Home / Swedish human rights worker viciously attacked by Jewish extremists in Hebron

Swedish human rights worker viciously attacked by Jewish extremists in Hebron

1. Swedish human rights worker viciously attacked by Jewish extremists in Hebron
2. Streets of Hate: a journal entry on attacks in Hebron
3. American priest and nun join Palestinian non-violent resistance in Gaza
4. Home demolitions resisted in Al Funduq
5. IOF attack Qalandia demo against Gaza atrocities
6. Harassment of non-violent activists in Bil’in continues
7. Tuwani accompaniment reaps partial success, despite settler farce
8. Large mob of Israeli settlers drive Palestinians from Tuba
9. Israel issues final visas, splitting families
10. Azzun Atma villagers protest against Apartheid Wall

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1. Swedish human rights worker viciously attacked by Jewish extremists in Hebron

by ISM Hebron, November 18

UPDATE, November 22nd: Tove has been released from hospital and will return home soon. The Jerusalem Post has reported Swedish government dissatisfaction with the Israeli investigation into the attack on Tove:

“The Swedish government is dissatisfied with Israel’s investigation of an attack in the contentious West Bank city of Hebron that left a Swedish activist with a broken cheekbone, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

“We’re concerned that this hasn’t been followed up, and we intend to speak to the relevant authorities and ask for more information about the incident,” said Petra Hansson, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry. ”

UPDATE, November 21: Tove is still in hospital where she will remain for the next few days before returning to Sweden to receive ongoing treatment there. As well as a broken cheekbone Tove has a fractured skull and damage to her eye muscles. A complaint was filed with the police in Kiryat Arba where eye-witness statements and photo evidence was submitted. However, according to a report by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din 90% of complaints filed against Israelis to the “Samaria and Judea District” police were closed without indictments being issued.

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A 19-year old Swedish human rights worker had her cheekbone broken by a Jewish extremist in Hebron today. Earlier the same day at least five Palestinians, including a 3-year-old child, were injured by the settler-supporting extremists, who rampaged through Tel Rumeida hurling stones and bottles at local residents. Palestinian schoolchildren on their way home were also attacked. The Israeli army, which was intensively deployed in the area, did not intervene to stop the attacks.

Tove Johansson from Stockholm walked through the Tel Rumeida checkpoint with a small group of human rights workers (HRWs) to accompany Palestinian schoolchildren to their homes. They were confronted by about 100 Jewish extremists in small groups. They started chanting in Hebrew “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!” — a refrain the settlers had been repeating to internationals in Tel Rumeida all day.

After about thirty seconds of waiting, a small group of very aggressive male Jewish extremists surrounded the international volunteers and began spitting at them, so much so that the internationals described it as “like rain.” Then men from the back of the crowd began jumping up and spitting, while others from the back and side of the crowd kicked the volunteers.

The soldiers, who were standing at the checkpoint just a few feet behind the HRWs, looked on as they were being attacked.

One settler then hit Tove on the left side of her face with an empty bottle, breaking it on her face and leaving her with a broken cheekbone. She immediately fell to the ground and the group of Jewish extremists who were watching began to clap, cheer, and chant. The soldiers, who had only watched until this point, then came forward and motioned at the settlers, in a manner which the internationals described as “ok… that’s enough guys.”

The extremists, however, were allowed to stay in the area and continued watching and clapping as the HRWs tried to stop the flow of blood from the young woman’s face. Some, who were coming down the hill even tried to take photos of themselves next to her bleeding face, giving the camera a “thumbs-up” sign.

At this point, a HRW was taken into a police van and asked to identify who had attacked the group. The HRW did this, pointing out three Jewish extremists who the police took into their police vehicles. However, the extremists were all driven to different areas of the neighborhood and released nearly immediately. When one of the three was released on Shuhada Street, the crowd that was still celebrating the woman’s injuries applauded and cheered.

A settler medic came to the scene about 15 minutes after the attack and immediately began interrogating the internationals who had been attacked about why they were in Hebron. He refused to help the bleeding woman lying on the street in any way.

Five minutes after the settler medic arrived, the army medic arrived and began treating the injured woman. When she was later put on a stretcher, the crowd again clapped and cheered.

Police officers at the scene then began threatening to arrest the remaining HRWs if they did not immediately leave the area, even though they had just been attacked.

