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Israeli War Crimes in Gaza

1 – Bloody Friday: 10 killed in Gaza massacre, as shelling, sonic booms continue
2 – Al-Jazeera: “Protests against Gaza beach killings”
3 – Action Alert: Support CUPE’s Call to Boycott Israeli Apartheid
4 – Commentary: “Begging For a Response”
5 – Democracy Now: “A Mother Under Occupation”
6 – Human Rights Abuses by Israeli Soldiers in Hebron
7 – Hebron Villagers Continue Non-violent Action Against Road Wall
8 – The People of Bil’in Honour Journalists

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1 – Bloody Friday: 10 killed in Gaza massacre, as shelling, sonic booms continue

Journal by Leila Al Haddad

June 10th: Just as I’ve made my way back to Maryland USA, getting ready to write a post about how my stint on Democracy Now went this morning, I learned that 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli shelling in northern Gaza as they were picnicking on the beach. 3 of them were children-two under the age of two. And their mother. And forty others wounded. We called my Aunt, who works with the al-Awda hospital in northern Gaza. She was hysterical, and this is a woman who seldom loses her grip.

She just spoke of blood and body parts, and how one of the cameramen at the hospital couldn’t hold it together and dropped his camera as he was filming after he heard a bloodied, battered girl crying out for her father.

I feel so useless being here in the United States, so impotent and angered, and I just want to cry and scream at once. After a week of energizing talks, in which I really felt I could contribute a little bit by informing people this happens.

My aunt also said the dreaded Sonic Boom Attacks had resumed and that Israeli air crafts were beginning to shell areas of Khan Yunis, in al-Qarara. And just last night, I was talking about how the sonic booms, under pressure from human rights organizations, had seemed to cease-albeit without official declaration. I spoke too soon.

The horror continues, and the main headline on Yahoo’s sidebar? “Hamas to resume attacks in Israel.”

I guess that answer’s Amy Goodman’s question to me this morning: “How do you think this all is being conveyed in the media?”

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2 – Al-Jazeera: “Protests against Gaza beach killings”

by Khaled Amayreh, Al-Jazeera, Sunday 11 June 2006

For pictures see:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/12/al-jazeera-protest-against-gaza-beach-killings/

Hundreds of Palestinians, Israeli and international peace activists have protested against the killing of eight Palestinians while they picnicked on a Gaza beach. Wearing white T-shirts dyed in red to signify Friday’s killings, protesters lay on the ground at an Israeli checkpoint at Kalandia, 10km north of Jerusalem, on Sunday. Abdullah Abu Rahma, head of the Committee against the Separation Wall in Ramallah said: “We are Israelis, Palestinians and internationals united against the oppression of the occupation.

“We call on all peace-loving people around the world to pressure Israel to stop this slow-motion genocide against our people. They are killing us – one baby at a time, one family at a time.”

Peretz resignation calls Israeli soldiers scuffled with the protesters, preventing them from going through the checkpoint after declaring it “a closed military zone.”

The protesters demanded that Amir Peretz, the Israeli defence minister, resign from his post, which he assumed weeks ago.

One Israeli protester told Aljazeera.net that “we thought Peretz would be a peace asset in the new government, we didn’t know that children and babies would be murdered under his command”.

In addition to scores of Israeli peace activists, more than two dozen foreigners, many of them affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) participated in the protest.

One placard carried by the protesters urged: “Stop killing the children, prosecute the child-killers.”

Earlier protest: The protest is the second in the past 24 hours.

More than 300 Israeli peace activists, most of them affiliated with the Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), staged a sit-in outside the Tel Aviv home of Dan Halutz, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff, on Saturday night.

The protesters, who included two leftist Knesset members, called on the Israeli public to speak up against the “crimes of the occupation in Gaza.”

Dov Hanin, a leftist legislator, condemned the killings, saying “the Israeli army was killing children in our name.”

