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Partial Demolition of Israeli Colony in Bil’in

1. Partial Demolition of Israeli Colony in Bil’in
2. Israeli Company Blockaded in Britan For the Second Time in Bid to Gain Ruling on Illegality of Settlement Products
3. 12 Year Old Boy Shot by Settler While Playing Near His Home
4. Palestinian Activists with International and Israeli Supporters Picket Kofi Annan’s Visit
5. Settler Children Burn Down Palestinian Olive Tree in Hebron, Israeli Soliders Block Firefighters
6. Israeli Army Destroying Olive Trees in Jenin
7. Israeli Army Harrassment in Hebron Continues
8. Israeli Army Kills 15 year old Demonstrator, Injures 12, and Demolishes Houses.

1- Partial Demolition of Israeli Colony in Bil’in

On Monday, August 28th, two structures were demolished in the illegal Israeli settlement of Matityahu East, on the land of Bil’in village. Construction of the settler colonies had continued until an Israeli court issued a stop work order pending a decision on the status of the colony. The demolition was carried out by the construction company responsible for expanding the colony. This reversal is in response to an Israeli Supreme Court order on July 20th, instructing the company to demolish the two partial structures. The court also decided that a Palestinian road must be built in order to give the villages access to their land. This latter ruling has so far not been enforced.

As well as demanding the demolition of the two structures in the Matityahu East enclave, the court instructed the company to restore the land to its previous pre-colonial state, wherein the land was a flourishing olive grove. Previously the whole of the illegal colonies of Matityahu and Mod’in Elit was agricultural land belonging to Bil’in and other villages in the area.

Occupation authorities annexed 1,100 dunums (275 acres) of the land of Bil’in in 1991. At the time, the confiscation was justified by reference to an old Ottoman-era law allowing for confiscation of unused land. Much later, it was revealed that in order to demonstrate that the coveted land was “unused,” the State made use of photos of seasonal crop farm land taken when the crops were not yet in season. More than a decade after the confiscation, Israeli colonial settlements began to be built, following a typical pattern of settlement expansion, whereby first, Palestinian land is declared State property and then eventually distributed to Israelis. As a reaction to the theft of the land, weekly non-violent demonstrations have been held in Bil’in village for the past 17 months.

These demonstrations, in existence weekly since January 2005, garnered international attention and support, making a protracted legal campaign challenging the settlement’s legality a possibility. Yesterday’s demolition is a major step in the struggle of Bil’in village to restore their land to its pre-colonial state. The village plans to continue to challenge plans to gain retrospective permission for other parts of the colony already constructed or under construction.


2. Israeli Company Blockaded in Britan For the Second Time in Bid to Gain Ruling on Illegality of Settlement Products

URGENT! As of the last update at 1:30pm, Thursday the 30th, this blockade action is still ongoing and needs support! If you are reading this from the UK, the blockaders have requested your support. If you are able, get down there and support them, the address is on Indymedia UK. Get the latest on updates Indymedia UK.

Early Wednesday morning Palestine solidarity activists blockaded the Israeli company Carmel Agrexco’s British headquarters. This was part of a non-violent protest against recurrent breaches of human rights and international law in the Israeli occupied territories of Palestine.

Carmel is complicit in war crimes under the International Criminal Court Act 2001 (ICC Act). They import fresh produce originating from illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories.
The action follows a legal warning letter to Carmel stating clearly why they are in breach of the law.

The action took place at Agrexco UK, Swallowfield Way, Hayes, Middlesex, Israel’s largest importer of agricultural produce into the European Union. It is 50% Israeli state owned.
Protestors used wire fencing and bicycle D-Locks in a well planned blockade at the two entrances to the building.
Before taking part in the blockade, many of the protesters had witnessed first hand the suffering of Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.

This follows on from an action of 11th November 2004, when seven Palestine-Solidarity protesters from London and Brighton were arrested after taking part in a non-violent blockade outside the same company.

Last September a Judge ruled that Agrexco (UK) must prove that their business is lawful. The acquittal of the seven activists before they were able to present their defence meant that the court did not have to rule on the legalityof Agrexco-Carmel’s involvement in the supply of produce from illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
Today’s blockade aims to draw attention to this company’s complicity, in murder, theft and damage of occupied land, collective punishment, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and other breaches of International Law.

