started harvesting their olives. As the electronic school bell rang out from the Israeli colony and the usually unmistakably positive but now so unsettling sound of children playing subsided, landowner Abu Ramsi explained the problems facing the village: œWe are not afraid of the settlers. They are good people. But the soldiers always come to chase us off and prevent us from picking our olives. Soldiers also prevent Palestinians from crossing the Israeli bypass road with their tractors, essential for transporting equipment and the harvested fruit.

The past two days have passed without incident. Military vehicles circled the area and at times stopped to watch the work from afar but did not interfere. Today, Israeli border police were driving back and forth on the settler-military only road for a while, before deciding to stop and assess the situation. One of them swung the jeep door open and looked ready to step out, when he caught sight of international solidarity workers armed with cameras and legal papers. Accompanied by peals of laughter from women of the village, he thought better of it mid-step, closed the door and drove away.

Every last olive on the far side of the bypass road has now been picked and the families continue picking on the near side to the village, where the risks are not so great. Inspired by last weekend’s generous downpour of rain, the slopes of Qusin are dotted with harvesters in colourful dresses and kerchiefs. Olives, chubby and sleek, fall onto tarpaulins and into buckets and pockets - a bumper harvest representing the coming year™s livelihood for thousands of Palestinian farmers all over the West Bank.

This year’s harvest will be far larger than last year’s, in accordance with how olive growth normally fluctuates (every two years there is a large harvest). In dire times like these, with the European boycott strangling what was left of the Palestinian economy, a full harvest is especially important. The importance of the olive harvest thiῳ year explains why farmers are expecting un῵sually high levels of violence, theft and other forms of sabotage from Israeli settlers and soldiers. In light of these circumstances, it is vital that as many international solidarity workers as possible make their way to Palestine to accompany farmers to their land, bear witness to thῥ oppression facing them and make sure that ῥvery last olive is picked.

Remember, harvesting is resisting!

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5. Thirty Days in the Nablus Region

by ISM Nablus, October 19, 2006

The Nablus region, with its three refugee camps, many villages, Old City and sprawling city center has been a scene of consistent Israeli violence. Such violence has accelerated since the beginning of the Palestinian Intifada in September 2000. Nablus has become synonymous with nightly invasions, targeted assassinations, home demolitions and other acts of violence by the occupation forces.

This report combines the reporting of eight Palestinian and Israeli news sources to document the violence perpetuated by the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) in the Nablus region. The various news sources were used to generate an accurate and complete report, and the factual differences in reporting were taken into account and investigated. Sometimes it was not possible to locate arrestees names, or places of birth, though this information was recorded whenever available.

The invasions of villages of the Nablus region were noted, though the invasions of the refugee camps and city were not because of the regularity. Nablus Old City, Balata Refugee Camp, Askar Refugee Camp and Ein Beit el Ma Refugee Camp (known simply as Ein) are invaded nearly every night. The Old City as well as Askar and Balata Refugee Camps have rarely gone 24 hours without the presence of IOF soldiers firing at citizens. Because of the regularity of these invasions, and the presumption that they are occurring each and every day, invasions are only noted when they involve significant property destruction, arrests, injuries or deaths.

In thirty days in the Nablus region:

* 6 Palestinians were killed by Israeli military personal.
* At least 18 Palestinians were injured by IOF attacks.
* At least 63 Palestinians were arrested.

Below you will find a day by day account of incidents of arrests, injuries, killings, village invasions and other such incidents of occupation violence. See also the previous ISM Nablus report “Three days in Nablus: Four Killed, Six Injured, Eight Arrested“:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/12/3-days-nablus/

September

Tuesday 19th

IOF stormed Askar refugee camp, invaded houses in Nablus city, and invaded homes in Osarin village, southeast of Nablus city. In total, seven people were arrested:

* Rashad Yassein, 16, from Askar camp
* Fadi Abu Koshik, 18, from Askar camp
* Bara’a Abu Ja’far, 21, from Nablus city
* Amin Qdili, 20, from Osarin village
* Turki Adili, 20, from Osarin village
* Salim Azimah, 19, from Osarin village
* Haitham Adili, 20, from Osarin village

Wednesday 20th

IOF invaded Beit Furik village, east of Nablus city, and arrested Firas Mlitat, 26. Later that day, another unnamed Palestinian male was arrested at Jit checkpoint.

Thursday 21st

During an incursion into Nablus city nine Palestinians were arrested:

* Ferass Militat, 30
* Nafeth Ahmad Al Faqeeh, 23, from the Hebron region
* Mohammed Ahmad Al Faqeeh, 21, from the Hebron region
* Yousef Ahmad Ayed Al Faqeeh, 20, from the Hebron region
* Nassem Al Khzari, 32
* One unnamed woman from Balata Refugee Camp
* Two unnamed resistance fighters, from Nablus city

Sunday 24th

IOF fired at a Palestinians taxi approaching Nablus from Ramallah, injuring four people:

* Ali Mohammed Al-Aqra, from Qabalan village, suffered a head injury
* Maged Snuber, 33, from Qabalan village, was shot in the left hand
* Jamil Abdur-Rahman, from Qabalan village, was wounded in the hand and back
* Mohammed Al-Aqra, from Qabalan village, shot in the back and suffered hand injuries

Tuesday 26th

IOF invaded Nablus Old City and shot Amjad Anabtawi, 22, from Nablus Old City. Anabtawi was shot in the chest and critically injured.

Wednesday 27th

IOF invaded Balata Refugee Camp, and injured three unnamed Palestinian males. Soldiers attacked the Qattaui building, arresting three people:

* Ala’ Shary’ah, 21
* Jihad Yusef Shamah Dukan, 17
* Abdullah Khaled Mahmod Qatari, 17

Three unnamed Palestinian males from Nablus Old City were also arrested that night.

