Thursday, July 31, 2008

17 year-old boy brain dead in Ramallah hospital- shot in cold blood by the Israeli Army in Nilin / Un jeune de 17 ans entre la vie et la mort

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, Ramallah hospital, 31/07/2008

17 year old Nil'in boy pronounced clinically dead according to medical sources
author Thursday July 31, 2008 11:11author by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

17 year old Yousif Amira, who was shot in the nearby Nil'in village on Wednesday evening, has been pronounced clinically dead, Palestinian medical sources in the central West Bank city of Ramallah told IMEMC on Thursday morning.

Ahmad Mousa 11 years old – Photo by Anne Baq-Activestills
Ahmad Mousa 11 years old – Photo by Anne Baq-Activestills

The village of Nil'in located near Ramallah is the scene of almost daily nonviolent actions against the Israeli wall being built on the villagers lands.

Amira was among the villagers who took part in the funeral of Ahmad Mousa, the 11 years old Palestinian boy that was killed by the Israeli army gunfire on Tuesday night.

Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers stormed the village and took positions there, and as soon as the funeral was finished on Wednesday afternoon local youth clashed with the Israeli soldiers. Three were injured, among them Amira.

Younis, the cousin of Amira, told IMEMC during a phone interview that Amira was going to visit him at his house; Israeli soldiers chasing local youth opened fire at him and injured him. Younis assured IMEMC that Amira was not taking part in the stone throwing.

Local sources said that the villagers plan to organize a demonstration on Thursday to protest the killings and the destruction of their lands.

Un jeune de 17 ans a été descendu de sang froid par l'armée israélienne dans le village de Nilin, le 30 Juillet vers les 17.30. Apres les funerailles de Ahmad tué la veille par balles réelles, des jeunes sont allés jeter des pierres contre les soldats israéliens. Les soldats les ont poursuivi avec une jeep et les jeunes se sont echappés. Youssef se rendait chez son oncle. La jeep militaire s'est mise à son niveau, et un soldat a tiré de la jeep située à environ 8 metres de Youssef. Il a reçu deux balles en caoutchouc dans la tete, une a traversé et l'autre est restée dans son cerveau. L'ambulance n'a pas pu rentrer dans le village et des jeunes ont été obligés de porter Youssef à travers les champs. Il est dans le coma dans l'hopital à Ramallah, son cerveau ne fonctionne plus. Il va etre surment declaré mort dans les prochaines heures. En 72 heures ce sont deux mineurs qui ont été victimes d'un usage completement disproportionné de la force de la part de l'armée israélienne qui semble avoir decidé de casser l'esprit de résistance de Nilin à tout prix.

The violence continues in Nilin- A young man in coma after he was shot following funerals of 11 years old Ahmed in Nilin


17-year-old shot by Israeli forces in coma

Date: 31 / 07 / 2008 Time: 09:26

Bethlehem - Ma'an � 17-year-old, Yousef Ahmad Amira was put into a coma on Wednesday evening after being shot twice in the head by Israeli soldiers in Ni'lin to the West of Ramallah, medical sources told Ma'an.

Eyewitnesses said Amira was shot twice from close range by Israeli forces during a curfew imposed on the town on Tuesday after ten-year-old, Ahmad Husam Yousif Musa, was shot and killed.

Aiman Nafe', Mayor of Ni'lin said that six other young men were shot but their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Sources in the village say that running battles broke out between Israeli soldiers and local men at around 5:30pm after villagers built barricades blocking the main street into the village. As a response the Israelis increased their numbers at the entrance of the village before using a bulldozer to destroy barricades and throwing sound bombs and tear gas grenades and opening fire on the crowd.

Amira was hit twice in the head with rubber coated steel bullets and was rushed to rushed to Ramallah hospital intensive care ward where he is said to be in a critical condition.

