Monday, January 31, 2011

PA banned a support demonstration for Egyptian uprising

Police ban Egypt solidarity rally in Ramallah
Published yesterday (updated) 01/02/2011 08:56

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Security forces shut down a demonstration Sunday in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah, after calling in one of the organizers for questioning multiple times a day earlier, organizers of the rally said.

Forces pushed demonstrators and a man who identified himself as a police commander said the demonstrators were in a "security area" and would have to disperse, they said.

Twenty armed police, who quickly tried to confiscate cameras, ordered a journalist to turn off her microphone and recorder, Human Rights Watch said. An Agence France-Presse reporter confirmed the report.

Several women demonstrators told the police that Palestinian law required the demonstrators to notify the authorities 48 hours in advance and that they had done so.

Women also convinced three policemen to release a demonstrator they had seized and dragged away when he shouted, "Long live Egypt!" The police dispersed the protest after one hour.

Demonstrators said they had expected a higher turnout, but security agencies called in one of the organizers of the protest for questioning three times in the last 24 hours and told him to cancel the event. Security forces ordered the organizer to cancel an event notice that he had created on Facebook.

'Ban on Egypt, Tunisia solidarity'

There "were orders that no event related to Tunisia or Egypt was allowed at this time," the organizer said, and members of the Facebook page calling for the rally received messages that it was canceled.

Human Rights Watch called on the PA to stop its "arbitrary interference with peaceful demonstrations."

A Palestinian security official said late Sunday that the demonstration was not given the go-ahead because there was "an agreement with all the factions not to hold any rallies without a permit."

Palestinians have eagerly followed the revolution in Tunisia and the unprecedented protests sweeping across Egypt, but the PA has offered little comment, saying only it hoped the country would weather the unrest.

The PA banned a similar demonstration in solidarity with the uprising in Tunisia last week.

Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian activist and organizer, told Ma'an that the PA forces' "heavy-handed suppression of the youth-initiated and -led peaceful celebration of the Tunisian uprising's overthrow of the dictator, Ben-Ali, indicates where the PA's loyalty lies.

"Autocratic, unelected regimes tend to identify with one another, it seems. The glaring difference here, in the occupied Palestinian territory, is that the PA is trying to 'rule' by decree while we are still under foreign occupation," Barghouti said at the time.

"After Tunis, there is no telling when the next Arab dictator will fall. One, Ben-Ali, is gone; 21 remain."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt's uprising and its implications for Palestine

Egypt's uprising and its implications for Palestine
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 29 January 2011

Egyptians call for Mubarak's ouster at Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Cairo, 29 January 2011. (Matthew Cassel)

We are in the middle of a political earthquake in the Arab world and the ground has still not stopped shaking. To make predictions when events are so fluid is risky, but there is no doubt that the uprising in Egypt -- however it ends -- will have a dramatic impact across the region and within Palestine.

If the Mubarak regime falls, and is replaced by one less tied to Israel and the United States, Israel will be a big loser. As Aluf Benn commented in the Israeli daily Haaretz, "The fading power of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government leaves Israel in a state of strategic distress. Without Mubarak, Israel is left with almost no friends in the Middle East; last year, Israel saw its alliance with Turkey collapse" ("Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast," 29 January 2011).

Indeed, Benn observes, "Israel is left with two strategic allies in the region: Jordan and the Palestinian Authority." But what Benn does not say is that these two "allies" will not be immune either.

Over the past few weeks I was in Doha examining the Palestine Papers leaked to Al Jazeera. These documents underscore the extent to which the split between the US-backed Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction, on the one hand, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on the other -- was a policy decision of regional powers: the United States, Egypt and Israel. This policy included Egypt's strict enforcement of the siege of Gaza.

If the Mubarak regime goes, the United States will lose enormous leverage over the situation in Palestine, and Abbas' PA will lose one of its main allies against Hamas.

Already discredited by the extent of its collaboration and capitulation exposed in the Palestine Papers, the PA will be weakened even further. With no credible "peace process" to justify its continued "security coordination" with Israel, or even its very existence, the countdown may well begin for the PA's implosion. Even the US and EU support for the repressive PA police-state-in-the-making may no longer be politically tenable. Hamas may be the immediate beneficiary, but not necessarily in the long term. For the first time in years we are seeing broad mass movements that, while they include Islamists, are not necessarily dominated or controlled by them.

There is also a demonstration effect for Palestinians: the endurance of the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes has been based on the perception that they were strong, as well as their ability to terrorize parts of their populations and co-opt others. The relative ease with which Tunisians threw off their dictator, and the speed with which Egypt, and perhaps Yemen, seem to be going down the same road, may well send a message to Palestinians that neither Israel's nor the PA's security forces are as indomitable as they appear. Indeed, Israel's "deterrence" already took a huge blow from its failure to defeat Hizballah in Lebanon in 2006, and Hamas in Gaza during the winter 2008-09 attacks.

As for Abbas's PA, never has so much international donor money been spent on a security force with such poor results. The open secret is that without the Israeli military occupying the West Bank and besieging Gaza (with the Mubarak regime's help), Abbas and his praetorian guard would have fallen long ago. Built on the foundations of a fraudulent peace process, the US, EU and Israel with the support of the decrepit Arab regimes now under threat by their own people, have constructed a Palestinian house of cards that is unlikely to remain standing much longer.

This time the message may be that the answer is not more military resistance but rather more people power and a stronger emphasis on popular protests. Today, Palestinians form at least half the population in historic Palestine -- Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip combined. If they rose up collectively to demand equal rights, what could Israel do to stop them? Israel's brutal violence and lethal force has not stopped regular demonstrations in West Bank villages including Bilin and Beit Ommar.

