Home / Second Annual Conference in Bil’in 18 – 20 April 2007

Second Annual Conference in Bil’in 18 – 20 April 2007

1. Second Annual Conference in Bil’in 18 – 20 April 2007
2. Second Casualty and Other Victims of Operation Hot Winter
3. Settler assaults on internationals in Tel Rumeida and tree planting in Beit Omar
4. Purim attacks on Palestinians in Hebron
5. Nablus women celebrate Women’s Day at Huwwara checkpoint
6. Two hospitalised at Bil’in as IOF lash out
7. South Bethlehem villagers protest at worksite of shame
8. Tree planting and Tom Fox memorial in Tel Rumeida

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1. Second Annual Conference in Bil’in 18 – 20 April 2007

February 2007 marks the second anniversary of the weekly non-violent protests in opposition to the “work-site of shame” for the Apartheid Wall that has annexed almost 60% of the land of Bil’in village in the West Bank. Bil’in has become a symbol both of the theft of land across Palestine and of the power of non-violent grassroots movements in building local and international resistance to Occupation.

The International Conference will follow upon a Palestinian conference to be held in March to extend the Popular Non-Violent Struggle across Palestine and offers Israelis and Internationals opportunity to join their Palestinian partners in spreading non-violent resistance to the injustice suffered by Palestinians: land confiscation, home demolitions, checkpoints, and imprisonment behind the Wall.

The year between June 2007 and May 2008 provides an effective framework for highlighting the ongoing Palestinian catastrophe: 90 years since the Balfour Declaration, 60 years since the Nakba, 40 years of Occupation, 25 years since Sabra/Shatila, 20 years since the First Intifada, 5 years of building the Apartheid Wall. Join us in strategizing effective, concerted non-violent action in Palestine and across the globe!

WHEN: 18 – 20 APRIL, 2007 with a major non-violent action on the final day

WHERE: BIL’IN VILLAGE near Ramallah, Palestine

SPEAKERS:

* Dr. Azmi Bishara, Palestinian Israeli Knesset member
* Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Irish Nobel Peace Prize recipient
* Dr. Ilan Pappe, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
* Luisa Morgantini, Italian EU Parliament member and Peace Activist
* Stéphane Hessel, former French Ambassador
* Jean-Claude Lefort, French parliament member
* Amira Hass, author and journalist, Ha’aretz
* Sam Bahour, Palestinian activist and entrepreneur
* Representatives of the Bil’in Popular Committee

WORKSHOPS: NON-VIOLENT STRATEGIES TO OPPOSE OPPRESSION

o Boycott, divestment, and sanctions
o Building economic independence
o Media & Advocacy
o Direct Action

COST: Accommodation per night, 20 Euros plus Conference Registration, 20 Euros per day (April 18 -19)

TO REGISTER and for information on options for pre-and-post conference activities see: www.bilin-village.org

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2. Second Casualty and Other Victims of Operation Hot Winter

Father of five, Ghareb Abdel Ghani Selhab, 47, a resident of Nablus old city who had a heart attack after a tear gas canister was fired into his home, died this morning. He had been in Watani hospital since the attack on Tuesday 26th February on a life support machine. According to the Red Crescent Society who sent an ambulance to evacuate Mr. Selhab they were prevented by the Israeli military from accessing his home for over an hour.

Anan Al-Tibi,49-year old father of four, was shot dead on February 26th,when he went up to the roof of his home to check on the water source. His 20-year old son Ashraf, a medical volunteer, was shot in his right hand, shattering his elbow, while attempting to warn his father that the military were in the area. Ashraf was then detained by the Israeli military and released hours later. He is still in Nablus Specialist Hospital (Nablus Al Tachasusi).
For an interview with Ashraf visit:
good quality – http://video.indymedia.org/en/2007/03/770.shtml
low quality – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTRA85ph9C4

Eleven year old Jihan Dahadush was used as a human shield and led around the old city for an hour and a half in front of ten Israeli soldiers.
For an interview with Jihan visit:
good quality – https://video.indymedia.org/en/2007/03/767.shtml
low quality – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiO0GYsyR4A

Several men who were rounded up and detained by the Israeli military testified that after being detained, blindfolded, handcuffed, and denied access to food, water, for between six and twenty hours, they were released in front of Huwarra military base after being asked only basic questions such as what is your name and where do you live.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/04/nab-invasion-pr/

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3. Settler assaults on internationals in Tel Rumeida and tree planting in Beit Omar

by ISM Hebron, March 3rd

Throughout the afternoon, settlers in Tel Rumeida harrassed Palestinian children who were outside playing, enjoying the first sunshine in a few days. They yelled insults and repeatedly pretended to charge at one child riding a bike.

