Saturday, July 30, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, Surprise surprise - they shoot for only one reason 30 Jul

Like the other Friday noons of the last few months, tear gas and shock grenades - was the lot of few hundreds demonstrators who came for a nonviolent protest against the building of the separation fence on the lands of the village Bil'in. To day, 29th of July 2005, few hundred people of Bil'in and about 100 of the Israelis Against The Wall initiative and others (including internationals) a demonstration against the robbery of more than half of the lands of Bil'in for the settlement Kiriat Sefer and the separation fence was carried. This was on the background of intensified confrontation in the Media between the demonstrators and the spoke persons of the Israeli army and border police on the other side. They do lot of efforts to demonize the demonstrators. They claims that state forces are "forced" to use means for dispersing demonstrations (tear gas, shock grenades, rubber bullets and their like) because the demonstrators in Bil'in are "ruthless" and through stones on soldiers.... But they fail to convince even the state and other public media.

For these who still needed, this day demonstration proved again that the violent starts from the army and border police.

Today demonstration had two main motives:

The first, reminding people the fact that under cover of the mist of disengagement (in Gaza Strip) continue, and with full intensity the project of colonial settlement in the West bank of the Jordan. This subject was represented with a special model of a house of settlers transported from Gaza to the West bank, while part of the demonstrators around it had Sharon masques on their faces.

The second, was a solidarity act with Abdallah Abu-Rahma, the chairman of the popular comity of Bil'in already two weeks jailed in the concentration camp Ofer, after he was falsely accused of attacking a border policeman. (Previous week the military judge had to release him from jail after a similar accusation was refuted. The present military judge - probably under higher level orders, refuse to release him in spite clear evidence.)

Amongst the hundreds of demonstrators - including the 80 Israelis, many had on their shirts the slogan: "I am Abdallah Abu-Rahma" in Hebrew, English, Arabic, Russian, France, and Spanish.

The march from the center of the village was orderly as usual, till we arrived to the fringe of the village built area. There, as usual in the last few Fridays, the army put a portable barbed wire fence and a placard on it stating it is a closed military zone, with a map including in it all the region up to the Jerusalem-Modiin road.

When we arrived there we stopped with the soldiers on one side of the portable fence and us on the other. No stone was thrown and no shooting occurred yet - just the usual declaration of the army commander on the illegality of the demo and the presence of Israelis.

Few minutes after the model of the "house" was moved to the side of the road, without passing the line, the army started an intensive shooting of shock and tear gas grenades, folded the portable fence and invaded the village - pursuing the part of the demonstrators who run for it. At this assault three demonstrators were detained... to be released a bit later.

These of us on the front refused to disperse, sat down, and confronted the soldiers with words about their unprovoked assault.

We continued the demonstration for a while till the demonstration was officially finished and we started to regroup to the village.

At this stage, the army provocation succeeded to provoke the 50 or so youngsters who refrained till that moment from being provoked, and the usual attrition war of stones versus rubber bullets and tear gas continued for an hour or so.

At the end, the Israelis and international had a meeting with the village comity to discuss the demonstration.

It seems that the exposure in the media of the deceitful behavior of the usual border police unit (company 22) resulted in its replacement with another army unit. Last Friday made it clear that they only mildly differed from the older unit (less unprovoked assaults, less arrests, less injuries, less false accusations).

Free translation of Nir report "they shoot without reason"

Thursday, Media, Confrontation between the (Israeli) security forces and demonstrators at Bil'in

The army and border police are clashing with Palestinians and activists of the Anarchists Against Fences in the Bil'in village. The spokesperson of the Israeli army say that demonstrators entered a closed military region and thus means for dispersing demonstrations were applied against them.

Palestinians: 6 hurt in anti-fence protest

Palestinian sources say six people sustained light injuries during the demonstration against the continued construction of the West Bank security fence in the village of Bil'in, west of Ramallah.

Protesters claim soldiers had sprayed them with tear gas and fired rubber bullets at them without provocation. (Ali Waked)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, Media*, Border Police `lie about violence at fence protests' By Jonathan Lis 28 Jul

For more than six months, dozens of Israelis** and hundreds of Palestinians have been demonstrating every weekend against the construction of the separation fence near the West Bank village of Bil'in. These demonstrations, defined by participants as peaceful, frequently turn into violent clashes with the Border Police's Company 22, assigned to disperse the demonstrations. An investigation by Haaretz has found that policemen from that company have made false accusations against demonstrators and even made arrests on the basis of those accusations. Palestinians thus detained can be held for eight days before being brought before a judge.

In other cases, soldiers gave false testimony about rock throwing and other violence when most of the protests were peaceful. However, there were instances in which Border Police were hurt by rocks thrown by demonstrators at Bil'in.

In recent weeks, three judges harshly criticized troops after watching videotapes that nullified their allegations. In at least two cases the judges questioned the excessive force used against peaceful and restrained protesters. Footage taken by Shai Caremeli-Polack, who documents the demonstrations for the organization Anarchists Against the Wall, was presented in the various court hearings and contradicted the claims of Border policemen that the conduct of demonstrators had compelled them to use batons, kick and fire tear gas directly at the demonstrators.

In the wake of one of these incidents, police officials this week harshly criticized the behavior of Company 22.

Two of the cases examined by the courts or the police's Internal Affairs Department (IAD) are detailed here. Last Friday, Bil'in residents demonstrated with Israeli and overseas human rights activists. Border Policemen arrested a Beit Lakia resident (name withheld). The troops transferred the suspect to the Judea and Samaria Police for questioning, on the grounds that he had assaulted a policeman.

Anarchists Against the Wall activists rushed to the station and showed investigators their complete documentation of the incident. The videotape, which Haaretz has also obtained, clearly shows the Border policemen violently attacking the man and kicking him after they had subdued him and held him prone on the ground. "After the investigator saw the film, he immediately decided to release the detainee and transferred the case file to IAD to review the Border Policemen's conduct," a police officer said yesterday.

On July 20, Border Police arrested two Israeli demonstrators at Bil'in - Shaul Berger Mugrabi and Moshe Robas, claiming they had participated in an illegal assembly, assaulted a policeman and interfered with police work. Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Yoel Tzur watched the videotape of the incident and lambasted the police: "The Border policemen who were involved in the incident are indeed framing the two respondents, yet I cannot shake off the impression created by the tape that shows distinctly that it was Border Policemen who used force against the respondents."

The Border Police responded: "The protesters against the fence construction knowingly break the law in entering a closed military zone, with their objective being to thwart the construction of the security fence. These cases are not about the right to demonstrate and freedom of expression, since the demonstrations in question are not authorized and illegal."

According to the Border Police, "in contrast to the claims of protesters that these are peaceful demonstrations, for two and a half years, almost daily, IDF soldiers and Border Police fighters have been contending with demonstrations characterized by serious violence, hurled rocks*** and Molotov cocktails that endanger the fighters' lives. In recent months, IDF soldiers and Border Police fighters have been severely and moderately wounded during demonstrations in Bil'in [...] The videotapes handed to the reporter are one-sided and do not reflect the complete picture and the violent conduct of the demonstrators. The police has tapes which in most of the cases proves precisely the opposite."
* From the English online edition of the Israeli Daily Haaretz.

** Israelis participation is organized by the village comity together with the people of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and is joined by wider spectrum of Israelis.

*** In Bil'in Friday demonstrations I participate, the stone throwing - no rocks or Molotov cocktails, starts regularly by the youngsters ONLY AFTER the peaceful demonstrations are brutally dispersed by the Israeli state forces.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, repression of joint struggle continue 23 Jul

Like every Friday of the last few months, international and Israeli activists (mostly of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative) joined the small village Bil'in activists in the Friday demonstration against the separation fence that annex to Israel most of the lands of the village. This week, the Israeli state forces tried harder to prevent us - the Tel Aviv activists from arriving to Bil'in. The forces were waiting for us at main points... but we got out of the bus in an unexpected point and made our way through the hills to the road of the neighboring village Safa. State forces succeeded to intercept only about third of us, and the rest found transportation to Bil'in. There, we joined the preparation for the demo - including putting on white shirts with relevant content printed on and masks of Cundelica Rice and her president Bush.

We started to march from the center of the village towards the fence building site (which is not really active Fridays) to the confrontation with the Israeli state forces - army, border police and special police forces who wait for us lately at the last buildings of the village.

When we arrived there, the barbed wire blocking and the announcement of closed military zone (for non local people) was as usual. So we all set down (except the people photographing the confrontation) and heard the commander repeat the statement that the demonstration is illegal, that it is a closed military area, and that we had 10 minute till arrests will start... and he kept his words.