Israel must fear that if it responds to any broad uprising with brutality, its already precarious international support could start to evaporate as quickly as Mubarak's. The Mubarak regime, it seems, is undergoing rapid "delegitimization." Israeli leaders have made it clear that such an implosion of international support scares them more than any external military threat. With the power shifting to the Arab people and away from their regimes, Arab governments may not be able to remain as silent and complicit as they have for years as Israel oppresses Palestinians.

As for Jordan, change is already underway. I witnessed a protest of thousands of people in downtown Amman yesterday. These well-organized and peaceful protests, called for by a coalition of Islamist and leftist opposition parties, have been held now for weeks in cities around the country. The protesters are demanding the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Samir al-Rifai, dissolution of the parliament elected in what were widely seen as fraudulent elections in November, new free elections based on democratic laws, economic justice, an end to corruption and cancelation of the peace treaty with Israel. There were strong demonstrations of solidarity for the people of Egypt.

None of the parties at the demonstration called for the kind of revolutions that happened in Tunisia and Egypt to occur in Jordan, and there is no reason to believe such developments are imminent. But the slogans heard at the protests are unprecedented in their boldness and their direct challenge to authority. Any government that is more responsive to the wishes of the people will have to review its relationship with Israel and the United States.

Only one thing is certain today: whatever happens in the region, the people's voices can no longer be ignored.

Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and is a contributor to The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Settlers killed a 17 year-old Palestinian boy/ Les colons ont tué un jeune de 17 ans, Saffa, 28.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Saffa, Hebron area, 28.01,2011

Blood stains can be seen on the floor in the area where a 17 year-old Palestinian, Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl, was critically hit with a live round in his head by settlers on 28.01.2011. In the morning, dozens of settlers from Bat Ayn settlement were seen on the hills and valley of Saffa where they attacked residents. Another youth was injured. Yousef is currently on life support in Hebron hospital and was declared clinically dead.

Today was a hard day. I went to Beit Omar as soon as I heard the news. It took some time to reach the area where the Palestinian youth had been shot earlier by the settlers. We called a direct witness to figure exactly the spot. Then we were guided by three youth who showed us the way. On the path, they showed us the blood stains that we followed all the way down to the trees. Then we found the spot where there was even more blood. I cannot imagine how much time it took to reach an ambulance and then the hospital, and how much blood he lost. I was outraged tonight when I read settlers' statement saying that they came under attack and must be protected and gave the right to "hike". Settlers have M16! These are not their lands. They are outsiders and outlaws.
Of course the Israeli army showed up apparently, not early enough to protect the Palestinians. They fired tear gas on Palestinians instead of arresting the settlers.
and even of they arrest some of them, we know very well that they are not going to be charged.

Settlers' violence is definitely on the rise. Just a day before this murder in cold blood, another young Palestinian was shot dead in a village near Nablus.
Today it is hard to keep my usual coolness. I had been around a crime scene for half a day. Then I read tonight in a column in Haaretz an opinion by our French so-called intellectual Bernard Henri-levy, a staunch supporter of Israel, that Israel should not be boycotted as the only free society in the Middle East! Yes a society where settlers are "free" to kill...this is the Israel that BHL wants to defend.

Oh...another thing that pissed me off is that Haaretz, to illustrate its article on the report put the image of Palestinian throwing stones, implying that 1) the youth were throwing stones where they were shot 2) the settlers acted in self defense. This is outrageous. Witnesses said that they were not throwing stones, and EVEN IF, they were throwing stones, they were not putting anybody's life in danger. Murder is murder. Haaretz has for sure thousands of pictures of armed settlers in their archives, they could also have bought a photo of the victim at the hospital, as for instance Maan did on:

Youssef will be probably declared dead tomorrow.
Shame on BHL and Haaretz.
Palestine will be on mourning again, and the settlers will celebrate.
Days of rage may be also coming to Palestine.

More info on Youssef and what happened on :


Des taches de sang peuvent être vues sur le sol dans la zone où un Palestinien de 17 ans, Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl, a reçu une balle à la tête tirée par un colons, le 28.01.2011 dans les terres de Saffa, près de Beit Omar. Dans la matinée, des dizaines de colons de la colonie de Bat Ayn settlement ont été vus sur les collines et la vallée de Saffa où ils ont attaqué les residents. Un autre jeune a aussi été blessé par balle. Yousef est actuellement à l'hôpital d'Hébron et a été déclaré cliniquement mort.

Aujourd'hui a été une dure journée. Je me suis rendue à Beit Omar, dès que j'ai entendu la nouvelle de l'attaque des colons. Il a fallu un certain temps pour atteindre la zone où les jeunes Palestiniens avaient été blessés plus tôt. Nous avons appelé un témoin direct pour qu'il nous indique exactement l'endroit. Puis nous avons été guidés par trois jeunes. Sur le chemin, ils nous ont montré des taches de sang que nous avons suivies tout le long jusqu'à un bousquet . Nous avons trouvé l'endroit où Youssef a du être touché , il y avait sous un arbre une tache de sang bien plus importante. Je ne peux pas imaginer combien de temps il a fallu pour porter Yussef jusqu'à la route, et combien de sang il a du perdre en route.