There have been regular demonstrations in Ni'lin against the building of the sepraration wall near the village, which will confiscate residents' land. These protests have made Ni'lin a target for Israeli military actions, which have seen many injured and one killed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Funeral of 11 year-old Ahmed Mussa in Nilin / Funerailles de Ahmed Mussa, 11 ans, Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nilin, 30 July 2008.

Thousands of mourners have taken part in a funeral march for 11-year-old Ahmed Mussa, who was fatally shot by Israeli troops after protests against Israel's apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Nilin on 30/7/2008. Ahmed was retreating to teh village when he was shot. When the procession arrived in Nilin, some Palestinians shout at teh Israeli soldiers who were stationned at the entrance of the village. The Israeli soldiers threw tear gas and sound bombs directly at the crowd and the ambulance which was carrying the body. Since weeks, the Israeli army has become increasingly violent against the demonstration in Nilin.

Des milliers de personnes ont pris part aux funerailles de Ahmed Moussa, un enfant de 11 ans tué le 30/7/2008 ,par les troupes israéliennes après des manifestations contre le mur dans le village de Nilin. Ahmed était en train de rentrer au village quand il a été abattu.
Lorsque le cortège est arrivé à Nilin, certains Palestiniens ont manifesté leur colère contre les soldats israéliens qui étaient positionner à l'entrée du village. Les soldats israéliens ont alors lancé des gaz lacrymogènes et des bombes sonores directement sur la foule et l'ambulance qui transportait le corps. Depuis des semaines, l'armée israélienne est devenue de plus en plus violentes contre les manifestants à Nilin.

Funeral of 11 year-old Ahmed Mussa in Nilin / Funerailles de Ahmed Mussa, 11 ans, Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nilin, 30/07/2008

Funeral of 11 year-old Ahmed Mussa in Nilin / Funerailles de Ahmed Mussa, 11 ans, Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nilin, 30/07/2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a 10 years-old boy was killed by live bullet in ni'lin


Ten-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces during clashes in Ni'lin

Date: 29 / 07 / 2008 Time: 19:59

Ramallah � Ma'an � Ten-year-old Ahmad Husam Yousef Musa was killed by Israeli forces on Tuesday evening during clashes in the village of Ni'lin, west of Ramallah.

Eyewitnesses reported that the child was shot in the head and died immediately. His body was transferred to Ramallah hospital.

The former mayor of Ni'lin, Muhammad Srour, told Ma'an that while the Israeli bulldozers were finishing their daily work on the separation wall in the village, Israeli troops fired live ammunition directly at demonstrators who had gathered at the wall construction site.

Ni'lin residents have staged daily protests and marches against the separation wall, which is being built on the village's land. Some 77 demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests against the wall have been held in the village so far. The Israeli military frequently responds by shooting tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition towards demonstrators and bystanders.

The Israeli wall will confiscate some 2,500 dunams of land belonging to the village, whose residents depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. A dunam is 1,000 square metres or approximately a quarter of an acre.

Monday, July 28, 2008

ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem openly advocated by Israeli Minister


Israeli minister call for redrawing Jerusalem boundaries, home demolitions, and deporting activists

Date: 27 / 07 / 2008 Time: 23:00

Bethlehem – Ma'an – Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz warned during the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting held on Sunday that Jerusalem is becoming "a terror hub," and called for the government to adopt policies of demolishing homes, closing areas, and exiling Palestinian activists and their families in response to these "new threats."

Responding to Mofaz, Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon said: "Those who think that the problem of Jerusalem and terror is limited, and that destroying houses will help resolve this problem, are burying their heads in the sand. The main question is whether the government wants Jabal Mukaber and Sur Baher as part of the state of Israel state or not. Those who want the fence to be east of Sur Baher actually determine that Jerusalem will live with the terrorist threat posed by the 175,000 Palestinians [in East Jerusalem] with no affinity to Israel."

Ramon added, "Israel's interest lies in separating from the Palestinian villages and neighborhoods which have never been part of Jerusalem, and which threaten its identity as the capital of Israel and a Jewish Zionist city."

