15 March 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
At 5:30 pm last night a large mob of settlers came down the hill and attacked villagers with stones, breaking one 15-year-old boy’s arm. At 5pm the soldiers had announced that their curfew was finished, but it became clear today that the curfew is still in effect as soldiers shout at people to go back inside if they step outside their homes. Though ISM activists could have left last night, they stayed in the village anticipating disturbances from settlers, and are now trapped again by the continuing curfew. Villagers have told the activists that their presence is influencing the behavior of the settlers: the soldiers are less abusive when internationals are present. Regarding the investigation into the murder of the settler family, evidence has yet to be presented incriminating a Palestinian. Most Palestinians, such as Hani Awad from Awarta, strongly doubt that a Palestinian would have committed the crime and think it would have been impossible for anyone to break into the settlement.
14 March 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
As of 12:30pm the ISM activists are locked in a room with the children of the family that they’ve been staying with while soldiers search the house. It’s difficult for the ISMers to confirm information they receive as they’re not allowed to leave the house, but they’ve heard that 100 village men were taken into detention at the school for interrogation a few hours ago.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today the village of Awarta, near Nablus, is facing the second day of a severe curfew imposed by the Israeli military, following Friday morning’s murder of a settler family in the settlement Itamar . Three ISM activists–Cinda, 23, Chad, 25, from Sweden, and Cissy, 53, from Norway–are currently trapped in the village. Anyone caught stepping outside of their house is arrested. Soldiers have said that they’ll maintain the curfew until they’ve apprehended the settler family’s murderer. The army hasn’t presented any evidence that the murderer was from Awarta, and villagers have said to the ISM that they strongly doubt the murderer was even Palestinian as the settlement is so heavily guarded it would be impossible to break in. Soldiers are beating people and continuing their house raids: destroying houses from the inside, cutting off electricity, and polluting the drinking water by throwing mud in the water-tanks. 30 homes were occupied by soldiers last night. Computers and phones have been destroyed and money and property were stolen by the soldiers. In the last two days soldiers have been throwing sound grenades inside and outside the houses, and shooting in the air. The ISM activists may be arrested soon, but they intend to stay as long as possible because they feel their presence improves the behavior of the soldiers, and villagers have asked them to stay.
For more information:
Cinda, ISM activist inside the village: +972 59 741 4023
ISM Media Office, Ramallah: +972 59 760 6276