Thursday 28th

IOF invaded Rujeib village, south of Nablus, and Assira Al-Shamalila village, north of Nablus. Homes were invaded and searched and private property was destroyed.

IOF invaded Balata refugee camp, and destroyed a number of shops with an armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer. Two Palestinians were arrested:

* Du’a Hussin, 20 (female)
* One unnamed Palestinian male.

Friday 29th

IOF invaded Ein and Balata Refugee Camps, as well as Nablus Old City, searching shops and destroying private property.
October

Sunday 1st

IOF closed the line for senior citizens at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center. Palestinian demonstrators threw stones in protest, and were shot with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets.

Wednesday 4th

Nablus city and Balata Refugee Camp were invaded in the night and two Palestinian males were arrested:

* Muhammad Abu Halimah, 17, from Nablus city
* Ammar Hassanain, 26, from Nablus city.
* Nasir Hasan Mansur, 40, from Kafr Qallil village, south of Nablus, was shot in his foot by IOF soldiers stationed at Beit Ur checkpoint, while he was sitting in front of his house.

Thursday 5th

One unnamed Palestinian male arrested in southern Nablus city.

Friday 6th

Six unnamed Palestinian males arrested in Nablus city.

Saturday 7th

IOF invaded Askar Refugee Camp. Two unnamed Palestinian males arrested:

* One unnamed man arrested south of Nablus city center.
* One unnamed man arrested in Salim village, east of Nablus.

IOF, stationed near the Apartheid wall, shot Farid Tu’amah in his abdomen, and left him bleeding for 20 minutes while the ambulance was banned from reaching the scene of the shooting.

Sunday 8th

IOF invaded Balata Refugee Camp and killed one Palestinian male:

* Usama Saleh, 23, known locally as “Skipper,” shot twice in the chest.
* Four additional unnamed Palestinian males were injured during the invasion.

Mohammed El-Haj Tirawi, 23, from Balata Camp shot dead while attempting to pass Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center, via a bypass road. The checkpoint was closed because of the Jewish holiday. During the attack by IOF soldiers, Ahmed Hazzaa Ramadan, 21, from Til village was shot in the shoulder and injured.

IOF arrested three unnamed Palestinian males from Nablus city.

Monday 9th

IOF invaded Nablus city, targeting a number of houses in Jabal Al- Shamali, and Wad Al-Toffah areas. Three unnamed Palestinian males were arrested.

Wednesday 11th

IOF raided Nablus Old City, as well as Ein, Balata and Askar Refugee Camps. Armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers destroyed water pumps and pipes, and also causing damage to the central market in Askar Camp.

During the invasion into Ein Camp, one man was shot and killed: Abdullah Mansour, 29, from Jericho city, was shot and killed while looking out the window of a relative’s house.

Five Palestinian males were arrested in Nablus Old City and Balata Refugee Camp:

* Fadi Ziad Galiz, 18, from Nablus Old City
* Mohammad Ziad Galiz, 25, from Nablus Old City
* Azmi Tawfiq Al Serafi, 20, from Balata Refugee Camp
* Abu Rish, 20, from Balata Refugee Camp
* Hussam, 20, from Balata Refugee Camp

Two unnamed Palestinian males were arrested near Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center, during the night.

IOF established additional closure barriers at Yitzhar checkpoint, south of Nablus, forcing Palestinians to use bypass roads.

Thursday 12th

IOF at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center, shot and killed Mohammed Waleed Mustafa Sa’ada, 20, from Til village, as he approached soldiers searching a taxi.

Two unnamed Palestinian males were arrested, one from Nablus city and one from Ein Refugee Camp.

Friday 13th

IOF raided Beit Furik village, east of Nablus. Military vehicles entered the village, imposing curfew.

All men under the age of 45 were denied passage through Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center. One unnamed Palestinian male was beaten and thereafter arrested.

Sunday 15th

A number of Palestinians were arrested under suspicion of possessing a pistol or knife in their car.

Mohamed Rabai’a, 28, from Nablus city was arrested under unclear circumstances, while his brother was detained for over one hour.

Monday 16th

IOF invaded Nablus city and Balata Refugee Camp and arrested three Palestinian males:

* Motaz Affouri, 23, from Nablus city
* Iyad Tirawi, 22, from Balata Refugee Camp.
* An unnamed Palestinian male from Nablus city.

Tuesday 17th

Two Palestinian brothers killed in Ein Refugee Camp, west of Nablus, by IOF Special Forces:

* Adel Abu Al-Rish, 24, shot with ten bullets in chest and head.
* Firas Al-Rish, 22

Several people were also injured. Soon after the assassination IOF reinforcements carried out a full invasion of the camp.

Wednesday 18th

IOF invaded Beit Iba village, north of Nablus, and Nablus Old City arresting five Palestinian males:

* Khalid Ismael Ramadan, from Beit Iba village (brother of Mohammed)
* Mohammed Ismael Ramadan, from Beit Iba village (brother of Khalid)
* Fuad Safwan, 25, from Nablus city
* Ihaab Mahmad As’ad Karhash, 22, from Taluza village
* Ahassan Ali Hussein Vah, 25, from Nablus city

Sources

* Ma’an News Agency (Palestinian news source, online)
* WAFA News Agency (Palestinian news source, online)
* Independent Middle East Media Center (Palestinian-Israeli news source, online)
* Al-Jazeera News (Arab news network, online)
* Ha’aretz (Israeli newspaper, online)
* Jerusalem Post (Israeli newspaper, online)
* Ynet News (Israeli newspaper, online)
* Israeli Defense Force (military press statements, online)

