Needed: INTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ONGOING GENOCIDE IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES!
My name is David and I am anarchist from Israel. There is an emergency situation in Palestine. Dozens of innocent Palestinians, women, children and old people, are killed every day in Rafah. Dozens of of houses have been destroyed already. More than thousand people were made homeless, and the killing and destruction only get worse. According to unofficial numbers, there are more than 20,000 innocent Palestinian refugees. Anarchist activists were beaten and arrested tonight. Take a solidarity action now!
We need your help! There is an emergency situation right now in the Gaza Strip and the town of Rafah, in particular, with scenes that bring to mind Israel's invasion of Jenin and Nablus in the spring of 2002. So far today, 18 Palestinians were killed, but the action continues. Last weekend, 116 homes were destroyed, making over a thousand people homeless (please see www.btselem.org ). Hundreds more are slated for destruction. The Ha'aretz daily reporter (www.haaretz.com ), Amira Hass, filing dramatic daily reports from inside Rafah, describes the scenes of people grabbing their children and whatever comes to hand and fleeing their homes, anticipating the entry of the bulldozer-tanks. There are dead people in the streets, injured people are not being taken to hospitles.
Even Yossi Sarid MP from the Yahad Party (the social-democrats, formerly called Meretz), normally a staunch defender of the Israeli Occupation Forces, described actions in Rafah as "war crimes". Many -- Israelis, internationals and Palestinians -- are desperately trying to halt the bloodshed. The Israeli women's peace movement just placed an ad in Ha'aretz calling for an immediate halt to the violence and renewal of negotiations for what they call "a peace agreement that will extract us from all the occupied territories" ("True and enduring solutions," we wrote, "are attained by negotiation, not destruction, revenge or humiliation"). Although we, anarchists from Israel, are against any kind of peace between the ruling classes, we decided to participate in the united front against the genocide in Gaza strip. This morning, forty women drove to Gaza to see if they could intervene physically, but they are being prevented from entering Gaza by the occupation army. The women have set up an encampment at the Sufa checkpoint and say they will not leave until the army stops its actions there. Other peace and human rights organizations have placed newspaper ads, and many are organizing a larger delegation to join the women on Friday, in which a big demonstration will take place.
In addition, the ruling of Israel's High Court of Justice allows the IDF to continue its mass house demolitions in Rafah, and gives the IDF full discretion as to when to allow a court hearing prior to demolition. In issuing this ruling, the Court has shirked its obligation to balance security considerations with the rights of Palestinian civilians who are not involved in the hostilities. When addressing events in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Court consistently disregards its obligations regarding human rights and international law, and uncritically adopts the position of the security establishment. Since the beginning of the Intifada, the IDF has demolished some 1,800 homes in the Rafah Refugee Camp. Since the beginning of 2004 alone, 284 homes have been demolished in Rafah, leaving 2,185 Palestinians homeless. House demolition on such a massive scale cannot be justified as "urgent military need."
Amnesty International is launching a report today entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories: Under the rubble: House demolition and destruction of land and property. In this report, the organization analyses the main patterns and trends of forced eviction, house demolition and destruction of property by the Israeli army and security forces in Israel and in the Occupied Territories in the light of international human rights and humanitarian law.
You can find the report as well as a web action on AI's website:
The report: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde150332004
Press release: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150502004
Stop destruction of homes and land by Israeli army - take action! http://web.amnesty.org/pages/isr-180504-action-eng
Gush Shalom, Israel's peace movement, reports:
We heard what happened in Rafah while preparing in the Gush office for the already announced Friday protest at the Gaza entrance. We couldn''t think of a more fitting reaction than sending out a call to come - once more - to the Defense Ministry for an immediate protest. On the way there, with our banners and shields, we felt rather futile compared with those on whose behalf we were going to protest: the Rafah demonstrators in the middle of whom a helicopter gunship had sent a missile wounding dozens and among the ones killed several kids...
Still, the protest of some 250 - with besides Gush Shalom a very visible (and loud) presence of the dissident reservists (Courage to Refuse) and the Anarchists - had more spirit than the mass rally some days earlier. People easily found each other in furious chanting and the blag flags were there again. Nobody was surprised when some of the young took the initiative of blocking the street. More and more left the sidewalk. Police who started coming, closed off the Kaplan road for traffic, but before they could isolate us we had started marching. Chanting while walking from the Defence ministry gate through the whole Kaplan street into Ibn Gvirol, and from there towards the Rabin Square.
Reactions of passers-by were not unfriendly, and we nearly thought that the police for once decided not to show the usual behavior on this day of shame, but then suddenly they come from nowhere diving into the crowd and singling some out for arrest. Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller was the first - seven polices dragged him, forcing him face-down on the street, and from seeing how they handled his arms and legs it seemed a miracle that he afterwards was not among the three (out of eight arrested) who had to go to hospital. The others were treated no better: Matan Cohen (wounded) , Yonathan Pollack (the "recidivist" anarchist), Elad Orian, refusnik David Zonscheine, Lezer Peled (wounded), Roni Avidov, Gal Chajad (wounded).
Some thirty demonstrators came to the police station, with two of them being able to function as lawyers (adv. Micheal Sfarad, himself a refuser, and activist advocate Yael Varda). After we had seen the wounded three handcuffed but on their feet coming out of the sstation to enter an ambulance, at 11pm the message came that the other arrestees would spend the night at Abu-Kabir (the Arabic name of this prison dating back to the pre-'48 period) after which the judge would decide what to do further.
Israelis who can, please come to the court(s) Thursday morning, May 20. Six of the eight will appear before the Duty Judge in the Magistrate Court (Mishpat Hashalom) Weitzman Street where they can be expected to be heard from 9am on.Matan and Roni will appear before a judge in the Juvenile Court (Shocken building), at about the same time. We hope that all will have the support of some friends and family.