In escalation from previous demonstrations, the border police started at first with kicking and hitting people with batons before starting to lift us and arrest us one by one - including people who were only documenting the conflict with their cameras {usually not arrested on previous times. They took and detained about 40 of us at a near by building in construction. Part of the escalation was a gradual handcuffing of most of the detained people till only few of us remained uncuffed.

The rest of the demonstrators were dispersed by teargas and shock grenades mostly, with rubber bullet shooting on the few tens of youngsters who as usual, responded with stones to the dispersing of the demonstration.

As we were been taken to the fence building site for further procession a higher commander arrived. He decided to de-escalate the conflict a bit and the 10 or so of us not yet handcuffed were released at the unfinished building while the rest - about 30 were taken to the fence site.

The main internet website of the daily newspapers reported on the confrontation - including report on injured demonstrators.

One of them reported:
In the demonstration participated about 400 people, among them Israeli citizens and international activists. Participant put on masks with the faces of Bush and Cundelica Rais with an orange ribbon (similar to that of the Israeli settlers) - "as protest of the blindness brought by the separation plan and the overlooking of Israel activities in the West bank."

Another report in the Media:
"... One of the Israeli demonstrators - Jonathan Polak claim that he was hit by a border policeman who also broke his leg."
[Later found the bone was not broken..]

The Media brought also the police lies:
"The police said that there are about 100 people demonstrating in the village, 8 of them detained for interrogation. No knowledge about injured demonstrators.

Another report of Haaretz daily on the Internet:
"Five injured and five detained for interrogation in Bil'in. In the demonstration held every Friday, participated hundreds of people - Palestinians, internationals, and Israelis. Demonstrators claim the soldiers shoot tear gas and rubber bullets."

As background they added:
The demonstrations in Bil'in are carried for few months as protest to the fact that the separation fence is built on the lands of the village and will separate them from from most of their fields [mostly olive orchards]. At this place, every Friday demonstrate people of the village together with Israel leftist activists, Israeli Arab parliament members and Palestinian parliament members [a bit of exaggeration as these dignitaries do not come too often...]. At these demonstrations, were the first times that people of the [Palestinian Muslim] Hamas, headed by Yusef Hasan, their top leader in the West bank demonstrated side by side with Israeli activists.

Another report - about a two hours later confrontation between the stone throwing youngsters that confront the Israeli state forces after they disperse the nonviolent demonstration: "The confrontation in Bil'in resumed.
Two were seriously injured.
The Palestinians report that two Palestinian youngsters were seriously injured with rubber bullets - one in his head and one in his belly.
The two were taken to an hospital in Ramalla.

And Bil'in is not alone. This Friday, people of the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall initiative were invited to a joint struggle in a Northern village. "Seven activists of the left were arrested while trying to enter a 'military closed region'.
The Summeria region police arrested seven Israeli activists of the left that entered the village Asira Akhbaliya traveling in Palestinian cabs into a closed military zone. The seven were taken for interrogation to the Ariel police station. [The declaration of temporary 'closed military zone' is the way to block Israelis to participate in joint demonstration with Palestinians. This is done regularly (with partial success) because the presence of Israelis in joint demonstrations with Palestinians force the army to use 'milder' ways of repression.]

Another report in the internet site of the daily:
The vice-brigadir commander hit video photographer documenting the hitting of demonstrators.

The channel 8 documentary director Shai Carmely-Polack who works on documenting the the demonstrations of Bil'in claim that he was hit yesterday (Friday) by Shai Malka - the vice regiment commander of the Macabim regiment, while trying to document the beating of detainees in the place where they were brought to.
... When the the vice regiment commander arrived at the compound he released Shai Carmely-Polack who was detained earlier for the absent of official reporter card [confiscated from him in a previous demonstration]. However, as he resumed photographing the beating of detainees in the compound, the commander himself jumped on him from behind and strangulate him to stop the documenting.

"Army response has not arrived yet".

"Polack's photographs caused lately the release of a Palestinian brought to military court as they exposed the lies of the border police witness."

Follow up:
At the end of the day, no one stayed the night in jail. From the 30 people handcuffed and taken to temporary detention point, only three were taken to the Givat Ze'ev police station - One Palestinian and two Israelis. The two Israelis were processed and released on bail conditioned on refraining from returning to the fence in Bil'in for two weeks.

Surprisingly, as the video photographs were presented during the procession of the Palestinian, he was released too.

The two injured Palestinian youngsters taken to Hospital, were treated and are out of serious trouble.

The rest of the bruises will probably heal till next Friday demo in Bil'in.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, Seven activists arrested in a middle of the week early morning action 21 Jul

The army come to guard the rote of the fence in building only when work day start. This enable early morning actions involving special metal structures that prevent quick dispersal by the Israeli state forces - see pictures at. Seven were arrested in Wednesday morning demonstration against the fence. It is already five months that the struggle of the people of Bil'in against the expansion of the Israeli settlements Kiryat Sefer and Matityahu on their lands, and against the building of the separation fence on the lands they work on. 2.3 million square meter of their 4 million (1000 acres) arable land were confiscated. The Israeli state forces - army, gendarmes and police continue all that period to suppress the nonviolent demonstrations of the villagers [to whom join regularly international activists, Israelis of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and others] Suppression done with lot of means at demonstrations and in other times at other day and nights hours in the village in response to demonstrations and other actions.

Prolonged arrest times of villagers activists with absurd claims are the norm. Three of them are arrested these days with clearly fictitious claims.

At demonstrations, in addition to physical harassment the Israeli state forces add shooting of massive amounts of tear gas and shock grenades, and various kinds of "rubber bullets".

Wednesday morning people of the village went out to one of the midweek early morning protest activities with a special metal structure welded for this demonstration. Within it "fortified" themselves one Palestinian, four internationals, and two Israelis of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative.

Muhamad Hatib, from the organizers of the village people committee: "The joint fortification was intended to symbolize the fact that fences an walls will not succeed to prevent the joint activity for peace. We added the flags of the various Palestinian parties in order to call all the parties to stop the internal confrontations and to invest the energy in the struggle against the occupation and the fence".

The metal construction with was placed on the fence works route at 05:00 wit 7 activists in it. When the bulldozers arrived at 06:00 they were prevented from continuing the destruction of the lands of Bil'in. Only after an hour the forces of the border police succeeded to dismantle the construction, and using violence arrested all those fortifying in it with bogus claim of "assaulting policeman". The included pictures show clearly the nonviolent mode of the protest. Original of L.P. in Hebrew was enlarged a bit....

Addition: The Police blame the arrested with assault on policeman. They claim that while fortified in the metal structure, the demonstrators kicked the belies of the border police gendarmes who came to take them away. If you look at the pictures you will see how absurd is this claim - as the whole bodies of the 7 demonstrators is within the structure - fact that prevent them from kicking outside it even if they wanted. [So said the Judge the two Israelis were brought before him...]

The officer on duty at Givat Ze'ev police station wanted to release the four internationals on condition they will not return to the "scene of crime", the Israelis were brought before a judge, the decision about the treatment of the Palestinians was delayed... And the internationals refused to sign the releasing papers commitments of distancing them till the the release of the Palestinian activist.

The two Israelis:
"So, we were brought before a judge that after looking at the pictures gave a verdict of one month of ban from the route of the fence at Bil'in for participation in a forbidden assembly. As for the assault on policemen he wrote: "It can be seen clearly that it was the the border policemen that applied force against the defendants.... In the case before us there are substantial doubts as for the assault on policeman and interference in policeman activity...".

At the time of the report:
The Palestinian was transferred to the Ofer concentration camp for Palestinians. The four internationals got 15 days ban from visiting the route of the fence in Bil'in, but they still have not decided if to sign the commitment as they may stay put in solidarity with the Palestinian comrade.

In numbers:
6 at the morning, 7 arrested (4 internationals, 2 Israelis, 1 Palestinian), about 20 state hooligans with batons, lot of bruises (faces, backs, and other places), 12 hours of detention and 30 days ban from the location (for the Israelis)... and one occupation.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Egyptian Media: Beyond the wall - Something is astir in Bilin: mass Palestinian demonstrations based on non-violence and Israeli participation. 18 Jul

Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established by Graham Usher Protesters in the West Bank village of Azoon near Qalqilya scuffle with Israeli soldiers during a demonstration, on 9 July, against the ongoing construction of Israel's apartheid wall. This week marked the one-year anniversary of the World Court's decision that the wall is illegal and should be dismantled Sheikh Taysir Al-Tammimi, one of the leading Islamic clerics in the West Bank, gently pulls away the barbed wire that has been laid before him. He then spreads out his prayer mat, facing Mecca. A hundred or so Palestinians cross the imaginary line that once demarcated the coiled border and kneel behind him. Fifty Israeli soldiers stand and look. As the prayer ends, two hundred people quietly applaud, some of them foreign activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), most of them Israeli Jews, from different parts of the Israeli peace camp. It is an act of non-violent protest of almost Gandhian simplicity. For the moment, it works. Israel's military phalanx, its iron wall, is rendered politically and morally mute.