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6. “My Name is Rachel Corrie” Opens in New York

http://www.mynameisrachelcorrie.com/

October 20th: The play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” recently opened in New York. Below is transcript to an interview with Rachel’s father and sister about the play that was recently broadcast on Democracy Now!. There are also links that let you listen to or view the interview. After the transcript are links to several reviews of the play from various newsᾠsources (only a small seῬection of many). Finally, remember that Rachel™s Words recently came up with ῡn excellent factsheet about her death that we republished on our site:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/15/rachel-corrie-play/

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” Opens in New York
Visit the DN! site to listen to the show:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/18/1437210

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” – a play based on the life of the late US peace activist who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer - was scheduled to open last March at the New York Theatre Workshop. But six weeks before opening night, the theater announced it was indefinitely postponing the production. The move that was widely criticizedᾠas an act of censorship.ᾠO΅ Sunday, the play finally opened at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York. We play exclusive excerpts of the play, and speak with Rachel Corrie™s father, Craig; her sister, Sarah; and the play™s co-editor, Katharine Viner. [includes rush transcript] Rachel Corrie was killed in Gaza three years ago when sῨe stood in front of an Iῳrῡeli bulldozer set to demolish a Palestinian home. The play is based on Corries writings before her death.

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” was scheduled to open last March at the New York Theatre Workshop. But six weeks before opening night, the theater announced it was indefinitely postponing production of the play. They cited the current political climate as the reason for the cancelation, pointing to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon”s coma anῤ the election of Hamas.

The move was widely criticized by artists and activists all over the world. At the time, we had a debate on Democracy Now and I read a letter written by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter to the artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop James Nicola and the theater”s managing director, Lynn Moffat. The co-editor of the play, Katherine Viner, joined us from London.

* Katharine Viner. Co-editor of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie. She is also an editor at the London newspaper The Guardian.

* Craig Corrie. Rachel Corrie’s father.

* Sarah Corrie. Rachel Corrie’s older sister.

* Excerpts from “My Name is Rachel Corrie.”

* Excerpt of the documentary, “Rachel Corrie: An American Conscience.” It was directed by Yahya Barakat.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This past Sunday, the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, finally opened in the United States, here in New York at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

MEGAN DODDS, as RACHEL CORRIE: This realization that I will live my life in a world where I have privileges. I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly.

AMY GOODMAN: Rachel Corrie was killed in Gaza on March 16, 2003, nearly three years ago, when she stood in front of an Israeli bulldozer set to demolish a Palestinian home. The play is based on Rachel Corrie’s writings before her death. My Name is Rachel Corrie was scheduled to open last March at the New York Theatre Workshop, but six weeks before opening night the theater announced it was indefinitely postponing production of the play. They cited the current political climate as the reason for the cancellation, pointing to Prime MinῩster Ariel Sharon™s coma and the election of Hamas. The move was widely criticized by artists and activists around the world.

At the time, we had an exclusive debate on Democracy Now!, and I read a letter written by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter to the artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop, James Nicola, and the theater’s managing director, Lynn Moffat. The co-editor of the play, Katharine Viner, joined us on the line from London.

AMY GOODMAN: There’s a letter today in The New York Times. It’s written by Harold Pinter, who is the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Gillian Slovo, Stephen Fry, and it’s dated March 20. The letter was signed by 18 others, and it says, “We are Jewish writers who supported the Royal Court production of My Name Is Rachel Corrie. We are dismayed by the ῤecision of the New York Theatre Workshop t` cancel or postpone the play™s production. We believe that this is an important play, particularly, perhῡps, for an American audience that too rarely has an opportunity to ῳee and judge for itself the material it contends with.

“In London it played to sell-out houses. Critics praised it. Audiences found it intensely moving. So what is it about Rachel Corrie’s writings, her thoughts, her feelings, her confusions, her idealism, her courage, her search for meaning in life — what is it that New York audiences must be protected from?”

The letter goes on to say, “The various reasons given by the workshop — Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coma, the election of Hamas, the circumstances of Rachel Corrie’s death, the ‘symbolism’ of her tale — make no sense in the context of this play and the crucial issues it raises about Israeli military activity in the Occupied Territories.

And the final line of the letter says, “Rachel Corrie gave her life standing up against injustice. A theater with such a fine history should have had the courage to give New York theatergoers the chance to experience her story for themselves.” Signed Gillian Slovo, Harold Pinter, Stephen Fry, London, March 20, 2006. Harold Pinter this year won the Nobel Prize for Literῡture.

Our guests, Lynn Moffat is managing director of the New York Theatre Workshop, in our studio with Jim Nicola, artistic director; and in the London studio, Katharine Viner, co-editor and co-producer of My Name is Rachel Corrie. Lynn Moffat, your response to the letter?

LYNN MOFFAT: To the letter? It’s a beautiful letter. It actually addresses the issues that we were concerned about. We believe in Rachel’s voice, as they believe in Rachel’s voice. We want it heard by a New York audience, but we want the voice heard by the New York audience, not the ancillary events that can pollute that voice. So that is the purpose of the meῴhodology that New York Theatre Workshop employs when it uses ” when it develops context for a play. I knoῷ œcontext has become a much malig΅ed word in the last few weeks, but that is what we do, because ultimately the purpose of the workshop in producing art is to foster community dialogue, and to do that requires a lot of work Ὺust beyond the play that is seen on stage.

AMY GOODMAN: But now, you did agree to produce the play, and it was going to have its opening night tonight?

LYNN MOFFAT: And we still want to produce the play.

JAMES NICOLA: Yep.