For his part, Yuval Diskin, head of the Israeli General Security Services or "Shabak," said that there is a lack of authority in Palestinian neighborhoods located near the separation wall in the Jerusalem area. He explained that these areas do not fall under Israeli army or police authority, and that Hamas has started to take control in places like Abu Dis and Al-'Azariyya.

He remarked that sending Israeli security forces into Shuafat, in East Jerusalem, requires greater numbers and stronger forces than an operation in Jenin.

Diskin also reported to members of the government that Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are witnessing an active trade in street weapons.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ramallah sunset

(c) Anne Paq /, Ramallah, 26/07/2008; 7.30pm.

Testimony: Israeli police severely beat Palestinian student in Tel Aviv

Human Rights
Testimony: Israeli police severely beat Palestinian student in Tel Aviv
Report, B'Tselem, 25 July 2008

Tareq Ziad Abu Laban, 21, works for HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, and studies journalism at the Hebrew University. He is a resident of East Jerusalem. His testimony was given to Kareem Jubran at HaMoked's offices on 6 July 2008.

On Thursday, 19 June 2008, my friend Khalil Ahmad Khalil and I decided to go to Tel Aviv at night to visit Ahmad Barghouti, a friend of ours who works at a hotel there, and hang out on the beach together.

We left Jerusalem around 11:00pm. When we got there, Ahmad was waiting for us outside the hotel. We went to a restaurant for supper and then walked around. About 1:45am, we were on our way back to the hotel to drop Ahmad off and then go back to Jerusalem. Just before we reached the hotel, I noticed a car behind us. I was driving. The driver of the other car blinked his lights, and I saw it was a police car, a GMC with a siren. I pulled over to the curb and stopped. The car stopped next to me, and one of the people in it asked, "Where are you from?" I told him I was from Jerusalem. He told me to turn off the engine. The car pulled up and stopped in front of me and three SWAT-team policemen got out. They were wearing dark-blue shirts and black pants. They came over to my car. One of them, who was short, light-skinned, with short, gelled hair, told me to give him the car registration and insurance and our ID cards. I gave him the documents. We remained in the car, waiting for them to finish checking.

The same policeman gave the ID cards to one of the other policemen, a tall, dark-skinned and heavyset man, who checked them. My ID card had a few cards inside the flap: a credit card, student card, and a card for the university Xerox machines. He threw the cards at me. I asked him in Hebrew, "Why did you throw them?" He replied, "Shut up."

The three policemen were standing next to the car, dealing with the documents. The license plate of the car was 40-517. Shortly after that, one of them told us to get out of the car. We got out and stood next to their car. While standing there, I heard somebody pass behind me. I turned round to look and saw a young woman pass by. The tall, dark-skinned policeman asked, "If your sister had passed by, would you look at her the same way?" I answered, "What does this have to do with my sister? I would have looked at anybody who passed behind me." "Shut up before I bust your head," he said. I didn't reply.

A few minutes later, he said, "If your sister was wearing a short skirt and passed by here, would you look at her?" "Why are you mentioning my sister?" I asked, and continued, "What would happen if your sister ..." He ran at me and pushed me hard. The third policeman, who was tall, light-skinned, and big, also pushed me.

The short policeman told them not to hit me outside. They told me to get into the car. I asked them why, and they said, "You're under arrest." I got in the back seat of the car, and the two tall policemen sat on either side of me. The short policeman got in the driver's seat. They closed the windows and told me to sit on the floor. The car drove off. The tall, dark-skinned policeman cuffed my hands behind my back. They hit me in the head, slapped me very hard, and kicked me all over my body. There was hardly any room, and I couldn't move at all. One of them hit me on the head with a plastic bottle full of water. My head and body hurt a lot. I had trouble breathing because of the blows and the way I was sitting. I almost choked. While beating me, they swore at me, calling me a "son of a bitch" and "Arab bastard" and saying, "apologize."