We are in Bilin, a minuscule Palestinian village two and a half miles east of the Green Line. Before the demonstrators -- behind the Israeli soldiers -- is a scar of freshly razed white earth, the preliminary ruptures for the next section of the West Bank wall. Behind that is the vast, sprawling settlement metropolis of Modin Illit, which the wall "defends" by devouring 600 of Bilin's 1,000 acres of land.

Since February, Bilin's 1,600 residents have mounted 50 demonstrations against the wall. Two principles govern them. One is non- violence. One day they chain themselves to olive trees, demonstrating that the wall not only steals their land but their lifeblood. Another day they give out letters to the troops, explaining in Hebrew that the struggle is "not against Israel as a state but against Israel as an occupation".

This week they are commemorating the first anniversary of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling on the wall: that it and the settlements it "effectively annexes" are illegal under every tenet of international law and must be dismantled. A mock up "scales of injustice" has been erected on the back of a truck. On one weight, the lesser one, hangs the world; on the other, the heavier, hangs Israel. Uncle Sam holds the balance. It tells much of what you need to know about the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The army has not responded in kind. Since the protests began over 100 Palestinians, Israelis and other have been injured from teargas, beatings, rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition. Dozens have been arrested, including, in June, two of Bilin's brothers, Abdullah and Rateb Abu Rahme, allegedly for throwing stones. An Israeli military judge dismissed the charge after the army's own videotapes showed it to be spurious. The prayers too were eventually dispersed in an explosion of tear gas and rubber bullets, leaving 14 injured, four arrested and an ambulance struck by gunfire.

But the iron fist has not quelled the protests. On the contrary, they have grown -- which brings us to the second principle.

All of the demonstrations have been joint actions by Palestinians and Israelis, backed by the ISM. They march together, plan together, organise together and in some cases live together, with Israelis maintaining a vigil in the village to monitor the army's arrest raids, which usually come the night after the demonstrations.

Together with like demonstrations in the neighbouring villages of Budrus and Biddu, Bilin represents the most concerted joint Palestinian-Israeli protest since the Intifada began and consigned the two peoples to their ghettos:
ideological in the case of the Israelis, physical in the case of the Palestinians. This is as significant as the ICJ ruling and the non-violence, says Israeli peace activist, Adam Keller.

"In many ways the wall is a physical manifestation of what has happened to the two peoples ideologically. The demonstrations in Bilin and elsewhere challenge this segregation. By joining the struggle here Israelis are signalling they want to integrate, not only with the Palestinians, but with the region -- which is the ultimate precondition for peace," he says.

No one would argue (least of all Keller) that the Israelis who come to Bilin are representative of Israeli opinion. They are its radical fringes. But as a veteran of the protests of the Lebanese and the first Intifada he knows that what was once deemed heretical can become the heritage. "We know these demonstrations won't become mainstream today, but they can become the catalyst for the mainstream in the future," says Shaul Moghrabi-Bergen from Anarchists Against the Wall, the most active Israeli group in Bilin.

Is a similar catalyst being formed on the Palestinian side, beyond the confines of Bilin, Budrus and Biddu? The first row of worshippers behind Al-Tammimi comprised representatives from all the PLO factions, including (like Keller) veterans from the Lebanese war and first Intifada. But they were joined by delegations from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

This is new. For years the Islamists adjured non-violent protest in favour of the armed struggle. They also refused all joint activities with Israelis as an implicit recognition of the "Zionist enemy". Today they are marching alongside the Anarchists Against the Wall. "We are not against these demonstrations," says Hassan Youssef, Hamas's West Bank spokesman. "Hamas, like all the Palestinian people, is giving Israel a chance."

The chance is based on two considerations. The first is the only road from ICJ ruling to enforcement is through international public opinion, including, critically, Israeli opinion. It is only when the Israeli peace camp as a whole supports the Palestinian struggle on the bases of international law that it will shed its implicitly racist notions of demographic separation in favour of a genuinely anti-colonial sentiment. The second is that critical breach in Israeli opinion is more likely to be wrought through non-violent struggle than violent and uncoordinated resistance. "When we demonstrate non-violently the world at least is with us. When we resist violently, it isn't," says Bilin resident Samir Banar, beneath the skewed scales of injustice.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Palestine-Israel-US, Ramalla-Tel_Aviv-New_York: Three Cities Against the Wall 16 Jul

TO OPEN NOVEMBER 9, 2005 - Art Exhibition in Three Cities - Showcase Work of PALESTINIAN, ISRAELI, AND AMERICAN ARTISTS OPPOSED TO ISRAEL'S SEPARATION WALL NEW YORK Artists from three separate but vitally interconnected communities will participate for the first time in a one-of-a-kind art show that opens Nov. 9, 2005, in Ramallah, Palestine; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City. Three Cities Against the Wall brings together 56 painters, sculptors, filmmakers, and graphic artists united in opposition to the “Separation Wall” that Israel is constructing in the Occupied Territories of Palestine.

Participating artists, many of them internationally recognized, have contributed a wide range of works that movingly convey the conditions imposed by the Wall and the emotions and visceral responses it provokes. Some participants, Palestinian and Israeli, live daily with the conditions imposed by the Wall. Others have traveled extensively in Israel and occupied Palestine, absorbing the reality of the Wall and its disastrous impact on hundreds of thousands of Palestinians' lives. Three Cities Against the Wall also represents a hopeful development for the future of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Each artist has contributed three works to the show, one to be displayed in each city. In the two years they have been planning the exhibition, the artists and activists involved have built networks and created relationships that will sustain a long-term cultural network that opposes Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people.

In New York, Three Cities Against the Wall is organized through ABC No Rio, a community center for the arts on the Lower East Side, by a committee of artists and activists. In Ramallah, Tayseer Barakat, founder of the League of Palestinian Artists and curator of the Gallery Barakat, and Suliman Mansour, director of the Wasiti Art Center in Jerusalem, are organizing the exhibition. And in Tel Aviv, the project is organized by a group of artists and activists associated with the Israeli Coalition Against the Wall, Ta'ayush, and Anarchists Against the Wall.
Three Cities Against the Wall will run for one month in all three locations. For more information, visit the Three Cities Web site at

QUICK FACTS... Who is participating? Fifty-six Palestinian, Israeli, and North American artists, united in their opposition to Israel's “Separation Wall.” Internationally known artists who will be participating in the show include, from the U.S., painters Nancy Spero and the late Leon Golub and cartoonist Seth Tobocman; from Palestine, the painter-sculptors Tayseer Barakat and Suliman Mansour; and from Israel, video artist Galit Eilat, director of the Israeli Center for Digital Art, and the late cartoonist Dudu Geva. Each artist will be represented by work in all three locations. Why and how did Three Cities Against the Wall come about?

Two years of contacts and networking between artists and activists in all three cities created this show. Its purpose is fourfold: To united our voices in demonstrating our opposition to the Separation Wall; to better inform people about the true nature of the catastrophic situation created by the Wall; to demonstrate that within the Israeli and American publics there is opposition to the Wall; and to lay the foundation for a community of artists across borders.

When? Three Cities Against the Wall will open in Ramallah, Tel Aviv, and New York on Thursday, November 9, 2005, and run for one month in all three locations.

Where? In Ramallah, at Gallery Barakat; in Tel Aviv, at a location to be announced shortly; and in New York, at the art center ABC No Rio.

What kind of works will be featured?
Works will include paintings, carvings and sculpture, film, video installations, graphic works on paper, and photography. Will a catalog be available?

A full-color catalog, produced collaboratively by artists and designers in all three cities, will be available upon the opening of Three Cities Against the Wall. It will include essays by well-known Palestinian, Israeli, and American writers about the origins of the show, about the Wall and its impact, and about the role of the U.S. in creating and sustaining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

How can I get involved or contribute to Three Cities Against the Wall? If you are located in the U.S., contact Steven Englander at ABC No Rio, (212) 254-3697.

