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Military Branches Collaborate with Settlers

1-Israeli Military branches Collaborate with Settlers to Expand Settlement
2- Bil’in out post world Cup Party
3- Israeli Demonstrations Against Gaza Massacres Continue
4- Al jazeera : Israel Introduces New Travel Restrictions
5- Help Free Paul Larudee!
6- Ha’aretz : Arrest of the Piano Tuner
7- Reposted :” Sleeping in a bed of suicide bomber”

Israeli Military branches Collaborate with Settlers to Expand Settlement
June 14th, 2006

For pictures click on the link below:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/14/israeli-military-branches-collaborate-with-settlers-to-expand-settlement/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Israeli military, police, and secret service are collaborating with Beit Ayn settlers to confiscate Palestinian land. The settlers have claimed that the land of Mohammad Jaber Solaiby is their own and the different branches of the Israeli military are mobilizing to make it so. Even though the Solaiby family has documentation proving their ownership of the land including a deed dating back to the Ottaman empire.

Jabber Abu Solaiby owns 200 dunums of land where the Palestinian village of Beit Ummar meets the Beit Ayn settlement, near Hebron. He has filed eight different police reports with the Gush Etzion police concerning the settlers’ destruction of his property and assault on him. The police have done nothing to protect him and instead have told him that he cannot go to his land.

Yesterday a peace activist from Beit Ummar named Musa, was detained by a shabak agent, beaten, threatened with arrest and told to stay out of the area for one month. Last Friday the police stopped Solaiby from accessing his land. They told him that if he or his wife steps on his own land, the settlers are going to beat him.

When Musa from Beit Omar told the Shabak agent who identified himself as Daoud, “you are helping the settlers, not the owners of the land.” Daoud responded, “That is my job.” “Daoud” then threatened to imprison Musa for eight days before a judge could decide if he can leave, which is the standard military court procedure for Palestinians.

Hasib Nashashibi, from the Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, has said that contrary to the official documents proving Solaiby’s ownership of the land the civil adminstration and police claim his land has been sold to Jews. Nashashibi has also confirmed that there is no official documentation forbidding Solaiby or anyone else from being on his property, although the army, police, and secret service are acting as if there is.

Solaiby has also notified the mayor of the municipality of Beit Ummar. But the mayor said that they can’t do anything to control the settlers or the settlement police, and the best thing, and maybe the only thing they can to is go with internationals and/or Israeli peace groups to the land.

While Israel talks of convergence, the facts on the ground are military backed expansion.

For more information contact:
Shuki El Eis from Ensan Center 02 766842
Musa Abu Marya 0545 838925

Bil’in out post World Cup party

For pictures click on the link below
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/14/bilin-out-post-world-cup-party/
June 14th, 2006

By Martin
The Bil’in out post has for the last six months been a “thorn in the side ” of the occupation. Located on the part of Bil’in land that’s going to be stolen by the annexation/separation wall it in it self makes a stand against the land theft.
It has also served as a appreciated home for the many internationals who alongside local Palestinians keep a around the clock presence there to protect it from “accidents” such as arson.
Now the out post ads yet another dimension. A satellite dish a TV and a generator has turned it in to a outdoor living room and every night for the next month it’s going to be packed with football lovers from Bil’in, and from all over the world.
So join us in the fight against the apartheid wall and the land theft while enjoying a game or two of world class football. And while you’re there, why not spend the night out in the beautiful nature.

Not that interested in football? No problem, we offer other forms of entertainment also. Just the long faces of envy on the evening patrolling soldiers make the trip worth while.