Three internationals were physically assaulted over the course of a few hours. The first attack was against a member of CPT, who was hit in the ear with a rock while standing on Shuhadda Street. Settlers threw rocks at the group of human rights workers (HRWs), hitting one in the ear and causing it to bleed.

The second incident occurred when two HRWs attempted to film four settler teenagers who were trying to goad their dog into attacking an older Palestinian man. When the settlers saw that they were being filmed, they charged the woman with the camera. The other HRW intervened, and in the process was bitten by the dog and repeatedly shoved by one of the settler youths. A soldier eventually broke up the confrontation, but then proceeded to lecture the HRWs that we were not allowed to film in Tel Rumeida. The soldier also noted that the altercation was no big deal because “They’re just 16-year old boys.” In under two years, these same boys will be given guns.

Beit Omar

A group of international volunteers joined local Palestinians in Beit Omar north of Hebron to plant olive trees today. They visited Beit Omar Municipality and met the Mayor of Beit Omar who welcomed the international visit to the village. He gave brief information on the area and and land confiscation by Occupation authorities. According to him, about 30 per cent of the land in Beit Omar has been confiscated for the construction of the planned apartheid wall, but it is actually about 60 per cent of the village’s agricultural land.

After the meeting with the Mayor, the volunteers gathered on land near the Gush Etzion settlement block where the wall is planned to be built. Local Palestinians, together with internationals planted 150 olive trees on the land. About 20 Israeli soldiers and police officers turned up but didn’t disrupt the planting.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/03/bo-tree-planting/

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4. Purim attacks on Palestinians in Hebron

by ISM Hebron, March 5th

Shuhada St and Tel Rumeida St were closed from 10 am for a Purim parade on Sunday 4th March, which was supposed to start at 11 am but actually set off from Tel Rumeida settlement after 12. The parade went through Tel Rumeida, past Beit Hadassa and finished in Kiryat Arba.

The parade passed off peacefully but Palestinians suffered considerable inconvenience with the street and checkpoint being closed. Palestinians eventually managed to push past soldiers at the checkpoint after 12.45.

In the afternoon one settler child around 8 years old ran down from Tel Rumeida settlement throwing rocks at the house of a Palestinian family. When a human rights worker (HRW) started to film him the soldier ordered him to immediately stop because “it’s just a child drunk from wine”.

The HRW didn’t stop recording and the soldiers paid more attention to him than to the child who kept throwing rocks at houses, HRWs and Palestinian children. After at least 10 minutes another soldier came who eventually took the boy away. The boy collapsed in the middle of the road and was carried away by a male settler.

Immediately another child about the same age ran down and started yelling and throwing rocks at Palestinian boys in the workshop and the HRWs. The two soldiers held the child but it took them a while to make him calm.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/05/purim-settler-attacks/

For YNet coverage including video visit:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3373865,00.html

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5. Nablus women celebrate Women’s Day at Huwwara checkpoint

by IWPS, March 8th
http://www.iwps-pal.org/en/index.php

Approximately 300 women, men and children gathered at Huwwara checkpoint outside Nablus today at 11:00 a.m. to protest the military invasion in Nablus last week and to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th. The demonstration was organized by a wide coalition of groups including the Popular Committee Against the Closure of Nablus and the General Woman’s Union.

Demonstrators began to chant and march toward the checkpoint, carrying Palestinian flags, signs, and photographs of loved ones who have been killed and arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces. Once at the checkpoint, several women leaders made speeches condemning the Israeli invasion of Nablus. Protestors chanted and tried to pass through the checkpoint but were confronted by around 40 soldiers and border police.

After about 20 minutes, armed soldiers created a barricade to prevent demonstrators from getting through the checkpoint. Several Palestinian women advanced forward, only to be forcefully pushed back, which led to a line of soldiers pushing the entire crowd. The demonstrators resisted soldiers’ pushes but the crowd was moved several meters back. The rally ended with a powerful speech by a female Palestinian leader and a promise to return.

