NPK-info - 04-01-2004 - Nederlands Palestina Komitee /


Oproep: Sharon must be stopped, Mustafa Barghouthi, December 2003


Hierna berichten over Nabloes en Rafah.

Zie ook

Project om Palestijnse kinderen in vluchtelingenkamp op internet actief te laten worden,

met artikel van Robert Fisk


Enkele rapportages

- 2003: A year of US and Israeli defiance of International Law (1/2) Laurie King-Irani, The Electronic Intifada, 2 January 2004

- Geneva Accord: Analysis of the Bankruptcy Paul Burrows, The Electronic Intifada, 3 January 2004

- Israel's assassination policy

- PLO on Israel's "Security" Wall" 

- Israel Destroys 4000 Palestinian Houses in Three Years: Official, Friday, December 19 

- On the Concrete Wall – Kiblawi, Monday, December 29

Site om te zien

Kom voor of met Pasen naar Palestina!

NPK/WL, 4-1-2004


----- Original Message ----- From: International Solidarity Movement To: Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2004 12:40 AM Subject: [palsolidarity] Urgent Appeal from Nablus!

Please Act Immediately to Lift the Siege off Nablus, Balata and Beit Foreek! This is a Humanitarian Crisis!

Greetings from Nablus Under Siege.

Nablus has been under siege for the last 10 days while Balata refugee camp has been under siege for the last 18 consecutive days. We have just heard that every single entrance/exit to Balata has been sealed off completely. No food or medicine is allowed in. Medical relief teams are being obstructed and at times completely prevented from passing through. Activists from ISM (the International Solidarity Movement) were attacked while carrying out their missions to observe and bear witness on what the Israeli occupation authorities are brutalizing the Palestinian population. Beit Foreek has been completely sealed off; its mayor reports that there are signs of starvation.

Two men and a boy were killed by Israeli military fire since this morning. The first, Amjad Bilal Masri is a 15 year old boy who was shot while standing in front of his house. The sniper bullet hit Amjad in the back. He died on his way to the hospital. The second is Amer Kathym Arafat who was also shot in the back by a sniper bullet. The third is Rouhi Hazem Shouman, 25, who was also shot in the back by a sniper. Ms. Majida Masri, spokeswomen for the Coordinating Committee of Palestinian Political Faction, called a couple of minutes ago on all Nabulis who are able to get to Rafidiya Hospital to defy the curfew and join the families of the martyrs in a collective funeral for the three. "They were all shot in the back by cowardly snipers. Their only crime was to refuse to succumb to Israeli occupation designs to empty Palestine from its people."

Reports from Balata indicate that a deliberate starvation campaign is being carried by the Israeli military which has sealed off the Camp and refuses to allow food and medicine to get through every single allyway, formal or informal entrances. A few days ago, the Israeli military shot and injured 4 people who were walking a funeral for an old woman who passed away. No demonstrations or political events were taking place in or around the funeral.

The siege of the old city of Nablus and its neighborhoods (Yasmeeneh, Qaryoun, Habaleh) has been intensified since December 30, 2003. The Israeli military claims that they were looking for the leader of the Aksa Martyrs Brigade, Abu Sharkh. They took his brother and wife as hostages, paraded the wife in a jeep in the old city and forced to call out to her husband over loud speakers to surrender in return for her freedom. She has been released only yesterday. No one can get into the old city, but Dr. Ghassan Hamdan of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committee, who is in the old city has called on the whole world to immediately intervene to support the people of Nablus. He condemned media outlets for neglecting to cover what's going on, including the largest Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, which has not reported on what's going in Nablus in its front page. Dr. Hamdan criticized the Palestinian Authority who have not done anything to aid Nablus and demanded that "Abu Alaa, the Palestinian Prime Minister, hold a ministrial meeting in Nablus to highlight the horrible conditions the city is experiencing under this brutal Israeli campaign."

We have just heard explosions in the old city. It was in Qaryoun neighborhood inside the Abdelhadi Palace that houses 75 people. The Palace, built 400 years ago, is a waqf, endowed by Mahmoud Abdelhadi for the use of Abdelhadi women who have no place to live and no sources of income (widows, single women who do not work or have no income, and women whose main breadwinners are disabled). The Israeli military has ordered the 75 people to vacate the palace at 3:30 in the mooring and left them out in the cold. Mr. Aslan, a neighbor, invited took in all the 75 people and offered them hospitality and warmth. The families are scattered throughout the old city (before the more strict siege) and unable to go home. Dr. Mahdi Abdelhadi, Director of PASSIA, has gone to the Israeli supreme court. The Court ordered an injunction against the destruction of the Palace but the military appealed the decision and received a permission from the court to destroy this historic building "if security needs call for such action." This also requires your immediate attention.