Israeli Demonstrations Against Gaza Massacres Continue

June 13th, 2006
For pictures click on the link below
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/13/israeli-demonstrations-against-gaza-massacres-continue/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AIC, Jerusalem: http://alt-info.org/ Demonstration today at 18:00 in front of the Ministry of Defense in protest of the continuation of murder in Gaza.
Today the Israeli Occupation Forces continued bombing Gaza and this time intentionally murdered children and medical workers who came to treat the wounded. War criminals Olmert, Peretz, and Khalutz are continuing bombing and assassination knowing that there is no military solution to the shooting of Qassams and the only solution is the end of the Occupation. “The Israeli government is doing everything they can to postpone any form of dialogue and negotiation at the price of the blood of the children of Sderot and Gaza,” say the organizers of the demonstration. The demonstration is organized by the same coalition of organizations that organized the demonstration outside of Halutz’s house last Saturday.
For more information, call Jonathon Pollack at 054 632 77336.
For more photos from Saturday’s demo, see the Gush Shalom website.
http://gush-shalom.org/pics/halutz-10-6-06/

Al Jazeera: “Israel introduces new travel restrictions”
June 14th, 2006

For pictures click on the link below
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/14/al-jazeeraisrael-introduces-new-travel-restrictions/
by Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank for Al Jazeera.net, Sunday 11 June 2006
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/2C4D96C4-31A0-43DA-99F3-BC3CA15DF85A.htm
Palestinian families have accused Israel of taking draconian measures, further restricting their freedom of movement.

According to Palestinian human rights organisations, the new restrictions involve barring Palestinians carrying foreign passports, including those married to a Palestinian spouse, from re-entering the West Bank after leaving for their adopted country of citizenship, even for a brief visit. The new measures also affect long-time foreigners residing in the West Bank such as college professors, NGO employees, religious figures and naturalised spouses of Palestinian residents in the West Bank.

Adel Samara is a noted Palestinian economist residing in Ramallah. His American wife wants to go the US for a visit. However, because she is married to a Palestinian, she is worried that the Israeli authorities wouldn’t allow her to return to her family once she left the West Bank.
“I really dont know why they are doing this to us. I am sure there is a special think-tank in Israel specialised in devising and inventing creative ways to make us suffer,” said Samara.
Right to bar Samara believes Israeli military authorities were targeting ordinary people, most of whom are not politicised and leading a normal lives with their families and friends.
“There are hundreds of cases. You see, I am barred from travelling abroad for so-called security reasons and my wife won’t be allowed to return to Ramallah if she left the West Bank even for a brief visit to Jordan next door.”

Help Free Paul Larudee!