Text of letter sent to Carmel Agrexco
Report on Carmel’s Involvemnt in the Jordan Valley
Press release from previous trial
War on Want’s Report –”Profiting from the Occupation”

3. 12 Year Old Boy Shot by Settler While Playing Near His Home

On August 27, 2006, Hakim Ersan, a 12 year old boy from the village of Beit Fourik near Nablus, was shot by an Israeli colonist from the Aitmar settlement near his home. Hakim was playing with two friends, ages 8-9, when the boys spotted 3 Israeli colonists approaching them. The boys began to run away, and Hakim tripped and fell; when he stood up, the colonist man, aged approximately 40, shot him through his lower back. The bullet exited through his upper groin area, and the younger boys carried him to his home. Hakim is currently in critical condition and awaiting surgery at Raffidia Hospital in Nablus; the extent of damage to his internal organs is yet undetermined.

Colonist violence is nothing new for Beit Fourik; four years ago, an elderly man was farming his land when colonists attacked him and beat him to death with a stone.


4. Palestinian Activists with International and Israeli Supporters Picket Kofi Annan’s Visit

by ISM Media Office volunteers

This afternoon, peace activists from the International Solidarity Movement joined Palestinians, Israelis, and international supporters from other organizations to picket the visit to Ramallah of Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations. Mr Annan was in the West Bank today to meet Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The demonstration began at 1.30pm at the Muqata, headquarters of the PA. Activists brought banners and placards, written in Arabic, Hebrew and English, with slogans including “Stop Land Theft”, “Scotland Against The Wall” and “Enforce Resolution 242″. A large banner included illustrations of the illegal partition wall, currently under construction in the West Bank, and the ongoing destruction of olive trees (by the Israeli Government) which provide livelihoods for many Palestinians.

The central purpose of the picket was to emphasize the impact of the Israeli Government’s policies upon the lives of people living in the occupied West Bank, with particular reference to the partition wall, which is preventing ordinary Palestinians from accessing their farmland, jobs and schools, and has divided families. Amongst the demonstrators were people from Bil’in, a village to the West of Ramallah, where 60% of the villager’s farmland has been cut off from the village by the wall, and where regular non-violent demonstrations are held in protest at the erection of the wall.

Activists hoped to remind Mr Annan that the Israeli Government has still not complied with a raft of UN resolutions, nor has it moved following last year’s ruling, by the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which confirmed that the erection of the partition wall is illegal under international law.

Prior to beginning formal talks, both Mr Annan and Mr Abbas came outside to briefly meet demonstrators. Mr Annan listened to the concerns of the gathered villagers and activists, and confirmed that these matters would be discussed in talks today.

for pictures, please click here


5- Settler Children Burn Down Palestinian Olive Tree in Hebron, Israeli Soliders Block Firefighters

by ISM Hebron

On Saturday August 26th, at approximately 12 noon, a Palestinian family in Tel Rumeida, (in the Israeli controlled H2 district of Hebron) noticed a group of settler boys setting fire to the dry grass in front of their home.

This land contains many olive trees and settlers have attempted to burn down these trees on many occasions by starting grass fires. The family put the fire out with water but the kids returned and started a fire which spread to the center of a large olive tree. By the time the family noticed, the fire was so hot that they could not put it out by themselves. Phone requests to the DCO (District Command Office of the military) to allow firefighters from the Palestinian municipality of Hebron to enter into H2 to put the fire out were denied.

The family tried to solicit the help of soldiers who poured a white, firefighting powder on the burning tree. This attempt at putting the fire out was not successful and eventually the whole tree was destroyed. Soldiers attempted to charge the family 600 shekels ($135) for the firefighting powder and the family refused. The soldiers threatened to come back and confiscate the family’s television is they refused to pay.
In addition, settlers set the ground on fire in another location next to this same family’s house. No olive trees were destroyed in this fire.

for pictures, please click here

6- Israeli Army Destroying Olive Trees in Jenin

August 29th, 2006 in the town of Zububa in the Jenin region, Israeli soldiers are currently destroying large swaths of Palestinian olive groves. The attacks began around 7:00 in the morning with American-made Caterpillar armoured bulldozers, and is currently ongoing.