LYNN MOFFAT: We still want to produce the play, and the word “indefinite,” we don’t know where that word came from. We really — and we never canceled the play. We were having a conversation with our colleagues at the Royal Court about the difficulties that we were having, not only just with the research that we were doing about the project and about the play, but also about, you know, contrῡcts and budῧets andᾠfundraising, and all that sort of stuff.

JAMES NICOLA: Visas.

LYNN MOFFAT: Visas. We were having a conversation with them, and then Katharine’s letter appeared in the Guardian.

AMY GOODMAN: Katharine Viner, your response.

KATHARINE VINER: Yeah. I mean, I’m actually not a co-producer of the play. I was just the co-editor, so — but as I understand it, we had everything set. Our tickets — our flight tickets were booked. I was due to fly out yesterday to New York. The production schedule was finalized. Both sides of the Atlantic had agreed on a press release that was going to go out ῴo the press, announcing the production of My Name is Rachel Corrie, andᾠthen the Royal Court, as I was told, received a telephone caῬl saying that the play was to be postponed indefinitely. That™s where the phrase came from.

AMY GOODMAN: Katharine Viner, speaking on Democracy Now! in March. She joins us now in our firehouse studio. She is the co-editor of My Name is Rachel Corrie, also an editor at the London newspaper, The Guardian, also joined by Rachel’s father and sister, Craig and Sarah. We welcome you all to Democracy Now! As you watch that, Katharine Viner, you were speaking to us from London, had planned to be in New York at the time, and yet, here you are, and the play is being shown now at the Minetta Lane Theatre. What happened?

KATHARINE VINER: Well, we’re so delighted that it’s finally on — the play is finally on in New York. We always said that it’s an American play. Rachel was always just wholly American and should be heard here, and I think it just shows that the whole controversy was needless. The play has been very well received. Ticket sales are sort of through the roof. ῗord of mouth is fantastῩc, and it jusῴ shows that New York wanted to see this play all along.

AMY GOODMAN: Sarah, you’re a key part of this play. You are [Rachel]’s older sister, and you’re the person who started this process of collating your sister’s emails. Can you talk about that process?

SARAH CORRIE: Yes, actually we received an email from the Royal Court Theatre shortly after Rachel was killed, asking if they could do some sort of a work based off of Rachel’s emails. And at the time it was just too emotional for us to be going through Rachel’s writing. We knew there was a vast amount of material there, but it also felt very important to us. Rachel was a writer. She had always wanted to be published. I think it was one of the dreams that she had, and so I felt like it was something tῨat I could give back to my sister in order to sort of allow that part of her life to ῳtill move forward.

So it was approximately a year after we first got the email from the Royal Court Theatre that I sat down and was able to sit down with Rachel’s journals. She was — in the play, she describes herself as a very messy girl, so these journals were in tubs, they were in closets, they were in places all over the house.

AMY GOODMAN: You live in and she grew up in Olympia, Washington?

SARAH CORRIE: In Olympia, Washington, and we actually both lived together. She had moved back into the house that we grew up in, with my husband and I, and lived together for the last four months before she went over to Rafah, so she was living in the home with my husband and I at that time. So I was able to sit down with those journals. I™d take an evening to just look at the journals, read them, gain sort of the emotional need that I had for myself to understand the context, and then the next day, I sat down with a glass of wine next to me and just typed them out without trying to edit anything, sort of like a secretary would, just to get the words down on paper, and that is what became the text that we then sent to the Royal Court for editing at that time.

AMY GOODMAN: I watched the play last night at the Minetta Lane Theatre, and afterwards you all spoke. You talked to the audience and answered questions. And one of the key parts of this play is the list that Rachel makes. Can you talk about the process of going through these and deciding whether on earth the Royal Court Theatre would be interested in Rachel™s lists, like when she™s going to do her laundry?

SARAH CORRIE: Yes. Rachel throughout all her writing had these sort of what most people would look at, say these are odd little lists, but interesting in a way, and I’d see this things within her writing and look at them and say, “Well, what possibly could somebody do with these?” But at the same time, they struck my interest. I don™t consider myself a writer. I don™t consider myself someone that would be good at creating a piece of theater, and I told myself, I don™t have the right to edit thῡt out. They were interesting to me, and so I ended up just typi΅g them up along with everything else, putting the῭ in, and then that became sort of the piece that wove the different aspects of the play together.

AMY GOODMAN: Katharine Viner, you are careful to say you’re not the playwright here, but that you co-edited Rachel’s letters. What about these lists? Can you talk about them, and for people who don’t understand what we mean by lists? What’s on these lists?

KATHARINE VINER: Well, some of the lists are sort of “five people I wish I’d met who are dead,” or “five people to hang out with in eternity,” and that was very entertaining. Some lists are quite sort of functional, but actually convey something very revealing. So there may be a list about tasks to do in Gaza, which sort of showed you what life is like under occupation, just from a Ῥist. And it was inteῲesting when we wereᾠeditῩng the play, how they worked dramaticallyᾬ these lists, because it became a kind of recurring motif for, somehow, something you knew about Rachel, that she loved making these lists, and you could chart her sort of psychological progress through these lists and how they developed whileᾠshe was there. They ῡlso worked really wῥll o΅ stage, I think, and the audience gets veῲy involved in them.

AMY GOODMAN: So, the people she wanted to see who are dead. Jesus?

KATHARINE VINER: Jesus, E.E. Cummings, Gertrude Stein, Martin Luther King, Josephine — a selection of those anyway, wasn’t it?

AMY GOODMAN: Well, this is an excerpt from My Name is Rachel Corrie. In this scene, Rachel sits down and reads an email from her father.