The injured woman was taken to Kiryat Arba settlement and then to Hadassah Ein Keren hospital in Jerusalem.

HRWs were later told by the police that they had not even taken the names of those who were identified as having attacked the HRWs and that one of the main assailants had simply told the police that he was due at the airport in two hours to fly back to France.

The incident was the latest attack by extremist Jews in Hebron. The small group of Khannist settlers in Tel Rumeida regularly attack and harass Palestinians in the area. The violence sometimes spills over to the international human rights workers who accompany Palestinians in an attempt to protect them from settler attack.

The settlers in Tel Rumeida encourage Jewish tourists to come to support them, as a way of making up for their small numbers. Today, hundreds had come from tours in Israel for a special event — many from overseas: France, England and the United States.

For a more personal account of the same events, see this journal entry:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/20/streets-of-hate/

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/18/hebron-day-06/

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2. Streets of Hate: a journal entry on attacks in Hebron

by aspiringnomad, November 20th

His panic-stricken little face lights up when he receives the information that we’ll escort him home, sending him skipping merrily down the road on an errand to buy potatoes. This is the Palestinian Authority controlled area of Hebron, and as we cross through Tel Rumeida checkpoint to the other side in order to wait for the Palestinian boy’s return, we soon discover the source of his fear.

We are confronted by around 100 ultra-orthodox Jews, who are gathered in Hebron to mark ‘Hebron day’, one of whom shouts “You know that Jesus is gay?”. None of us really react to this arbitrary taunt, however it does serve to focus the crowd’s attentions squarely on our small group of human rights workers. Another shouts “What are you doing here?”

“Tourists” I reply, believing this to be the safest response under the circumstances. The crowd then begins chanting in Hebrew “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!” — we are quickly designated the ‘other’. The mob mentality takes on an oppressive and ugly turn; now almost a single entity justifying almost any excess as long as it is directed towards the ‘other’. The crowd edges forward “You love Palestinians” one of them shouts, spitting in a human rights worker’s face.

The first stone had been cast: saliva rains down on us and people jump above one another to be able to deliver their contempt. We are shoved and kicked repeatedly, and even though it is apparent that events are spiraling dangerously out of control, the soldiers who are standing just a few feet behind us at the checkpoint choose to look on impotently as the attacks intensify.

A man lunges from the crowd, smashing Tove, a 19 year old Swedish girl across the face with a bottle. She immediately collapses to the ground clutching her bloodied face in horrified terror. At this point the soldiers come forward and motion at the settlers, in a “ok… that’s enough guys…” motion, amid clapping, cheering and chanting from the crowd.

As Tove lay on the hard concrete floor, blood oozing from her wounds the crowd re-groups, fed by curiosity and growing in energy “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!” I now felt a growing sense of apprehension as awareness dawned of the mob’s evil intent and the soldiers’ unwillingness to intervene in any meaningful way.

A religiously dressed Orthodox Jew then adds insult to injury by posing with a thumbs-up gesture over Tove’s bloodied face. The sight of this was so obnoxiously contemptuous I never gave the guy the satisfaction he sadistically craved by taking his picture. The decision as to whether I should have taken that picture has been discussed over and over by people I know, though I feel the impact of sharing that disgusting image I have etched in my mind, can serve no purpose other than that of breeding hatred.

The police arrived and an American girl who witnessed the event was taken into a police van and asked to identify who had attacked our group. Meanwhile the remaining police were telling me and another Englishman that if we didn’t move away from the scene we would be arrested as we were blocking the street. We remained.

A Jewish settler medic came to the scene about 15 minutes after the attack and immediately began asking us why we were in Hebron, telling us pointedly we had no right to be there. He refused to help Tove as she lay bleeding in the street .

Eventually Tove was helped onto a stretcher by some soldiers, amid jeers and clapping from the crowd. We escorted the stretcher through the jeering crowd to a military vehicle in which Tove and a close friend were transported to the hospital in Jerusalem.

As I walked back down the street I witnessed the police open the door of a van and release one of the attackers. Upon seeing this the crowd then began jubilantly celebrating his release. We were later told by the police that they had not even taken the names of those who were identified as having attacked us, and that one of the main assailants had simply told the police that he was due at the airport in two hours to fly back to France.

Two Englishmen and I then spent another half an hour or so escorting Palestinian women and children from the checkpoint to their homes. In doing so it is our aim to protect the Palestinians in such situations by deflecting the attention and hate away from them.

