Friday, August 29, 2008

Yusef- one month after, a smile from archive

(c) Anne Paq/, Ni'lin, 30 July 2008.

(c) Anne Paq/, Ni'lin, 30 July 2008.

Hey Yusef. How strange that one month after; I found in my archive a picture of you taken before you were shot. I just saw it yesterday, long time after i wrote you that letter. You looked great in the picture, full of life, wearing proudly the Palestinian flag. It crushed my heart to see you like that, at the same time, it is like a sweet smile you are sending me from wherever you are.

Hey Yusef.
Comment c’est étrange de découvrir une photo de toi dans mes archives prise avant que tu ne sois descendu par balles et avant ces photos que j’ai prises de toi à l’hopital. Je viens de la découvrir, bien après écrit cette lettre. Tu es tres beau sur la photo, plein de vie, et portant fièrement le drapeau palestinien. Cela m’a pincé le coeur de te voir comme ça, en même temps, c’est comme si tu m’envoyais un beau sourire de là où tu es.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Free Gaza




For More Information, Please Contact:

( Gaza ) Paul Larudee: +972 598 765 370

( Gaza ) Huwaida Arraf: +972 599 130 426

( Cyprus ) Osama Qashoo: +357 97 793 595 /

( Jerusalem ) Angela Godfrey-Goldstein: +972 547 366 393 /

( GAZA CITY , 28 August 2008) - After having shattered the Israeli blockade of Gaza earlier this week, the Free Gaza and Liberty will depart Gaza for Cyprus at 2pm today. Several Palestinians who have previously been denied exit visas by Israel will join international human rights workers on the journey. Among the Palestinians leaving are Saed Mosleh, age 10, of Beit Hanoun, Gaza . Saed lost his leg due to an Israeli tank shell and is leaving Gaza with his father to seek medical treatment. Also on board are the Darwish family, who will finally be reunited with their relatives in Cyprus .

“I can’t believe we’re finally able to leave for medical treatment,” said Khaled Mosleh, Saed’s father. “This is a miracle of God.”

Nine international human rights workers will remain in Gaza to do longer-term monitoring and accompaniment, and one, Dr. Bill Dienst of Omak , Washington , will attempt to cross over into Israel later today via the Erez crossing.

By freely traveling to Gaza , on Saturday, August 23rd, in two, small, wooden boats, the Free Gaza Movement forced the Israeli government to issue a fundamental policy change regarding their military and economic blockade of Gaza . The Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs publicly announced that humanitarian and human rights missions to Gaza will no longer be stopped or threatened by Israel . With the end of the Israeli siege of Gaza , Palestinians should be free to exercise their rights without fear of being stopped or killed by the Israeli military.

Yvonne Ridley, a journalist and member for the Free Gaza Movement, summed up her experience in Gaza by saying, “I missed the start of the Berlin Wall coming down by just a few days, but now I know how people felt when they tore down those first few bricks. This has been a huge victory of people over power.”

Since the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement will not be entering Israeli territorial waters, and since they will request an inspection from both the Gaza Port Authority when they depart, and the Cypriot authorities upon their return, they expect no interference on the part of the Israeli authorities when they leave Gaza . By Israel ’s own admission, it has no authority to inspect the boats or the passengers when they leave Gaza .

With the collapse of the Israeli blockade, the Free Gaza Movement will quickly return to Gaza with another delegation, and they would like to encourage the United Nations, Arab League and international community to organize similar human rights and humanitarian efforts. The Free Gaza Movement will continue to work to ensure that safe passage between Gaza and the outside world will remain free and open.



Maha M.S. Darwish, mother

Omar Darwish, age 5

Sami M.J. Darwish, age 14

Ayman M.J. Darwish, age 17

Tawfiq M.J. Darwish, age 18

Khaled Mosleh, father

Saed Mosleh, age 10


Greta Berlin, Los Angeles , USA

Nikolaos Bolos, Athens , Greece

Lauren Booth, London , UK

Maria del Mar, Vilanova i La Geltru , Spain

Musheir El Farra, Sheffield , UK

Eliza Ernshire, London , UK

Petros Giotis, Athens , Greece

Christos Giouanopoulos, Athens , Greece

Derek Graham, Ballina , Ireland

Mary Thompson-Hughes, Los Angeles & London

Fathi Jaoudi, Jendouba , Tunisia & London

Yiannis Karipidis, Komothnh , Greece

Giorgios Klontzas, St. Nicolaos , Greece

John Klusmire, Monterey , CA , USA

The Hon. Anastasios Kourakis, MP (representing Thessaloniki , Greece )