MEGAN DODDS, as RACHEL CORRIE: Rachel, I find writing to you hard, but not thinking about you impossible, so I don’t write, but I do bore my friends at lunch, giving vent to my fear. I am afraid for you, and I think I have reason to be, but I am also proud of you, very proud. But as Don Remfert says, I’d just as soon be proud of somebody else™s daughter.

AMY GOODMAN: An excerpt of the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie. Craig, as you listen to that, your daughter, Rachel, reading your letter. Do you remember writing that email?

CRAIG CORRIE: Oh, yes. Chills are going down me right now. I had such a hard time. That’s the only email I wrote to Rachel while she was in Rafah. I’m a Vietnam vet, and when I was in Vietnam, of course, Cindy and I, my wife and I, were corresponding by mail, and that was easy for me, but I think it was hard for her. And I was learning from Rachel being over there that it was hard, because I didn™t know how she was.ᾠWe were talking by telephone, and so when she was on the telῥphone I knew that she was okay for that period of time, but I was so worried about Rachel after she got over there.

When she started reporting about what she saw, the bullet holes next to the windows and stuff, I became extremely frightened for her, because I recognized, this is a military that’s out of control, and I know how much effort I spent in Vietnam to keep the people around me in control and understanding that the other people there are human beings, and I didn™t see anything about what Rachel was reporting that indicated that, so I became frightened that somebody would just needlessly harm her or the people thῡt she was with.

And so, I finally got the nerve to write this email to her, and so it always chokes me up, because I had not envisioned her reading this email until I saw Megan doing it on the play, and then it’s — her reply is the last thing that we ever heard from Rachel, and so her reply in an email back to me, that’s our last contact with Rachel.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go now to another clip, to Rachel Corrie in her own words. This is actually not from the play. This is an excerpt of the documentary, Rachel Corrie: An American Conscience, which was directed by Yahya Barakat. It includes excerpts of Rachel speaking in Gaza about the plight of the Palestinian people.

RACHEL CORRIE: Sometimes it takes awhile for it to set in what is happening here, because I think many of the people here, they try to maintain what they can of their lives, and I think — I don’t know — maybe it has to do with protecting their children, that they try to be happy, joke with their children. So sometimes it takes time to ” it™s hard to hold in your mind, you know, the complete reality of what™s happening here. Sometimes I™m sitting down to dinner with people, and I just realize that there is a massiῶe miliῴary macῨine surrounding them and trying to kill these people that I™m having dinner with, these families that I™m sitting down to eat with and who are being very generous and kind to me, and their children here, who are incredibly threatened, living lives that no child ever should have to live. And so, I feel a lot of horr`r. ReaῬly, I fῥel a lot of horror about the situation.

AMY GOODMAN: Rachel Corrie being interviewed in Gaza. Craig, when was this?

CRAIG CORRIE: That was two days before Rachel was killed, and I’d just like to take people’s attention to the scene behind Rachel. That used to be a neighborhood. She was on Abu Jamil’s house. Abu Jamil no longer has a house, and, of course, Rachel is no longer alive. But that’s the destruction that’s going on and was going on in Gaza.

AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli military bulldozer that crushed her — you are suing a U.S. company, Caterpillar, that made that bulldozer. Where does that suit stand?

CRAIG CORRIE: Well, of course, in the first place, that suit is predicated on the fact that Caterpillar knew that the bulldozers that they were supplying to the Israeli military were used to aid and abet in human rights violations. But at this point, the case actually has been dismissed, and it was filed in Weston, Washington, in the U.S. Superior Court in Weston, Washington, and the judge dismissed that and, I think, relied ” I am not a lawyer, but he relied on a misinterpretation of U.S. law, because essentially, under this judge™s interpretation, unless the corporation, Caterpillar, actually profited from the actual human rights violation, they can™t be held accountable.

So if, for instance, I was in McDonald’s and somebody comes in and starts shooting in McDonald’s, runs out of bullets, and I sell them more bullets, I still wouldn’t be responsible for that person’s actions after they start to shoot again. So, of course, we’ve appealed that to the Ninth Circuit. And the appeals have been filed, but oral arguments in front of the NinthᾠCircuit have not yet occurred.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Sarah, to see this play — I was watching you. I was watching your family watch the play last night at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Is it a little bit like your sister is brought back to life?

SARAH CORRIE: No. It can never be Rachel up there on the stage, and I think when we first saw the play, we realized that. We weren’t expecting it to be Rachel on the play, but it’s a very accurate and honest view, I think, of what Rachel was feeling at that time, I mean, the person that she is. So, yes, I mean, it’s difficult as a family to watch. I think every family member that™s been there to see that play says for exactly that reason it™s difficult to waῴch the play, because Rachel™s not with us and y`u™re seeing somebody up on the stage bringing her words back to life and bringing her ” a little bit of her personality and her humor baΰk to life. And those are the kinds of things that you miss so much on just a day-to-day basis. So it is. It™s very difficult, but it™s also very wῡrming at the same time to just have those wordsᾬ either reading them to ourselves or up there on the stage. It ” you know, it keeps Rachel with us just a little bit longer.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you all for being with us. Again, the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, is now being performed at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York. Sarah and Craig Corrie, thank you. Katharine Viner, thanks for joining us.

List of reviews

The opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ISM.

* The Jewish Week
http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=13120

* Indymedia New York
http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/10/77336.shtml

* TheaterMania
http://www.theatermania.com/content/news.cfm/story/9236

* Variety
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117931885.html?categoryid=33&cs=1

* NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/story/462053p-388751c.html

-----

7. Tel Rumeida Diary: The Israeli Idea of “Quiet”

by Mary, October 14th

A young soldier told me that he didn’t care what anyone thought of him. He did not want peace, just quiet. He wanted quiet! And quiet he has, I suppose. He has no need to arrest anyone or shoot anyone. And that is the best a young conscript can hope for! Unfortunately his quiet is not good for everyone.