It was getting dark but the streets were still busy. We escorted one group of three boys, the oldest of whom was 9 or 10. We were followed closely along the street by a dozen or so Orthodox Jews who hissed and berated the Palestinian boys in Arabic with obscenities I am grateful of not understanding. “You like protecting the animals?”, they taunted us in English — “Nazis!”.

We reached some steps and turned off the main street and began to climb, the little boys nervously glancing back to see if we would be pursued. A couple of hundred metres further on the older boy made it clear they were OK to continue alone now. I asked the oldest boy if they were sure, he forced a smile and shrugged his soldiers in defiance as if to say “no problem this stuff happens every day”. He seemed so strong, but as I put my hand on his shoulder and looked into his teary eyes they gave out another message and I saw pain and fear.

I wanted to tell him that the world wasn’t really like this. But for him and the people of Tel Rumeida it is.

Earlier in the day at least five Palestinians, including a 3-year old child, were injured by Jewish settlers, who rampaged through Tel Rumeida hurling stones and bottles at local residents. Palestinian schoolchildren on their way home were also attacked. The Israeli “Defense” Force, which was intensively deployed in the area, did not intervene to stop the settlers.

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3. American priest and nun join Palestinian non-violent resistance in Gaza

UPDATE, November 22nd: Father Peter and Sister Mary Ellen have moved on to Beit Lahia, in the north of Gaza, where Palestinians have been gathered for the last three days to protect the home of Wael Rajab, a house that took 20 years to build. This is at least the second location in Gaza in the last four days where this particular nonviolent tactic has been employed to prevent home demolition. Fr. Peter said he has been sitting outside the house with many people from the town, including doctors, teachers, and a civil engineer.

“It is clear that violence will only lead to more violence,” Fr. Peter said, “but perhaps this nonviolent form of resistance will help to end the vicious cycle.” Palestinians have explained that hundreds of villagers have decided to participate in this action because they feel that since the world community has chosen not to help them, they must help themselves. And they are dedicated. Many of the villagers, from young men to elderly women, have told the two Christians, “Even if Israel destroys our homes, we will stay.”

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by the ISM media team, November 21st

Father Peter and Sister Mary Ellen from the US have joined the people of Jabalya, Gaza, in their non-violent action to protect the home of Mohammed Wael Baroud, under threat of destruction. On Saturday hundreds of neighbours surrounded his house and climbed onto the roof after he received a call from the Israeli army informing him he had 30 minutes to vacate his home before it was destroyed by missiles.

“I am amazed at the courage and solidarity of these people. This is a living example of brotherhood between people against the injustice of collective punishment”, said Sister Mary Ellen.

Just two weeks after the killing of two non-violent female demonstrators in Gaza, the movement has gathered momentum after Palestinians recently halted two planned Israeli air strikes on activists’ homes. These two recent successes in the Palestinian non-violent resistance movement appear to have thwarted Israeli air strikes for the first time due to the sheer numbers of people mobilized.

The owner of the house Wael Baroud a leader in the Popular Resistance Committees armed faction, said “The whole world and the international community turned a blind eye and failed to protect us from the continuous Israeli attacks. We have to do something… We are ready to be killed and martyred for the sake of God and freedom. We don’t fear the Israelis. We are no better than the children of Beit Hanoun, who were slaughtered while they were sleeping in the latest Israeli massacre in Beit Hanoun.”

It is a contravention of the Geneva Convention for armies to fail to make a distinction between unarmed civilians and armed combatants. Israel practices the strategy of telephoning residents of targeted homes shortly before the homes are to be destroyed, giving them just enough time to quickly escape. This practice has been used in over 60 cases within Gaza, despite the fact that any act of collective punishment is a crime under international law.

For photo visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/21/jabaliya-christians/

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4. Home demolitions resisted in Al Funduq

by aspiringnomad, November 22nd

Five buildings were destroyed and three Palestinians were hospitalized by the Israeli military in Al Funduq, east of Qalqilya today. The Israeli army arrived at 5.30 this morning, allowing the occupants of homes just minutes to collect valuables and evacuate before their homes were demolished. The Israeli army claimed that the three homes and two agricultural structures were constructed without permits despite ongoing court cases.