The Israeli forces closed Huwwara checkpoint during the demonstration, leaving approximately 200 people waiting for one and a half hours to pass through. Three hours after the demonstration, Palestinians passing through the checkpoint reported wait times of one hour.

click here for photos:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/08/huwwura-womens-day/

click here for Ma’an coverage:
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=20161

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6. Two hospitalised at Bil’in as IOF lash out

by the ISM media team, March 9th

Two peaceful protesters today paid the price for standing in solidarity with the villagers of Bilin to protest the theft of their land when they were attacked and had to be carried to an ambulance for evacuation. Ben received a blow to the forehead from a rifle butt whilst a sound bomb was thrown at Jonathan’s foot, which exploded on his shoe leaving him unable to walk.

After the last two large demos, today’s march to the wall could be seen as an anti-climax, but the villagers of Bil’in were determined to maintain the momentum of their struggle and were not disheartened by the turn-out of around a hundred.

As has been the pattern in recent weeks soldiers reacted aggressively to the peaceful chanting and flag waving, and when a few stray stones came their way were quick to try and disperse the crowd with tear gas and sound grenades.

Large numbers of soldiers poured through the gate to remove those who remained and many were grabbed, pushed over and dragged along the ground merely for standing there.

Unable to control themselves the soldiers continued to use sound bombs and batons against the protesters. Iyad Burnat, a member of the popular committee in Bil’in who was hospitalised at the demo two weeks ago, was again targetted and beaten on his body. Eleven other protesters were shot with rubber bullets.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/09/bilin-09-03-07/

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7. South Bethlehem villagers protest at worksite of shame

by the ISM media team, March 9th

Villagers from the South Bethlehem region came together again this Friday to protest at the annexation and destruction of their agricultural land. After prayers held on land belonging to Umm Salamuna village, speeches were given by representatives from the local communities and national organisations, and one speech was given in English for the around 30 international and Israeli activists appealing for support in the upcoming struggle.

The 200-strong crowd then marched along the razed land which is currently being leveled for the Apartheid Wall by diggers.

Some of the diggers moved away to work in a different area and soldiers then blocked the path of the marchers to this area. The villagers pointed out the injustice and illegality of the Wall but the soldiers were unmoved and grabbed and pushed them back.

Residents from Wadi Annis sat down in front of the line of soldiers and anti-occupation slogans were chanted before the crowd dispersed.

Ten villages surrounding Bethlehem will have agricultural land annexed and destroyed by the Wall with the villages of Wadi Anniss, Um Salamuna, Wadi Rahhal and Al Ma’sara most effected.

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/09/umsal-09-03-07/

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8. Tree planting and Tom Fox memorial in Tel Rumeida

by ISM Hebron, March 9th

Palestinian activists from the International Solidarity Movement organized a tree planting session in Tel Rumeida on Friday. This was advertised widely and many local Palestinians, Israeli activists and Internationals came to join them with around 30 people in all. Organisations represented included ISM, EAPPI (World Council of Churches), Sons of Abraham and The Alternative Information Centre in Bethlehem.

All the trees had to be carried into H2 by hand as Palestinians are not allowed to drive in the Israeli controlled part of Hebron. They planted olive, lemon, and fig trees for many families living close to the illegal Jewish settlements who have been subjected to constant harassment from the settlers. It was particularly important for the Palestinians to have active support from so many Israeli Jews.

At 1:30 pm Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals all gathered in front the Centre near the Tomb of Abraham and walked to the Christian Peacemaker Teams’ apartment to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of CPT member Tom Fox who was killed in Iraq last year. Palestinians and Israelis had to walk separately as neither is allowed to walk in the other’s zone. They planted an olive tree in front of the apartment with a commemorative plaque and both Palestinians and Internationals gave brief speeches after holding a one minute’s silence. An article written by Tom Fox shortly before his death was read out entitled “Why Are we Here”, in which he said, “We are here to root out all aspects of de-humanization that exist within us. We are here to stand with those being de-humanized by oppressors and stand firm against de-humanization.”

For photos visit:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2007/03/10/tr-tree-planting

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