What the Israeli army calls “quiet” here means pandering to Israeli settlers, mostly by ignoring attacks on Palestinians and internationals and Israeli human rights workers (HRWs) by Israeli settler boys, who are too young to be arrested. On the evening of Friday September 29th, Baruch Marzel’s son and two other boys were hanging about outside our house and `ne ofᾠthem threw muck at me. It was all over the back of clothes and in my hair. Soldiers were there but did nothing. The police came and said I could make a complaint but they could do nothing. The boys were too young! If it had been Palestinian children, they wo῵ld not be considered too young. There are more than 700 Palestinia΅ chilῤren in Israeli prisons. Next day Baruch asked what I thought about the children. I replied that I didn™t know what he meant. Then he said œShabbat Shalom. It definitely wasn™t an apology but it was better than the usual œNazi or œAnti-semetic. So I replieῤ œShabb!
at Shalom”.

There have been constant attacks on the families living near the Tel Rumeida settlement.
The El Azzeh families had rocks thrown at their house for three hours the other evening. This happens a lot. There is a new young family in a house that had been empty. They have two toddler children and the rock throwing is a great worry for them. So there are now four families alongside the settlement. All have children. In the last month, Tel Rumeida settler children have cut the water pipe to these houses three times. The work was supervised by a woman, who came from the Gaza colonies a year ago. She has been trespassing on and trying to steal El Azzeh land ever since.

In July 2005, there was an Israeli court order that the El Azzeh families were allowed to use part of their land as a pathway, parallel to the street so that they could lead their house (for three years previously, these families were not allowed out of their houses, 2 hrs every two weeks curfew). Which the settlers have taken over. In December 2005, the Israeli army put razor wire across the entrance to the path. Until June 2006, the children were allowed to pass that way. If they couldn™t open the wire, most soldiers would help them. The children were constantly harassed by the settler woman from the late Gaza colonies. She would tell the soldiers that the children were not allowed pass. And, if that was not effective, she would physically block their way “ standing over them and abusing them. Human rights workers were always there to help the children when the children came from and went to school. However, during the summer, while I was in Australia, Tel Rumeida sett!
lers and some soldiers put a lot of razor wire at the end of the track near the El Azzeh houses. Now the families cannot pass at all. The only other way, is a very rough track through other people’s back yards. The ground is rocky and there are many rough steps as well as a ladder to climb. Two weeks ago, 6 year old Ahmad fell on rocky ground and injured his head, which is still covered in sticking plaster. The track has been tidied at the road end near us. It looks quiet and even peaceful! But this is misleading.

The Abu Aeshah family live directly opposite the Tel Rumeida settlement. On September 30th at 5.00pm, Abu Samir, Samir, Rafa and Mohammad Abu Aeshah were returning to their house opposite the Tel Rumeida settlement. Two settler boys came out and threw rocks at them. An Israeli army officer had told me that his soldiers are positioned to help in case of a settler attack against this family. This does not appear to be the case. No soldiers came. It was less than a week since the Abu Aeshah family was attacked in this way. The officer™s assurance does not seem to be worth much. Earlier on the same day, two HRWs were at the crossroads looking towards the Tel Rumeida settlement. Three settler boys, aged about ten, were throwing rocks towards a Palestinian house nearby. The HRWs called to the soldiers at the crossroad to come. One of the soldiers yelled at the boys until they stopped. Later, the same boys came out of the settlement with other girls and boys. They moved down the !
road towards the crossroad. Three boys went into the entryway of the Palestinian house and threw rocks at the front door. Others threw rocks down the road towards the soldiers who were responding to the HRWs call. Both soldiers sent the settler children back to the settlement. This is quiet?

All Palestinian government workers have not been paid since the end of February. Finally, after 7 months of working without pay, they are on strike. The money exists to pay them. Israel is collecting tax for Palestine but will not hand it over. They say that this is because the Palestinians elected Hamas, which the USA and Israel say is terrorist organization. But it was a democratic election with over a thousand registered international observers, who found it to be exemplary. So much for the USA wanting democracy in the Middle East! The Palestinians were tired of corrupt government, which gave the people nothing and obtained not even basic humanitarian rights from Israel. If Israel wanted a different government, some concessions “ such as releasing 700 children, many of whom have not been charged with an offense, from Israeli prisons “ would have made enough difference to swing the election. So now, there is no school, no nurses, doctors or workers in hospitals (except!
for emergencies), no garbage collectors etc. Even though the government in Hebron is not controlled by Hamas, the restrictions are here too. Israel holds the tax money of these people and collective punishment is the order of the day. One of the most shocking things for me is that my Australian government says that this is somehow helping Israel protect itself. Probably the reverse is true. It is not healthy for any nation to behave so callously, while demanding that their youth (Israeli army conscripts) be the ones to defend their cruel stance.

October 7th-14th (Succot week)

It is the Jewish holiday of Succot. Settlers have strung banners on Palestinian houses and flags and banners in the street. No permission was asked of Palestinians, but all is quiet. But the lack of consideration by and arrogance of the settlers and the acquiescence of the Israeli army is sickening. There were no problems on Shabbat (Saturday). On Sunday, the checkpoint for those leaving Tel Rumeida (checkpoint 56) was closed at 1.30pm. No notice was given. Soldiers forced the closure of shops in H1 (which is supposed to be controlled by the Palestinian Authority, under the Hebron accords) and invaded further into the Palestinian controlled area. Then the checkpoint was intermittently opened and closed until 3.30pm. Israeli settlers arrived at about 3.10pm and purposefully blocked the way of Palestinians using the checkpoint. At 3.30pm the checkpoint was closed - until 7pm, we were told. The settlers escorted by soldiers and police were allowed through the checkpoint and tak!
en into a Palestinian house in H1. The aim was to visit the “Cave of Otniel Ben-Knaz”. This constituted not only trespass in a Palestinian home but an invasion by Israeli settlers and soldiers into H1.