Dr. Paul Larudee, El Cerrito , CA , USA

Dr. Edith Lutz, Cologne , Germany

Theresa McDermott, Edinburgh , Scotland

Sr. Anne Montgomery , New York , USA

Aki Nawaz, Bradford , UK

Thomas Nelson, Welches, OR, USA

Peter Philips , New York , USA

Dr. Vaggelis Pissias, Athens , Greece

Panagiotis Politis, Volos , Greece

Yvonne Ridley, London , UK

David Schermerhorn, Deer Harbor , WA , USA

Huwaida Arraf Shapiro, Ramallah, Palestine

Courtney Sheetz , New York , USA

Kathy Sheetz, Woods Hole , MA , USA

Ren Tawil, Minneapolis , MN

Kathleen Wang, Diamond Bar , CA , USA


Vittorio Arrigoni, Bulciago , Italy

Georgios Karatzas, Pireas , Greece

Jenny Linnell, Totnes , UK

Andrew Muncie, Spean Bridge , Scotland

Ken O’Keefe, London , UK

Adam Qvist, Copenhagen , Denmark

Darlene Wallach, San Jose , CA , USA

Friday, August 22, 2008

Citizens try to break the siege of Gaza

Forty-six international human rights workers are now sailing to Gaza through international waters with one overriding goal: to break the Israeli siege that Israel has imposed on the civilian population of Gaza . Any action designed to harm civilians constitutes collective punishment (in the Palestinians’ case, for voting the “wrong” way) and is both illegal under international law and profoundly immoral. Our mission is to expose the illegality of Israel ’s actions, and to break through the siege in order to express our solidarity with the suffering people of Gaza (and of the occupied Palestinian territory as a whole) and to create a free and regular channel between Gaza and the outside world.

Israel claims that since the “disengagement” in 2005 it no longer occupies Gaza . However, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international human rights organizations reject this claim since Israel still exerts effective control over Gaza . As an Occupying Power, Israel has a responsibility for the well-being of the people of Gaza under the provisions of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel has abused its control and responsibilities by wrongfully obstructing vital supplies and humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza .

As Israel ’s 41-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip defies international consensus, and because Israel has grossly violated its obligations, we do not recognize Israel ’s right to stop us outside its own territorial waters, which we will not be approaching. To remove any “security” pretense that Israel may raise, we have had our boats inspected and certified by Cypriot authorities that they carry no arms or contraband of any kind. We have invited Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to join us on our voyage and, in fact, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has itself told us the Israeli government “assume[s] that your intentions are good.”

We are human rights activists, invited to visit Gaza by our Palestinian partners, and each of us has vowed to do no violence, in either word or deed. If Israel chooses to forcibly stop and search our ships, we will not forcibly resist. Such a search will be under duress and with our formal protest. After such a search, we fully expect the Israeli navy to stand aside, as we continue peacefully to Gaza . If we are arrested and brought to Israel , we will protest and prosecute our kidnapping in the appropriate forums. It is our purpose to show the power that ordinary citizens of the world have when they organize together to stand against injustice. Let there be no doubt: the policies of repression against the civilian population of Gaza represent gross violations of human rights, international humanitarian law, and constitute war crimes. The goal of our voyage is to break the illegal siege on the people of Gaza as a step toward ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine .

Satellite phone numbers available on the boats will be: a) 00 870 773 160 151; b) 00 870 773 160 156 c) 00 881 651 442 553; d) 00 881 651 427 948.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

For Youssef; 17 year old, killed in cold blood in Nilin, on 31/07/2008

(c) Oren Ziv (1 and 2) and Anne Paq (3)/

Dear Youssef,

I wish I had met you before seeing you in that cold hospital room. Maybe you could have showed me the olive tree fields around your village, Ni'lin and told me the stories about you parents, your grandparents and maybe even about your girlfriends. You could have told me about your dreams and your hopes. I am sure you had plenty as all the teenagers do. Do you know that I found the olive trees around your village some of the most beautiful ones that I saw in Palestine? And I saw many. They are so old, and so majestic. It looks that they have been there forever, they belong to the place and the place belongs to them. They have now become the silent witnesses and sometimes even the victims of the drama that takes place every week. I almost cried during a demonstration a few weeks ago while some of them were burning because of the tear gas canisters that the Israeli soldiers shot. It was so hot that they triggered a fire. I took a picture of a very old Palestinian man who watched helplessly the fire; he was holding an olive tree branch that he used to try to contain the fire. At one point he just stopped and stared at one of the olive trees. Just its trunk remained and it was already black. I took the picture and I could not move. Then I found out that it was his trees burning that he was watching. Were you in that demonstration too? I am sure you know this old man because everybody always knows everybody in these villages. Everybody stands together, something we have often lost in Europe. But maybe you were one of the young men who was dreaming about leaving. Not because they do not like their country but because they want a taste of the freedom, and who can blame them? Maybe you just wanted to go to university at first. I could not ask you at the hospital. You could not speak, you were lying in a bed, and I thought you were already dead. Then I was even surprised to see your chest moving. You were breathing but through a machine, a pipe stuck in your mouth. Your head was swollen and there was blue around your right eye. I did not stay long, I understood that you would be gone soon and I did not want to disturb your sleep. I said a prayer, even if I do not really believe in God, just sometimes, and even if the God I was praying was not the same as yours. Or maybe they are, what do you think?