According to Mohammad, a resident of Zububa, the tress being destroyed are in an area, 2km in length and 100km in width. This land amounts to the total area owned by the town. The farmers who have repeatedly tried to access their fields have been beaten and fired upon by Israeli forces. The residents of Zububa have argued that the destruction of their fields serves no security purposes, because the land is on the Palestinian side of the Annexation Wall.


7- Israeli Army Harrassment in Hebron Continues

Soldiers violently attack Palestinian man in his home: August 25th, 2006

To watch video of this event, click here. To download it, click here.
There were two cameras filming most, if not all, of the following incident. A few soldiers are easily recognizable by Human Rights Workers (HRW) given the number of times they have been present while soldiers have been invading numerous Palestinian homes.

At approximately 5:15 PM, an HRW posted at the Tel Rumeida checkpoint heard yelling and screaming coming from up the hill. The HRW moved up the hill, and a Palestinian woman was able to point out the house and medical facility from which the screams were issuing. The HRW asked Israeli soldiers immediately inside the building’s door what was going on. They refused to answer, and the soldiers physically prevented the HRW from entering the house. At this point, Dr. Taysir, the building’s owner, broke free from the soldier who was holding him, and pulled on the HRW’s arm while begging him to enter. The HRW managed to enter the door, and saw two, elongated contusions high on Dr. Taysir’s left arm. While being pushed out once again, the HRW negotiated with the soldiers to leave the door open on the condition that he remain outside.

Shortly thereafter three more HRWs arrived. The HRWs managed to enter the building. Three HRWs demanded access to Dr. Taysir, who was now out of sight, while a fourth video taped the encounter. Dr. Taysir could be heard yelling and crying out in pain from a room further in the house. The HRWs attempted to move past the soldiers in order to prevent further injury to Dr. Taysir, but were repeatedly forced back. The soldiers refused to explain why the doctor’s home had been entered, why he had been struck, or why the HRWs could not see him. Throughout this time, the soldiers were physically and verbally aggressive towards the HRWs, repeatedly shoving them towards the door, and yelling at them to get out, shut up, etc.
At this point, an Israeli major arrived with approximately six more soldiers. The major entered the building and began speaking with Dr. Taysir’s brother, who had observed some, but not all, of the incident; this conversation is filmed almost entirely. The major spoke briefly to the soldiers already on site, who quickly became considerably less aggressive toward the HRWs. After approximately ten minutes, the major and all soldiers departed the house without speaking to anyone else. The HRWs then videotaped interviews with both Dr. Taysir and his brother regarding the incident.
Dr. Taysir told the HRWs that he gone to open the door for the soldiers when almost immediately they began shoving him around and pinned him against a wall by pressing on his chest. The doctor told the soldier not to push him, and the soldier responded by punching him in the temple. Other soldiers joined in, and Dr. Taysir received blows to his arms, legs, and torso. At least two blows, those to his left arm, were strikes with the butt of a rifle; these injuries are documented with video.
Seeing that Dr. Taysir was being attacked, a female patient who was present attempted to intervene, putting herself between the doctor and the soldiers. She was struck by a soldier, and fell unconscious. The patient was later placed on a medical exam table with an oxygen feed to help her recover, where she was videotaped (with permission) by the HRWs. Dr. Taysir’s adult
daughter was also beaten at some point during the encounter, though the events are not clear to us what happened. Dr. Taysir and his brother both stated repeatedly that soldiers used and regularly use foul language towards him and his family, including his wife and small children.
Later that evening, before sunset, soldiers could be seen on the roof of Dr. Taysir’s house. HRWs were standing on their own roof, and when they looked in the direction of the soldiers, the soldiers used their arms in a gesture to say ‘fuck you’ to the HRWs. The soldiers were laughing the entire time. The HRWs did not respond.

* * *
Soldiers invade yet another home in Tel Rumeida, Hebron : August 20th, 2006

At approximately 12 PM HRWs arrived at a house being invaded by IDF soldiers. HRWs found the the door blocked by two soldiers, who refused to let them in the house; these soldiers did not tell the HRWs to not film them. After a few minutes of attempting to negotiate our way into the house, HRWs walked around the soldiers, and were met with little resistance. One HRW went to the family and asked if they were OK; the family appeared to be nervous but unharmed. Other HRWs proceeded to come into the house and look around, seeing if anything was disrupted or broken. None of us could see evidence that the soldiers had done this, unlike the previous week, in which the neighbor’s house was destroyed from the inside.