“I saw women convulsing and grown men weep…it was truly horrific witnessing the devastation of whole families’ lives”, said Alice from the International Women’s Peace Service.

Over a dozen Palestinians and international human rights workers climbed onto the roof of the third house in a show of peaceful non-violent resistance but were forcefully removed by soldiers who used excessive force, sound bombs and rubber bullets in an attempt to remove them. Seven people were shot with rubber bullets and three Palestinians were hospitalized.

International photographer Eric Bjarnaison said, “I was physically assaulted by soldiers who attempted to smash my camera”.

The Israeli military uprooted groves of olive trees, as well as breaking into other homes in search of “wanted” Palestinians. Material losses are estimated by municipal crews to run to over a million shekels. This area of Qalqilya lies close to Israel’s illegal annexation wall and the illegal colony of Qedumim, deep inside the West Bank.

Last week one person was killed and 30 injured during an Israeli house demolition near Qalqilya. Since 1967 Israel has demolished some 12,000 Palestinian homes, leaving over 70,000 without shelter.

The systematic demolition of Palestinian homes is an attack on an entire people, and an attempt to reduce Palestinians to a fragmented set of islands — under Israeli control.

Even in small isolated West Bank villages, unlike densely populated areas in Gaza where resistance can be quickly mobilised, Palestinians continue to resist the Occupation non-violently.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/22/funduq-home-demolitions/

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5. IOF attack Qalandia demo against Gaza atrocities

by aspiringnomad, November 20th

On Sunday November 19, Palestinian activists joined by international supporters held a non-violent demonstration at Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah in solidarity with the people of Gaza against the ongoing Israeli attacks and the Beit Hanoun massacre.

Around 50 protesters unfurled banners, and used red paint spattered dolls to symbolise the killing of innocent children carried out by the Israeli army during their current offensive into Gaza, which according to BBC reports has killed over 400 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

The protesters were careful not to disrupt the traffic flow of Palestinian vehicles passing through the illegal checkpoint (all checkpoints are illegal under international law). Around a dozen soldiers quickly mobilized in order to deal with the apparent threat posed by the peaceful demonstration. The soldiers’ presence created a confrontational situation in which the demonstrators continued to voice their opinions face-to-face as they chanted slogans in protest.

The peaceful protest then turned ugly as soldiers began jostling with demonstrators and a uniform was inadvertently smeared with red paint. At this point the soldiers completely overreacted in trying to arrest a Palestinian American woman. Demonstrators were assaulted as the soldiers showed no restraint. The woman was chased for around 25 metres before being bundled to the ground by the Israeli soldiers, but in a classic de-arresting maneuver four of the demonstrators locked arms and thwarted the soldiers attempts. Aware of the international media presence, the Israeli border police commander decided to call off the attack.

At this point the demonstrators began chanting with renewed vigour and the soldiers retreated to their original position. However, it soon became obvious the soldiers were perturbed at their unsuccessful attempts to make an arrest when they began needlessly throwing sound bombs at the demonstrators, injuring an American protester in the process.

Having stated their point, the demonstrators collectively left in defiant mood as it was clear at this juncture the Israeli border police had decided to deal with the peaceful demo violently.

On Friday the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning Israel’s massacre in Beit Hanoun in Gaza last week. Some 156 countries, including the 25-member European Union, voted in favor. The United States, Israel, Australia, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia voted against.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/20/qalandia-19-11-06/

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6. Harassment of non-violent activists in Bil’in continues

by the ISM media team, November 22nd

Last night the IOF invaded Bil’in village at around 2am and arrested 4 villagers, who were taken to Ofer military base. Head of the Popular Committee against the Wall Iyad Burnat, committee member Basel Mansour, Loi Burnat and Khamis Abu Rahme were held at Ofer until 9am when they were taken to the police station at Mod’in.

They were then interrogated first by the police and then by Shabak, the Israeli intelligence service. They were questioned at length on their involvement in the weekly non-violent demonstrations and threatened with being charged for the actions of others at the protests. The four were finally released without charge in the evening. This is merely the latest attempt to intimidate the non-violent resistance to the apartheid wall and Israeli colonies, which after nearly two years of weekly demonstrations in Bil’in, refuses to succumb to the repression of the Zionist regime.