In the process of creating Three Cities Against the Wall, the organizers and participating artists are building networks and creating relationships between their respective communities to oppose both Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and the Wall as a symbol of that oppression.
Yet while American, Palestinian, and Israeli artists are showing their work together in this exhibition, we understand that the relationship amongst them is not one of equality. The relationship between Palestinians and Israelis has been compared to that between prisoners and guards, with U.S. cittizens as the patrons of this prison. Americans finance Israel through their tax dollars; some also finance Israel through contributions to Zionist organizations. The Wall is horrifying because it casts these relationships in concrete, making Palestinian imprisonment more thorough and more permanent.

Ironically, there is also an opportunity created by the Wall: this physical barrier makes the oppression of Palestinians more visible. Artists can use the Wall as a metaphor to educate the public. We are working together because we understand that, by uniting our voices, we are more likely to be heard and will therefore be better able to inform the public of the true nature of this catastrophic situation. We also want to demonstrate that within the Israeli and the American public there is opposition to the Wall.

We are laying the foundation for building a community of artists across borders, and will demonstrate, through combined effort, our opposition to injustice and oppression on moral and ethical grounds, and because injustice and oppression engender a separation between peoples, preventing normal human communication between them.

We believe that the world of the future is a world without borders. We support the right of a Turk to work in Germany, of a Haitian to seek refuge in the United States, of a Croat to live peacefully in Serbia. Thus we also support the right of a Palestinian, a Jew, or anyone else to live in the city of their choice, to enjoy all the privileges of citizenship there, and to travel freely to and from their chosen place of residence. This is not a radical demand but a natural human expectation. The attempts of 20th century governments to control demographics through genocide, forced transfer and other coercive means have been a disaster and such policies must be discarded. It is tragic that at a time when governments in Europe are discussing the possibility of open borders, Israel is building a border of cement and steel. We oppose the Wall because it is a wall against the future.

Information and Resources About the Wall:
Direct Action Palestine
DAP is a New York-based group that works in solidarity with Palestinian non-violent resistance to end the Israeli occupation. We mobilize, train, support and fund activists to travel to Israel/Palestine and to bring their stories home.

International Solidarity Movement
International Solidarity Movement, (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. ISM utilizes nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge the Israeli occupation.

International Women's Peace Service
IWPS Palestine is an international team of 16 women based in Hares, a village in the Salfit Governorate of Occupied Palestine's West Bank. IWPS joins Palestinians in acts of non-violent direct action to oppose human rights abuses and the confiscation and destruction of land and property of Palestinian people.
Jews Against the Occupation
JATO is an organization of progressive, secular and religious Jews of all ages throughout the New York City area advocating peace through justice for Palestine and Israel.

Middle East Children's Alliance
MECA is a non-governmental organization, working for peace and justice in the Middle East; focusing on Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq. Its programs emphasize the need to educate North Americans about the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, and to support projects that aid and empower communities.
The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund
PCWF was established by individuals whose goals are to improve the living standards of the children of Palestine in the refugee camps inside Palestine. The group aims to provide the children of the refugee camps with better educational opportunities, health facilities and a bright future without violence, hatred and discrimination.

Al-Awda - The Palestine Right to Return Coalition Fact sheets on the Wall Electronic Intifada: News and views on the Wall Gush Shalom - The Israeli Peace Bloc Maps and other materials on the "Separation Wall" Indymedia Israel

Palestine News Network The Palestinian Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PENGON)
Stop the Wall: The Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Friday, July 15, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Another joint demonstration in Bil'in - two waves 15 Jul

It started as usual Friday demonstration. About 150 people: Palestinians, 40 of Israelis (Against The Wall initiative and others from the coalition against the wall), and 30 internationals. We started with a 10 people within a structure symbolizing bridge, behind them few rows of people locking hands. We went on the road leading to the fence with slogans. When we reached the last houses of the village the barbed wire blocking the road and the state forces were waiting for us. First thing they declared the demonstration illegal... Than they added that was closed military zone for Israelis... And there was a stand steal for a while.

We declared it is nonviolent demo and no reason for them to attack. And they replied that as long as we do not make violation the let us stay there.

After a while we moved to the side of the road and advanced one meter beyond their red line, and still there was just physical blocking us. When we moved a gain one meter more they assaulted us physically and both destroyed our nice bridge and arrested a Palestinian activist who was in the structure. Two Israeli females and a Palestinian who tried to prevent the arrest were arrested too... And as 15 of us insisted not to go away - demanding the release of the 4 arrested they took by force the additional 15 of us - Israelis and internationals.

After dispersing the demonstration, as the youngsters still did not start to throw stones, a force of soldiers was sent to intrude the village to provoke them so they will define the demo as violent.

And the youngsters convinced not to start throwing stones till the demonstration was dispersed responded in kind...

While the soldiers confronting the youngsters, the police persons took us by cars to a location on the other side of the route of the fence, under the shade of an olive tree for a field procession - taking our pictures and identity details. All that time we told the police persons and the reserve soldiers who guarded us what we think on their activity.

After about two hours they released 15 of us and took the 4 arrested - two Palestinian and two Israelis to the near by police station. As the 15 of us were highly outnumbered our try to block the car failed.

So the state forces went away and we marched back to were about 50 demonstrators were waiting us and regrouped.

As the soldiers confronting the youngsters were not retreating fast enough, we started to march back to the route of the fence building... but all state forces gone - even the soldiers confronting the youngsters.

It was so ridiculous that even when a military car patrolled the deserted route was barraged by stones - they just passed twice on the route and gone....

So all of us just returned to the village and the people from out of the village went away.

It seems that only one or two of us were seriously suffered from the rough treatment of the state forces.

At the police station, the 4 arrested were accused for obstruction policeman and resisting arrest and the two palestinian even blamed for violence.. In spite of witnesses and video documentary showing the truth, based on a fabricated testimony the two Palestinians were taken to military jail to appear before a judge after the weekend, and the two Israelis released on bail and two weeks ban from returning to the region.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Immatin, Joint demonstration against the fence suppressed violently 14 Jul

The village Immatin is another front of struggle against the separation fence. This Thursday, the Israeli army suppressed viciously a joint demonstration of Palestinians, internationals, Israeli anarchists and others. This morning 300 people started a march from Immatin situated between Imanuel and Kdumim in protest of the separation fence that intend to annex to Israel the colonial settlements of Imanuel and Kdumim which are situated about 15 kilometers from the 1948/67 green line border. After marching of only 100 meters - still about 3 kilometers from the route of the fence, the army blocked the people with a huge amount of tear gas. They ordered loudly the demonstrators to retreat.... though even those who wanted to could not because of the tear gas.

Rubber bullets were added to the tear gas including shooting on on palestinian ambulance. At the first wave there were injured 16 three of them were hit by tear gas grenades and canisters.

Later, the number of injured climbed to 31 - including an Israeli female activist who were hit in the leg and taken by the Palestinian ambulance to an hospital in Khalkilia, and press agency AP photographer who was hit in the head with a rubber bullet and was treated at the site.

Three Israelis were arrested and taken to the Kdumim police station and will probably accused in breaking of an army general about closed zone.. or just for illegal assembly.

Few hours after the dispersing of the demonstration, the army invaded the village with few battle cars, patrolling the village and shooting rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, beating Palestinians, threatening with live ammunition. The army forces even invaded to the girls school.

The tree Israelis will probably stay for the night in the Ariel police station.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in 8/7/05 +, Alt. Media, another take, The Onions Were Needed - protesting in Bil'in and Tel-Aviv 11 Jul

The army knew we were coming - which is not surprising, since the people of Bil'in had been demonstrating every Friday for the past several months, and Israeli activists are every week coming to join them. Moreover, for today - the anniversary of the ruling by the International Court in the Hague (which Sharon is violating with impunity) a particularly intensive mobilizing effort was made by various Israeli groups, a lot of phone calls were made and email messages sent out, and also the weekly Gush Shalom ad in Ha'aretz contained a call upon supporters to come to Bil'in.

An armoured jeep was parked across the road, and in front of it were five soldiers and an officer. Quite sufficient to block any vehicle - but we have left our bus inconspicuously parked near the giant settlement of Kiryat Sefer (whose constant expansion is the main cause of Bil'in's plight) and continued on foot, easily by-passing the blockading soldiers. The lieutenant could be clearly heard, speaking into his communicator: "Too many people, sir, we could do nothing"...

Up the ridge, through a bramble-filled field, and down the other side under the July sun. The young anarchists who carry out the anti-war struggle, week in and week out, were today joined by other Israelis as well as by visiting members of a Dutch squatter community, with much experience of tangling with the Amsterdam police.