June 13th, 2006

Paul Larudee, piano tuner and nonviolent activist, has been denied entry to Palestine by the Israeli authorities and is being held in detention at Ben Gurion Airport. Please take a few minutes to take action to free him!
Paul Larudee, a piano tuner from El Cerrito, California, is the lastest of over 13,000 people to be denied entry to Israel/Palestine in recent years. Like many others, Paul was not trying to visit Israel, but territories ostensibly controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Yet the Palestinians have no say in deciding whether he is allowed to visit their country, where he was scheduled to tune more than 20 pianos.
People concerned about the detention and exclusion of Paul Larudee by the Israeli authorities can take the following actions:
1. Write op-eds and letters to the editor in your local newspapers or any other media you have access to based on the Talking Points below.
TALKING POINTS:
1. WE ARE NOT ONLY DEMANDING PAUL BE ADMITTED; WE DEMAND THAT THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL BREAK THE SIEGE ON THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Israel’s policy of denying entry to people who support Palestinian nonviolent protest and report on the situation to the world is one aspect of a campaign to isolate the Palestinian people from the world. This campaign, which began long before the election of Hamas affiliated candidates to lead the Palestinian legislature, includes closing the only passage for goods into the Gaza Strip (it has been closed more than 50% of the time since the beginning of this year), building the Segregation Wall, frequent closures on the West Bank, and malicious prosecutions of Israeli activists who participate in Palestinian-led demonstrations (recently a judge ruled that an almost two-year prosecution of two Israeli anti-Wall activists was completely devoid of merit). Recent U.S. moves to strangle the Palestinian people economically to punish them for exercising their democratic rights have created what the UN Food Program and the World Health Organization call a humanitarian disaster. Because the official Israeli view receives much more widespread coverage in the U.S. media than does the impact of these policies on the lives of Palestinians, it is important that people like Paul be able to go and report the situation accurately, and show the Palestinian people that the world has not completely abandoned them.
2. PREVENTING PEOPLE WHO PLAN TO SUPPORT PALESTINIAN NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FROM ENTERING THE COUNTRY IS INTENDED TO DEPRIVE THEM OF THEIR RIGHT TO RESIST OCCUPATION, WHICH IS ENSHRINED IN INTERNATIONAL LAW. There is no evidence to support the claim that Paul specifically or ISM in general participate in “violent” demonstrations. Rather, ISM has clearly and repeatedly stressed its commitment to nonviolence. ISM requires nonviolent direct action training of all participants, and Paul has participated in a number of these trainings. The only violence at the demonstration at which Paul was shot in 2002 came from the Army.
Paul’s desire to share his love of music and his skill as a piano tuner with people in the Occupied Territories demonstrates that his intent is to increase harmony in the area, not to support any form of violence.
3. OVER 15,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DENIED ENTRY BY ISRAEL IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. SOME EXAMPLES:
1. Kate Maynard, UK Human Rights Lawyer (May 2006)
2. Raeed Tayeh, Palestinian American former public affairs director for the Muslim American Society (May 2006)
3. Enayeh Adel Samara, US citizen, married to a Palestinian, owned business in Ramallah, two kids born in Jerusalem (May 2006)
4. Meri Calvelli, representative of the Italian development NGO Centro Regionale d’Intervento per la Cooperazione (CRIC) (November 2005)
5. Black Umfolosi, renowned Zimbabwe music group (July 2003)
6. Curtis Unger, Michael Goode, Kathleen Kern, US/Canadian Christian Peacemaker Team volunteers (2002)
7. Ahmed Bahaddou, Belgian Reuters cameraman (August 2002)
8. Eva Rinsten, Swedish lawyer coming to work with PCHR (June 2002)
9. Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation of 19 people, including 9 Muslim Americans and quite a few Jewish Americans ((January 2001)
10. Cat Stevens, Pop Star (July 2000)
MANY OF THESE PEOPLE, LIKE PAUL, WERE NOT TRYING TO GO TO ISRAEL BUT TO SUPPOSEDLY PALESTINIAN CONTROLLED AREAS. The Palestinian people have the right to choose who can visit them. If Israel wants to be taken seriously about any plans to withdraw from the Occupied Territories, it cannot maintain control over Palestinian borders.
4. THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT CLAIMS IT IS EXCLUDING PAUL IN PART BECAUSE HE SLEPT IN HOMES OF FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WHO HAD CARRIED OUT ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL.
ISM’s policy has been to provide accompaniment for families who are threatened with collective punishment by the Israeli forces because of acts committed by family members. This does not convey any support for attacks against civilians. Rather, it conveys support for international law, which considers collective punishment a war crime. In February 2005 Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz announced an end to the policy of punitive home demolitions, upon recommendation of a military panel. The Israeli human rights group Btselem had long campaigned for an end to the policy, which left at least 4240 people homeless.
5. IT IS NOT ONLY INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS WHO ARE BARRED FROM PALESTINE. MORE IMPORTANTLY, MILLIONS OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEES LIVING ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE PREVENTED FROM RETURNING TO THEIR HOMELAND.
The ongoing refusal of Israel to implement UN General Assembly Resolution 194, passed in December 1948, requiring “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date” is one of the most serious obstacles to peace in the region.
Moreover, 1552 Palestinians were deported from their homeland by Israel between 1967 and 1992, when such deportations stopped. However, even after 1992 Palestinians have been deported to Gaza from their homes in the West Bank.
Once again, the right of the Palestinian people to control their borders, and to travel freely to, from and within their land, is an essential condition for peace.
2. Call your local Israeli Consulate (San Francisco Phone 415-844-7000, Fax 415-844-7555) to protest the exclusion of Paul and hundreds of other nonviolent activists, human rights lawyers and Palestinians wishing to visit their families.
3. Contribute to the NorCal ISM Legal Fund, which is paying for Paul’s appeal of his denial of entry. We need to raise at least $1,400 for his costs. Anything we raise over what is needed for Paul’s defense will go toward the defense of Palestinians or international activists arrested in nonviolent protest or other ISM volunteers denied entry. To find out how to contribute, see www.norcalism.org/contribution.htm.