They beat me for a long time. It felt like a whole day went by. I felt frightened, angry, and humiliated, and I was in pain. Then the car stopped. The driver got out, came in through the back door and slapped and kicked me. Then they forced me to lie on the floor of the car and stepped on my chest and stomach. They did that for a few minutes. Then the short policeman returned to the driver's seat and started driving again. The others continued to beat me. They threatened me, saying they would open a police file against me and ruin my studies and life if I didn't apologize. I apologized again and again and they continued beating me for another few minutes.

Finally, the car stopped. They took me out and removed the cuffs. We were back where it all started. Khalil and Ahmad were still there. The policemen told us to get out of there immediately, and said they would beat the crap out of us if they saw us in the area again.

Ahmad went back to the hotel. Khalil drove because I felt terrible. We considered going to a hospital in Tel Aviv, but we didn't know our way around, so we decided to return to Jerusalem. On the way, I was dizzy and in lots of pain.

We drove to Hadassah Hospital, Har Hatzofim, where I was examined and X-rayed. At the hospital, I saw for the first time the marks and swelling all over my body, face, and head that were caused by the beating. I remained under observation in the hospital for 16 hours, and then was discharged. I couldn't go to work or university, and remained in bed for a week, during which assignments at work and at school accumulated.

Tomorrow, I'll go the Department for the Investigation of Police, in the Ministry of Justice, to file a complaint against the three policemen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Settlers invaded oush grab / Les colons ont encore envahi oush grab

(c) Anne Paq/, Oush Grab,Beit Sahour, 25/07/2008

An international takes down the Israeli flag left by the settlers who invaded Oush Grab, in Beit Sahour on 25/07/2008. The settlers were around 40. The Israeli army and police prevented the journalists to come close to the site and declared it a closed military zone. After two hours, the settlers left.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Women-only demonstration in Nilin / Manifestation de femmes à Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nilin, 23/07/2008


Three arrested at Women only protest against the wall

Date: 23 / 07 / 2008 Time: 15:10

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Three people including one at least one international were arrested in Ni'lin, near Ramallah in the central West Bank, on Wednesday at a peaceful demonstration against the separation wall. The protest was organized and participated in solely by women.

The demonstration started at 11:30 when the women made their way to the construction site of the wall carrying banners. They were met with fierce resistance from the Israeli forces who fired tear gas at the crowd.

One international on the demonstration said, "The use of force was totally disproportionate, we put our hands up to show we had no weapons, but the soldiers continued to assault us."

There have been regular twice weekly demonstrations at Ni'lin in recent months but this is the first women only protest. Organizers say it will become a regular event.

Women-only demonstration in Nilin / Manifestation de femmes à Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nilin, 23/07/2008.

Women-only demonstration in Nilin / Manifestation de femmes à Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nilin, 23/07/2008.

Over 200 Israeli, Palestinian and international women demonstrated against the apartheid Wall in the village of Nilin, on 23/07/2008. It was the first women-only demonstration in Nilin. Israeli soldiers made disproportionate use of violence against the demonstrators, throwing scores of tear gas cans and stun grenades directly at the crowd.

Plus de 200 femmes, palestiniennes, israéliennes et internationales ont manifesté contre le Mur d'Apartheid dans le village de Nilin, le 23/07/2008. c'etait la première manifestation de femmes organisée à Nilin. Les soldats israéliens ont fait usage disproportionné de la violence contre les manifestants, lançant des bombes de gaz lacrymogènes et des grenades assourdissantes directement sur la foule.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Impunity for Israeli soldier caught on video


Soldier who shot prisoner at close range released

Date: 22 / 07 / 2008 Time: 09:29

Bethlehem � Ma'an � The Israeli soldier who was filmed shooting a rubber-coated metal bullet at a hand-cuffed Palestinian man returned to serve in his military division after Israeli military prosecutors released him on Tuesday.