From the hilltop we could see the jeep speeding along the narrow track, to get ahead of us and cut off our descent. Soldiers, shouting "Closed military zone, advance no further!" tried to detain random member of the group. They were met with calls of "I'm an Israeli citizen, you soldiers have no right to arrest me! Only a policeman can do that!".

This legal distinction was made decades ago, mainly to benefit the settlers. The lieutenant had to let us proceed, a look of anger and frustration on his face.

At the main square of Bil'in, there were already hundreds of villagers gathered. The Jerusalem contingent - including many Arab Israeli students from the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus - was already there, having also successfully avoided the army patrols. The well-known Tel-Avivian artist David Reeb walked around, busily taking in the scene on his video camera.

Bil'in organizer Rateb Abu Rahma, for whose release from detention we had recently conducted a widespread campaign, had ominous news: "Yesterday, Abdulla [Rateb's brother, also just released from detention] was suddenly summoned to a meeting with a Shabak operative. He threatened that if we continue our struggle, the same will happen here as at Bidu". In Bidu, as everyone on the West Bank knows, the army had killed five anti-wall demonstrators some months ago.

"We are not alone. We have you from Israel with us, and the internationals, and all the Palestinians - the leadership and the people on the ground." Rateb had in his hand the new resolution of the National Committee Against the Apartheid Wall: "The heroic village of Bil'in so far conducted forty-five demonstrations of protest against the ongoing theft of their land (...) The International Community must take firm steps to make Sharon submit to International Law and the ruling of the International Court, which declared the Wall illegal".

Muhammad Elias (Abu Elias) of the committee, whom we knew from previous meetings, introduced the many VIPs who came to Bil'in to walk in the front row of today's procession. There were legislators, former and present ministers, a presidential candidate, senior officials of various civic groups - representing the entire Palestinian political spectrum, from the ruling Fatah party to the Islamic opposition and the smaller groupings in between, both those with a decades-long history in the PLO and those which sprung up during recent struggles.

The event provided also a rare opportunity to talk with such a person as Sheik Hassan Yusuf, accounted the senior Hamas leader on the West Bank. As he speaks only Arabic, Fares Kadura, former Palestinian Authority Minister for Prisoner Affairs, volunteered to act as interpreter.

(...) "We are glad of this chance to meet and talk, Sheik Yusuf. In our view, a strong and lasting peace needs to include the Palestinians who support Hamas, as it needs to include the Israelis who support Likud".

"At this moment, the entire Palestinian people is willing to give Israel a chance - all Palestinians including Hamas. But Sharon does not want it, he just wants our land. He intends to get out of Gaza just in order to increase the land grab on the West Bank. What is going on here in Bil'in is a good example." "We completely agree about Sharon and his intentions. But the Israelis who vote for him, the grassroots Likud supporters, don't really care about the West Bank. Today most of them accept Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza. If tomorrow another PM would withdraw from the West Bank, they will likely accept that, too." "Insh'allah!" (The last world, meaning "let that be Allah's will" needed no translation, as it had long since passed into colloquial Hebrew).

The march started. The creative Bil'in villagers, who on previous occasions came up with such innovative props as cages, barrels and mock tombstones, had made something new for today: the enormous "Scales of Injustice", carried at the front of the procession, in which the ball wrapped with an Israeli flag heavily outweighed the entire terrestrial globe - with the balance held, as in the actual diplomatic arena, by Uncle Sam.

It was not far to go at all, marching among the village houses, with small children waving from windows and balconies, and out into the fields and olive groves scarred with months of the bulldozers' work. A clear indication of how little would be left of Bil'in's land once the Wall goes up. There, as on every Friday, the soldiers were waiting.

The local commander had evidently set the scene with some care. A roll of barbed wire blocked the road. Just behind it, a wooden notice board had been set up: "Under my authority as military commander in Judea and Samaria, I hereby declare the area delineated in the enclosed map a closed military zone,entry into which is forbidden except by special permit..." A considerable distance behind the barbed wire and the notice board stood the soldiers - a compact mass with conspicuous helmets and guns and plastic shields.

It was the great moment of Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, head of the Muslim Courts in the Palestinian Territories - owing allegiance to Abu Mazen's Fatah Party. With perfect aplomb, wearing his resplendent robes of office, he moved aside the barbed wire, gracefully entered the forbidden zone, spread out a beautiful prayer rug, kneeled in the direction of Mecca and began praying. Hundreds of others followed suit, with villagers making do with carton placards to protect their knees and foreheads from the hot asphalt. The army's notice board, with its stern prohibition, was overturned, to also become an improvised prayer mat.

Non-Muslim demonstrators stayed respectfully back. Over the scene, the beautiful voice of a cantor virtually sang the Muslim credo, every word clearly enunciated - a solemn moment, also for those who feel little attraction to religion in general or Islam in particular. Even the soldiers on the other side seemed to feel it, staying quiet and stock-still during the entire prayer.

With the end of the religious part and the departure of many dignitaries, the lead was taken by more secularist Palestinian intellectuals and students, among whom Israelis and internationals freely mingled. The chanting constantly shifted between Arabic, Hebrew and English: "Listen Sharon, hear the proof - here we stand, we shall not move!", "The wall must fall - the wall will fall!" "No justice - no peace!", "No no occupation - yes yes liberation!", "Soldiers - whom are you guarding?", "Soldier, it's no use - you can just refuse!". The soldiers responded with occasional warnings of the "closed military zone".

Suddenly, a stone thrown from somewhere behind hit - not a soldier, but the back of the one of the demonstrators. Hundreds whirled around, shouting in three languages "No stones! No stones!". The stone-thrower, whoever he was, was nowhere to be seen. The demonstrators then turned back to the front for another round of chanting.

"We talked with the military commander" said an organizer, "We promised that soon we will move back quietly towards the village houses, and the soldiers will go the opposite way." For a moment, it seemed that for once a Friday protest at Bil'in would end without a violent confrontation. And then - just as a BBC reporter asked us for our evaluation of the about-finished action - the barrage began.

It was very heavy, even for Bil'in standards. Usually, one can try to outrun the tear gas canisters and get to a patch of clear air. This time the explosions were everywhere and the white clouds sprouted all around - front and back, left and right. Everywhere, people were coughing and cursing and reaching for the slices of onion which we had prepared in advance as the antidote.

To many of us the army's attack seemed competently unprovoked. Later, some people who were at the front rows told that somebody did provide the soldiers with a pretext - though their "reaction" was certainly overenthusiastic.

Individuals and small groups reached the relative shelter of the first village houses. And then, some village youths started back by roundabout routes, crouching behind any bit of cover, carrying stones, some armed with slings. The soldiers started shooting - no way of knowing if they were using live ammunition or "rubber" bullets (which at short range can also be lethal). Red Crescent ambulances went screeching, with sirens blazing, carrying more and more wounded - one in critical condition - to the hospital in Ramallah. It was no longer a demonstration, but a pitched battle.

Israeli radio, completely ignoring the earlier stages, reported "an outbreak of heavy rioting at Bil'in" and "the throwing of a molotov cocktail at soldiers". "That's a lie, our boys used nothing but stones" protested a village organizer. "It is the army's own concussion grenades which started the fire". Whatever the cause, a whole row of olive trees had caught fire and burned down, one more disaster for the family whose livelihood they were.

And just as things were at last settling down at Bil'in, horrifying news came from the village of Beit Likia, a few kilometres to the south-east. There - where no large-scale demonstration took place and there weren't any Israelis, internationals or distinguished Palestinians - a fifteen year old boy, Mahayoub Aasi, had just been shot to death, very near the spot where two of his cousins were killed a few weeks ago. Beit Likia is where the army has its car-park where the Wall bulldozers are kept during nights and weekend - a spot of fatal attraction to the local young...


Saturday evening outside the Defence Ministry in Tel-Aviv, the dreary site of so many protests over the past three decades. Across the street from the locked gate of the occupation army's nerve center, more than a hundred activists have gathered in short order at the call of Ta'ayush, Gush Shalom and the Anarchists, as well as the students and lecturers of "The Campus is Not Silent" at Tel-Aviv University. More and more people continue to arrive every moment.

"Murderers, murderers - out of the territories!" rises the chant out of the ragged picket line. "An easy hand on the trigger" say the placards, and "A Palestinians child has a mother, too" and "Stop the killing, stop the occupation" and "This Wall is killing us all". A lone TV crew, from the Channel 10 News, takes footage which would be briefly broadcast later in the evening. (News editors at the other networks were not interested.)