Nablus has been split again into two parts near Maha's Gate, which is names after Mrs. Maha Nimr who lived nearby and whose son has been arrested and is currently being interrogated in Ofer settlement prison (near Ramallah); no family members or lawyers are allowed to see him until the "interrogation is completed."

"Tora Bora," as the residents call it, is the mount of dirt Israeli occupation army has compiled near the destroyed Governate of Nablus (as well as the prison that was bombed with prisoners inside in 2002 resulting in the killing of 10 Palestinian policemen who were guarding the prison). Tora Bora literally separates the two parts of the city and no one can come or go without risking being shot at by the Israeli military. Children (including my own nephew Ibrahim and nieces Widad, Noura, and Nada who live in the eastern part beyond Tora Bora) have been risking their lives to get to school to take their final exams. Ibrahim, 10 year old, and other kids almost got killed on December 23, 2003 as he tried to get home. He was finally able to reach his home a few hours later and only after the international media, medical relief workers, my other brother, Amer, and Amal, my sister-in-law and Ibrahim's mother risked their lives, argued with the soldiers and insisted on getting all the kids home across a checkpoint.

Mustapha Barghouti has described the bloody campaign against Nablus as a "real war on this city whose other name, the Mountain of Fire, has basis in the steadfastness of Palestinians and their refusal to allow the Israeli military to break the Palestinian collective will to continue struggling for their rights." "There is a completely news blockage of what's going in Nablus," Barghouti added, explaining that lack of news coverage has to do with "the negligence of the Palestinian Authority, PA, to assume its responsibility for the protection of the population." "Instead," Barghouti added, "the PA is wasting time and energy in useless meetings with the Israeli occupation government that is intent on destroying our people's will."

Reporter's Note: This report is partly drawn from word of mouth of relatives and friends, and partly from Radio Tariq Mahabbeh (you can listen to the radio station at For interviews and more information, you may call Amer Abdelhadi at (+972-59-371-372) and Tariq Mahabbeh at (+972 57 830 333). You can also reach me (no later than 9:30 p.m.) at (+972 9 237 2891). Please bear with us; phone lines and internet connections are not working as well as we are told they should.

The People of Nablus appeal to you to declare today (Saturday, Jan. 3rd), tomorrow (Sunday, Jan. 4th), and Monday, Jan. 5th international days in solidarity with the people in Nablus and Palestine.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: (1) Contact Israeli offices around the world and demand an immediate lift to the siege! For a list of Israeli embassies around the world, please see: (2) Call media outlets and ask why they are ignoring the news of Nablus, Balata and Beit Foreek. (3) Organize protests outside Israeli government offices calling for an end to the occupation. (4) Demand that governments around the world hold Israel accountable for its actions that violate every single standard of international and human rights law. (5) Call for divestment from companies that conduct business with Israel. (6) WRITE LETTERS!

Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defense Sallai Meridor, Chairman of the Executive, World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency Josh Schwarcz, Secretary General, The Jewish Agency Itzhak Elyashive, Director-General, Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael

Copy to the following UN Special Rapporteurs:

Mr. John Dugard, SR on the Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Mr. Miloon Kothari, SR on the Right to Adequate Housing Mr. Jean Ziegler, SR on the Right to Food

(7) For Israeli and Jewish groups who refuse to let Israel brutalize Palestinians in their name, in particular, we send you the warmest greetings of solidarity and support. We know that you do not condone these ugly and brutal actions; we are conscious that you are not part of this racist and colonialist policy. We are not two different sides. We are rather one in our common struggle for justice in Palestine, for an end to the occupation, for peace for all. Together with all those fighting for justice everywhere, we will create a transformative world; for we dare to imagine the impossible.

In solidarity,

Rabab Abdulhadi Nablus, Palestine

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT  ______________________________________________________________________

----- Original Message ----- From: International Solidarity Movement To: Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2004 8:23 AM Subject: [palsolidarity] From Nablus: Resistance Under Occupation

Resistance Under Occupation January 2, 2003 Kelly B. Nablus Ringing in the New Year

In the midst of an already month-long invasion, the sheikhs announced over the mosques for everyone to yell from their windows and their roofs "Allahu akbar" (god is great) together for an hour. It began with the voices from the mosques, together, "Allahu akbar" again and again, the voices growing louder and prouder with each chant. Then, a chorus began from the old city, and then the mountains and the camps. Thousands of different voices, in different rhythms and tones, yelling and chanting together, their sound almost drowning out the noise of the tank fire around them. The voices joined together in strength and solidarity; recognizing but not broken by the pain and suffering felt throughout the city. During this month, most people have been confined (but not safe) in their homes, students have been prevented from taking their final exams and stores remain indefinitely closed. 11 people have been killed; three of them children and hundreds of people have been hospitalized due to injuries. Everyone is mourning, many are terrified, but the people in Nablus joined together to show that they will not be defeated.