There were many people outside for you in the corridors, even your aunt who came from Jordan. Your father seemed lost, and I met your cousin Yunis who told me exactly what happened. He could see everything from his building. He told me how after the funerals of Ahmed, the 11 year-old boy who was killed the day before by the Israeli army by live bullet in his head, some youth went to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers; long after all the journalists and internationals left. No witness around. You were walking to your uncle’s house and you stopped to watch the clashes. Then the Israeli soldiers went inside the village to chase the youth. They entered with a military jeep. You knew how afraid the soldiers are. All the young men and children ran away but you did not; or maybe you did not hide from them well enough . The jeep stopped around 10 meters away from you, and two shots were fired at you, directly at your head, two rubber-coated bullets. Of course from such a short distance, all soldiers know that it is lethal. No mistakes there. The jeep and the faceless killer who shot you just drove away. You collapsed and lost a lot of blood on the pavement. When the ambulance tried to leave the village, the soldiers stopped it and searched it. Again some crucial minutes were lost, and your soul was already flying away. Did you see that coming? I wonder if you realized at the moment when the jeep stopped that they will aim at you and shoot.

Do you know that a photographer of my photo group, Activestills, took a picture of you during the funerals of Ahmed? You stand in the corner of the photo on the right. As if you wanted to be already out of the frame. But we cropped the picture and we put you in the center. They always put in newspaper- one 17 year-old Palestinian dead but we never see the face of the victim. We wanted to show yours. You looked nice in it, even if it was in a tensed moment of the funerals, when we arrived at the entrance of the village with the body of Ahmed and when the soldiers threw tear gas at the angry crowd. They even threw tear gas at the ambulance that was carrying the body of the boy. You looked strangely calm in this chaotic moment. You must have been a strong young man with some strong character. I wonder if we should take a picture of all the young men of Ni'lin, just in case they might be killed or injured. Because I am sure it will happen again, and again. Your village is very strong. The demonstrations against the Wall take place several times a week. The people; Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals stand together and even sometimes manage to stop the work of the bulldozers which destroy your lands. Ni'lin has become one of the focal points of non-violent resistance and the Israeli army clearly decided to break the spirit of Ni'lin but it has clearly failed so far. The Israeli soldiers have become increasingly violent weeks after weeks and so many have been already injured, but they continue.

When you looked at Ahmed’s body being carried by the crowd. Did you think you could be the next martyr? Death has become so trivial here, does it changes its meaning? Some people even say that the Palestinians do not value life anymore and that they glorify death. But in front of the hospital, I was in a car next to the one in which your father was sitting. And I saw him quietly crying. He would not have done it in public, he waited to be more isolated. Then during your funerals, I went to your house and your mother was devastated. She even fainted. All the women helped her and tried to comfort her. Then she waited with many other women on the balcony, waiting to see you for the last time when the men would carry you to the cemetery. I waited there, in front of the balcony, your mother had difficulty even standing. Then she saw you and cried even more. What is more terrible for her mother to see her child dead? You must be comforted somehow to know that they will be well surrounded, but for sure they will miss you until their own death.

When I heard the news about you I could not believe it. Just one day after Ahmed was killed, they dared to kill another one…in cold blood. Nobody will be indicted nor punished. We do not even know the name of the one who killed you. Then the Israeli authorities dare to continue saying that the Israeli army has some of the highest standards in the world. But Youssef, don’t worry the world is beginning to open its eyes and I believe that these crimes will not go unpunished. The soldier knows what he has done, and something bad will happen to him, in this life or in the next one. He cannot just get away with it. They will not. Justice always wins, it is just a matter of time.