J'ai été outrée ensuite ce soir lorsque j'ai lu la déclaration de colons qui indiquaient qu'ils avaient été attaqués, devraient être davantage protégés afin que leur droit à se promener sur lours terres soit respecté Les colons ont des mitrailettes M16! Ce ne sont pas leurs terres. Ils y sont des étrangers et des hors la loi. Bien sûr, l'armée israélienne est arrivée sur les lieux mais pas assez tôt pour protéger les Palestiniens. Ils ont même tiré des gaz lacrymogènes sur les Palestiniens au lieu d'arrêter les colons, et même si par la suite certains d'entre eux sont arrêtés, nous savons très bien qu'ils ne vont pas être comdamnés.

la violence des colons est nettement à la hausse. Juste un jour avant ce meutre de sang-froid, un autre jeune Palestinien a été abattu dans un village près de Naplouse.
Aujourd'hui, il est bien difficile de garder mon sang-froid habituel. Je suis restée autour d'une scène de crime pendant une bonne partie de la journée. Puis j'ai lu ce soir dans une colonne dans Haaretz une opinion par un de nos nos soi-disant intellectuels français Bernard Henri-Levy, un fervent partisan d'Israël, qu'Israël ne devrait pas être boycotté comme etant la seule société libre au Moyen-Orient! Oui une société où les colons sont «libres» de tuer, voila l'Israel que veut defendre BHL.

Oh ... une autre chose qui m'a revolté, c'est que Haaretz, pour illustrer son article sur l'evenement n'a pas trouvé mieux pour illustrer son article que de mettre une photo de jeunes Palestiniens lançant des pierres, ce qui véhicule l’idée que 1) les jeunes lançaient des pierres quand il furent pris pour cible 2) les colons ont agi en légitime défense. C'est scandaleux. Les témoins ont tous déclaré que les jeunes ne jetaient pas des pierres, et QUAND BIEN MEME, s'ils lançaient des pierres, ils ne mettraient pas en danger la vie de quiconque. Un meutre est un meutre. Il est certain que Haaretz a des milliers d'images de colons armés dans leurs archives, ils pourraient également avoir acheté une photo de la victime à l'hôpital, comme par exemple Maan.

Youssef sera probablement déclaré mort demain.
Honte à Haaretz et BHL.
La Palestine sera encore en deuil.
Et la revolte gronde aussi ici.

plus d'info en anglais avec photos:

House burned in Silwan after clashes / Une maison a pris le feu a Silwan durant des confrontations, East Jerusalem, 28.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Silwan, East Jerusalem, 28.01.2011

Heavy Clashes continue in Silwan. Today, a house was caught on fire after clashes erupted between the Israeli police and Palestinian youth, 28.01.2011. The fire was provoked by tear gas canisters which were fired at the house by Israeli police. Residents lost furniture but could stop the fire. They live just a few meters away from the settlers living in Beit Yonathan. Earlier a child was violently arrested by undercover police.
see pics on:

Des affrontements violents continuent à Silwan. Aujourd'hui, une maison a pris feu après des affrontements qui ont éclaté entre la police israélienne et des jeunes palestiniens, le 28.01.2011. L'incendie a été provoqué par des gaz lacrymogènes qui ont été tirés sur la maison par la police israélienne. Les résidents ont perdu des meubles, mais on put arrêter le feu. Ils vivent juste à quelques mètres des colons vivant dans l'immeuble Beit Yonathan. Plus tôt un enfant a été violemment arrêté par des agents de police en civils.
voir les photos sur:

Demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah against the evictions of Palestinian families, 28.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, 28.01.2011

Palestinians, Israelis and internationals held the weekly protest against the eviction of the Palestinian families of Sheikh Jarrah, on 28.01.2011. This week, there were joined in solidarity by some residents of Lod, whose houses were destroyed. Some Tunisian flag and posters in support of the Egyptian uprising were also seen.
For pictures of the demolitions in Lod see:

Palestiniens, Israéliens et internationaux se sont retrouvés pour la manifestation hebdomadaire contre l'expulsion des familles palestiniennes de Sheikh Jarrah, le 28.01.2011. Cette semaine, ils ont été rejoints en solidarité par certains habitants de Lod, dont les maisons ont été détruites. Des drapeaux tunisiens et des affiches à l'appui de l'insurrection égyptienne ont été vus.
Pour voir des photos de la démolition de Lod, voir:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dkeika, a Bedouin village threatened of demolition / Dkeika, un village bedouin menacé de disparition, South Hebron, 24.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Dkeika, South Hebron, 24.01,2011

On 24.01.2011, I went far south to visit the Bedouin village of Dkeika almost two weeks after a wave of demolition. On 12.01.2011, the Israeli authorities demolished 9 structures, including 7 homes and 1 classroom for 5th grade. I meant to go earlier, but without a car it was impossible to reach. I took the opportunity of a field assessment visit by some big ngos to go along. Indeed, the village seemed to be located at the end of the world. We drove through the desert and end up with a dirt road. Kids- a group of girls- came rapidly and were very friendly. They showed me around where the demolitions occured. They are directly affected as some of the girls lost their classroom. Since then they have their class outdoors. The next school is 6 kilometers away and we were told that if the school in Dkeika is demolished, basically that means that the girls will not go to school.
The village is isolated, has no running water nor electricity. Most families rely on food aid. How do they bother the Israelis, living in the middle of the desert? Why demolishing a classroom? Now the ngos are starting to talk of "forced population transfer". Looking at Dkeika, it certainly looks like the Israelis do not want this village to continue surviving. What else is the message when they destroy schools?
In the last months, the Bedouins from Al Araqib have seen their village completely demolished 9 times. It is also very well known that 2,000 Bedouins around Male Adumim are also threatened with it not showing some kind of pattern? One sure is for sure...the Israeli authorities do not seem to like that the population is spread and would prefer that the Bedouins gather all together in some cities. And killing their lifestyle in the process does not seem to be of a concern.


Le 24.01.2011, je suis allée tout au sud de la Cisjordanie pour visiter le village bédouin de Dkeika près de deux semaines après une vague de démolition dans ce village. Je voulais m'y rendre plus tôt, mais sans voiture, c’était impossible. J'ai pris l'opportunité d'une visite d'évaluation sur le terrain par des grandes ONG pour les accompagner. En effet, le village semblait se trouver à la fin du monde. Nous avons roulé à travers le désert et nous fini par un chemin de terre. A notre arrivée,un groupe de filles est venu rapidement. Elles m'ont servi de guides et me montrèrent où les démolitions ont eu lieu.