Suddenly an activist comes on the scene, directly back from the funeral in Beit Likia, with a bundle of newly-printed Palestinian posters: the face of Mahayoub Aasi (looking far younger than fifteen) on a background composed of the Wall and of Jerusalem's the Al-Aqusa Mosque. They are distributed, to be held aloft by Israeli demonstrators on this Tel-Aviv street.

"After the funeral, Beit Likia villagers went to the spot where the boy was killed. The army opened fire again" the activist said. "A twelve-year old, the main witness to what happened yesterday, was hit in the head by a rubber bullet and taken to the hospital. And one of the wounded Bil'in demonstrators is to undergo urgent brain surgery at Mukasad Hospital, to stop the internal bleeding. He might not last the night".

Demonstrators again take up the chant of "Murderers! Assassins!". Across the street, the lone uniformed guard at the ministry gate goes into his hut, closing the door behind him.

Meanwhile, the 18-year old Saul Berger - who recently got his call-up order for August 15, when he will refuse to enlist and presumably go to military prison - is circulating among the demonstrators with yet another emergency brewing up: "The bulldozers started working at the land of villages around the settlement of Immanuel, far more north. The people urgently ask for our help. Who can go there tomorrow morning?"

The struggle continues.

For information on the ongoing anti-wall protests contact:

Yonatan Pollak Photos of the Tel-Aviv protest at w w w . g u s h . s h a l o m - o r g [remove the spaces]

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Israel, Tel Aviv, Anarchist are not only Against The Wall - screening on the beach yesterday 10 Jul

Yesterday, Saturday night, after the joint demonstration of the anti occupation/fence coalition called by others the same day in front of the war compound, in which members of the anarchist against the wall were prominent, about 70-80 of us screened videos from the g8 demos, and our own activities in Palestine. It was organized during 10 days work, and happened on the narrow beach - near the promenade, the other side of and US embassy. We had some friction with four vans of the police who were afraid of direct action against the US embassy. Threatened us with "illegal assembly" and arrests... calmed only when we moved to the beach.

A comrade report:
"We had some technical difficulties but once solved the screening went well. A lot of people stopped by and watched. I think it's a good way to bring more people into the activities, and also show what's going on in the world, but not so much on tv.

The whole thing was pretty easy to set up. The equipment we used, in case anyone wants to do it again, was a projector, a generator, speakers, an amplifier, and a 3x7 meters fabric, working as a screen. All of it is available from people in the group, or other groups with similar ideas and ideology. E."

The Tel Aviv promenade at Summer month Saturday evenings is a kind of bazaar.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment + Sanctions against Israel - Endorsed by The socialist organization in Israel/ Matspen* 09 Jul

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel to be continued Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights One year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which found Israel's Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, Israel continues its construction of the colonial Wall with total disregard to the Court's decision. Thirty eight years into Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights, Israel continues to expand Jewish colonies. It has unilaterally annexed occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and is now de facto annexing large parts of the West Bank by means of the Wall. Israel is also preparing - in the shadow of its planned redeployment from the Gaza Strip - to build and expand colonies in the West Bank. Fifty seven years after the state of Israel was built mainly on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian owners, a majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless. Moreover, Israel's entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Arab- Palestinian citizens remains intact.

In light of Israel's persistent violations of international law, and Given that, since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions have condemned Israel's colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal and called for immediate, adequate and effective remedies, and Given that all forms of international intervention and peace-making have until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine, and in view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions; Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression, We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel.

We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Endorsed by:

The Palestinian political parties, unions, associations, coalitions and organizations below represent the three integral parts of the people of Palestine: Palestinian refugees, Palestinians under occupation and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Unions, Associations, Campaigns**

Ed. Notes:
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist revolutionary organization known mostly as "Matspen" - the journal it issued from the early 60s to the early 80s
** (list of 180 organizations was omitted)]

Palestine-Israel, Persecution of demonstrators against the wall/fence continue - solidarity is needed 09 Jul

Last Friday was a joint demonstration against the fence in the village Mas'ha. Already at the beginning of the demonstration the participants (about 400 Palestinians and 50 Israelis according to Media) stumbled on barbed wire spool which was put across the road few hundreds meters of the fence route. In front of the barbed wire stood tens of soldiers and border police personal with batons ready. Part of the demonstrators passed the barbed wire and advanced towards the fence. They got in return beaten with the batons and 4 of them were arrested - including an international female activist, who was injured and taken to hospital. Two of the others were accused of entering the occupied territories in spite of the command of the general commanding the region and was banned from entering the whole region. One member of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative (Kobi Snits) was beaten by a baton and was accused with assault of a policeman thus was held for the night in the Ariel police station and will be brought in front of a judge (at Rishon Letzion) at the end of Saturday.

The false accusation of demonstrators are part of the frantic efforts of the Israeli authorities to block the joint struggle of Israelis and Palestinians which put strict limit on the measures of repression they can apply when Israelis are participating.

Part of this efforts can be seen in the cases of the prominent activists like Jonathan Polak and Ezra Nawi who were banned from entering the whole of the occupied territories for a month.

Presence in court of people who can when Kobi will be brought before the judge will be both a worthy protest and have an influencing effect on the decision of the judge.

Every one who can come to the court house is invited to phone
See: (en) Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle against the fence expand

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle against the fence expand 09 Jul

After a while, Bil'in Friday joint demo of the Palestinians lost its "exclusiveness". However, it still draws most of the Israelis - Anarchist Against The Wall initiative and the wider Israely coalition against the separation fence of apartheid. This Friday, first "aniversary" for the international court in the Hague verdict against the fence we were in the demo about 300 participants including about 100 who came from Israel... Due to the simbolic day, in addition to the 60 from the Tel Aviv region, came people from Jerusalem and Haifa, including a group of Israeli Palestinian women who contributed a special content to the slogans and sctivities in the demo, and Palestinians from out of the Bil'in village.

Minor harasment on the way to Bil'in to part of the participants delayed the demo for an hour - alowing time for "socializin" of activists of all kinds. We started about 12:00 on the way to the fence building rote knowing we will be blocked at the last building of the village. At the head of the march we had a big model of the "scale of justice" in which on one side is the Israeli flag that measured as heavier than a world globus psitioned on the other side of the scale.

When we arrived at the fringe of the village, we found as usual in the last weeks, a barbed wire blocking the road, with soldiers, border police and special police personal assembled on the other side of the barbed wire.

First we sopped at the barbed wire not sure how it will develop. We shouted towards the state forces, took away the barbed wire line, and even invaded few metters beyond the forbiden line. Surprisingly, acts that started in previous Fridays assoult of the state forces and arrests of Israelis and Palestinians, caused only a lip service threats and declaration the area as closed zone for Israelis... and no one was arrested.

The demonstration was prolonged for a hour and a half - with a muslim praier in betwee while organizers succeeded to restrain the stone thrower youngsters. Afterwards, when we started to disperse in the direction of the center of the village, the youngsters started their attrition war with the state forces, who used the opportunity as excuse to harase the dispersing demonstrators. The mainly shoot at us tear gas, but added shock grenades and rubber bullets... and policeman from the elite sector "YASAM" even threw stones on Israeli demonstrators.

After about an hour of attrition war of stones against fire arms, with 5 wounded - includin one Palestinian taken in bad condition to hospital things calmed a bit, and the Israelis were assembled with people of the village commity to discuss the development of the jouint struggle in Bil'in.

=======MEDIA - Israel breaks up demos against West Bank barrier======

Fri Jul 8,10:45 AM ET

BILIN, West Bank (AFP) - Israeli soldiers broke up protests against the vast barrier Israel is building in the occupied West Bank, on the eve of the first anniversary of a world court decision against the fence.

Around 500 Israeli, Palestinian and foreign peace activists demonstrated in the northern West Bank village of Bilin, where they clashed with Israeli troops monitoring the protest, an AFP correspondent said Friday.

Soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets as demonstrators threw stones.

[The usual lie. Nearly always, the firs stone throwing and more so the attrition war between the youngsters "shabab", starts only after the state force disperce the entirely nonviolend demonstration. I.S.]

The army subsequently declared the area a closed military zone.

The huge security barrier being built around Bilin encroaches on more than two kilometres (one mile) of village land, which is home to 1,700 residents.

Further north, around 400 Palestinians joined 50 Israeli and foreign activists to demonstrate at a barrier building site in Masha village.