It was good to talk to you, Youssef. It took me some time. After the funerals, somebody told me that I looked tired and that my eyelids were swollen. I replied that it was because they were full of tears that could not be shed. They are now coming back quietly. I cannot cry when I take pictures, they will be out of focus and the story needs to be told. I can cry when I write. There are thousands of us who write, take photographs, film, demonstrate and shout, tearing down the veil of ignorance which hides the naked truth. Don’t worry; Youssef, it is just a matter of time.

text by Anne Paq, 10/08/2008

Unknown liquid used in Bilin / Liquide inconnu utilisé à Bilin

House Report No. 126

Soldiers spray unknown substance on demonstrators in Bi’lin

On Friday 8th August 2008, IWPS joined Palestinians and international and Israeli activists for the weekly demonstration against the Israeli Apartheid wall in Bi’lin. The village has lost vast amounts of land as a result of the wall’s construction. In September 2007, the Israeli High Court ruled that the Wall must be re-routed to reduce the amount of land confiscated. On 3rd August 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the proposed new route on the grounds that it did not free enough land for the villagers. The Israeli authorities will now have to submit proposals for a third route.

The demonstration began at approximately 1.30pm. Around 100 demonstrators marched to the Wall, carrying posters of the two children killed by Israeli forces in the village of Nil’in last week. When they reached the wall there were a number of Israeli soldiers waiting on the other side of it.

As the demonstrators chanted anti-occupation songs and held Palestinian flags aloft, the soldiers drove a truck, equipped with an industrial spraying mechanism, towards them and began to spray an unknown substance over the demonstrators. The liquid was discoloured and foul smelling and there was speculation that it was raw sewage. A number of demonstrators vomited and many had to leave the area as the stench was so unbearable. As demonstrators withdrew, soldiers also fired a number of tear gas canisters at them.

Over the course of the demonstration, the soldiers sprayed the unknown liquid on the demonstrators three times. Many of them were covered in it. After approximately one hour, the demonstration ended and people returned to the village.

This is the first time the Israeli army have used this tactic in Bi’lin. The popular committee of the village is awaiting results from analysis of the liquid samples that were collected during the demonstration.

Friday, August 08, 2008

On Ahmed and Yusef cases- Right to Life of Palestinian Children Disregarded in Ni’lin as Israel’s Policy of Wilful Killing of Civilians Continues



REF.: 25.2008E

7 August 2008

Right to Life of Palestinian Children Disregarded in Ni’lin as Israel’s Policy of Wilful Killing of Civilians Continues

As a Palestinian human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Al-Haq is deeply disturbed by the excessive and disproportionate use of force employed by Israeli Border Police in the village of Ni’lin last week, resulting in the wilful killing of two Palestinian children. Ni’lin has become a flashpoint for the excessive use of force by Israeli military forces against Palestinian civilians, and Israeli and international human rights activists demonstrating against the illegal construction of the Annexation Wall inside the OPT.

On Tuesday, 29 July 2008, at approximately 6:00 pm, a peaceful demonstration consisting of roughly 50 children and 50 elderly Palestinians left the centre of Ni’lin village and began walking towards the intended demonstration site near the Annexation Wall. The organisers deliberately decided to hold the protest at 6:00 pm because they knew that Israeli soldiers and construction workers would not be present, and it would therefore be relatively safe to allow children and the elderly to demonstrate. Upon the group’s arrival, an Israeli Border Police vehicle rapidly deployed to the site. The demonstration’s organisers quickly began to lead the children and elderly to safety. Ahmad Husam Musa, a ten-year-old child, hid in an olive grove. A member of the Israeli Border Police saw Ahmad Musa, left the Border Police vehicle, aimed his rifle and fired a live bullet. Shot from a distance of 50 metres, the bullet entered Ahmad Musa’s forehead and exited through the back of his skull. While two of the demonstration’s organisers attempted to carry Ahmad Musa to safety, they were fired upon by the Border Police. They succeeded in carrying the child to safety, but he was already dead.

On Wednesday, 30 July 2008, at approximately 6:30 pm, Israeli Border Police clashed with young demonstrators from the village of Ni’lin. These demonstrators had just attended Ahmad Musa’s funeral. Israeli Border Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Palestinian protestors threw stones. Seventeen year old Yousef Amira, who was among the demonstrators, hid between two houses in Ni’lin and watched the clashes with a few other young men. They were approximately 150 metres away from the clashes. A Border Police jeep entered the village from the east, drove towards them, and then performed a u-turn. As the jeep turned, bullets were fired at the group. Two rubber-coated steel bullets penetrated Yousef Amira’s head. He was taken to the Ramallah hospital where he was pronounced brain dead upon arrival, but was kept on life support. On Monday, 4 August 2008 he was pronounced dead.

Israel, the Occupying Power, is authorised to take measures to restore public order and safety. In responding to the demonstrators with lethal force, however, Israeli Border Police violated the fundamental international humanitarian law principles of distinction between combatants and civilians, proportionality in attack, and military necessity. Furthermore, they failed to meet the requirements incumbent upon them under international law for the legitimate use of force in policing operations. While maintaining public order may necessitate the use of lethal force, the UN Human Rights Committee has emphasised, in relation to right to life, that the law must “strictly control and limit the circumstances in which a person may be deprived of his life.” The UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (The Code) provides further interpretive authority on the requirements international law imposes on governments in relation to the use of force in policing operations. The Code indicates that law enforcement officials may use force “only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty” and where it is “ proportionate to the legitimate objective to be achieved.” The Code asserts that killing is an illegitimate objective and that “every effort should be made to exclude the use of fire arms, especially against children.”