Elles ont été directement affectées car certaines des filles ont perdu leur salle de classe. Depuis, elles ont leur cours en plein air. L'école la plus proche est a 6 kilomètres et on nous a dit que si l'école de Dkeika etait démolie, ce seront surtoit les filles qui seront privées d’éducation car leurs familles ne les laisseront pas faire le trajet.

Le village est isolé, sans eau courante ni électricité. En quoi ils gênent les Israéliens, alors qu'ils vivent tranquillement au milieu du désert?

Maintenant, les ONG commencent de parler de «transfert forcé de population". En visitant Dkeika et ses décombres, il semble assez clair que les Israéliens ne veulent pas que ce village continue à subsister. Quel autre message doit-on comprendre quand ils détruisent des écoles?

Ces les derniers mois, les Bédouins d'Al Araqib ont aussi vu leur village complètement détruit 9 fois. Il est également très bien connu que 2.000 Bédouins autour de la colonie de Male Adumim sont également menacés de déplacement ... ne peut-on pas percevoir a travers tous ces cas une véritable politique? Ce qui est sûr ...c'est que les autorités israéliennes ne semblent pas vouloir que la population soit dispersée et préfèrerait que les Bédouins se rassemblent. Tuer leur mode de vie dans le processus ne semble pas être un sujet de préoccupation.

Dkeika, a Bedouin village threatened of demolition / Dkeika, un village bedouin menacé de disparition, South Hebron, 24.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Dkeika, after demolition by Israeli authorities of 9 structures including 7 homes and one classroom.
Last pictures: pupils stand on their demolished classroom

Le village de Dkaika apres la demolitionpar les autorités israéliennes de 9 structures, comprenant 7 habitations residentielles et une salle de classe.
Photo 5: les élèves sur les ruines de leur salle de classe.

Settlers having a picnic on Palestinian Lands / Des Colons organisent un picnic sur les terres des Palestiniens, Al Baqua'a, Hebron, 24.0

(c) Anne Paq/, 24.01.2011, Al Baqua'a Valley, Hebron.

When I was driving south of the West Bank, I saw on the side of the road near Hebron, in Baqua'a valley a large number of settlers moving around in the hills, just a few meters away from Palestinian homes. On my way back I stopped and walked towards them. In fact most of them were children, brought there for what looked like a celebration and a picnic. The Hebrew music was really loud and everybody looked very happy, I am sure pleased by themselves to stand proudly on Palestinian lands. Many of the settlers were armed, and of course the Israeli army and police was all around to ensure that the settlers have no problems and could enjoy their meals, while Palestinians in surrounding houses had to stay inside, wondering probably if the settlers were going to attack them or not. I did not stay long and did not talk to anyone. I was already sick enough. Just a few days ago, thousands of settlers walked on the lands of the village of Wadi Rahal- see:
yes- the settlers are out and proud, and behave as their are the kings of the world. Is somebody going to stop them?

Lorsque je me suis rendue hier dans le sud de la Cisjordanie, j'ai vu sur le bord de la route dans la vallée de Baqua'a, près d'Hébron, juste en face de la colonie de Kyriat Arab, un grand nombre de colons qui marchaient à travers les collines, à seulement quelques mètres de maisons palestiniennes. Sur le chemin du retour je me suis arrêtée et me suis dirigée vers eux pour prendre des photos. En fait, la plupart d'entre eux étaient des enfants, amenés là pour ce qui ressemblait à une fête et un pique-nique. La musique en hébreu était vraiment forte et tout le monde avait l'air très heureux. Je suis sûr heureux qu'ils étaient très contents et fiers de se promener où bon leur semblaient sur les terres palestiniennes. La plupart des colons étaient armés, et bien sûr l'armée israélienne et la police était partout autour afin de veiller à ce que les colons n'aient pas de "problèmes" et puissent profiter de leur petite promenade, alors que les Palestiniens devaient se terrer dans les maisons environnantes , se demandant sans doute si les colons allaient les attaquer ou non. Je ne suis pas restée très longtemps et je n'ai parlé à personne. J'étais déjà assez malade de cette scène. Juste il ya quelques jours, des milliers de colons marchaient sur les terres du village de Wadi Rahal.
oui, les colons sont de sortie et fiers, et se comportent comme s'ils étaient les rois du monde. Est-ce que quelqu'un va enfin les arrêter?

Friday, January 21, 2011

demo against the Wall in Al Masara / Manif contre le Mur a Al Masara, 21.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Al Ma'sara, 21.01.2011

A group of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals participate to a demonstration against the Wall in the West Bank village of Al Ma'sara, 20.01.2011. The demonstration was dedicated to Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli activist who just began his three-month sentence in jail for having participated to a demonstration for Gaza.
The Israeli soldiers stopped the demonstrators, refusing them access to the main road. The Israeli commander asked people to go back to the village. Instead, the demonstrators tried to reach the main road leading to their lands through another way.
They were stopped again. Suddenly an Israeli activist was violently arrested as he dared to step one foot on the main road. Then the Israeli soldiers pushed back the demonstrators inside the village. The Israeli officer was always trying to argue that all what he was doing was a matter of "public order". He "just" has to secure the road, not realizing maybe that he was "securing" it for the settlers who stole the lands from the people of Al Ma'sara and the other villages around. No, this is not a matter of "public order" but of justice. The best way to secure the area? that the Israeli soldiers and settlers go out from Palestinian lands!