There has been very little media about the situation in Nablus, even in the Arab press. Israeli press announced briefly that the IOF is carrying out operations to remove a terrorist infrastructure. Nothing more. The army pulled out of Balata a few days ago and have intensified the siege of Nablus and the old city. One area of the old city, the Qarion section, has been completely closed for six days now, as IOF forces move house to house, destroying doors and walls as they move. Every day international volunteers and Palestinian medics attempt to bring food and medical supplies people living in this area and every day we have been stopped. Both yesterday and today soldiers shot at us with live ammunition as we attempted to deliver bread - one Palestinian medic and one volunteer were injured by shrapnel. no press is allowed into the area either. Explosions from Qarion are heard throughout the day and night.

On New Year’s Eve we were attempting to bring an ambulance to evacuate injured and ill people from some of the houses in the area when we were stopped by a jeep. Soldiers stepped out and began giggling and asking us inane questions such as, "are you here with the anti-globalization movement or are you just here?" We quickly realized that the soldiers were high, smoking up in the back of their jeeps. Twenty-year old soldiers, high, M-16s in hand, were put in charge of securing the area from Palestinians. It is a frightening thought...

Almost at midnight exactly, a massive explosion was felt and heard throughout the city. Windows on all of the houses within a half of a mile of Qarion shattered. We spent the next hour attempting to evacuate people from houses nearby, as it was warned there would be more explosions shortly. Piece by piece, using trigger explosives, IOF forces are destroying a castle that is over 200 years old. The army claims that there are wanted people in the building, but locals say there is nobody in the building. In the meantime, everyone in the area surrounding the building is imprisoned, most of their homes are occupied, and many random people have been arrested.

Concurrently, the rest of Nablus has been put under curfew. Today rows of jeeps arrived at the university (where students were taking final exams) and evacuated everyone. Three women friends of mine were attempting to go to university this morning - when they walked out of their door soldiers threw tear gas and a sound bomb at them. It was announced over the mosques yet again for every to go to the streets and to break curfew. The few people that did were met with force - tear gas, sound grenades and live ammunition. There are no counts yet on how many people were injured today.

Yet, people are continuing to resist. Each morning I wake to the sounds of tank fire and the marketplace. Breaking the curfew, many vegetable, meat and bread vendors attempt to continue their work as usual. On the street where I live, vendors set up their stands around 7:00 in the morning, just after the jeeps drive by announcing curfew. By 7:30 more jeeps drive through, throwing tear gas and shooting randomly. Most people move to the sides and alleyways and shops close their doors, but 5 minutes after the jeeps drive by everyone is back on the street as normal. This cat-and-mouse like game continues throughout the morning and early afternoon. by late afternoon, the shebab (young boys) have set up make-shift roadblocks made up of cardboard and rocks to prevent the army from entering their streets. There they wait, using the roadblocks as barricades to shield them as they throw stones.

The twelve-year old son of the family I live with has two final exams to finish before completing his term. He was scheduled to finish them two weeks ago. Every night he studies, with me or his father, and claims that he is prepared. Every night he lays awake, frightened by the shots and explosions heard on the streets outside of his house. Every morning he hears the jeeps driving through, announcing curfew (home imprisonment). Yet, every morning he gets out of bed at 8:00, gets dressed, and heads for school by 9:30, hoping to finish his tests. he usually doesn't get past his block before being forced back by soldiers or warning shots, and on the days he makes it to the school he finds it closed, with army jeeps blocking the entrances.

He, and the people of Nablus under curfew, will continue their struggle against the occupation with each new day.

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT  ______________________________________________________________________

----- Original Message ----- From: International Solidarity Movement To: Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2004 12:35 AM Subject: [palsolidarity] News from Rafah

1) ISM's Laura Gordon available to speak 2) ISM Rafah's December Zine online 3) A photo exhibit about Rafah 4) Jerusalem Post on the arrest of soldier who shot Tom Hurndall --------------------------------------

1) Laura Gordon available to speak ISM's Laura Gordon, 21, is a Jewish American from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who has been living in Rafah of the Gaza Strip since March 18, two days after the murder of Rachel Corrie. Her reports have helped us get a bit of news from this neglected part of the world, where the Israeli military denies access to the international community while continually bombing the Palestinian civilians and denying them access to work, food, shelter, education and life. Laura is currently writing a book about her experience in Rafah, to be published in 2004.