Among participants in the protest in Tel Aviv was Dana Olmert, daughter of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

Israeli groups’ call: On Sunday, five Israeli peace groups, including the main Israeli human rights organisation, B’tselem, urged the Israeli government to stop killing Palestinian civilians.

The five organisations, in a letter to Peretz that was made available to Aljazeera.net, described the killing of the Ghalia family members as a “horrible addition to an already horrible toll” of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army.

The letter pointed out that since outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000, the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers have killed 3446 Palestinians, including 704 children and minors.

The letter said that at least 1647 of Palestinian victims were civilians and played no part in hostile activities. The figures, the letter pointed out, did not include 246 people who have been assassinated in what Israel calls “targeted killings”.

The letter said that while Israel had a right to defend its citizens against attacks by Palestinian resistance groups, it was unacceptable that a sovereign state commit illegal actions that amount to war crimes.

Israel has said the killings on the Gaza beach were a mistake, although it has not admitted responsibility.

A senior Israeli commander on Sunday said the investigation into the killings has raised many “question marks” about whether Israeli forces were involved.

Major General Yoav Galant, head of Israel’s southern command, said the army is exploring the possibility that an Artillery shell hit the civilians but that the cause of the explosion remains unclear.

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3 – Action Alert: Support CUPE’s Call to Boycott Israeli Apartheid

from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)

In late May, the 200,000 member strong Ontario chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) approved Resolution 50 supporting a growing global campaign initiated on July 9, 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations, including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid.

Predictably CUPE has come under intense pressure to back-down from this decision.

WE CALL UPON SUPPORTERS TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:

THANK CUPE:

Please contact the leadership of CUPE Ontario and support this decision. Individuals, organizations, unions, congregations, etc. are all encourage to send letters of support to:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario: [email protected]
CUPE Ontario Executive Members [email protected]
Katherine Nastovski, Chair, CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee
[email protected]

Or fax CUPE at: (416) 299-3480

SIGN THE PETITION:

Print and circulate the attached petition to your contacts. Send completed petitions to:

CAIA
427 Bloor Street West
Box 13, Toronto
Ontario, M5S 1X7
Canada

ORGANIZE A WORKSHOP:

Email us directly at [email protected] to arrange for a workshop on Israeli apartheid in you CUPE local, union hall, community center, school, congregation, etc.

DONATE TO SUPPORT THIS WORK:

Donate to CAIA to ensure that this grassroots movement against Israeli apartheid continues to grow. Checks can be made payable to the “Peace and Justice Committee” and sent to:

CAIA
427 Bloor Street West
Box 13, Toronto
Ontario, M5S 1X7

MONITOR AND RESPOND TO THE MEDIA:

Please continue monitoring any press on this issue, write letters to the editor in support of CUPE’s resolution and alert us to any particularly offensive, slanderous or racist materials published in response to this resolution ([email protected])

PASS IT ON:

Please forward this note to your distribution lists and inform other members of your organization, community, school, congregation, union, workplace, etc.

FIND OUT MORE:

We are heartened by the numerous calls and e-mails of support that we have received from CUPE Ontario and other union members, as well as calls of support from unions around the world. We urge you to contct us directly if you’d like to get involved in this growing campaign.

To learn more about the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid or inquire about organizing educationals please contact [email protected]

To learn more about the growing movement to boycott, divest and sanction Apartheid Israel visit the following websites:

End Israeli Apartheid website (Canada)
www.endisraeliapartheid.net/

BIG, the Boycott Israeli goods campaign – supported by the Palestine
Solidarity Campaign (UK)
www.bigcampaign.org/

Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Palestine)
www.stopthewall.org/

Palestine Solidarity Committee (South Africa)
psc.za.org/

For recent press-coverage on Israeli Apartheid and the growing BDS movement against it see:

Protesting against Israeli apartheid (Toronto Sun)
torontosun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Ryan_Sid/2006/06/02/1610863.html

Canadian Union Takes Important Step Against Israeli Apartheid
www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/bullet022.html

Chris McGreal’s incesive and detailed two-part report on Israeli Apartheid for the UK daily The Guardian:

Worlds apart (6 February 2006)
www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1703244,00.html

Brothers in arms – Israel’s secret pact with Pretoria (7 February 2006)
www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1704037,00.html

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Full Text of the Resolution Below:

CUPE ONTARIO WILL:

1. With Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.

2. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self- determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

3. Call on CUPE National to commit to research into Canadian involvement in the occupation and call on the CLC to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.