Un groupe de Palestiniens, Israéliens et Internationaux ont participé à une manifestation contre le Mur dans le village de Cisjordanie de Al Ma'sara, 20.01.2011. La manifestation était consacrée à Jonathan Pollack, un activiste israélien qui vient de commencer sa peine de trois mois de prison pour avoir participé à une manifestation pour Gaza. Jonathan, très connu et engagé depuis des années pour les droits des palestiniens, a été a l’évidence pris pour cible pour faire exemple.

Les soldats israéliens ont tenté d'arrêter les manifestants, leur refusant l'accès à la route principale. Le commandant israélien a demandé aux gens de retourner au village. Au lieu de cela, les manifestants ont tenté de rejoindre la route principale menant à leurs terres par un autre chemin.
Ils ont été arrêtés à nouveau par toute une ligne de soldats qui étaient presque plus nombreux que les manifestants. Soudain, un activiste israélien a été violemment arrêté quand il a osé- crime ultime!- poser le pied sur la route principale. Puis les soldats israéliens ont violemment repoussé les manifestants à l'intérieur du village. L'officier israélien a toujours essayé de se justifier en essayant de nous expliquer que tout ce qu'il faisait n'était qu'une question d' "ordre public". Son intention n'est que de sécuriser la route, sans se rendre compte peut-être qu'il s'agit de la "sécuriser " pour les colons qui ont volé les terres des gens de Al Ma'sara et les autres villages environnants. Non, ce n'est pas une question d' «ordre public», mais bien de justice. La meilleure façon de sécuriser la zone? que les soldats et les colons israéliens partent des territoires palestiniens!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A cold winter for a Palestinian family in Al Numan / Un hiver tres froid pour une famille Palestinienne a Al Numan

(c) Anne paq/Activesstills, Al Numan
First photo:12 November 2010, house of Siham and Ra'ed Shawawra which was then destroyed on Tuesday, 21 December, 2010
Second photo (and others): Same house, 14.01,2011.

Premiere photo: 12 Novembre 2010, la maison de Siham et ra'ed Shawawraqui sera par la suite detruite le Mardi 21 Decembre 2010.
Seconde photo et suivantes: la meme maison, detruite, 14.01.2011.

(FRANÇAIS ci-dessous)

When I was comfortably in France in December to enjoy Christmas and family, I was still checking my emails and the news in Palestine...yes it is hard to disconnect and I feel attached to the place and people. I also know that they are not immune when I am away and I would not forgive myself is something terrible happened and that i was not able to react in anyway just because I did not know. So I heard about a demolition in Al Numan, a village that I actually visited on different occasions. Al Numan is a very special case, it is completely isolated from the West Bank and Jerusalem.Israel considers that the land is on Jerusalem municipality but most villagers do not hold Jerusalem IDs. Only people from Al Numan can enter this village, meaning that they cannot have friends or families from the West Bank visiting them. No building permit is given, and many houses have demolition orders. There is only one entrance and exit where you have to go through a checkpoint. Young people are understandingly thinking only of leaving a village that is slowly dying.

The last time I went was in November. I took pictures of two houses that had house demolition orders, both since years. But from reports I could not figure out which house had been demolished, until I finally came back and decided to check by myself.
I then met with Siham, a woman who I met last time and kindly was making the translation and showed me around. It was her house that had been demolished. Siham was devastated. All their savings are gone, they have nowhere to go and no income except for a few sheep. The red crescent gave them a tent. She stayed there with her husband and three children, one of them has now an ear infection (he is only one year and an half) and might need a surgery. Siham was also sick and could barely speak. everything got wet from the rain. Now in Palestine this is winter and it is actually freezing at night.
Home demolitions are occurring as a policy. There has been a significant increase in 2010 compared to 2009. According to NGOs, when compared with 2009, we have witnessed close to a 60% increase in the number of demolitions by Israeli authorities of Palestinian structures (430 vs. 275) in the course of the year. Every week other families become homeless with devastating consequences on civilians.
As Siham told me, "by demolishing our house, they destroyed my life".

This is the appeal below from an Israeli activist to help this family:

Dear Friends,

This letter concerns the village of al-Nuaman, located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem . On Tuesday, 21 December, at 05:30 in the morning, Israeli forces arrived with Bulldozers and dozens of soldiers to demolish the home of Siham and Ra'ed Shawawra and their three children, aged 6, 4 and 1. The family was not given ample time to save their furniture nor the children's games and books. They are devastated. Ra'ed is a manual laborer and all his savings were invested in this house. The family now lives in a tent supplied by the Red Cross. Please spread the word of this demolition.

As most of you know, the village of al-Nuaman, currently numbering a little less than 200 people, was conquered by Israel in 1967 and unilaterally annexed to Jerusalem . However, its inhabitants were not given Jerusalemite Identity Cards and were registered under a West Bank address, thus rendered illegal in their own homes. From the mid 1990s, when the municipality "discovered" that the village is under its jurisdiction, demolition orders were issued to newly built homes. No permit can be obtained to build in al-Nuaman. As an outcome, villagers are constantly forced to leave the village and thus Israel succeeds in transferring more Arabs out of "Greater Jerusalem."