An HRW approached the commander of the unit with her camera on and asked him what they were doing; his face is clearly seen on film. The commander told the HRW that if she and her friends wanted to stay in the house, she should turn the camera off. The HRW told the commander that she could film and that if the soldiers weren’t doing anything wrong, it shouldn’t bother them. The commander then stepped closer to the HRW and said, “Look, i’m in control of this house now. If you want to stay and watch us search, then turn the camera off. If you don’t do that, then I will make all of you go outside, lock the doors, and you can wait for us to finish outside.” The HRW put her camera down and proceeded to follow the soldiers through the house. They did not break or take anything that was obvious. The soldiers left about ten minutes after HRWs had arrived. As the soldiers were leaving, one HRW said to the commander, “Hey, see you later, Yosi.” The soldier then replied, “You have a lot of guts saying that to me.”

The family told the HRWs afterwards that the soldiers come frequently to their house. The soldiers always tell them they’re looking for weapons, but have never found any. An HRW asked the family if the soldiers ever break or steal things, and one of the women replied, “Sometimes yes, sometimes no; we are always at their mercy. Today they behaved very well, and I think it was because all of you came.” The family thanked the HRWs repeatedly as we sat and drank tea with them.

for pictures, please click here
8- Israeli Army Kills 15 year old Demonstrator, Injures 12, and Demolishes Houses

Nablus, Palestine–Today, August 26, 2006, in the Jabal Shamali neighborhood of Nablus, soldiers of the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) launched a 16 and a half hour incursion, wherein they killed one young boy, hospitalized at least twelve with many more injured, and destroyed twenty homes and apartments. The IOF entered the area around 2:00am, with over 26 military vehicles including armoured jeeps, hummers, border police jeeps, a Caterpillar D9 armoured bulldozer and Caterpillar “excavator” wrecking machines.
Upon entering the area, the army went to the Labbada house, a three-story building, built in 1927, and home to over seventeen families, including eights flats housing members of the Labbada family. Immediately after entering the area, the soldiers used loudspeakers to order the residents of the building to leave within one minute. At this time, seventeen families exited the building, and were detained on the street, from 2:00-4:00am, while IOF soldiers fired live ammunition over their heads.

Upon seeing the bulldozers, the families of the Labbada house made repeated offers to act as shields for the soldiers in order to allow them to enter the building to search for the target of the raid, but the soldiers refused, and soon began to demolish the homes. At 4:00am most of theresidents were released and allowed to enter the home of a neighbor, but one elderly man, approximately eighty years old, was further detained until around 9:00am when he was released.
At 3:00am, with the residents still detained in the street, IOF bulldozers and “excavators” began to demolish small homes surrounding the Labbada complex, in an attempt to reach the three-story building. Once the building around the Labbada house had been completely demolished, the army began to demolish the three-story building from three sides. At this time, soldiers entered the At Tamimi building, a two-story home adjacent to the Labbada complex, and used the top floor as a sniper position. At 9:30am, five men were kidnapped from the neighboring house and forced to enter the apartment being used as a sniper nest to act as human shields for the army.

These men were held from 9:30am-11:45am. The men are named Shadi, age 23, Majdi, age 35, Tamer, age 19, Rami, age 17, Mohammad, age 21 and Walid, age 64.

The army proceeded to demolish at least three homes bordering the Labbada complex, and an additional eleven flats within the complex. While they demolished the homes, the army fired almost constantly into the building, while also firing at demonstrators with live ammunition, tear gas and concussion grenades. During this assault, the soldiers repeatedly fired explosive grenades from M-16 assault rifles into the building’s windows.

While demolishing the homes, the army crushed at least eight automobiles, and utilizing a bulldozer, dropped three of them on a neighboring house. Also during the attack, IOF soldiers entered the adjacent children’s’ school and after knocking out the windows, used the area as a firing position to shoot at demonstrators. In addition, Palestinian medical volunteers reported that around 5:00pm, a large fire was seen blazing in the Labbada house, the result of repeated IOF grenade fire.