In interrogation, the soldier said he received a directive to shoot at the Palestinian from his commander who was present at the time. However, the commander has denied giving the order, asserting that he just asked the soldier to point his rifle at the prisoner in order to scare the hand-cuffed young man. He claims not to have seen the incident despite appearing in the video.

The incident occurred in the village of Ni'lin west of Ramallah in the central West Bank on the 7 July. Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, was arrested during a demonstration against the separation wall in Ni'lin. He told the press that Israeli soldiers attacked him after he was hand-cuffed and masked before he was taken into a military jeep.

A 14-year-old Palestinian girl filmed the Israeli soldier shooting Abu Rahma in his foot from a range of one and a half meters while he was hand-cuffed. The girl gave a copy of the film to Israeli humanitarian organization, B'Tselem.

Eyewitnesses in Ni'lin said they saw the same soldier patrolling in the village the day after the assault.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The settlers invade Oush Grab in Beit Sahour / Les colons envahissent Oush Grab à Beit Sahour

(c) Anne Paq/, Oush Grab, Beit Sahour

More than 100 settlers invaded Oush Grab in Beit Sahour on 14/07/2008. The Palestinians and internationals organised a show peaceful event in the park adjacent to the site in order to show presence.
Oush Grab is an abandonned IDF military base in Beit Sahour.Over the last two months, the settlers came at the site. Palestinians and internationals have started some peaceful activities on the site to show that the place is not vacant. Some Palestinians and internationals decided to stay overnight, waiting for the evacuation of the settlers.

Plus de 100 colons ont envahi le site de Oush Grab; à Beit Sahour.


Israeli settlers stake claim to abandoned West Bank military base

Date: 15 / 07 / 2008 Time: 00:52

Bethlehem – Ma’an – More than one hundred Israeli settlers, some of them armed, set up camp in an abandoned military base in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour on Monday night in what may be the establishment of an illegal settlement outpost.

“We’re here to build a Jewish city, with the help of God,” one teenage boy settler told a half-dozen journalists, as he scouted out his new campsite, camera in hand.

While Palestinian families gathered for a festival in a public park less than 100 meters away, Israelis from the nearby settlements of Efrat, Har Homa, Gush Eztion, and Tekoa arrived in a chartered bus and private cars. A handful of Israeli soldiers and civilian police looked on, blocking the road between the military base and the park, keeping journalists out of the military base.

The settlers, among them families, a Russian-speaking security guard and a contingent of teenage boys wearing kippas and shorts, had publicized the camp-out in advance on movement websites, part of what they view as an effort to reclaim the site for Jews and for Greater Israel.

Settler groups billed the sleepover as a one-night event, but the Israelis who came on Monday night had long-term designs in mind.

“This is Israeli territory and we want it to stay that way,” said a woman in sunglasses, who spoke in American-accented English and refused to give her name or other identifying information.

Asked whether they planned to build a settlement, a smiling man with an amber beard and glasses said, “Could be … if enough people want to live here. It’s a good location; it’s close to Jerusalem.” The man said he lives in Efrat settlement and originally hails from Canada.

As the sun set, two young women in long skirts prayed, their heads bobbing, facing Jerusalem. An Israeli flag was hoisted on top of a massive cubic water cistern. In the park below, the last night of the local festival was kicking off, Arabic pop blaring. More settlers arrived. One group piled out of a black SUV with a Confederate battle emblem, that symbol of racism in the American south, plastered to its front license plate holder.

The site, known as Ish Al-Grab, is a former Jordanian military base that was taken over by Israel after its 1967 occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military evacuated the base in 2006, demolishing the cistern. The rest of the facility was looted by Palestinians, and went unused until this year. After the military evacuated the area, the Israeli authorities allowed the Beit Sahour municipality built the park. Ish Al-Grab is in Area C, designated by the Oslo Interim Agreement to be under full Israeli control until a final peace agreement compels Israel to withdraw completely from the West Bank.