After 10 months, Laura is set to leave the Gaza Strip soon, and will be available to speak about her experiences around the US (and perhaps internationally) beginning in mid-April. If you would like to organize an event in your area for Laura to speak about life in Rafah, please contact her at:

2) ISM RAFAH'S DECEMBER ZINE, available for downloads on Electronic Intifada

3) A photo exhibit about Rafah 

4) Jerusalem Post on the arrest of soldier who shot Tom Hurndall

Jan. 2, 2004 Hurndall's mom: 'the truth needs to come out' By TOVAH LAZAROFF

On New Years day, Jocelyn Hurndall held her son Tom's hand as he lay in a vegetative state in a London hospital and told him that the IDF soldier who shot him, had finally confessed.

She did not expect any response from Tom, 22, a British photography student, who has been in a coma since he was shot in the head on April 11, in the Rafah refugee camp, in the Gaza Strip.

Witnesses said he was pushing children out of the line of IDF gunfire, when a bullet hit him in the forehead.

"I blessed him, and I held his hand, and told him that we were very proud of him and I did tell him that the soldier who had shot him had now been arrested," she said.

Hurndall came to Israel in April to volunteer for the pro-Palestinian activist group, the International Solidarity Movement, after acting as a human shield in Iraq.

In both Iraq and Israel he was also working on a photography project for his degree course at Manchester Metropolitan University. On the day of his death, he emailed on his professors telling her how excited he was about pictures he was compiling and that he would be back in England soon.

Photographs he took in the last days of his life show children playing in the ruins of bullet riddled and bombed homes in Rafah.

Hurndall, who is clinically brain dead, is not expected to live much longer.

Since April, the Hurndall family has sought information regarding their son's death and worked to dispute initial IDF reports that their son was armed.

While in Israel, tending to Tom as he lay in a Beersheba hospital in the weeks following the shooting, the family put together its own investigation. They conducted interviews and compiled photographs as well as a ballistics and forensic report.

"These were a wide cross section of people who were present, international journalists and members of the ISM. Not a single eye witness statement said there was resistance fire in complete contrast to the original statement of the soldier," said Jocelyn.

After so much resistance and misinformation from the IDF, Jocelyn was startled, on the morning of the 31st to get a phone call from the British Foreign Office while she sat at home working on her computer informing her of the soldiers arrest and confession. The soldier said he fired in the direction of an unarmed civilian as a deterrence measure.

"It came as a surprise. It has been a very long time coming," said Jocelyn.

"We are, I suppose, at least pleased that a measure of truth has begun to come out. It is an important step, but it is a first step. There is a long way to go yet, there is a lot more truth that needs to come out," said Jocelyn. "We knew from the onset that this was unlawful killing," said Jocelyn.

Still, she said, there was something about hearing the IDF's admission after all these months of claiming otherwise, that made her angry. "It is the first day since Tom was shot that I have begun to feel anger. I have always kept myself very under control," said Jocelyn. She can't help but note the way that the IDF treats foreigners and Palestinians compared with Israelis.

It took the IDF only 24 hours to launch an investigation into the shooting of an Israeli activist protesting the security fence last month, while her family waited many months for the army to consider that an investigation was necessary, said Jocelyn. Even worse she said, is the way the shooting of innocent Palestinians and other human rights abuses is not taken seriously. "Palestinians are not children of a lesser God," she said.

As a British citizen, she was able to speak up and be heard, she said.

"If we had not made a great deal of fuss, absolutely nothing would have been done by the IDF and we would have had to been content with a fabrication of the IDF field report," said Jocelyn.

She said she hoped that there would be a "level" of openness in the continuing investigation into her son's shooting. "We would like to see the final report. It has not been an open report to date," said Jocelyn.

She is also concerned about the punishment meted out to the soldier. On one hand she wants to make sure that it is appropriate given the fact that her son is expected to die from his injuries. At the same time she worries that the soldier will be made a scapegoat for what she describes as a "culture of impunity" within the IDF.

"I hope that the message being given to every Israeli commander and soldier is that they can not shoot with impunity and they are accountable for their actions," said Jocelyn.

She isn't satisfied with the soldier's statement that his was a deterrence shot, given the sophistication of the telescopic lenses used by the IDF. "It is simply not credible that a shot through the center of a forehead could be mistaken for anything other than an intended shot to kill or maim," said Jocelyn.

"We believe very firmly that the soldier is just one example of an overwhelming number of examples that show that the IDF has come to believe that they can get away with shooting with impunity, that is not acceptable in any state," said Jocelyn.