Palestinians were beginning to gather at the checkpoint. It is Ramadan, which means fasting in daylight hours for Muslims. Palestinians need to finish their shoping before about 4.30pm and break their fast at about 5.45pm. The police and army officers present at the checkpoint made telephone calls. The settlers and soldiers returned. Several stones were thrown at the H1 side of the checkpoint. Not so quiet! Soldiers went rushing back again with guns ready. There was some tear gas. Then all was quiet again. The checkpoint was open again by 4.15pm.

On Monday the 9th, we were inundated with over a thousand tourists - religious Israeli Jews. They were walking all over the area, but thankfully there were no problems. A Palestinian told me that they were from Tel Aviv and other places in Israel. They were not settlers. On Tuesday and Wednesday, there was many bus loads of tourists. The buses park right in front of Palestinian doorways even though Palestinians and internationals are sitting there. This seems extremely rude as there are other places to park. Soldiers order the Palestinians to go inside their houses to make room for tourists to get off the bus. This international refuses to move! Most of the tourists themselves are no trouble. There are a few groups of young men, dressed the garb of religious Jews (black hat or kippur and trousers with a white shirt) who often act unpleasantly. On Tuesday, a group of about 12 crowded round me as I sat on a wall outside a Palestinian house. Two of them trod on my feet several !
times and tried to say that I was tripping them.

This is the “quiet” of the Israeli army. The settlers, no matter how badly they behave or how unreasonable their demands, are always put first. The Palestinians, no matter how conciliatory they are, always come last.

-----

8. Israeli Colonists Steal Palestinian olives in Tel Rumeida

See ISM website for photos:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/14/stealing-lives-telrum/

by ISM Hebron, October 13th

For the duration of the week the streets of Tel Rumeida, close to the illegal Jewish-only colonies of Tel Rumeida and Beit Hadassah have been adorned with Israeli flags, slogans and orange ribbons (signifying support for the settler movement).

On Monday over a thousand Israeli tourists descended on Tel Rumeida for the Succot holiday while Palestinian religious freedom was restricted at the Ibrahimi mosque. Soldiers escorted settlers in a march into Hebron’s Old City - an illegal invasion. Palestinian civilians were cleared out of the way with tear gas and sound grenades.

Twice this week, internationals have witnessed Israeli colonists from the Tel Rumeida settlement picking olives belonging to Palestinians located below the settlement caravans. The Palestinians are afraid to harvest the olives because of their proximity to the caravans of Tel Rumeida settlement, whose residents are carry out constant violence and harassment against Palestinian civilians. One family living below the settlement continues to have the path to the main road blocked by barbed wire despite an Israeli Supreme Court ruling.

On Wednesday, on two separate occasions, international human rights workers were attacked and abused by settler children close to Beit Hadassah settlement. Several Palestinian families have olive groves in Tel Rumeida and have in recent years had problems harvesting their olives. They have started picking already but the main harvest period is after Eid when they are anxious to be able to pick.

-----

9. Two Reports From Qalandiya Checkpoint

"Fifty People Detained at Qalandiya Checkpoint", from brightonpalestine.org, 16th October

I passed through Qalandiya checkpoint today on the way back to Hebron.

As the bus reached the Ramallah side of the “terminal” the passengers got out and walked towards the pedestrian gates. When I had passed the turnstiles I saw that around fifty Palestinians were waiting at the checkpoint. To get to the Jerusalem side they had to walk through another turnstile, put their possessions through a metal detector and follow instructions shouted at ῴhem fromᾠIsraeli soldiers sitting behind reinforced glass. The soldiers behind the screens control whether this area is open or closed. As I entered, the area was closed and an old man was isolated between the turnstiles with the soldiers.

The soldiers behind the glass barked instructions at him in Hebrew and in English through a crackly microphone. Either the old man was hard of hearing or could not understand either of these languages. The soldiers told him to put his wallet and ID card on top of the metal detector. The confused man tried to put his things through the metal detector and was met by a shout from the soldiers.

By this time the number of people waiting to go through was increasing rapidly. The people waiting tried to shout to the man and explain to him what to do. The man became increasingly confused and tried to come closer to us so that we could explain. He was called back by the soldiers.

Eventually the man was able to do what the soldiers wanted and proceeded through the metal detector to the second set of turnstiles and to the Jerusalem side of the terminal.

The number of people waiting was still increasing but the soldiers took their time until there was a huge frustrated, angry crowd on the Ramallah side. It included a frail man, recovering from an eye operation, who got caught in the metal turnstiles as the soldiers operated them from behind the glass.

This kind of humiliation is an everyday, banal occurence at Qalandiya checkpoint for those with permits to pass through. For others, Qalandiya, flanked on either side by the apartheid wall and other checkpoints, separates them from their family and friends whilst keeping them confined in ghettos.

The Wall Must Fall

——

"Inside Qalandiya Checkpoint on the 3rd Friday of Ramadan", from the Machsom Watch mailing list. by Roni H, 13th October 2006

When we arrived at 9:20 at Qalandiya and heard the shooting of tear gas and stun grenades, I called the Civil Administration’s hot line and received the succinct answer: “when Arabs run riot, the army has to shoot “.