BECAUSE:

– The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law.

– Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;

– CUPE BC has firmly and vocally condemned the occupation of Palestine and have initiated an education campaign about the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state.

**************************************************

Sample letters

Dear CUPE-Executive:

Thank you for passing the resolution to support the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. It has become plainly obvious to anyone who has studied the actions of the Israeli government that their goal is not security but rather confiscation of as much of the West Bank as possible.

Like South Africa, Israel will have to be subjected to intense international pressure before it recognizes Palestinians as a people with the right to their own state and/or equal rights in a joint Palestinian/Jewish state.

No doubt you will come under intense pressure from pro-Israeli organizations to reverse this courageous decision, but rest assured that the overwhelming majority of people in the world are not fooled by right-wing, racist rhetoric and the mainstream media bias surrounding this issue.

Thank you again!

**************

To whom it may concern

I wish to express my profound gratitude to CUPE Ontario for passing Resolution 50 in support of the global campaign against Israeli Apartheid.

Only the grossly uninformed or misinformed can fail to comprehend the inexcusable suffering that Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian people for nearly six decades. For the sake of all of humanity, it must end.

Again, I commend your courage and principle. Rest assured, the vast majority of thinking people who want to see a peaceful world stand with you.

Most certainly you will come under great pressure from the pro-Israel lobby to reverse your decision. Please stand firm for justice and International Law.

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4 – Commentary: “Begging For a Response”

Israel’s ongoing air strikes on Gaza are politically motivated

by Sam Bahour

The Israelis are a stiff necked people. They refuse to accept anything less than full acquiescence by anyone involved in their plans, no matter the cost — human, political, financial, or otherwise. Israel’s non-stop aggression against Palestinians – averaging two Palestinian deaths a day for several years now – is much more than what is popularly being coined in Israel and abroad as low-intensity warfare. If international and humanitarian laws are to be used as a measure, the ongoing Israeli killing spree is taking on the shape of a sustained campaign of war crimes aimed to remove the Palestinians from Israel’s way.

The recent Israeli shelling of a crowded Gaza beach full of Palestinian civilians spending a weekend by the sea is the latest tragedy in an unrelenting effort undertaken by the newly elected Israeli government to provoke Palestinians, in specific, the Hamas-led Palestinian government. The carnage of this latest Israeli attack (the afternoon attack, not the morning one) left a toll of 10 dead and over 50 wounded. The entire incident, like the hundreds prior, quickly become a footnote in some Israeli military report that will most likely also carry an empty apology for the large numbers of children and women among the dead. President Bush refused to condemn the attack and the United Nations, like a large slice of the Israeli public, will most likely not even take note of it.

In a world that has become numb to Middle Eastern carnage, except if the dead are Israeli, it does not come as a surprise that, at most, the dead are merely counted, hardly ever are they named. The lack of world leadership has moved the international community to completely lose any moral compass whatsoever. The basic fact that one party, the one burying its children on nearly daily basis, is an occupied people, the Palestinians. The other party, the one launching air and sea strikes on civilian populations, and constantly shelling the Gaza Strip is the occupying party, Israel. This core fact of the conflict has become lost in some misguided desire to create symmetry between Palestinians and Israelis. International and humanitarian laws classify an occupied people as “protected persons,” and every signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the US, has an obligation to interfere to stop this cruel and inhumane Israeli collective punishment of Palestinians.

Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: “Wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including…wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, …or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, …extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

International law does not release from responsibility an occupying force because it apologizes for killing those it occupies, especially an occupying force that has instilled a mode of operation of systematically killing and then cynically apologizing.

Israel kills with purpose. Following the rise to government of the hard line Hamas movement to the Palestinian government, Israel is optimizing on the US led campaign to bring a full collapse of the democratically-elected Palestinian government, by killing on a daily basis of what the world’s media has sadly accepted as “targeted assassinations.” There is a clear political agenda in the latest round of Israeli attacks. Israel is begging for Hamas to react in kind by breaking its one sided truce that Hamas has held for over a year, despite Israel’s continued provocations.

Israel knows that as it continues to cage Palestinians in pockets of living hell, it is human nature that sooner or later the Palestinian government or even Palestinian individuals will be forced into reacting by trying to defend its population, never mind that the Palestinians do not have the means to even dent the Israeli military powerhouse. Nevertheless, by the Palestinians striking back, and sadly taking Israeli lives in the process, Israel can then kick into action its well-oiled public relations spin machine to turn the tables on the entire Palestinian cause for independence and self-determination and thus, further continue the delegitimization and the demise of the Palestinians.

Israel’s renowned planning efforts forgot one elementary fact of life. Like with slavery, there was a right and wrong and in the end right prevailed and slavery ended. And, like with South Africa’s Apartheid, there was a right and wrong, and the racist Apartheid system fell flat on its face. The Israelis have forgotten that militarily occupying the Palestinians — for over forty years now — is wrong too, and their occupation will come tumbling down in due time. Sadly, as Israeli politicians do cartwheels to sustain their oppression of Palestinians, or maintain their popularity with the dead bodies of Palestinians, both Palestinians and Israelis are paying the price with their lives.

The writer is a Palestinian-American living in the besieged Palestinian City of El-Bireh in the West Bank. He is co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994).

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5 – Democracy Now: “A Mother Under Occupation”

Palestinian Journalist Laila El-Haddad on Life in the Occupied Territories

from Democracy Now, 9th June 2006.

Watch video at:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/09/1427223

We speak with Palestinian journalist and mother, Laila El-Haddad about life in the Occupied Territories. El-Haddad writes for Aljazeera.net and maintains her own blog titled “Raising Youssef: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation.” She lives in Gaza and the U.S. [includes rush transcript] A senior member of the Hamas government was assassinated in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza town of Rafah on Thursday. Three of his bodyguards were also killed in the attack. The government official, Interior Ministry general director Jamal Abu Samhadana, was also a founding member of the Popular Resistance Committees who had been accused of plotting attacks inside Israel. Samhadana had narrowly escaped four previous assassination attempts.

Earlier that day three Palestinians were shot dead near a border crossing in the Gaza Strip. Israel said its troops had opened fire on “three suspect silhouettes” moving towards the border. Palestinians said the dead were policemen on patrol.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials are having talks over a peace plan by the Palestinian Authority president that implicitly recognizes Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas has given Hamas until Saturday to accept the 18-point plan or he will put it to a referendum.

This comes as the Bush administration has cancelled international talks that were expected to lead to emergency payments of salaries for Palestinian workers. Thousands of Palestinian government employees have gone without pay following an international aid-freeze on the Hamas-led government. A European diplomat told the Independent of London the cancellation is stoking fears the US government is committed to “regime change” in the Occupied Territories.

* Laila El-Haddad, a Palestinian journalist and mother who lives in Gaza. She writes for Aljazeera.net and other publications. She maintains her own blog titled “Raising Youssef: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation”

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: We welcome you to Democracy Now! Your response to the latest killings.

LAILA EL-HADDAD: I mean, it’s just unreal to me that, given the current situation and given the tension and given everything that’s going on in the continued closures and asphyxiation of the economy that Israel again would go to these lengths to assassinate, you know — Samhadana, in addition to being the head of the Popular Resistance Committees, was the new P.A. security chief, and it was sort of seen as an effort to rein in all the different armed groups, because he was a very influential figure, and it was seen that he could, you know, kind of bring them all under his umbrella. So, you know, this is just going to further escalate tensions within Gaza, and the security situation is going to further deteriorate. And, of course, that being directly linked with the humanitarian situation.