It has been a hard holiday season for her family, which includes three other children; Sophie 24, Billy, 18 and Freddie 13.

"We have just had a Christmas and New Years without his [Tom's] wit, laughter and intelligence," said Jocelyn, adding that she knows they are not the only ones suffering.

"I am reminded of so many Palestinians and Israeli families who likewise have had to go through the New Year without some member of their family," said Jocelyn.

She also noted that her son is not the only British citizen harmed by IDF gunfire. Cameraman James Miller, 34 was fatally shot by IDF gunfire as soldiers responded to Palestinian gunfire in May, 2003.

In November, 2002, UN aid worker Iain Hook was fatally shot by the IDF, while they aimed at Palestinian gunmen shooting from inside the compound of the UNRWA in Jenin.

Other ISM members have also been harmed by the IDF in the last year. In March, 2003, US college student Rachel Corrie, 23, was killed while trying to stop an IDF bulldozer in Rafah. Her death was ruled, "accidental." On April 5, US activist, Brian Avery, 24, was shot in the face in Jenin by IDF soldiers. He is recovering from his injuries.




----- Original Message ----- From: Sherri Muzher To: Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 7:56 PM Subject: [freedom!] Israeli Army's action breeds fresh hatred in Balata refugee camp

Family waits to bury boy, 7, as camp scorns Sharon's 'propaganda'

Israel Army action breeds fresh hatred

Conal Urquhart in Balata refugee camp Tuesday December 23, 2003 The Guardian

Mohammed was eating beans and bread when he heard the soldiers outside. He stood up and ran to close the door, but stopped and turned back when he saw the soldier. It is not clear what threat the soldier identified from the seven-year-old, but he fired and Mohammed fell dead, still clutching his piece of bread.

Yesterday Balata was waiting to bury Mohammed and two other casualties of the Israeli army's week-long incursion into the West Bank's largest refugee camp, but troops continued to patrol the streets, confining everyone to their homes.

While analysts ponder the words of Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, in which he promised to unilaterally "disengage" from the Palestinians, the 40,000 residents of Balata have been feeling the actions of the army on the ground. Mr Sharon said: "Israel is taking steps to significantly improve the living conditions of the Palestinian population. Israel will remove closures and curfews and reduce the number of roadblocks. These measures are aimed at enabling better and freer movement for the Palestinian population not involved in terror."

His words were met with incredulity in Balata.

The army moved in on Monday last week and has not yet left. A tank watches over the camp from the road above, its cannon pointed at the heart of the settlement. Army jeeps drive from one side of the camp to the other, exerting their control, but often being bombarded by rocks. In other areas, troops search houses and arrest young men.

Abu Ziad Sharia, 36, said: "What people see on the television and read in the newspapers is one reality. We have quite a different reality here. Sharon says he will disengage from the Palestinians and you can see here we cannot move for soldiers."

An army spokeswoman said the military had been carrying out operations against the "terrorist infrastructure" in the Nablus area, which includes Balata. "This infrastructure has attempted 18 suicide attacks since October."

Asked about Mohammed"s death, she said: "During operations yesterday, a group of youths threw rocks and molotov cocktails at soldiers. From that group a pipebomb was thrown and the soldiers returned fire. We are still investigating the death."

At Mohammed's house, his mother, Shaiara, sat among 50 women on the floor with their backs to the walls. The men of the family were waiting in Nablus to bring the boy's body home for burial.

The women looked sombre and one said: "Anything that comes from God is good." But Mohammed's sisters were seething with rage by the spot in the hallway where he died. "Who are the terrorists - the people who kill a boy as he is eating?" said Aya, 17. "All Palestinians should join the resistance, because it does not matter whether you are holding a bomb, a stone or a piece of bread, they will still kill you.

"May God give us vengeance against the Jews."

She pointed to Adnam, Mohammed's red-haired friend, who said as if coached: "I am going to kill Sharon."

Outside the house, people tried to get on with their lives. They scurried from shelter to shelter, and a few merchants pushed trolleys around the back streets. Volunteers in fluorescent vests helped children home from school; it was the first time they had gone to classes in a week.

The funerals, the curfews and the blockade have been regular occurrences in Balata for three years. The past week has been just a continuation of the cycle of violence that has made its youths willing suicide bombers and martyrs, contemptuous of the political processes in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Ibrahim Sharia, a clan leader and former teacher, said the past three years had destroyed the people of Balata: "Sharon deludes the world with his political propaganda. He has put us in a cage and it is only natural for people to try and free themselves and defend themselves."

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes. ~Khalil Gibran


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