The Shawawra family has asked for financial support. If you are able to contribute, please send a cheque to Ben-Ze'ev, 26 Mevo Hama'avak, Jerusalem 97877 or deposit money in the taayush bank account: Bank Hapoalim, Branch 574 (‘Hapalmach’), account no. 160213, swift code ‘poalilit’, IBAN: IL61-0125-7400-0000-0160-213

Please notify me by email of any deposit to the taayush account so that the money will be used for this case. Thanks, Efrat (

For more information on al-Nuaman see

The Shawawra family has asked for financial support. If you are able to contribute, please send a cheque to Ben-Ze'ev, 26 Mevo Hama'avak, Jerusalem 97877 or deposit money in the taayush bank account: Bank Hapoalim, Branch 574 (‘Hapalmach’), account no. 160213, swift code ‘poalilit’, IBAN: IL61-0125-7400-0000-0160-213

Please notify me by email of any deposit to the taayush account so that the money will be used for this case. Thanks, Efrat (

For more information on al-Nuaman see


Quand j'étais confortablement en France en Décembre afin de profiter de Noël et de la famille, je continuais de vérifier mes e-mails épisodiquement et les nouvelles de Palestine ... oui il est difficile de déconnecter et je me sens attachée à l'endroit et à ses gens, activistes engagés, temporaires ou permanents ou habitants devenus amis.
Je sais aussi qu'ils ne sont pas immunisés quand je suis loin et je ne me pardonnerais pas si quelque chose de terrible arrivait et que je ne puisse pas réagir d'une manière ou d'une autre juste parce que je ne savais pas.
J'ai donc lu un email avertissant de la démolition 'dune maison à Al Numan, un village coincé entre Bethleem et Jerusalem que j'ai visité à plusieurs reprises. Al Numan est un cas très particulier. Le village est complètement isolé de la Cisjordanie et de Jerusalem. Israel considère que les terres du village appartiennent à la municipalité de Jérusalem, mais la plupart des villageois ne détiennent pas de carte d'identité de Jérusalem! Ainsi, seules les personnes d'Al Numan peuvent entrer dans ce village, ce qui signifie qu'ils ne peuvent pas recevoir des visites d' amis ou de famille de la Cisjordanie. Aucun nouveau permis de construction n'a été donné, et de nombreuses maisons ont des ordres de démolition. Il n'y a qu'une seule entrée et sortie au village, où on doit passer lorsque par un poste de contrôle militaire israélien. Les jeunes ne pensent bien sur qu'à quitter un village qui se meurt lentement.

La dernière fois que je me suis rendue à Al Numan était en Novembre, pour justement rendre compte du risque de la population d'être déplacée. J'ai pris des photos de deux maisons qui avaient des ordres de démolition, ces ordres avaient été reçus il y a des années et nul ne sait jamais quand ils vont être appliqués.
Je voulais bien sur savoir quelle maison avait été démolie. Mais à partir de rapports, je ne pouvais pas vraiment comprendre alors lorsque je suis revenue en Palestine, j'ai décidé de vérifier par moi-même et de me rendre une nouvelle fois au village.
J'ai tout de suite reconnue Siham, une femme qui, lors de ma derniere visite, m'avait gentiment fait la traduction et m'a fait visiter quelques maisons, y compris la sienne.
C'était bien sa maison qui avait été démolie. Siham etait dévastée. Toutes leurs économies y sont passées, ils n'ont nulle part où aller, ni revenu, sauf quelques moutons. Le Croissant-Rouge leur a donné une tente. Elle y demeure avec son mari et ses trois enfants, l'un d'eux a maintenant une infection de l'oreille (il est seulement un an et demi) et a peut-être besoin d'une chirurgie. Siham était également malade et pouvait à peine parler. Tout etait mouillé par la pluie. Maintenant, en Palestine c'est l'hiver et il fait en fait très froid la nuit.
Les démolitions de maisons ne sont pas des cas isolees, elles font partie d'une vraie politique. Il y a eu une augmentation significative en 2010 par rapport à 2009. Selon les ONG, par rapport à 2009, nous avons assisté à une augmentation d'environ 60% dans le nombre de démolitions par les autorités israéliennes des structures palestiniennes (430 vs 275) au cours de l'année. Chaque semaine, d'autres familles se retrouvent sans abri, avec des conséquences dévastatrices pour les civils.
Comme m'a dit Siham, «en demolissant notre maison, ils ont détruit ma vie".

Ci-dessous un appel d'une activiste israelienne pour les aider:

Chèrs amis,
Cette lettre concerne le petit village d'an' nu'man, situé entre Jerusalem et Bethléem. Le 21 décembre 2010, à 05.30 du matin, les forces armées Israeliennes ont débarqué avec des bulldozers et de nombreux soldats pour démolir la maison de Siham et Ra'ed Shawawra ainsi que leur trois enfants agés de 6 ans, 4 ans et 1 an.
Il n'a pas été donné assez de temps à la famille pour sauver les meubles, livres et jeux des enfants. La famille est boulversée. Ra'ed est un travailleur agricole et toutes ses économies avaient été investi pour cette maison.
La famille vit désormais dans une tente mise a disposition par la croix rouge.

Comme beaucoup d'entre vous le savent, le village d'an' nu' man, compte moins de 200 habitants, et a été confisqué par Israël en 1967 et ensuite annexée à la ville de Jérusalem. Cela dit, la carte d’identité stipulant qu’ils appartiennent à la municipalité de Jérusalem n'a pas été donné aux habitants de ce village. En effet, les habitants sont enregistrés sous une adresse indiquant qu'ils habitent dans les territoires occupés (en Palestine- Cisjordanie). De ce fait, vivre dans sa propre maison devient illégale pour les habitant d'An'Numan. Aucune permission de construire n'est autorisée dans ce village. Les villageois sont donc forcés à quitter leur village. c'est ainsi qu' Israel réussit à transférer de nombreux "arabes" en dehors de Jerusalem.