Meanwhile in a further attempt to disrupt the lives of non-violent activists in Bil’in the trial of Popular Committee Coordinator Abdullah Abu Rahme was postponed after Border Policemen failed to appear at the court. The trial has been postponed until January 16th. Abdullah was arrested in non-violent demonstrations last year on June 17th, July 15th, and September 9th.

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7. Tuwani accompaniment reaps partial success, despite settler farce

by aspiringnomad, November 2oth

On Saturday 18th November a group of Israeli and international human rights workers met up with Palestinian farmers to plow fields in the shadow of an illegal Israeli outpost near the village of Tuwani. The joint Israeli-international accompaniment hoped to discourage Israeli settler attacks, by splitting into four groups and plowing simultaneously so that the effort of the farmers would be too much for the Jewish settlers to sabotage.

Armed with a recent court decision guaranteeing the villagers the right to work their land and the duty of the Israeli military to protect them from settler attacks, the Tuwani farmers feverishly plowed in an attempt to complete as much work as possible before the anticipated arrival of Jewish settlers.

Around two hours into the plowing action, a man appeared high up at the illegal Israeli outpost (Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, many outposts are illegal under International and Israeli law). He descended into the valley, taking pictures all the while, as a few human rights workers went to head him off and ask him the reasons for his presence. The settler remained mute, (even though as a South African, his English was more than adequate) and proceeded to wander around taking pictures of both Palestinian farmers and international volunteers whilst the plowing continued.

A short time later a settler driving a 4×4 vehicle came hurtling through the fields. The male occupant also started taking pictures of the farmers and then began attempting to obstruct the tractor’s progress by careening haphazardly around the fields in his vehicle.

Another Jewish settler then came running through the fields accompanied by three dogs. He singled out a tractor and began weaving about in front of it in an attempt to impede its progress, before jumping onto the front of it causing the driver to stop. He then proceeded to jump off and run around to the side of the tractor and fling himself to the ground feigning injury.

Observers, including the eight soldiers, looked on in bewilderment at this farcical performance as the poor confused driver pleaded his innocence. As human rights workers arrived at the tractor, the “injured” settler sprang to his feet and attempted to punch the Palestinian tractor driver, but the human rights workers held him back. He then began blundering around aimlessly in anger before attacking me with his walkie-talkie. After being restrained by a couple of soldiers he again began his angry blundering, before flopping to the ground after an apparent relapse of his tractor injury.

The police were then called to investigate the alleged assault, shortly followed by two zealous settler paramedics who began hurling abuse at all and sundry rather than examining the alleged injury. A Jewish settler then said to me “They’re suffering in Egypt, they’re suffering in Lebanon, they’re suffering in Iraq, why do you come here?”, “So you admit these people are suffering then?” I asked. He then turned and walked away. The “injured” man was then helped onto a stretcher and carried off up the hill, as police, soldiers and human rights workers discussed the incident.

Although the soldiers acknowledged the comedy aspects of the incident and the police implied the Palestinian farmer probably wouldn’t be charged, he was still required to attend the police station the following day to provide a written statement. An Arabic speaking Israeli promised to accompany the driver to the police station in an attempt to corroborate the accuracy of his statement.

With around two-thirds of the plowing complete the day can be said to have been a partial success, however, whether the crops are left to grow and be harvested unmolested by settlers is another question entirely.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/20/tuwani-19-11/

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8. Large mob of Israeli settlers drive Palestinians from Tuba

by Operation Dove, November 19th

At 8:45am 50 adult, male, Israeli settlers some of whom were carrying guns, walked from the illegal Israeli outpost of Havot Ma’on (Hill 833) toward the small Palestinian village of Tuba. On the way, they encountered the young children from Tuba and Migaer Al-Abeed walking to school in At-Tuwani under Israeli military escort. Most of the children, terrified, ran back towards Tuba. A village elder accompanied them back to their escort and all of the children arrived safely in At-Tuwani, although visibly shaken by their experience.

Two international volunteers from Operation Dove ran from At-Tuwani to Tuba. When they got near the village they met some of the villagers who had fled their houses and taken refuge in the hills. Some of them had taken their flocks of sheep and goats with them. A villager testified that when the settlers first approached the village they said that they were out hiking and would not bother the villagers. The Palestinian said, however, that the settlers entered the village and started throwing stones at the animals and at the village’s generator. They also emptied storage containers of water, a commodity which is in very short supply in the village.