Al-Haq’s investigation reveals that neither of the children killed by Israeli Border Police in Ni’lin participated in stone throwing or other acts of civil disobedience when they were shot; rather, both boys were hiding. The boys were not armed and did not threaten the lives of the Border Police. Therefore, they were not legitimate objects of attack.

The intent to kill is manifest in the circumstances surrounding Ahmad Musa’s death in which live ammunition was fired at the boy’s head from a close range of 50 metres. While in Yousef Amira’s case Border Police employed rubber-coated steel bullets—ostensibly intended to inflict superficial injuries in policing contexts— the boy’s death shows that they can be easily used to lethal effect. The degree of injury sustained from a rubber bullet depends on its type, accuracy, the distance from which it is fired, and the part of the body it hits. In Yousef Amira’s case Israeli forces aimed for the head. Moreover, the type of rubber bullets used by the Border Police in this case, rubber-coated with a metal core, make them more dangerous than other forms of rubber bullets. Accordingly, the circumstances in which both boys were arbitrarily deprived of their lives amount to wilful killing, defined as a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000, Israel’s rules of engagement have promoted the arbitrary deprivation of life in that the regulations allow soldiers to open fire on Palestinian civilians even where their life is not threatened. Hence, the death of both of these children resulted from Israel’s refusal to reconcile its rules of engagement with its international law obligations.

International law also requires impartial and independent investigations when there is prima facie evidence or credible allegations of unlawful killings. Despite the facts as presented above, an investigation by Israeli military authorities into Ahmad Musa’s death resulted merely in the house arrest of a Border Policeman for five days. Israel has not yet seen fit to launch an investigation into Yousef Amira’s death. The failure to hold the Border Police officers in question criminally accountable for the wilful killing of these two children is reflective of Israel’s policy since 2000 to not automatically launch independent, impartial investigations into Palestinian civilian deaths. The result, if not the intention, of this policy, is the cultivation of culture of rampant impunity amongst Israeli military forces. In this light, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are legally obliged under Article 147 to search for and prosecute the officers responsible for the wilful killings of Ahmad Musa and Yousef Amira.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Demonstration in Nilin- an International taken as human shield / Manif a Nilin- Un international pris comme bouclier humain

Photo by Anne Paq/, Nilin, 07/08/2008

A group of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals protested against the construciton of the Wall in the West Bank village of Nil'in on 07/08/2008. The demonstrators marched to the construction site and stopped the bulldozers. The army violently attacked the demonstrators. The soldiers penetrated inside the village, fired scores of tear gas and rubber coated bullets. Three Palestinians were injured. One Palestinian, two internationals; and one Israeli activsit were apprehended. One international was briefly used as human shield by the Israeli soldiers while young Palestinians were throwing stones.

Un groupe de Palestiniens, Israéliens et internationaux ont protesté contre la construciton du mur dans le village cisjordanien de Nil'in le 07/08/2008. Les manifestants ont marché jusqu'au site de construction et ont réussi à arrêter les bulldozers. L'armée a violemment attaqué les manifestants. Les soldats ont pénétré à l'intérieur du village, ont tiré des gaz lacrymogènes et des balles enrobées de caoutchouc. Trois Palestiniens ont été blessés. Un Palestinien, deux internationaux et un Israélien ont été appréhendés . Un international a été brièvement utilisé comme bouclier humain par les soldats israéliens tandis que les jeunes Palestiniens jetaient des pierres dans leur direction.

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

(c) Anne Paq/, Oush Grab, Beit Sahour, 06/08/2008

Article by Maan:
Settlers scuffle with peaceful worshipers at abandoned military base in Beit Sahour
Date: 07 / 08 / 2008 Time: 20:36

Settlers assault worshipers [Ma'anImages]
Bethlehem – Ma'an – More than 200 Israeli settlers occupied an abandoned Israeli military base in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour on Wednesday night, assaulting an ecumenical peace group that had gathered nearby.

Two dozen international and Palestinian worshipers were attending a non-denominational, but strongly Christian-toned, religious service when the settlers arrived.

The organizers of the worship service said beforehand that they did not plan for a confrontation with the settlers, and would move if the Israeli military asked them.

As the settlers filed into the abandoned base, two dozen armed soldiers, border police, and civilian police looked on. The settlers set out rows of plastic chairs, a public address system, and lights, powered by a generator.