AMY GOODMAN: And Israel saying that he was responsible for attacks inside Israel.

LAILA EL-HADDAD: Right, as the head of the Popular Resistance Committee, he is considered to be someone who spearheaded a lot of resistance attacks.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what’s happening in Gaza right now?

LAILA EL-HADDAD: The situation is very, very difficult, you know, and it pre-dates the current government. It’s important to remind that since the disengagement from Gaza in the summer of 2006 when Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza, the situation has been continuously deteriorating, because everything continues to be under Israeli control. We’ve heard it time and again, but Gaza literally has become more of a prison than it was before, very much an open-air prison with the skies, and the air, and the borders, and the permit registry system, very significantly, still controlled by Israel. That means that no one can leave or come into Gaza unless they have an Israeli-issued Palestinian ID card. So many families, including my own, not able to unite within Gaza because one or the other lacks the ID card and doesn’t have the family reunification. And more significantly, we can’t go to the West Bank. Before, it was very difficult to obtain a permit. Now it’s pretty much next to impossible for Palestinians to commute between Gaza and the West Bank. So really, just Gaza completely now cut off from the world and from the West Bank and from Israel, and with the continued economic closures, as you mentioned, of the Karni and then [unintelligible] crossing, which has been close to 50% of the year, completely fixating the economy, hundreds of thousands of tons of vegetables and fruits, that were supposed to be exported and help the economy stay afloat, rotted.

AMY GOODMAN: How do you get around? Are you together with your family?

LAILA EL-HADDAD: My husband is a refugee from — a Palestinian refugee who lives in Lebanon. He’s also a physician. He works in this country. He still has a refuge permit. He can’t come join me in Gaza, so I commute with our 2-year-old son, Yousuf, after which my blog is named, back and forth between Gaza and the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: And how hard or easy is it for you to get in and out?

LAILA EL-HADDAD: I’m just like any other Palestinian, I have a Palestinian Authority passport. And that’s significant – we always say it’s not a Palestinian passport, because we’re still not recognized, you know, as a people, as a state, as a nationality, and it’s significant because of all the talk about referendum and recognizing Israel, and I go on that Palestinian authority passport and on my Israeli-issued ID card. I’ve added my son to that ID card so that he can have that right to go back and forth with me. We travel through the Rafah crossing, which is the only exit and entry point into or out of the Gaza strip and continues to be effectively controlled by Israel. While they no longer physically man it, they still control who goes in and out and monitor it by video surveillance.

AMY GOODMAN: You were in Rafah during the first and second Israeli incursions there?

LAILA EL-HADDAD: Yes, yes, in the fall of 2003 and then again in the spring of 2004. Both times I was just arriving. Once I was pregnant, and the second time my son was just 2 months old, and, you know, Israel had just raided the camp for several days, put it under complete lockdown. Very few journalists, I should add, were actually there or even bothered to go and just do the aftermath color shot. It’s difficult to give any kind of snap shot of the devastation that was there. And, you know, it was all the more senseless because a lot of the house demolition that occurred there — you know, 2/3 of the houses that were demolished in Palestine were done so in Rafah. 16,000 people lost their homes, just to give you a sense of the enormity of the destruction. Much of it happened just prior to the disengagement, which made it all the more senseless.

AMY GOODMAN: How do you think this all is being conveyed in the media, and especially since you’ve got your feet in both worlds, there and here, how it’s covered here?