Ha’aretz: “Arrest of the Piano Tuner”

June 12th, 2006

By No’am Ben Ze’ev, Ha’aretz Gallery, 12th June 2006. Translation by Rann.
http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=725756&contrassID=2&subContrassID=7&sbSubContrassID=0
for pictures see the link below:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/12/haaretz-gallery-arrest-of-the-piano-tuner/
Paul Larudee, an American who came to tune pianos in Ramallah and Jenin, refused to board a plane against his will and is now waiting for a court decision regarding him.
For a week now, the American piano tuner Paul Larudee has been sitting in a jail cell in Ben-Gurion airport and waiting for a court decision in his case. On his way to tune pianos in Ramallah and Jenin, his entrance to Israel was prevented and a deportation order was issued against him. Larudee, 60, has a PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University and has been coming to the Israel and the OPT regularly for the last 40 years. He is a peace activist and a member of ISM – the International Solidarity Movement – that promotes non-violent resistance to the occupation.

“I came to bring harmony to the region, and I have no idea why they arrested me,” says Larudee in a telephone call from his cell, “if I committed some crime I surely would know about it.” Despite his cell phone being confiscated, he managed to discretely talk using his cellmate’s phone.
Were you surprised? “Not at all. I expected it. People connected to ISM get entrance-prevention and deportation orders all the time, so I knew that sooner or later this would happen. Thus it is not the details of the case that interest me, but rather the principle behind such a policy. If the reasons behind [the policy] are security-related, I would like to engage in a debate on the nature of a threat to security and what constitutes such a threat. Maybe that way it would be possible to prevent others from being deported.”
Activists in the organization in the OPT verify his words, and testify to a increasing number of cases of activists with foreign passports being prevented from returning to the OPT, including some who have made their home there.

Larudee refused to board the plane leaving Israel against his will and called lawyer Gabi Laski, who obtained a temporary staying order against his deportation until the state responds. As of now, the order has become permanent and valid until a verdict is reached. “We are asking the court for the soonest possible date for a trial,” says Laski. “It’s absurd. Despite the fact that the responsibility for entrance to and exit from Israel lies with the Ministry of the Interior, the security authorities decide these matters and the Ministry remains a rubber stamp of the GSS. No one doubts its recommendations until the matter arrives in court.”

Sabin Hadad, a spokeswoman for the Population Administration in the Ministry of the Interior, confirms that the prevention of enterance was done due to security considerations. “When the GSS gives a negative recommendation we don’t get involved,” she says “a person entering Israel first passes through the border authorities, and if they become suspicious they contact GSS
directly. It has nothing to do with us.”

The Prime Minister’s office responded: the Ministry of the Interior denied Larudee, one of the leaders of ISM, entry to Israel, on the recommendation of security bodies. “He participated in illegal activities as a representative of the organization, stayed in a suicide bomber’s house and participated in a violent demonstration against the separation fence.”

Reposted: “Sleeping in the Bed of a Suicide Bomber”

June 13th, 2006

This journal entry is being reposted because of the current imprisonment http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/06/05/californian-piano-tuner-faces-deportation-from-israel-for-supporting/ of Paul Larudee, the 60 year old piano tuner and ISM peace activist that Israel is currently trying to deport. The article was written at a time when ISM was focused on a campaign of living in the homes of the bereaved families of Palestinians who had carried out suicide attacks on Israelis. This was done because the families’ homes were under imminent threat of destruction by the Israeli military, no matter how much the families themselves may have been opposed to the attacks. This Israeli policy of collective punishment only multiplied the violence, as ISM volunteers constantly pointed out would be the case, and it was also a violation of international law. This practice was finally halted by the Israeli military in February 2005 http://www.smh.com.au/news/Middle-East-Conflict/Israel-to-stop-destroying-homes-of-attackers/2005/02/18/1108709439261.html , with the admission that it also hurt Israeli interests. The ISM has always condemned violence that targets civilians, be they Israeli or Palestinian.
By Paul Larudee, Septmber 2002.
The young wife of Amer Nabulsi (not his real name) had a special way of coping with his death. She decorated their room with pictures of children and young couples, valentine hearts, teddy bears, and other irrepressibly cute images. Some were happy, a few sad, and others in love. Some were cut from magazines; others were posters, cards or stickers. To these images she added her own words and symbols.