[Mas'ha joint camp of Israelis and Palestinians which began april 2003, built the intimate relations between the Israeli anarchists and villagers who wanted to use nonviolent struggle against the fence. It took few months till the first joint assult on the fence at Dabuba, brought the joint struggle to the lime-light. I.S]

A foreigner and a soldier were injured, with two Israeli activists arrested, as soldiers moved to break up the protest, witnesses said.

Demonstrators carried a symbolic coffin draped in the blue UN flag to mourn the "death" of last year's world court ruling against the barrier.

Israel insists the separation barrier is necessary to prevent infiltrations by West Bank militants, but the Palestinians have branded it an attempt to grab their land and undermine the viability of their promised state.

[Last round in the procession of contests of the route by Palestinians, at the "high court of justice" the Israeli state "admited" first time that the decision about the route is influenced "also" by political reasons ond not only "security". I.S]

Last July, The Hague-based International Court of Justice issued a non-binding ruling saying that parts of the barrier built on Palestinian land are illegal.

Although Israel has since re-routed the fence in some stretches, the government has vowed to complete the project, which is eventually expected to stretch around 650 kilometres (406 miles).

=========MEDIA: Palestinian Killed in Anti-Fence Protest=========

Jonathon Pollack of Anarchists Against the Wall told The Jerusalem Post that the demonstrations this week were meant to mark the one-year anniversary of the International Court of Justice's ruling the separation fence illegal.

Palestinian killed in anti-fence protest

A 17-year-old Palestinian youth was shot dead on Friday afternoon by a security guard at a security fence construction site near the village of Beit Lakiya, west of Ramallah.

The shooting came after several youths threw stones at a number of guards. The suspected shooter was arrested and his weapon was confiscated.

Palestinian hospital staff named the dead boy as Mahyoub Assi, 16, and said he was from the same clan as two 17-year-olds shot dead in May while stoning soldiers at the same spot, near the West Bank village of Beit Lakiya.

Earlier, around 300 left-wing activists and Palestinians protesting the construction of the fence in the West Bank clashed with security forces.

A policeman was wounded in the fray after a rock was thrown at his back. He was evacuated for treatment.

Soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades at the protestors, who were throwing rocks at them, Israel Radio reported.

The demonstrations were being held in two locations - in Bil'in, where they occur every Friday, and in the village of Mascha.

The demonstrators claimed that seven people were wounded in their ranks, including an Israeli hit in the ear by a stun grenade and a Palestinian shot in the head by a rubber bullet at close range. Five of the wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, according to the protestors.

Jonathon Pollack of Anarchists Against the Wall told The Jerusalem Post that the demonstrations this week were meant to mark the one-year anniversary of the International Court of Justice's ruling the separation fence illegal.

Participating in Friday's protests were a number of Palestinian officials, including presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti, head of Hamas in the West Bank Hassan Yousef, and the Islamic Jihad spokesperson in the West Bank.

Four people were arrested in the clashes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Palestain-Israel, M'nazil, Bil'in, the joint struggle continue even when the anarchists are blocked 06 Jul

Five were arrested in the demonstration against the separation at M'nazil. The popular protest and struggle against the apartheid fence spread to the south of Hebron mountains region - and with it the violent suppression by the army. 5 were arrested in M'nazil Wednesday, after demonstrators mounted on a bulldozer and disturbed the works. This time, again, declaring the region as military closed area, state forces succeeded to prevent the people of the anarchists against the wall initiative from arriving.
However, the people of the tinny village with international activists did it. The small village, adjacent to the Beit-Yatir colonial settlement and to the updated and "more humanist" route of the fence is isolated from other Palestinian villages.

In spite problems, the demonstration did happened, with the participation of few international peace activists - this report is based of report of one of them. During the demonstration the people got hold of the bulldozer who climbed on it and held high flags on it. Though demonstrators did no violent act, the army used excessive violence when dispersing them. The army force arrested Abu-Hatem - one of the main activists and the contact person for the Israelis. The other demonstrators tried to de-arrest him by sitting in front of one of the army vehicles... which resulted with more arrests adding to 5 - who were taken to the police station of Kiriat-Arba - the colonial settlement at the margin of Hebron.

"Celebrating" one year since the hague wall decision by international court by Kobi Snit

July 9th is the one year anniversary of the decision of the Permanent Court of International Justice at the Hague which ruled that “Construction of the wall and its associated regime are contrary to international law.”
Almost year later, the Israeli supreme court is about to issue a fundamental decision in which it will respond to the Hague decision (Ha'aretz 5-7-05). While the court was taking its time, construction of the wall has gone causing irreversible damage. While the court might not be relied on to consider the rights of Palestinians it is quite sensitive to its own image abroad. Consequently, there is a chance that the court will issue a useful decision. At issue are planned the segments of the wall around Ariel Immanuel and Karnei Shomron. Most strikingly, the state has recently admitted in the case of the village of Azune that the construction of the wall is based on other than just security concerns. Given this admission, if the court is to be consistent with its ruling from last year it will have to rule many more segments of the wall illegal.
This is a critical time for Israelis to demonstrate against the wall. To resist Shron's attempt to draw attention away from construction in the west bank during the disengagement. To support the courageous Palestinian non violent resistance and to pressure the supreme court.

Join the people of Bil'in this Friday at 11 am. Buses leave from Tel Aviv central train station, El-Al terminal at 9:00.
Please Call Mijal Greenberg to reserve a spot on the bus from Tel Aviv (before thursday at 9 pm!) and for details about transportation from Jerusalem.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Israel-Paleastine - the joint struggle force the subject to the public agenda 04 Jul

The morning started early for 30 persons - Anarchists Against The Wall people and few sympathizers when we came to the district court for the contest of lower court rule. About a month ago a lowest level court judge banned Jonathan Polak - the most active person in the struggle against the wall, from visiting the occupied territories. The judge annulled the garbage of the lowest level court judge, but as a compromise gave another week of "rest" to Jonathan (instead of the additional 8 of the "promised" "rest"). The media (Haaretz daily) dedicated a whole news page to the struggle against the Wall/fence. Following three articles with Editor Notes []


Allegations against Bili'in protest crumble in court By Meron Rapaport

[In the Hebrew printed edition the header was: "demonstrations against the fence - version vs. version POLICEMAN LIED IN HIS TESTIMONY AGAINST PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATOR JUDGE: THE BEHAVIOR OF THE POLICEMEN OF THE FORCE MUST BE CHECKED"]

Are the demonstrations in Bili'in against the separation fence really non-violent, as claimed by their Palestinian and Israeli organizers, or are they in fact violent protests involving the throwing of stones, as charged by the Israel Defense Forces?

As expected, ever since the demonstrations there began, both sides have offered conflicting versions on the issue. Last week, however, a military court ruled that at least in the case before it, IDF soldiers had opened fire while Palestinians and Israelis were demonstrating in a non-violent manner and had not thrown stones. Military Judge Captain Daniel Zamir called for an examination of "the actions of the troops at the scene and the use of the force at its disposal."

[The stone throwing attrition war between the state forces and the village youngsters never start before the forces stop the demonstration and start to harass the participants]

In recent months, the demonstrations in Bili'in have become the focal point of clashes between the IDF and Palestinians over the separation fence. Last Friday saw one such demonstration, with the IDF reporting that one soldier was moderately hurt and the demonstrators reporting 16 injuries, including four Israelis and one disabled individual, by IDF gunfire. A month or so ago, soldier Michael Schwartzman was struck by a rock during a demonstration in Bili'in, resulting in the loss of sight in one eye.

Last Friday, as usual, the Palestinians charged that the shooting started without any provocation on the part of the demonstrators, while the IDF claimed that the shooting began "only after the demonstrators continued to throw stones at the troops despite efforts to end the incident in non-violent ways."

Some three weeks ago, on June 17, a very similar incident took place in Bili'in. A few hundred Palestinians and Israelis began a march toward the route of the separation fence, which passes through village property and leaves some 2,000 dunams (around half the village's land) outside the fence. The Bili'in residents, who claim to be inspired by Gandhi's methods, declared the march a non-violent demonstration. The marchers were stopped by soldiers and Border Police a few hundred meters from the route of the fence.

The demonstration ended with the security forces deploying riot-dispersal means and in the arrest of a number of protesters, including Abdallah Abu-Rahma, one of the leaders of Bili'in's Popular Committee, and his brother, Ratab, a lecturer at the Al-Quds University and a member of the Seeds of Peace organization.

The indictment against Ratab Abu-Rahma was based primarily on testimony from Wahil Sabit, a border policeman present during the demonstration. Sabit testified that demonstrators started throwing stones at the security forces immediately after the area was declared a closed military zone. Sabit said he saw Abu-Rahma throw stones at the soldiers and then shot him with a sponge bullet.