LAILA EL-HADDAD: Very poorly, to put it bluntly. I mean, it’s — I’m constantly surprised. People tell me ‘You shouldn’t be,’ but I am, at how little people know about — I know it’s difficult to get a grasp of all these details, but they’re so significant, because I call them part of the Israeli “matrix of control” that fall under this rubric of occupation that really just invades the very private lives of Palestinians and destroys everything. And it’s not conveyed. I mean, the focus is — you know, I can sum it up, I call it copy and paste journalism done by parachute journalists. It’s Hamas, the militant group that’s dedicated to the destruction of Israel. And that’s all we hear, or gunmen have been fighting, or rockets has been fired. You don’t hear anything about Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinians that are just under lockdown now. The fact that the closures — the crossings have been closed 50% of the year. The fact that as you mentioned, 150,000 government employees, they’re not getting their salaries. They support 1/3 of the Palestinian population.

LAILA EL-HADDAD: And you as a woman?

LAILA EL-HADDAD: It’s much more difficult being a journalist as a woman, and also being a mother, and also being a Palestinian. That’s all in one package, and someone once asked me, how can you be objective, you know, being Palestinian, and that it affects you so personally? I’d like to draw on the wonderful Amira Hass – someone one once asked her that, and she said, “there’s a difference between being objective and being fair.”

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Laila El-Haddad. She keeps a blog called Raising Yousuf: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation and works for AlJazeera.net. Your response to Abbas’ proposal for a referendum.

LAILA EL-HADDAD: I mean, the timing isn’t the greatest, to kind of force this referendum, in such a difficult time and situation. And when there is no acknowledgment of Palestinian rights, of Palestinian rights that exist, and there never has been, and no such, you know, absolutely unheard of conditions imposed on Israel for denying Palestinian rights and continuing the occupation. I think it’s a mistake for him to do it at this time, especially do it so publicly, especially since the current government has indicated, you know, that it’s not its decision to make this decision to recognize Israel’s right to exist. It’s a decision for all the people, implying that referendum would be answered, but it’s a matter of timing. You know, recently I did a photo story speaking with nine Palestinians about this issue of recognition, and time and again, what I heard from them was just this — that, you know, look what 10 years of negotiation has brought us. Yes after yes after yes, and this will just be another yes that’s going to result in nothing but more devastation. And, you know, they said in the context of a extensive and just solution with reciprocated rights, it makes sense, but now it just doesn’t.

AMY GOODMAN: And the Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s proposal for redrawing the borders, a unilateral proposal.

LAILA EL-HADDAD: We were joking about how — what’s the new phrase he’s come up with? Convergence? But I mean I call it “the annexation plan”, because that’s what it is, it’s destroying the West Bank, it’s chopping it into three parts and annexing large portions of it. And within those three parts, nine separate cantons just divided and riddled with check points and all sorts of other things that just really destroy Palestinian life in every way, and it’s also going to destroy any hope of any kind of just solution or negotiated settlement and render a Palestinian state completely impossible.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’ll have to leave it there. Laila El-Haddad, I want to thank you for being with us, Palestinian journalist and mother living in Gaza and here. She writes for Al-Jazeera.net and maintains her own blog, Raising Yousuf: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.
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6 – Human Rights Abuses by Israeli Soldiers in Hebron

Tel Rumeida Report, June 6th to June 10th 2006

6th June 2006 4:30, Checkpoint 56 (corner of Shuhadda st and Tel Rumeida st)

A Human Rights Worker (HRW) was sitting across from the HRW’s apartment, when two settler children, about 8 to 10 years of age, where let out of a car in front of him.

They walked past, towards the Tel Rumeida settlement, stopping at the first skip, and picking up stones, which they threw at the HRW, hitting him in the neck and collarbone.

The soldier on guard was alerted by a passing local, and came to intervene, at which point the children left, running up the hill to the Tel Rumeida settlement.

* * *

7th June 2006 5:00pm, Shuhadda St

Two HRWs where just departing their post on Shuhadda street when two children between 7 and 8 years of age, came up from the Bet Hadassah settlement began hurling stones at one HRW, while the other HRW recorded this event on camera.

The soldier was slow to intervene, trying to chase off the children when a HRW called for him to do so. The children evaded the soldier, continuing to throw stones for a few minutes, before running off back to towards the settlement. No one was hit.