I sleep in their room, so her artwork surrounds me every morning and evening. Much of it is in Arabic, which I don’t read very well, but the tears and broken hearts drawn with marking pens speak clearly enough, as do the few English words, “I love you and miss you.”
The reason I sleep here is that she has fled the house, along with most of the family. Out of a total of ten family members, only Amer’s parents are here, along with me and other members of the International Solidarity Movement from the U.S., Ireland, Italy, the U.K. and other countries. Israeli authorities have threatened to demolish the house, despite the fact that it is a war crime to do so. The Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, outlaws collective punishment of entire families or communities. We want to try to prevent this from happening, or at least put up nonviolent resistance.

No one knows for sure why Amer chose to become a istishhad (one who martyrs him/herself). By Palestinian standards, he had every reason not to. He had a job, a home, a car, a loving wife and daughter. While not wealthy, he did not have to worry about becoming needy.
Furthermore, his mother and father consider suicide bombings to be immoral. They are deeply devout Muslims, but are among the vast majority who believe that any form of suicide is against Islam. They spend much of their time reading the Koran and praying. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, they are quite liberal by local standards, and highly tolerant. Their youngest daughter wears jeans and wouldn’t be seen in the hijab, or traditional head covering, and her relation with her fiancé is anything but traditional, with her parents’ blessing. Amer’s father cannot talk for long about him without tears welling up in his eyes and his face being transformed by grief.

What led Amer to put on a vest of Semtex and cause his flesh to be scattered by its explosive force? Part of the reason might be the anger that he must have felt when his father suffered brain damage from a beating administered by Israeli forces. Mr. Nabulsi’s left side was left partly paralyzed and he now speaks with difficulty, as if he had had a stroke. Still, that was seven years ago. More recently, a friend was killed in a car that was destroyed by Israeli gunfire. His family also reports that he was strongly moved by both the news and personal reports of the Israeli invasion of Ramallah in early March, 2002, and especially the siege of the presidential compound.

However, such experiences are common to most Palestinians, and do not necessarily make them suicide bombers. What was the difference in Amer’s case? I can only speculate, but it may have been the strong sense of moral right and wrong, of justice and injustice, that his parents instilled in him. It permeates the family, and can be seen as they drop by for meals and conversation with their parents, in which I am invited to share. The small children get plenty of love and patience, but no indulgence. Even the slightest disciplinary action comes with a moral
dictum, however brief.

It may be that Amer simply grew impatient with the injustice he saw around him. Perhaps it was the daily humiliation at the ubiquitous checkpoints, where Palestinians pass only with the permission of the soldiers on duty. Perhaps it was the increasing sight of Israeli settlements, built on confiscated Palestinian land, on the hilltops surrounding the city. Perhaps it was the arbitrary arrest and/or assassination of thousands of “suspects” by Israeli security forces, the use of torture, now considered legal in Israel, and the unlimited detention without charges. Perhaps it was the refusal to allow him and 3.3 million others in Gaza and the West Bank to worship in Jerusalem, the holiest city in the country to all religions. Perhaps it was the diversion of water resources, the deaths of ambulance patients at checkpoints, the bulldozing of olive and fruit orchards, or the construction of settler roads, which Palestinians are permitted neither to use nor cross.

I have been with the family for two weeks now, and it is time to go, although our group will continue to maintain a presence at this and other homes, as the situation warrants. When the Israeli occupation forces choose to commit war crimes, they prefer to do so away from the eyes of international observers. I would have stayed even if the family had been a misanthropic group of wild-eyed fanatics, because a war crime is a war crime. However, they are kind, generous, and courageous, and we have bonded during my stay. We kiss each other on the cheeks and exchange contact information. They invite me to come to their daughter’s wedding. I promise to call.

Suicide attacks against innocent noncombatants are also a war crime, and Amer’s family is right to condemn them. However, I do not see wild-eyed religious fanaticism as the reason for the attacks. I see instead a resilient people without other means of resistance, pushed to desperation by the increasing pressures of ethnic cleansing, while their cries for help are ignored.

____________________________

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