The settlers delivered a series of speeches in Hebrew, then a Jewish prayer service. As the event wore on for over two hours, the settlers lost their cool at the peace demonstrators, eventually attacking them. Israeli border police finally intervened. A few of the worshipers were mildly injured.

In organizing the peace service, Nathan Dannison, from Michigan in the United States, said, "For me, a lot of the impulse came out of being labeled an international anarchist, when in fact I'm a Christian Democrat."

He was referring to the label settler groups have applied to the small band of American and European supporters who have been aiding the Palestinian response to the settlers' repeated occupation of the site.

Deena Sattler, a mother of seven who moved to Israel from New York 38 years ago and currently resides in the Har Homa settlement, said, "These guys are anarchists." Sattler said she believes that the "anarchists" are seeking to drive Jews not just out of the occupied Palestinian territories, but out of Israel itself.

Almost every week since May, steadily larger groups of settlers, mainly from the nearby settlements Har Homa, Gush Etzion, and Tekoa, have come to the old base to assert their claim that the area should stay "out of Palestinian hands."

Asked about their plans for the site, the settlers said they want to prevent Palestinian construction on the land. The area, which was evacuated by the Israeli army in 2006, is currently designated for a multimillion dollar children's hospital. Several settlers said they were concerned that even a hospital could somehow be used for "terrorism."

Sunny Hallanan, an Episcopal priest from Pennsylvania, led the peaceful service along with Dannison, in prayer and signing songs such as "We shall overcome."

"We are praying that the former military base be transformed into a new children's hospital for all the little ones of Palestine. We are praying that the peaceful people of Beit Sahour do not lose their homes to new Israeli settlements. We are praying that Israel stands by its promise to the people of Beit Sahour - that the army will allow the people of Beit Sahour to build this hospital," the organizers of the worship service said in a statement.

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

(c) Anne Paq/, Oush Grab, Beit Sahour, 06/08/2008

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

(c) Anne Paq/, Oush Grab, Beit Sahour, 06/08/2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Another funeral in Nilin- Yousef 17 years old / D'autres funerailles a Nilin, Yousef 17 ans

(c) Anne Paq/, Nil'in, 4 August 2008.

Funerals of 17 year old Yusef Ameera. Yusef was shot on 30 July 2008 during clashes with the Israeli army. He was shot with two rubber coated bullets in his head at close range. The funerals took place just a few days after teh funerals of 10 year old Ahmed. Hundreds of people attended the funerals. On the way from Ramallah hospital to Ramallah, the Israeli army erected several checkpoints. At one they attempted to stop the Palestinians but they could not stop them to walk through.
Nilin has become of the focal point of resistance against the Wall. Demonstrations take place several times a week. The price is high but the spirit remains and the inhabitants are determined to continue resisting.

Funerailles de Yusef Ameera, un jeune Palestinien de 17 ans, décédé à la suite de blesssures graves causées le 30 Juillet lors de confrontations entre l'armée israélienne et les jeunes Palestiniens de Nil'j à la suite des funérailles de Ahmed, un enfant de 10 ans de Ni'lin tué à balles réelles. Yusef a été touché à courte distance par deux balles en caoutchouc dans la tête. La jeep israelienne n'était qu'à quelques mètres de lui. des centaines de personnes ont participé aux funerailles. L'armée israélienne avait érigé plusieurs checkpoint sur le chemin du cortège, de Ramallah à Ni'lin. A un checkpoint, les soldats ont voulu stopper le cortège mais les Palestiniens sont tous sortis des voitures et ont marché vers le checkpoint. L'armée a reculé et a laissé passer tout le monde. Le village de Nilin est devenu un des centres de la résistance non-violente contre l'occupation. Depuis des mois, les habitants, avec des internationaux et israéliens organisent des manifestations contre la construction du Mur plusieurs fois par semaine. le prix à payer est lourd mais les habitants sont determinés à continuer à resister.

Another funeral in Nilin- Yousef 17 years old / D'autres funerailles a Nilin, Yousef 17 ans

(c) Anne Paq/, Nil'in, 4 August 2008.

Israeli police arrested protestors against the killing of 11 year old Palestinian kid from Ni'lin

Police arrest Anarchists at protest outside home of Army Commander
author Tuesday August 05, 2008 23:17author by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli police attacked dozens of peace activists, members of the Anarchist movement in Israel, who were staging a protest in front of the home of Israeli Army Colonel, Aviv Reshef, in charge of Ni’lin area in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. 25 protesters were arrested.

The police claimed that the protesters clashed with policemen who arrived at the scene.

The anarchists were protesting the killing of an 11-year old Palestinian child who was shot and killed by army fire last week.