* * *

7th June 2006 10:00pm, HRW Apartment

Six soldiers turned up at the apartment, banging on the door and asking to be let in. They said they where bored and lonely and wanted to come in for tea and coffee, giggling and calling to us in falsetto voices. This lasted about half an hour, before they left, singing and laughing.

An independent researcher was outside while this was going on, having been caught outside smoking a cigarette. While the others where banging on the door, three surrounded her, asking her if she was smoking hash and where she was from.

When she told them they where “hillu hashem” (a disgrace to God), one asked her if she spoke Hebrew; she told them she did not, he then spoke to her in that language in a tone suggesting she was being insulted, then repeated the routine with Arabic.

She asked a different soldier who had seemed more sympathetic, why they where doing this, to which he replied they “sometimes have to do bad things”.

She told him that when they behaved in this way, they disgraced themselves and their country.

Seeing she was shaking, he then asked her if she was cold, to which she said she was, and it was at that point that he lead them away.

* * *

8th June 2006 12:13am, HRW Apartment

A HRW (who was in Bethlehem at the time) received a call from Arwa of the Abu Heykal household.

At around 10:30pm on the 7th, six soldiers entered their home, confiscated their mobile phones, and turned them out of doors, except for Arwa’s brother, who they locked in a room downstairs. When they were asked why they did this, one of the soldiers replied: “because I want to fuck him”.

They went through all the wardrobes and cupboards of the house, the computer and digital camera. When asked what they where looking for they refused to answer.

One of the soldiers took photos of everyone, with his mobile phone camera.

When Feria, told them they where “like Hitler’s soldiers”, they agreed, with evidence of pride, that they where indeed like Hitler’s soldiers.

At midnight the soldiers left, saying that they would return, and it is at this point that Arwa called a HRW, who relayed the message to us.

A HRW called the family to ask if they wanted us to send someone to stay with them, Arwa replied that she would call us if the soldiers returned.

At half past nine of that day we visited the family, and they related the full story to us.

* * *

10th June 2006, 7:50pm, Apartment

It was noticed that a dozen soldiers and two jeeps, where gathered in the street outside the apartment.

At 8:15pm, at least four soldiers came to the door of the apartment, the first of them saying: “Let us in. I’m asking nicely this time.”

When they where refused one of them went down on his knees and begged to be let in.

A HRW asked if they had a warrant, they replied that they did not, and after about ten minutes they left.

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7 – Hebron Villagers Continue Non-violent Action Against Road Wall

report by Sunbula

The villagers of at-Tuwani village in South Hebron were joined on Friday June 9th by Israeli and international peace activists in a successful non-violent demonstration to try and prevent the continuing construction of a one-metre high wall by the army along a settler-only road that separates at-Tuwani and other villages near it from the rest of Hebron district. Activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) marched with Palestinians from the area and Hebron city towards the road from the north while activists from the Christian Peacemakers (CPT) and the Israeli group Ta’ayush (Coexistence) marched simultaneously with at-Tuwani villagers from the opposite side.

Palestinians, young and old, men and women, turned out in large numbers to protest yet another apartheid-style attempt to divide up Palestinian land into isolated bantustans. At first, the military tried to prevent us from even reaching the road by intimidation; they put a couple of jeeps on the road in the hope of scaring Palestinians away from participating, but no one was deterred.

The protest was largely peaceful and lively. We were met at the settler road by the Border Police and regular police, who attempted to stop us from going on to the road, ostensibly to let traffic move. However, every settler car that passed was given a resounding “welcome” by the Palestinians, who chanted in Arabic “See our flag, we want to see our flag, we don’t want to see settlers”. The Israeli forces also tried to keep people on both sides of the road apart from each other, but they seemed to be overwhelmed a little by being “attacked” from both sides as it were. No one – international, Israeli or Palestinian gave them even the slightest excuse to resort to violence. Also memorable was an old woman from at-Tuwani who gave a resounding speech to the demonstrators against the building of this wall, as well as three young Palestinian women who spiritedly chanted slogans about the unity of the Arab people “from at-Tuwani to al-Jowlan [Golan]” and “from Yatta to Beirut”, defying stereotypes about submissive and silenced Arab women that the Western and Israeli media often love to propagate to justify this occupation and other imperial adventures.

