FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE[Falami, Qalqilia District] This morning at 8:00 am Palestinian Falami farmers along with a group of approximately 20 International civilians were attacked by hired Israeli Security Personnel as they tried to peacefully protest the destruction of the Palestinian agricultural land.
Israeli government contractors along with Israeli private security overlooked by the Israeli military continued to chop down trees and even managed to destroy 10-15 trees. As the group of internationals peacefully came between the contractors and trees ready to be chopped down the hired security personnel (hired security personnel are usually Israeli soldiers or Israeli police) began to aggressively push volunteers away from the trees. Volunteers who wouldn’t step away from the trees began “hugging” the trees as their bodies were being pulled away by the security personnel. Many volunteers had been attacked by the Israeli security and three had sustained minor injuries.
Adam Keller, late 40’s Israeli citizen, a volunteer from the Gush Shalom Organization was attacked and kicked by the security personnel and was almost cut in half by a chainsaw as he hugged the tree while the contractor was chopping the tree.
Tom Dale, 18 year old British citizen was also attacked by the security personnel as he stood chatting with a group of volunteers. Tom was also beaten and kicked as the Israeli military stood by and watched and sustained bruises on his body.
Emily Winkelstein, 27 years old and a U.S. citizen sustained scratches on her body as she was being dragged away.
Heidi Niggeman, 29 years old a German citizen was beaten and punched in the stomach as she tried to stop a contractor/worker from Chopping down a tree with a chainsaw.
Dan O’ Reilly-Rowe, 25 years old Australian/ American was kicked in the stomach and attacked repeatedly by the security personnel as he held on to save the tree from being destroyed. Dan was nailed to the ground 5-6 times by the security men and is suffering from a twisted ankle.
Yesterday and today Palestinian farmers and internationals have been partially successful in delaying any more destruction of their land.
Tomorrow morning November 5, 2002 at 8:00 AM Palestinian farmers and International volunteers will again sit on the land. The French Ambassador along with members of the Israeli Parliament will accompany the Palestinian farmers in a joint attempt to stop the Israeli destruction of Palestinian land.
Photos and video footage of today’s attacks available by calling below.
For more information contact:
Heidi Niggeman: tel. 067-365-669
Huwaidaa Shapiro: tel. 067-473-308
Osama Qashoo’: tel. 052-225-703
ISM OFFICE: tel. 02-277-4602