Reshef had, just a few days before the killing, been merely “reprimanded” for an incident in which a soldier under his command shot and wounded a bound Palestinian youth in Bil'in village. Reshef stated in a hearing that he did not order the soldier to shoot the bound youth.

The youth, who was already wounded, was shot at close range by a rubber coated bullet while he was bound and blindfolded. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories B’Tselem released video footage of the incident.

The footage was filmed by a young Palestinian girl from the village. Soldiers later arrested her father as an act of revenge.

During the funeral of the child on Monday, Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades, rubber coated bullets, tear gas and rounds of live ammunition at the residents. An Israeli military commander claimed that the Palestinian blocked a main road and that the army “used all riot dispersal means”.

Tuesday's protest in Israel was carried out around 6 in the evening when nearly forty protesters arrived in front of the home of Reshef. The police arrived at the scene and ordered them to leave.

Israeli police sources claimed that the protesters refused to leave and attempted to move closer to the officers’ house. The police arrested nearly 25 peace activists and took them to a police station for questioning.

The police force issued a statement in which it did not deny aggressive behavior carried out by the police but stated that they acted due to an order from the Attorney General which strictly bars any protests in front of homes that belong to Israeli Army officers.

category israel | israeli attacks | news report author email saed at imemc dot org

Sunday, August 03, 2008

interview with Hindi, from Ni'lin

August 01, 2008
Israeli Troops Kill Two Palestinians in Ni’lin, Site of Nonviolent Anti-Wall Demonstration


Hindi Mesleh, resident of Ni’lin and an organizer with the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall. He was there when seventeen-year-old Yousif Amira was shot and visited him yesterday in the hospital.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: We begin with Israel and the Occupied Territories. Israeli troops fatally shot two Palestinian youths, aged ten and seventeen, this week in a village known for its nonviolent resistance. Seventeen-year-old Yousif Amira has been pronounced clinically dead after Israeli troops shot him on Wednesday. Amira was among several youths who were fired upon after attending the funeral of a ten-year-old Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers a day earlier. The boy, Ahmad Moussa, died instantly after being shot in the forehead.

The shootings took place in the village of Ni’lin, where residents have staged daily nonviolent actions against Israel’s wall through the West Bank. The village was recently the site of another controversial shooting. On July 7th, an Israeli soldier was captured on film shooting a rubber bullet at a handcuffed Palestinian man.

Hindi Mesleh is a resident of Ni’lin and an organizer with the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall. He was there when seventeen-year-old Yousif Amira was shot and visited him yesterday in the hospital. Hindi Mesleh joins us now on the line from Ni’lin.

Welcome to Democracy Now!


SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Hi. Thank you for joining us. You witnessed the shooting of Yousif Amira. Can you describe what happened?

HINDI MESLEH: Actually, yes. I was in the place when Yousif got shot. Actually, it was a protest or a demonstration; after Ahmad was—Ahmad’s funeral, the village went as a protest to condemn Ahmad’s killing. Yousif was shot by two rubber-coated steel bullets in his head. One has destroyed totally his head. Yousif now is brain-dead, and we’re expecting him, any second, to die.

ANJALI KAMAT: Can you talk about what happened to the nine-year-old boy the previous day? It was after his funeral that Ahmed Yousif Amira was shot.

HINDI MESLEH: Yeah. Ahmad is the nine-year-old that was killed. His funeral even was attacked by tear gas and rubber bullets. And after his funeral, Yusif was dead the same day, was killed—sorry, was shot, and now he’s in the hospital and brain-dead.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And villagers are taking daily
protests now against the building of the wall in the village. Can you describe what the demonstrations are like and the response of the soldiers?

HINDI MESLEH: Actually, I’m right now stuck in a house, because the Israeli army has invaded the village, because we had the Friday pray at the land. Israeli—Israel army—more than 100 soldiers now are invading the village, shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at houses. The demonstrations, as usual, they are not violent and peaceful from the Palestinian side, but they’re always met by a heavy use of violence from the Israeli army, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and sometimes, as Ahmad’s case, live ammunition.

ANJALI KAMAT: Can you describe where Ni’lin is in the West Bank and how the apartheid wall affects Ni’lin and the residents of Ni’lin?

HINDI MESLEH: Ni’lin is a village that is located in the west of Ramallah in the West Bank, twenty-five kilometers in the west of Ramallah. The wall is going to confiscate more than 3,000 of the—from—of the land from the village. Historically, Ni’lin land, before 1948, used to own 58,000 dunams. During the war of ’48 and ’67, 1948 and 1967, the village lost 40,000 dunams. The settlements and bypass roads have confiscated more than 8,000 dunams. So now there are 10,000 dunams left for the village. The wall is confiscating more than 3,000 dunams. In addition to the tunnel that will—this tunnel, the villagers will exit and leave and go in the village from this tunnel, that will be controlled by the Israeli army. So, 6,700 left for the village, out from 58,000 dunams when they used to own it in 1948.