La famille Shawawra demande un soutien financier. Si vous êtes vous pouvez donner une petite contribution, s'il vous plaît envoyer un chèque à : BEN- ZE'EV, 26 Mevo Hama'avak, JERUSALEM 97877 ou alors faites un virement sur le compte de Taayush : bank hapoalim, 574, le numéro de compte: 160213, swift code "", IBAN: IL61-0125-7400-0000-0160-213

Veuillez nous informer par email du virement fait à l'association pour que nous puissions l'utiliser pour le cas de cette famille. Merci, Efrat (

Pour plus d'information:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wall around Qalqiliya area / Le Mur dans la region de Qalqiliya, 08.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, around Qalkiliya, 08.01.2011

It is all about light isn't it? I don't speak about the Wall...the Wall is all about the dark side of the moon, or rather the dark side of humankind. It is ugly and stays ugly howvever decorated by some graffitti or the light.
Photography requires a lot of patience and looking at the sky, searching for the light. I was lucky to get some amazing light between some rains this Saturday. Happy from the pictures, but not so happy about what I saw...The Wall still emprisons Qalqiliya. I was also sad when I went back to Wadi rasha, a beautiful small village now under the shadow of the Wall. In some areas, the Wall was moved following some Court order. The scars are still there, it will take years before anything grows in these desolated areas. The Palestinians have replanted as I saw in Jayyus. They always do.

C'est avant tout une question de lumiere n'est-ce pas? Je ne parle pas du Mur ... le Mur restera toujours du côté sombre de la lune, ou plutôt du côté sombre de l'humanité. Il est moche et reste laid même lorsqu'il décoré par des graffitis ou la lumière.
La Photographie exige beaucoup de patience et de regarder le ciel a la recherche de la lumière. Ce samedi, j'ai eu la chance d'obtenir des lumières étonnantes et incroyables entre les averses. Je suis heureuse des photos, mais pas heureuse de ce que j'ai vu ... Le Mur encore emprisonne encore Qalqiliya, une ville de 50,000 habitants. J'ai également été triste quand je suis retournée à Wadi Rasha, un beau petit village maintenant à l'ombre du Mur. Dans certaines régions, le Mur a été déplacé après quelques décisions de la Cour Suprême israélienne. Les cicatrices sont toujours là, il faudra des années avant que quelque chose ne repousse sur les terrains qui auparavant étaient traverses par le Mur. Les Palestiniens ont replanté, comme je l'ai vu à Jayyous. Ils le font toujours.

Let Gaza Breathe- A PHR clip made from Activestills pictures and Video

a video clip from Phyisician for Human Rights made out of my pictures and videos taken in Gaza.

Un clip video de l'organisation Physician for Human rights réalisé a partir de mes photos et videos prises a Gaza

Friday, January 07, 2011

Demonstration against the Wall in Bil'in / Manifestation contre le Mur a Bil'in, 07.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Bil'in, 07.01.2011

Flying checkpoints were erected all around the village of Bi'lin this Friday, 07.01.2011 in order to prevent people to participate to the weekly demonstration. But people did manage to reach the village, most of the time by walking through the mountains. I managed to go through by jumping in a car of Palestinian journalists who knew all about the back way (we were turned down at the first checkpoint even if we were journalists) Hundreds of people answered to the call of the inhabitants to participate to the weekly protest, one week after the death Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, who suffered tear-gas inhalation and died.
The death caused by tear gas did not prevent the Israeli army to use it again extensively. Also used to disperse the demonstrators was the awful waste water contaminated by chemicals. I could even smell it through my gas mask. Some people fainted because of the gas. Week after week, undeterred even by massive repression, the people of Bil'in continue to protest.


Des checkpoints "volants" ont été érigés tout autour du village de Bil'in ce vendredi 07.01.2011 dans le but d'empêcher les gens de participer à la manifestation hebdomadaire contre le Mur. Mais les activistes déterminés a ne pas se laisser dicter par l’armée israélienne les lieux ou ils peuvent manifester, ont réussi à atteindre le village, la plupart du temps en marchant à travers les montagnes. J'ai réussi à passer en sautant dans une voiture de journalistes palestiniens qui connaissaient les petites routes ( au premier checkpoint, nous nous sommes faits refoulés même après avoir montré nos cartes de journalistes).
Des centaines de personnes ont répondu à l'appel des habitants à participer à la manifestation hebdomadaire, une semaine après la mort tragique de Jawaher Abu Rahma, une habitante de Bil'in de 36 ans, qui a souffert d'inhalation de gaz lacrymogène et est décédée dans la nuit a l'hopital de Ramallah.
Cette mort causée par des gaz lacrymogènes n'a pas empêché l'armée israélienne à l'utiliser à nouveau d'une maniere massive. Ils ont egalement utilisé pour disperser les manifestants de l'eau usée contaminée par des produits chimiques. Celle ci degage une odeur insoutenable qui reste sur les vêtements. Je pouvais même le sentir à travers mon masque à gaz. Certaines personnes se sont évanouies à cause du gaz. Semaine après semaine, sans se laisser décourager, même par une répression massive, la population de Bil'in continue de protester.

Demonstration against the Wall in Bil'in / Manifestation contre le Mur a Bil'in, 07.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Bil'in, 07.01.2011

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Building of the Wall in Al Walaja / Construction du Mur a Al Walaja,06.01.2011

(c) Anne Paq/, Al Walaja, 06.01.2011

Sorry for the delay in putting new pictures...but I needed a small holiday break with my family.
No Miracle happened during my trip...I came back and I found that the Wall is not only still standing but also growing. That was a first disappointment. I went to Al Walaja to monitor the building of the Wall, I was shocked to discover a whole new section. It takes only a small team to actually put it, and there were only two private security guards who did not even bother shouting at us not to take pictures. I heard later on that the building has also started on the West part of the village (which provoked protests from villagers and arrests- see below article by Amira Hass). Happy new year? I believe not for the Palestinians, and especially the inhabitants from Al Walaja.


