INDEPENDENT NEWS

IDF Invades Old City

Published: Fri 7 Mar 2003 05:55 PM
IDF Invades Old City
1. Nablus: Israeli Army Re-Invades Old City 2. Tulkarem: Activists Assist Palestinians in Dismantling Roadblock 3. Susan Barclay: Accused by Interior Ministry of Seeks Warrant for Re-Arrest
Nablus: Israeli Army Re-Invades Old City
The Israeli army of occupation re-invaded the Old City today for the third time in ten days with tanks and infantry entering the city before dawn.
The objective of the operation seemed to be the same as on previous occasions: to terrorise the people of the city by entering their homes, taking away the men, forcing entire families to act as human shields and systematically vandalising their houses. Innovations to which they resorted to in this operation were: a.. the use of crowbars to tear fittings (such as shelves and cabinets) from walls, b.. the use of explosives to wreck the insides of houses while leaving them standing, c.. the use of drills and jack-hammers to create "rat-holes" by which they passed between adjacent houses, d.. the systematic detention and beating of Palestinian UPMRC and UHCC (first aid) and Red Crescent volunteers whom they also used as human shields. Throughout the day the thinly stretched ISM activists operating in Nablus (from Sweden, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, the UK, Denmark, the US, Canada, Switzerland and Occupied Palestine) worked with UPMRC and UHCC volunteers to monitor the activities of the occupying army, rescue the wounded, deliver food and medicine to stranded households and stay in hospitals and clinics (on previous occasions Israeli soldiers have entered medical centres and vandalised them).
The activists also took part in a successful action led by Dr. Anan A-Tiri and about 20 other Palestinians to prevent the destruction of a soap factory in the historic Qarian Square of the Old City. While Israeli soldiers inside the building prepared to lay explosives Dr A-Tiri and her supporters stood outside the factory so that it would be impossible to detonate the explosives without killing her and those with her. Eventually, the soldiers gave up and left the factory so that the historic building was saved. (Another historic soap factory in Qarian Square was destroyed last April by an F-16 missile strike.)
At one point four UPMRC workers working with two Swedish ISM activists were taken prisoner inside an occupied house, where they were forced to share a room with an elderly neighbour and her daughter and a mother and her three children (aged 2, 5 and 14). The soldiers occupied the house for seven and a half hours during which they totally ransacked it, making holes in one of its walls and even destroying the water pipes. Throughout their seven and a half hour occupation the soldiers refused let the mother get any food for her children.
For further information contact: a.. Robin on 059 386 900 or 053 619 648 or b.. Linus on 059 350 335
Tulkarem: Activists Assist Palestinians in Dismantling Roadblock
At 11 am today ten ISM activists (from Canada, the US, the UK, Sweden and Occupied Palestine) assisted 20 Palestinians from Tulkarem in the removal of the Faron roadblock that the Israeli occupying army had erected to cut the road between Tulkarem and Qalqilia.
The group worked with picks and shovels and the assistance of a digger supplied by the Tulkarem Municipality to dismantle the roadblock without interference from Israeli soldiers. . Spirits were high as the first vehicle to pass, a donkey cart, rolled over the now leveled ground. The cart was followed by a line of taxis that were cheered on by the workers.
Although the road to Qalqilia remains cut by another roadblock, where it is intersected by a settler road (reserved for the exclusive use of Jews and the Israeli army of occupation), the Palestinian villagers of Faron and Irbah now have free access to Tulkarem, to which they had been denied access for the past eight months due to the roadblock.
For further information contact: a.. Drew on 052 371 338 or 059 737 118
Susan Barclay: Interior Ministry Seeks Warrant for Re-Arrest
This morning Susan Barclay, the American ISM activist, arrested at Howarra Checkpoint two weeks ago who successfully resisted deportation last Friday, appeared in a Jerusalem court to apply for a visa extension so that she could testify in her civil suit against the Israeli state for her unlawful arrest and detention.
Instead of appealing against the visa extension, the Ministry of the Interior Lawyers surprised her lawyer by requesting that Susan be immediately re-arrested and detained until she could be deported for security reasons. The Interior Minister claimed that Susan represented a threat to Israel's security because of her activities in and around the city of Nablus monitoring and reporting Israeli war crimes against civilians and participating in non-violent actions against the occupation. Specifically, they charged that Susan had taken part in violent demonstrations and had been gathering information on the activities of Israeli officers to release to the world.
Susan's lawyer obtained a hearing for 6 pm this evening to decide on the legality of her deportation.

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