International Solidarity Movement Reports and Upda

Published: Thu 30 Sep 2004 09:42 AM
International Solidarity Movement Reports and Updates
1. Reports from Budrus: update on arrests 2. Jenin suffers largest military invasion in two years 3. Report on demonstration in Beit Awwa, Monday 4. Israeli activists face charges for protesting the destruction of Palestinian olive trees
1. Reports from Budrus: Update on Arrests:
Mansour, Palestinian peace activist, Areane, German peace activist and Israeli activists released late last night!
Mansour has returned home to Biddu and will be visiting a doctor due to the beating he sustained during his arrest. He refused to sign conditions prior to his release, although he was told he could not return to Budrus for one week. There will be a complaint filed on his behalf for the beatings he suffered yesterday.
Areane also refused to sign conditions and was told she could not return to Budrus for two weeks.
The Palestinian resident of Budrus who was also arrested refused to sign a statement that he was throwing stones. He was released and as of last night was in the hospital. Local sources in Budrus claim he was sick in bed and the Israel soldiers entered his home and dragged him out and arrested him.
Israeli activists were also released last night.
Budrus Demonstration and Arrests
Two activists share their experience of the arrests Report from Dave
I was in Budrus today for a very peaceful demonstration against the planned construction of the wall on Palestinian land. The local villigers, ISM, and Israeli peace activists were finishing a peaceful 1 hour demonstration when some local youth threw some stones. The israeli army took this as an opportunity to use sound bombs and tear gas against many Palestinians, internationals, and Israelis. Then the border police corralled about 20 persons (12 ISM, 7 Israeli, and 1 Palestinian) telling the group that they were under arrest for demonstrating inside a "closed military area." Shortly after detaining the group, the soldiers started to assault the 1 Palestinian man, (Mansour),and when several internationals tried to de-arrest the man, the soldiers hit the internationals with police batons. This action caused several injuries to the backs, necks, heads, and eye-nose of the internationals. The soldiers were only interested in arresting the Palestinian and the Israelis and they allowed all but one of the ISMers to go free. The border police arrested and beat one more Palestinian in the town before they left.
Report from Nick
Dozens of Israelis and international activists joined the village of Budrus in a non-violent demonstration against the confiscation of Palestinian land which lies in the planned route of the Annexation Wall. As the demonstrators dispersed, the military advanced and some boys then threw stones at them. The soldiers charged the demonstrators and attacked them with tear gas and sound bombs. Soldiers pursued the fleeing demonstrators into the village streets, continuing to use tear gas and sound bombs. A peaceful Palestinian protestor from a nearby village was beaten with batons and arrested in front of international and Israeli witnesses. Internationals who tried to intervene were also beaten with batons, one sustaining an injury to his face. Over a dozen Israeli demonstrators and one German national and two Palestinians were arrested and taken to a police station in Jerusalem.
At the same time, Israeli soldiers forced their way into several Palestinian houses searching for Palestinian youths. One Palestinian man, aged 26, who was not present at the demonstration, was taken from his bed (where he was lying due to illness) and dragged into an army jeep. The man's 15 year old cousin was hit by the soldiers in the same incident.
2. Jenin Invasion Continues
Report Tuesday in Jenin: Two killed, 12 injured and 70 detained By Lasse, Denmark
The citizens of Jenin experience the largest military incursion for more than two years at the moment. It started Monday morning as 70 Israeli military jeeps and tanks entered the town and refugee camp on the northern West Bank, and by Tuesday night two Palestinians had been killed, 12 injured and 70 detained. Both the refugee camp and the town are still under siege.
- The soldiers are searching every single house in the camp and many if the houses in the town. Children and women are forced outside in the streets in the middle of the night while the soldiers search their home, a Palestinian journalist reported.
An Israeli sniper killed a retarded Palestinian man early Tuesday morning. According to Palestinian sources the mentally handicapped man was rooming around the streets on his own. The Israeli Army states that he looked to have explosives on him as he approached a group of soldiers and he didn't react on orders to leave the area.