In addition to the park on the slope just below the base, the area is designated for further development. In December 2007, CARE International announced it would donate 16 million US dollars to build a hospital on the hillside. In total 65 dunams (65,000 square meters) have been designated for the hospital and other development, except for the hilltop, the location of the abandoned base.

In May, settler groups began to return to the base, known as Shdema when the army was still present. The settlers organized a series of visits on Fridays, culminating last week in a tour titled “Shdema – a Jewish City.” The event was attended by settler movement notables such as MK Uri Uriel, who urged the settlers to take direct action and to defy the Israeli authorities. In Uriel’s words, even the apparatus of the occupation, such as the Civil Administration, as “representing the Arabs.” The settlers formed the “Committee for a Jewish Shdema” with representatives from Har Homa, Gush Etzion

Palestinian and international activists, meanwhile, began to mobilize against the settlers around the same time, repeatedly painting over the slogans the settlers painted on the walls of the base, and organizing outdoor games and other activities at the site, to reanimate it as a living part of the local community.

“The main strategy is to keep this place alive and reachable for Palestinians by our attendance here, without having any interaction with the settlers or the soldiers that can create violence. … [If violence took place] we would lose everything, and provide a big reason for the army to evacuate us from the place,” said Palestinian activist and educator Ala’ Hilu.

“We’re not here to provoke them [the settlers]. We’re here to send the message that this area is Palestinian, and the area is going to be used for humanitarian purposes, by following the plan of the municipality, which is to build a hospital. If we use violence, we would lose. … We just want to be here and to get Palestinians here,” Hilu added.

There were hundreds of Palestinians present on Monday. The vibe in the park was relaxed. A brief cultural show took place on a stage, with teenagers dancing off the traditional Palestinian dabke.

Sitting among the Palestinian families, Beit Sahour’s mayor, Hani Al-Hayek, said that based on his communication with the Israeli authorities, the plan for the hospital will go forward. He said he expected the Israeli military to evict the settlers by the morning.

Like the activists who first mobilized against the settlers, the mayor endorsed a life-affirming nonviolent strategy against the settlement. “This is our model of resistance, to come here and play and use the cafeteria. We will live here and stay here. The people are not afraid,” he said.

The activists had planned an all-night party (with music but no alcohol) to keep the settlers awake and keep locals and internationals present at the site. At 10:30pm the Beit Sahour municipality put the kibosh on the music, worried it would keep the park’s Palestinian neighbors awake. The settler-watchers hunkered down for the night.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Painting over settlers' graffiti at Oush Grab, Beit Sahour / Peindre sur les graffiti laissés par les colons à Oush Grab, Beit Sahour

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, Oush Grab, Beit Sahour, 13/07/2008.

Palestinians and internationals gathered at Oush Grab, an abandonned IDF military base in order to paint over the settlers' grafitti on 13/07/2008. Settlers announced their intention to start a new settlement in Oush Grab. Over the last two months, they came at the site. Palestinians and internationals have started some peaceful activities on the site to show that the place is not vacant.

Des Palestiniens et internationaux sont allés sur le site de Oush Grab, une ancienne base militaire de l'armée israélienne, ain de peindre sur les graffiti laissés par les colons vendredi. Les colons ont annoncé leur intention d'instaurer une nouvelle colonie sur les terres de Beit Sahour. Depuis deux mois, ils se sont rendus à plusieurs reprises sur le site. Palestiniens et internationaux ont organisé des activités non-violente afin de montrer que cet espace est utilisé et n'est pas vacant.