Inside the checking area hell was breaking loose. About 600-700 densely packed Palestinians (maybe even more) and dozens of soldiers. It was difficult to breathe in the crowd that pushed against the turnstiles. The soldiers waited on the other side of the turnstiles and caught every man who looked younger than 45, checked his ID and pushed him back to the north. The impression was of a gigantic wrestling match, with the soldiers carrying clubs in addition to their usual arms. Some of the men tried six times to pass and six times they were sent back. Even to those who were already 44 no œdiscount was given.

The uproar was enormous when the loudspeakers announced at 9:30 that “only women and man above 45 can pass. Permits are not valid because of the closure”. Several men turned to me, shouting excitedly: “Yesterday they announced in the media that men over 40 and holders of entry permits to Israel will be able to get through and now, when we have come all the way from Nablus and have passed 6 checkpoi΅ts they change the rules!, œIs this the way you respect freedom of religion?, œWῨat do I have an entry permit for, when they do n`t respect it when there is closure. More that half of the year there is closure!, œOnly once a year we want to pray at the Al Aqsa mosque and also this is forbidden! Why is a man of thirty excluded ῦrom the prayer?, œIs this the way you want to make peace?, œWe™ll never forgive Όou for not letting us pray at the holy mosque inᾠRamadan. I could ! sense a wave of hatred rolling through the crowd.

When I heard the midday [Israeli] news later that day, I could not believe my ears: “Men over 40 and holders of entry permits were allowed into Jerusalem.”

The “waiting room” was crowded with hundreds of people, when at 10:00 about 20 border policemen entered, positioned themselves along the back side of the room and tried to push the younger men out of the checkpoint area. Some of them pretended to be on their way out, but made instead a fast U-turn and returned behind the soldiers.

A man with an eight year old child told me that his 10 year old has been lost and that he might be already on the other side waiting for him. I tried to call somebody from the police (although it was useless under this circumstances and it was impossible to hear one’s own voice) but realized that now I have lost this man in the crowd and could not find him again.

Because of the jostle, women could not get to the turnstiles and gathered at the left side of the fence separating the waiting from the checking area. We tried all together to call the attention of the soldiers so that they will give them an alternative way to pass through. Women in wheelchairs and women with small babies were afraid to be crushed by the crowd. At last, at 10:10 a passage on the left hand side was opened for the women and quite a number of them could get through. Their teenage sons though, if they looked over 15, were sent back. Several men tried to join the women but the soldiers screamed at them and pushed them back brutally. In order to frighten the people with a terrible piercing sound the soldiers were beating the metal walls of the passage with their clubs. Nothing helped. Everyone wanted to go through. At 10:30 this passage was closed.

In the meantime, some border policemen had positioned themselves at the entrance to the waiting area and did not let anybody in who appeared to be less than 45. Time was running out. The prayers were to start at 12:00 and the way to the old city is long and rife with additional checkpoints. Even men with Jerusalem IDs could not make their way to the turnstiles where hundreds of people were still crowded. They did not give up hope that at the last moment the gates to Jerusalem will be opened. To express their protest against the holdup they broke out into the chant œGod is the greatest.

Twenty border policemen came menacingly from one man to the other and checked their IDs. When they came across a male younger than 45 they tried to push them out of the checkpoint area - without much success. The men were adamant. Outside, a cordon of soldiers alongside the parking lot prevented the entry of additional Palestinians. Nevertheless there were men who got through the cordon and then through the entrance check and then even through the first turnstile only in order to be sent back at the last station! The anger was growing. œIsrael understands only force and violence!, œJust imagine that only one of all these thousands of people will loose his nerves and become violent!. At 11:15 three shots were heard from outside. Because of the late hour some people were left frustrated and sad. At 11:30 a group of about 30 soldiers started again to beat against the metal walls of the waiting room, making a frightening noise and to swing their clubs over the heads of!
the people. Followed by the threatening soldiers they ran out in fear from the blows. All of a sudden the checkpoint was empty.

Next Friday, the last one in Ramadan, the unequal battle between civilians whose only desire is to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Israeli army who want to control the religious life of the Palestinians, will be even more vehement.

-----

10. Soldiers Disrupt Medical Work in Tubas
See ISM website for photos:

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/10/10/tubas-red-cres/

by Tom Hayes

We had gone to meet Red Crescent workers in the hope of establishing links between the branch and grassroots groups in Brighton. The paramedics at the branch told us of how Israeli checkpoints and closures made it impossible to give their patients proper care. The road from Tubas to Nablus has recently been closed once again by the Israeli army, lenghtening the 20 minute journey to up to an hour and a half.

The paramedics also work shifts in the Jordan Valley. Israeli closures mean that the Jordan Valley has very little medical care because of the limits on numbers of Palestinians with permits to enter the valley.

In the picture below the detained man has been moved out of the shade into the direct sun by Israeli soldiers.

The first three photos in this report show a man blindfolded and held in the hot sun at Al Tayasir checkpoint in the northern Jordan valley. Tayasir is notorious for delay on Palestinans travelling through. Only Palestinians who have a house in the Jordan valley can travel through the checkpoint. The number of Palestinians residing in the valley is decreasing as there has been a ban on the building of new structures in all but two areas since 1967, the majority of Palestinians in the valley live in tents or clay structures.

This deliberate depopulation of the valley serves the Israelis well as a majority of the produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank comes from the valley (60% of one company’s exports reach the UK). Al Tayasir is choking Palestinian agricultire in the valley as farmers have to reload their produce onto new vehicles at either side of the checkpoint. In contrast illegal Israeli settlers can export produce to Europe within 24 hours.

The second set of pictures show the IOF setting up a checkpoint outside the Red Crescent primary health centre in Tubas. The soldiers checked the IDs of patients attending the centre and delayed them receiving medical care. When the health workers complained the soldiers retorted that they were ‘lucky’ that they were standing outside the centre grounds.

Ends

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