Later Tuesday an 18 year old Palestinian was killed, when Israeli soldiers used live ammunition against a group of stone throwing kids. The dead boy was not involved in the clash, local sources said, but was sitting outside his house drinking water when a stray bullet found him.
Jenin has not seen a military incursion this strong since the April 2002 invasion, where 68 Palestinians died in ten days and more than 3000 Palestinian in the refugee camp lost their homes due to Israeli bulldozers.
- Last night was like being back in April two years ago. My father woke me up and said: get dressed, the soldiers are coming. We could hear them on the street and in the neighboring houses, told a young woman from Jenin.
- I didn't get any more sleep. We were hiding valuable belongings like passports, money and jewelry because soldiers often steal when they search a house. And then we were just waiting for them to come. Fortunately they didn't, she said. After a relatively calm first half of 2004 the Israeli military have intensified the manhunt on the Palestinian resistance in the northern West Bank the last month. Less than two weeks ago the bloodiest day in the West Bank in two years saw three wanted Palestinians and one civilian assassinated in Jenin and five wanted men and a young girl in Nablus. The week before in Jenin two men were assassinated in their car by a missile from an Israeli Apache.
3. Report on Beit Awwa Protest; Monday, September 27, 2004
Village of Beit Awwa: Women take on a leading role in the demonstration
Report from Hugh and Lisa
On Monday, September 27, approximately 150 men, women and children of Beit Awwa, West of Hebron, protested the illegal Apartheid Wall. They were joined by fifteen internationals, including activists from the International Solidarity Movement and Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall.
Israeli army soldiers had blocked the roads within the village in an attempt to limit the movement of the protestors. As the march approached the site of construction, Israeli soldiers attempted to block protestors from getting close to the bulldozers.
Amongst dead olive trees that had been ripped from the land in preparation for construction of the Wall, protestors sat down in front of the soldiers, chanting and refusing to move.
In a symbolic act of resistance, villagers succeeded in replanting two olive trees on land stolen for the construction.
Women from Beit Awwa village took a leading role in the demonstration. They defiantly and non-violently confronted the soldiers, dancing and chanting that they were there to protect their land.
Israeli soldiers responded by violently preventing the demonstrators from proceeding further towards the bulldozers, pushing old women and threatening to fire their guns.
After approximately one hour, villagers decided that they had successfully expressed their message of protest and decided to leave before Israeli soldiers reacted more violently.
The villagers consider this demonstration to be a great success and they are encouraged to continue to organize and protest the construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall. It has been two weeks since the first demonstration in Beit Awwa and with each protest the enthusiasm and experience is growing.
4. Israeli Activists Face Charges For Protesting the Destruction of Palestinian Olive Trees 27 September 2004
Today Israeli activists Neta Golan and Shelley Nativ faced charges in an Israeli court in Kfar Saba for chaining themselves to olive trees that were being bulldozed by the Israeli army in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in April 2001.
They are being charged with: disobeying a legal order (refusing to leave a 'Closed Military Area'); disturbing a policeman in his work; and disturbing a public worker (bulldozer operator).
Major Yoram Loredo, now Operations Officer in the Gaza Strip, testified in court that the reason he announced a Closed Military Area was that, "The behavior of the locals created a situation that was dangerous to my soldiers and the people in the area."
When asked by the defendants' attorney, Gabi Laski if any of the Palestinians had thrown stones or otherwise harmed the soldiers, he replied "No." Neta Golan testified that the villagers of Deir Istia had held a peaceful prayer vigil in front of the bulldozers and that the excuse of 'security' was again being used to silence legitimate protest. Golan stated, "the suppression by force of non-violent resistance encourages the use of violent resistance... I have the right to protest the unjust destruction of the property of innocent people". The International Solidarity Movement condemns the Israeli legal system criminalization of non-violent protest against the Occupation.

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