During the demolition, young Palestinian demonstrators gathered on and around Amman street, and were fired upon repeatedly. Rafidia hospital has confirmed that during these clashes, Muntasir Sulaiman Muhammad Ukah, 15 from Askar refugee camp, was shot in the back and killed. Rafidia has also confirmed treating an additional 12 persons for injuries, they are:

Issam Fathi Joma’a, 27 years old, with shrapnel in his right shoulder.
Ammar Nizar Saed, 16 years old, shot in the hand.
Jaber Naser Abd-Alrahman, 16 years old, shrapnel in an unknown location.
Ayman Abed Al-kareem Al-Khayat, 17 years old, shot in left leg.
Rani Mohammad Al-akhbar, 18 years old, shot in the leg.
Mahdi Atif Shrooti, 13 years old, shot in the hip.
Abed Al-latif Tahseen Agha, 9 years old, with shrapnel in the neck.
Abed Al-aziz Khalel Jebril, 18 years old, shot with a rubber bullet in the right hand.
Fathi Mohammad, 80 years old, shot in the right leg.
Ramadan Husam Al-ajori, 13 years old, shot in the right leg.
Fadi Ahmad, 18 years old, show with a rubber bullet in the head.
Ahamd Zayad Solayman, 15 years old, shot in the back.

Local news sources report an additional ten injuries but only those named were transfered to Rafidia hospital. On at least two occasions, IOF soldiers prevented Palestinian ambulances from reaching injured persons in a timely manner.

The target of the incursion is unclear, but IOF soldiers arrested Nizar Labbada, 30 years old, before leaving the scene at 6:30pm. This is not the first time the 79 year old building was raided. In 2004, IOF soldiers attacked the building on four separate occasions in search of Firaz Labbada, now 34. Firaz was arrested in 2004 and is currently imprisoned until at least 2008.


* Israeli Assault on Balata
This morning, two Palestinian resistance fighters were killed by Israeli military during an incursion into Balata refugee camp just outside of Nablus. Another young man was shot in the stomach and is, according to sources at Rafidia hospital, in critical condition. Hani Al-Hashash, 22, and Ibrahim Neba, 23, were chased up on the roof by Israeli special forces who broke the door and entered their home at about five o’clock this morning. As the military opened fire, one of the men attempted to defend himself and shot two soldiers, injuring them slightly.
The two resistance fighters attempted to escape by climbing up to the roof. An Apache helicopter then backed them up against a wall before firing several rounds of bullets into their bodies. Hani Al-Hashash died from a bullet to his brain and Ibrahim Neba incurred several fatal wounds to the neck, stomach and chest. Five to six missiles were also fired from the helicopter, breaking two water tanks and making several large holes in the roof of the building.
* Palestinian Children Assaulted by Israeli Army
On Sunday August 27th, two HRWs were on Shuhada Street in front of the military post which watches the Beit Hadassa settlement in Hebron. At around 5 p.m. a group of six Palestinian kids between approximately 10 and 12 years of age, who had been around the area for a few hours, went towards the checkpoint and started a conversation with the soldier in the military post. After a couple of minutes, the group of kids sat down on the steps in opposite of the post and started obviously joking with the soldier, so that it was not clear if the kids were detained, or if they were just joking around with the soldier. The HRWs wanted to clarify the situation and asked the soldier what the kids are doing there. The soldier responded that the kids were detained because they tried to steal a bicycle from the settlement and that he called the police to deal with this case. The HRW asked the soldier to let the kids leave, but he refused to do so. A short time later, some Palestinian residents started talking to the soldier.
At about 5.30 p.m. one police officer and four Border policemen arrived at the military post and started questioning the boys and talking to a Palestinian woman who was still around. After about 15 minutes, three boys were allowed to leave and the Palestinian woman left with them, giving each a cuff on the head. The other three boys were still there, and the police officer told the HRW, who tried to intervene, that he should leave because they were “taking the kids back home”. The HRWs moved back several yards and saw the border police and the police officer take one boy after another into the military post, behind the camouflage netting, where the HRWs couldn’t see what was being done. When the first boy came out again (after about 15 seconds), the HRW saw that he was holding his head, so they suspected that those boys were taken in there to beat them. The HRW went quickly towards the military post while asking the soldiers and the police, if they would beat the kids in there. Being closer to the post, the HRW was able to hear slaps and see obvious moves. The Border Police came quickly towards the HRWs and tried to intimidate them while asking them questions and demanding their passports. Meanwhile, the three boys left.

for pictures, please clickhere


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