The settlers are threatening Beit Sahour! During the last two months the settlers came at different occasions on Oush Grab site, an old IDF military base, located on the lands of Beit Sahour municipality.This Friday some 60 settlers went to the site and made it clear that they will come back on Monday evening to sleep there.
Since the last two months, Palestinians and internationals have organised various activities on the spot to show to the settlers that the site is not vacant.
Please join us on Monday night, we are organising a nice party with DJ in the café next to the hill.
The more we are the better we have the chance to dissuade the settlers to take the place.
For direction, Oush grab is located not far from Beit sahour city center, you can walk from there (20 mn) ask the directions to locals or take a taxi from Beit Sahour main square.
Thanks to circulate!

> The next few days will be crucial for the future of oush grab. Israeli Settlers plan to establish an outpost on oush grab this monday night
> from the isreali settler website:
> "We, representing the majority of the Jewish people, of course, have not given up on those lands, understanding that all of the Land of Israel, whether labeled Area A, B or C, belong to the Jewish people. The day, please G-d, will come when we will have a new leadership that will abolish all the withdrawal agreements and will reinstall Jewish sovereignty over all of Eretz Yisrael. That leadership will make it clear to the Arab enemy that they do not belong here, but rather must go back to their 22 Arab states."
> Background
> Oush Grab is a new public park built on land owned by the Beit Sahour Municipality. The site is a former Israeli military camp, left by the occupation forces in April, 2006. Before 1967 it was used by the Jordanian army as a military base. The Jordanians bought the land from Palestinian owners; the land within this original border is now under the jurisdiction of the Beit Shaour municipality. When the Israeli army took over the camp, they expanded the borders to include some private land neighboring the camp. This private land has now been returned to the Palestinian landowners and is not reflected in the municipal master plan. The top of the hill, where the old military buildings are still located, is the only part of the area still under Israeli military order. This means the municipality is not allowed to build or develop the space, though it lies within the original Jordanian border and is public land. The Beit Sahour Municipality, the NGO Paidia and other local NGOS, were able to lift the military order on the remainder of the camp. The development as a public garden and recreation area is vital for the social, economic and physical wellbeing of the community: the Bethlehem area suffers from a lack of open spaces where children can safely play and picnic. Yesterday, the 11th of june 500 people participated in the Faqous Festival (faqous is a native variety of cucumber), that including debka performances, bird watching and nature hikes.
> Spatial Intervention 04
> 12th June, 17.30 Sunday: re-re-painting
> paint over the settlers graffiti
> Please bring paint, brushes and tins and any other materials/creative ideas to subvert the use of the space.
> 13th June, 18.30 Monday Night: concert
> Main Ingredients: Noise, DJ from the municipality, speakers at the far end of the picnic place facing the hill top, , CD's with a loud crowd on it (live concert album), Spotlights to directed at the hilltop, …
> More information
> Please forward this information

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Demonstration in Bi'lin / Manifestation à Bil'in

(c) Anne Paq/, Demonstration against the Wall in Bi'lin.

Manifestation contre le Mur. Dès que les manifestants sont arrivés au Mur, les soldats israéliens ont tiré directement du gas lacrimogène et des bombes assourdissantes sur les manifestants. Beaucoup ont été traités pour suffocation à cause des gas.

Seeking Justice Abroad:

Bil’in Village Council Submits Case before Canadian Court Against Canadian Corporations for Involvement in Illegal Settlement Construction

In a continuation of their struggle for justice in the face of unlawful appropriation of their land, the people of Bil’in village yesterday commenced legal proceedings before the Superior Court of Quebec against Green Park International Inc. and Green Mount International Inc. The defendants are Canadian corporations registered in the Province of Quebec who have been involved in constructing, marketing and selling residential units in the illegal Jewish-Israeli settlement of Modi’in Illit in the occupied West Bank, on the land of the village of Bil’in.