The villagers pointed out the direction in which the settlers had gone. The Doves were walking in that direction when, at 9:45am, the Israeli police and army arrived on the scene. This was more than an hour after they had been called. The Doves saw the police jeep stop and the army jeep continue further on. The police and soldiers ordered the Doves to stop following the settlers. A villager later reported that the soldiers then shouted to the settlers to leave because the police were coming. The villager also reported that he saw the settlers go into a nearby valley and hide.

The Doves videotaped their discussion with the police. Audible on the recording are the police’s radio conversations with their colleagues. These colleagues can be heard to say that they encountered some of the settlers, including four of whom the villager had given a description.

However, the police did not detain the settlers, claiming that there was no evidence against them.

This is the latest example in this area of settler violence towards Palestinians, which again has evoked no response from the Israeli authorities.

Videos of the settlers marching to Tuba and the testimony of a villager is available on request.

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9. Israel issues final visas, splitting families

by the Campaign for the Right of Entry, November 21st

All foreign passports belonging to spouses and children of Palestinian ID-holders who had applied for visa extensions have recently been marked as “last permit” by the Israeli authorities. One hundred and five passport holders are required to leave via Israeli controlled entry/exit points before the end of the year. The Israeli Ministry of Interior (MoI) office at Beit El began returning the passports on November 19 after a six-week strike by Israeli MoI employees. Those who overstay their allotted time will be considered “illegal” and are subject to immediate deportation from the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). In an effort to avoid being considered “illegal” and threatened with arrest by the Israelis, some families are opting to relocate abroad. The pattern of refusing visa renewals for family members is part of an overall Israeli effort that denies entry to foreign nationals seeking access to the oPt.

The impact of Israel’s practice includes the forced separation of spouses, parents from their children, educators and students from their schools, health care, NGO and humanitarian workers from access to needy communities, and business owners from their investments. According to the Palestinian MoI, hundreds of applications for Israeli visa extensions following Israeli guidelines were submitted in October and are still pending. Israel is also refusing to process an estimated 120,000 family unification residency applications.

Every denial of entry and visa renewal refusal impacts an estimated 10 people, many of whom subsequently resort to moving to another country. “This is a silent ethnic cleansing,” said Basil Ayish, a spokesperson from the Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the oPt.

Despite official complaints by foreign governments of discrimination against their citizens, Israel continues to disregard its obligations under international law and agreements and persists in its practice of changing the demographics within the oPt. The U.S. State Department, EU, and at least one Latin American country have all submitted demarches to Israeli officials since October. Foreigners wishing to reside in, visit or work in the oPt continue to be banned at Israeli-controlled ports of entry.

Israel refuses to permit non-Jewish foreigners from receiving residency status in the oPt. This means that the only mechanism for foreign passport-holding spouses and children of Palestinian ID-holders to join their families has been to rely on a system of renewable 3-month ‘visitor’ permits.

This practice was widely expected to be a transitory measure until mechanisms were put in place to provide permanent residency status for non-ID holding family members. Some family members have been following this procedure for more than 30 years as the only option open to them.

For more background information on this story, see:
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=16865

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10. Azzun Atma villagers protest against Apartheid Wall

by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, November 18th

On the November 16th, the Palestinian grassroots organized an event in Azzun Atma village, south Qalqiliya, against the continuing destruction of their land, which began on November 13th. Occupation forces aim to construct a second Wall that will cut the village into two parts, isolating the land on the western side.

Despite the closure of Azzun Atma and the restrictions placed on Palestinians from the surrounding villages, hundreds of people marched to protest the occupation and destruction of Palestinian land. Farmers, politicians, and near-by village representatives marched to the lands threatened by the Occupation. Around 300 people participated in this event. A sizable Occupation force blocked people from going closer than 150m to the land and also restricted journalists from taking photographs of the construction area. The march ended with a sit-in near the threatened lands.

Amjad Omar, the Campaign local coordinator in the village, said: “this new section of the Apartheid Wall will cut the village into two parts and isolate many lands and water wells as well as demolishing parts of houses for the wall footprint”.

He also added that the farmers have successfully managed to delay construction during the past few days through daily demonstrations and the closing of “holes” made in the ground for the Wall. “The occupation bulldozers needed to come back every day to dig again these holes” he said. Around 4000 dunums of Azzun Atma village lands will be isolated behind the Apartheid Wall.

For photo visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/11/18/azzun-atma-report/

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