After the protest was peacefully declared over, internationals and Palestinians went to at-Tuwani to evaluate the action, rest and drink tea. The Border Police, known as the “pride of Israel” for its brutality towards Palestinians, tried to prevent internationals from the Northern (Yatta) side from crossing the road in order to go to at-Tuwani. They obviously didn’t want us to get too friendly with members of the “enemy state”. As I was crossing the road with my video camera in hand, one Border Policeman said something to me in Hebrew and grabbed me by shirt and started pulling me back towards the road. There were several internationals right next to me, and a co-ISMer pulled me out of the Policeman’s grip back in the opposite direction. Eventually all the internationals were able to get through, but the Israeli activists were forbidden from passing. At the village, Hafez, a resident of at-Tuwani and its activist superstar (for his resistance against the occupation) thanked everyone for their participation. He talked about how the military and Shabak would often raid villages and try to intimidate Palestinians into not participating in demonstrations. But along with others he expressed his hope that nonviolent resistance in this region would continue to grow and that protests such as this would become bigger, more effective and regular.

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8 – The People of Bil’in Honour Journalists

report by Raad

At 13:00 today the people of Bil’in started their weekly march to protest the apartheid wall which is being built on their land. The march started with around 100 Palestinians and 40 internationals and Israeli activists who attended in solidarity with the locals to support their resistance. The people started the march as usual singing and chanting different Palestinian songs and slogans.

The theme of the protest was centred around a memorial box bearing the names of all the journalists who were killed by the Israeli occupation forces during the second intifada. This was erected at the gate in Bil’in as a memorial to remember those journalists .

Once the march arrived to the usual confrontation point, border police and army were already waiting for the march to prevent people from getting to their lands. And also as usual, the border police declared the area a closed military zone through the jeeps’ loud speakers in both Arabic & Hebrew, but the people didn’t accept that and kept singing and chanting in front of the soldiers.

After 20 minutes Abdullah Abu Rahme from the Bil’in popular committee called the people together and he declared a ceremony to honour the journalists who have been participating in and covering the activities in Bil’in for the last 16 months and who have suffered like the villagers from being shot and jailed. The ceremony started with a speech for a representative from the local council who thanked the journalists for the important role that they have played and continue to play by documenting the army and the border police’s acts in the occupied territories in general and in Bil’in in particular.

Later on Abdullah called some representatives from different establishments like the local council and the youth club and the national committee against the wall and the popular committee against the wall to honour the journalists.

Different journalists and photographers from different like AP, AFP Reuters, and Ma’an News Network in addition to the Bil’in people, honoured the ISM for the great media work that the ISM did and still is doing. Finally, Abdullah declared the end of the action.

Once the people turned back there was some stones thrown toward the border police and soldiers who had not stopped harassing the people during the celebration. The border police then attacked the people with sound grenades and tear gas, as well as rubber bullets which caused some injuries among the people and also to an American photographer who got hit by a sound bomb.

Here is the full list of the injured people:

1- Phil, US photographer sound bomb in the arm
2 – Mahdi Abu Rahme (17 yrs) shot with a rubber bullet which entered his hand. He has been transferred to Shaikh Zayed hospital in Ramallah so they can operate on his hand.
3 – Solaiman Yaseen (14 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
4 – Ali Abu Rahme (14 yrs) rubber bullet in the back .
5 – Mohammad Yaseen (11 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
6 – Khamees Abu Rahme (23 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
7 – Ayed Abu Rahme (32 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.
8 – Fuad Samara (20 yrs) rubber bullet in the back.

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