Désolée pour le retard dans la mise en ligne de nouvelles photos ... mais j'avais grand besoin d'une pause et de profiter de noel avec ma famille.
Malheureusement, pas de miracle durant mon absence ... Je suis revenue et j'ai trouvé que le Mur n'etait pas seulement encore debout, mais aussi qu'il s'etirait de plus en plus, avalant sur son passage maisons, terres, arbres et espoirs. Ce fut une première déception. Je suis allée à Al Walaja afin de documenter la construction du Mur, j'ai été choquée de découvrir une toute nouvelle section. Il suffit en fait d'une petite équipe pour le construire, et il n'y avait que deux gardes de sécurité privés qui n'ont même pas pris la peine de nous crier dessus de ne pas prendre des photos. J'ai entendu dire plus tard que la construction avait aussi également commencé sur la partie ouest du village ( ce qui a provoqué les protestations des villageois et des arrestations voir ci-dessous l'article de Amira Hass). Bonne annee? Je ne crois pas, en tout cas pas pour les Palestiniens de Al Walaja.

Residents of Jerusalem-area village fight battle against separation fence
The Indians of Walajeh fear being cut-off from their neighbors.
By Amira Hass

Exhausted from the prolonged struggle, the Indians of the village of Walajeh know their fate has been decided and they will be encircled by the winding separation wall. They will be cut off from their eastern neighbor, Beit Jala. They will be a tiny enclave next to the other choking enclave, that of Bethlehem, which is surrounded by thriving Jewish settlements (those of Gush Etzion, Har Gilo, and so forth ), the inseparable part of the State of Israel.

By chance, of course, the wall will also cut them off from 2,400 of the remaining 4,000 dunams (some 1,000 acres ) of land that the village still owns. Before 1948, Walajeh had some 18,000 dunams. The original village turned into two moshavim, Aminadav and Ora, and the residents turned into refugees. A large part of the land that had remained east of the Green Line was expropriated after 1967 for the benefit of Jews living in the settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo. The Civil Administration and Jerusalem municipality (to which half the village's lands were annexed ) failed to prepare a master plan for the village, but excelled at demolishing 45 of its houses on the pretext that they were illegal. Now the white man is also trying to get the rest of the poor village's lamb.

On the other hand, the Indians of Walajeh have been fighting a rearguard battle against the route of the wall. One such battle took place on December 22: The exterminators of nature, landscape and livelihood in the form of giant bulldozers accompanied by a contractor, workers and a Border Police unit raided the hillside to the west of the village, apparently at dawn. When the bulldozers were within sight and sound of the village, the villagers appeared on the scene and found some two kilometers of land freshly scarred by a path that had been breached between the oak and olive trees and the rocks. Dozens of trees were marked with blue and orange ribbons to indicate their clear fate - uprooting.
Walajeh Amira Hass

Shireen al-A'araj walking along the path that cuts near Walajeh.
Photo by: Amira Hass

The owners of the land hastened to call Shireen al-A'araj, a member of the village council. She demanded that the contractor show them the order on the basis of which the work was being carried out on the residents' private property. He did not have one. The villagers demanded that a halt be put to the work lest it transpire it was illegal.

About two hours later, a representative of the Civil Administration appeared on the scene and told A'araj that the matter had already been discussed in the High Court of Justice, and it was legal and sanctioned. Well versed with previous land expropriations, A'araj demanded to see the order for appropriating land for security purposes. She says the official replied it was not his duty and then ordered the Border Policemen to arrest anyone who interfered with the work.

The residents sat down in front of the bulldozers and the Border Policemen dragged them away. A'araj was sprayed with pepper gas and could not see. One of the policewomen told her she should sit down, "over here," and she found herself on a thorny bush. "Just how evil can they be?" she thought to herself as she heard them gloating.

Around 3:00 that afternoon, eight Palestinians were arrested on the order of the Civil Administration's apparatchik - six men, a youth and A'araj. (A Border Police spokesman told Haaretz that the Border Policemen "get their instructions from the sovereign authority at the site." ) The eight were detained at the Bethlehem checkpoint for several hours. Then they were taken to a lock-up within the industrial zone at Atarot. A'araj was the only one who remained handcuffed for several hours. The eight were released the following morning.

In response to Haaretz's questions, security sources said that work was being carried out at the site "for preparing the route of the security fence on the basis of an order that was legally issued a while ago, and about which the residents were informed on several occasions. The day before, a tour was held by the civil administration official and the owners of the land."

The arrests were carried out, the security sources said, "after there was a violent disturbance at the site during which the Palestinians threw stones at the workers. After attempts to hold a dialogue failed, and the demonstrators refused to listen to the force's instructions and even continued their violent actions, a number of demonstrators were arrested on the order of the force's commander."

But if everything is legal and in order, how is it that Supreme Court Justice Asher Dan Grunis nevertheless ordered the military authorities, on December 28, to refrain from any further activity at the site until another ruling, "including the chopping down and uprooting of olive trees, digging, groundwork and paving roads"?

Attorney Ghiath Nassir, who represents the village, submitted an urgent petition to the High Court on December 23. Representatives of the Defense Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces were told to respond. When they failed to do so by December 28, Grunis announced his ruling.

Nassir explained to Haaretz why he considered the work to be illegal and not according to the rules set by the authorities themselves. He said it was possible to petition against land confiscation only once valid orders are issued, and not merely on the basis of the route published by the Defense Ministry. The original order had expired at the end of 2007, he said, and it was indeed renewed but was not shown to the residents so they could appeal. The route affects the village's cemetery, a well and rich agricultural land.

The High Court is also considering another petition from the villagers relating to a northern section of the fence in an area that was annexed to Jerusalem. There, too, the work was stopped at the behest of the High Court.

The villagers and their representatives hope that someone will still come to his senses and understand that the harm to them and their lands is disproportionate. They are hoping that the proposal by Col. (Res. ) Yuval Dvir of the Council for Peace and Security that the route be moved close to the Green Line will be accepted. Perhaps the Defense Ministry also believes that some people out there might come to their senses, and precisely because of this sent the bulldozers in the small hours of the morning?