The land in question has been appropriated by the Israeli military authorities in violation of the laws of occupation. The defendants, on their own behalf and as de facto agents of the State of Israel, are constructing residential units on this Palestinian land for the purpose of housing Israeli settlers. The petition, filed by the Village Council’s lawyer in Canada, Mark Arnold, demonstrates that in so doing, the defendants are aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with Israel, the Occupying Power in the West Bank, in carrying out an illegal act.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, an Occupying Power is prohibited from transferring part of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Such transfer of settlers into occupied territory is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as well as under Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act of 2000. The petition thus argues that through their actions, the defendant companies have wilfully or negligently participated in the violation of international humanitarian and criminal law, as well as domestic Canadian law. As such, Bil’in Village Council is entitled to obtain the cessation of the illegal activities of the defendants, and to reparation for injury caused, under both the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Civil Code of Quebec.

On this basis, and on the basis of the fact that matters at issue in the case are not justiciable before the Israeli High Court of Justice (which instead defines settlements as a “political” issue, per Bargil v. Government of Israel, HCJ 4481/91), the petition seeks:

Ø a declaration from the Superior Court of Quebec that the conduct of the defendants in constructing residential units in an illegal settlement is unlawful;

Ø a permanent injunction and order requiring the defendants and their directors, officers and agents to forthwith cease all construction and related activity with regard to the land of Bil’in village; and

Ø punitive damages of CAD$2 million, to be paid by the defendants to the plaintiffs, as a result of injury wilfully caused.

The defendants have 10 days to file an appearance at the Montreal Court House. If they do so, the action will be presented before the Court on 11 August 2008. Should they fail to do so, a judgment by default may be rendered against them.

Press conferences regarding the case will be held today, Thursday 10 July, at 1:00 pm local time at Ramattan Studios in Ramallah, and at 12:00 pm local time at the offices of Gardner Miller Arnold LLP in Toronto. All media are invited to attend. Al-Haq will continue to keep you informed of any further developments in the case. Please do not hesitate to contact haq(a) should you have any questions, comments or require further information.

Background/Related Information

Israel’s construction of the Annexation Wall in the area has facilitated the appropriation of Bil’in’s land, keeping the illegal Israeli settlement on the western side of the Wall and cutting off the Palestinian villagers from their land. Since 2005, the village’s resistance to the appropriation of its land has been marked by weekly non-violent demonstrations against the Wall. In September 2007, the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) adjudged that the route of the Wall in Bil‘in was designed not for genuine security purposes, as claimed by the Israeli authorities, but rather to accommodate plans for the future expansion of the settlement of Modi‘in Illit, and was causing unjustified harm to the residents of Bil‘in. The Court ordered the Israeli authorities to propose an alternative route for the Wall in the area, such that unapproved settlement planning schemes were not taken into account. This decision, which has yet to be enforced, failed to give due regard to the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, which held that the Wall inside the West Bank is illegal in its entirety and should be dismantled.

The case in Canada regarding the Canadian corporations’ involvement in the unlawful settlement construction was filed yesterday, 9 July 2008, to mark the fourth anniversary of the issuing of the Advisory Opinion.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

4 years after...The Wall is still being build and destroys life

(c) Anne Paq/, in front of Azzun Atme; 9 July 2008.

Demonstration to mark the fourth anniversary of the decision of the International Court of Justice against the Wall on 09/07/2008. Azzun Atme is located close to Qalqilia, the village is totally surrounded by the Wall and suffers isolation. There is only one gate to get in and out from the village and only the residents of Azzun Atme can cross it. The demonstration gathers around 200 people, mostly Palestinians from surrounding villages and from Qalqilia. The soldiers did not allow the demonstrators to stand in front of the gate.

Manifestation pour marquer le quatrième anniversaire de la décision de la Cour internationale de justice contre le Mur, le 09/07/2008. Azzun Atme est situé près de Qalqilia, le village est totalement entourée par le Mur et souffre d'isolement. Il y a seulement une porte pour entrer et sortir du village et seuls les résidents de Azzun Atme peuvent la traverser. La manifestation a rassemblé environ 200 personnes, essentiellement des Palestiniens des villages environnants et de Qalqilia. Les soldats n'ont pas permis aux manifestants de rester devant la porte.