ANJALI KAMAT: And, Hindi, when did protests against the wall start? When did residents in Ni’lin start protesting the wall? Is this a recent thing? Has it been going on for a few years now? In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the wall was illegal. The fourth anniversary was just earlier this month.

HINDI MESLEH: The wall started in Ni’lin in 2004, and there we had a court case. The court case recently end in April, decided that the Israeli army has the right to build the wall. Then the Israeli army starts building again the wall in May 2008 ’til now. Unfortunately, as the Israel—the International Court decided that the wall is illegal and should be dismantled, but Israel keeps building on, keeps going on in building the wall, building the settlements, tunnel, bypass roads, confiscating and stealing more land from Palestinians.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And what is the mood right now on the ground? I mean, two youths have been killed in the past few days, one a seventeen-year-old, one ten years old. Describe the scene for us right now on the ground.

HINDI MESLEH: The village has decided—is like determined to keep resisting, because there is no other way. This is the only choice that’s left for Palestinians, to resist and struggle in a peaceful and nonviolent way. Unfortunately, the Israeli army—like the reply and reaction of the Israeli army is way violent. And as you heard, one is ten—nine years old, has been killed, seventeen years old has been shot—now he’s in the hospital. He will pass away in any second. Hundreds of the villagers have been shot by rubber-coated steel bullets. Three of them have been shot by live ammunition, and they still went in in the hospital, getting treatment for more than three weeks. Houses have been invaded and shot by tear gas and break and destroyed.

ANJALI KAMAT: We’re talking to Hindi Mesleh, organizer with the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall. Hindi, I wanted to ask you, what has been the response of the Israeli army?

HINDI MESLEH: Sorry, I didn’t hear you.

ANJALI KAMAT: Hindi, what has been the response of the Israeli army to the killing of the nine-year-old youth and the almost fatal shooting of the seventeen-year-old? He’s now in a coma and pronounced clinically dead.

HINDI MESLEH: I don’t know the reply of the army. There is no reply. I don’t know what the excuse they will come up. There is no excuse. Whatever the child was doing, throwing stones or whatever, there is no excuse, and there is no right to kill a nine-years-old child or seventeen-years-old child when they are in a protest. The question is, like—the question is, why these children? They are in the protest because they’re aware of what’s happening and what’s going on in their village. They’re protesting against stealing their lands, killing their brothers, shooting at their houses, invading their village.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And finally, Hindi Mesleh, we’re broadcasting on almost 700 stations around the United States and some around the world, as well. What do you think is most important for people to know right now? What would you like people to understand about what’s going on right now?

HINDI MESLEH: I will say it in a very simple way, as Jimmy Carter said: what’s going on now in Ni’lin is ethnic cleansing. Palestine is—the Israeli army now is using the worst violence that has happened in the past. And it’s so shameful that we are in the twenty-first century and Palestine is still occupied. It’s the time that the whole—the international community and the world should say to Israel “Stop.” It’s the time that Israel should stop its occupation.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Well, Hindi Mesleh, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Hindi Mesleh is an organizer with the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall, joining us from a demonstration on the ground there. Thank you for being with us, and stay safe.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Demonstration in Nilin / Manifestation à Nilin

(c) Anne Paq/, Nil'in, 02/08/2008.

More than 100 people demonstrated against the Wall in the West Bank village of Nilin on 01/08/2008. The tension was high after the killing of one child and the fatal injury of one 17 year-old Palestinian caused by the Israeli army in 72 hours. After the prayer, some demonstrators went down to the route of the Wall and moved away the barbewires. The Israeli army sent scores of tear gas and pursued the demonstrators until the entrance of the village. A buldozzer was sent to clear up the path of the Wall. Tear gas penetrated inside Palestinian homes, causing suffocation for some Palestinian villagers.

Plus de 100 personnes ont manifesté contre le mur dans le village de Nilin le 01/08/2008. La tension était élevée après la mort d'un enfant de 11 ans, tué par balles réelles et la blessure fatale d'un jeune palestinien de 17 ans qui est dans le coma, tous deux causés par l'armée israélienne en 72 heures. Après la prière, des manifestants sont allés sur le tracé du mur et ont enlevé des barbelés. L'armée israélienne a envoyé du gaz lacrymogène et a poursuivi les manifestants jusqu'à l'entrée du village. Un bulldozer a été envoyé pour degager le tracé du mur. Des gaz lacrymogènes ont pénétré dans des maisons palestiniennes, provoquant l'asphyxie de certains habitants du village.