Sabit was the only policeman who claimed to have seen Abu-Rahma throwing stones.

Abu-Rahma's attorneys, Tamar Peleg and Gabi Lasky, presented the court with video clips that were filmed during the incident and that show Abu-Rahma asking the demonstrators to walk "slowly, slowly." Two of the clips show the demonstrators moving the barbed wire barrier set up by the security forces, but not crossing it, only lying down on the road in quiet protest. Immediately thereafter, the soldiers are seen throwing stun grenades and tear-gas canisters toward the demonstrators, without the latter having thrown a single stone.

[As I have been lying down on the asphalt road next to Ratab and Abdallah "covered" with imitation of grave stones, I just wonder how absurd the the lies of the authorities tend to be. Even a jogger would not be able to throw stones in such position.]

Abu-Rahma is seen getting to his feet and then immediately being hit with a sponge bullet. Contrary to border policeman Sabit's testimony, Abu-Rahma is not arrested there and then, but only some time later, after the security forces apprehend his brother and begin beating him. Ratab Abu-Rahma is seen intervening in an effort to help his sibling, and also takes blows from the soldiers.

Judge Zamir upheld all the arguments of the defense, ruling that the demonstration was quiet, that no stone-throwing was seen on the videotapes, and that Abu-Rahma took a blow to his stomach without any provocation on his part. "There was no reason for the defendant's arrest; there was no reason for the shooting that wounded him or the blows he received from the soldier," concluded the judge, adding that the reality was "strangely different, to put it mildly, from the testimony of the prosecution witnesses."

Zamir ordered Abu-Rahma released on bail and advised the prosecution to reconsider its actions against him. The prosecution, however, did not capitulate, and appealed the judge's decision in a hearing on Thursday. The appeal was rejected.

It emerged during the appeal, however, that a border policeman also filmed the events. This tape has yet to be seen by the prosecution. Until such time, Abu-Rahma remains free.

[Probably the the said military court judge will not recalled again to his reserve service as military court judge....]

IDF officer arrests Israeli cameraman By Meron Rapaport

An Israel Defense Forces deputy brigade commander confiscated the Government Press Office-issued press card of an Israeli journalist, informing him that he was revoking his card and ordering that he be arrested for terming him "insolent." The director of the Association of Israeli Journalists, Yossi Bar-Moha, defined the incident as severe, and as one that "can only take place in totalitarian states."

The incident occurred last Friday during a demonstration in the Palestinian village of Bili'in and involved cameraman Shai Carmeli Pollack, who is filming a documentary for Channel 8 on the protests against the fence. During the course of the demonstration, Pollack exchanged words with IDF officers about the way in which the security forces were dealing with the protesters and their demand that he refrain from filming the event.

Brigade deputy commander Shai Malka then asked Pollack if he was a journalist. On receiving an affirmative response, Malka said, "I am revoking your press card." Malka then ordered that Pollack be arrested, and seized his credentials, accusing him also of insulting a public official.

This was Pollack's third arrest during demonstrations against the fence.

"Clearly the IDF doesn't want coverage of what is happening there," said Adi Arbel, program director for Channel 8.

[Few months ago, when the journalist/press card of his (that gives him some freedom of movement needed renewal, they took long weeks of stalling till renewal.]


Border Policeman dies during anti-fence rally By Jonathan Lis

A Border Policeman died yesterday after suddenly collapsing while policing the separation fence near Har Adar, outside Jerusalem.

Police initially said that Natan Yasais, 21, of Lod had been hit by a rock thrown by a Palestinian. However, hospital officials said they saw no signs of him having been hit by anything. They said that he arrived with a high fever and apparently died either of an existing illness or of dehydration. They added that he was in critical condition upon arrival and died very shortly afterward.

Police said they would investigate the incident to determine whether Yasais' commanders were guilty of negligence.

Police officials said they initially assumed Yasais had been hit by a rock because when he died, he was helping to disperse a violent demonstration against the fence that involved dozens of rock-throwing Palestinians. The demonstrators were eventually dispersed by means of shock grenades, the police reported.

Anarchists Against the Fence, which is involved in many anti-fence demonstrations, insisted that there was no demonstration at all in the Har Adar area yesterday, either by Israelis or by local Palestinians. They accused the police of deliberately spreading misinformation in order to "delegitimize the nonviolent demonstrations that take place in this area" - a charge that the police termed "a gross lie."

[The main radio station reported on the case - including interview of the commander of the border police of Jerusalem region. As he could not continue with the lie that the border police person died of a stone thrown on him an admit it was an accident, he took the opportunity to blame the Anarchists Against The Wall/Fence initiative for inciting the Palestinians. As if our presence is not just a limited "policy" against harsher means of suppression - used when only Palestinians are around. The state forces still remember how the Israeli public opinion - which do not care much when Palestinian demonstrators are killed, responded to a shooting of the Israeli Gill Naamaty. Public opinion even forced the highest army commander to visit Gill in hospital and apologize.

It is a well known that the state repression forces have a different routine of suppression when Israelis are present and when we are not present in a demonstration of Palestinians.]

Friday, July 1, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, A new angle to the joint struggle against the fence 01 Jul

It was a quiet Friday. The state forces did not even tried to stop us - the Israelis from arriving at Bil'in. As the number exceeded the expectation the ride from Tel Aviv was crowded. We were about 45 Israelis from the Anarchists Against the Wall, People from the high school refusnics initiative, and others from the coalition against the fence. As we arrived early we had time to participate in the preparation of to day's presentation: about six people embedded in a fence with the inscription in both Arabic, English and Hebrew: "The fence is tearing us". At he usual hour - after the Friday religious ritual the demonstration started. The six of us embedded in the fence structure at the head. The others (including 150 villagers and 15 internationals behind us and the media people in front of us taking pictures and video for the TV international media channels.

And the march started... but not in the usual road to the fence we took the previous months. The army and police who were waiting us on the usual place were taking in surprise and blocked us only 100 meters from the route of the fence. There, they declared as usual that the area is military zone forbidden Israelis and gave 10 minutes before they start to disperse us. The people of the structure set down and the count down started. After 10 minutes of stand still and threats they started to disperse us. The commander ordered to arrest all the six of us embedded in the structure... but the policeman were not too diligent. The one who started to arrest me was content of detaching me from the structure and lifting me to my feet... and went away. Only two of our six were arrested.

Other three Israelis who confronted the state forces verbally were arrested too.. From the 5 Israeli detained two were released at the fence route and three were arrested and processed at the Givat Zeev police station - released few hours later on small bail and acceptance of 10 day abstaining from participation in demonstrations in Bil'in.

After the dispersing of the demonstration by tear gas, shock grenades, and the old metal bullets rubber coated and the new rubber foam bullets, the stone throwers started the ritual of attrition war with the soldiers. After short invasion of the village in the pursuit of the stone throwers, the defeated soldiers retreated and kept for a while the fight with the stone throwers on the fringes of the village.

After a while, they just retreated to their positions near the route.

During the dispersing of the demo and the stones "festival" Israelis, Palestinians and internationals 19 people were injured. Two of them more seriously, were taken to hospital.

One soldier too was moderately injured from a stone.

Electronic media reported on the demonstration - including very short item in the main public TV evening news. Usually giving the official lies - who do not admit the stone throwing starts only in retaliation for violent dispersing of our nonviolent demonstration.

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, A new angle to the joint struggle against the fence 01 Jul

It was a quiet Friday. The state forces did not even tried to stop us - the Israelis from arriving at Bil'in. As the number exceeded the expectation the ride from Tel Aviv was crowded. We were about 45 Israelis from the Anarchists Against the Wall, People from the high school refusnics initiative, and others from the coalition against the fence. As we arrived early we had time to participate in the preparation of to day's presentation: about six people embedded in a fence with the inscription in both Arabic, English and Hebrew: "The fence is tearing us". At he usual hour - after the Friday religious ritual the demonstration started. The six of us embedded in the fence structure at the head. The others (including 150 villagers and 15 internationals behind us and the media people in front of us taking pictures and video for the TV international media channels.

And the march started... but not in the usual road to the fence we took the previous months. The army and police who were waiting us on the usual place were taking in surprise and blocked us only 100 meters from the route of the fence. There, they declared as usual that the area is military zone forbidden Israelis and gave 10 minutes before they start to disperse us. The people of the structure set down and the count down started. After 10 minutes of stand still and threats they started to disperse us. The commander ordered to arrest all the six of us embedded in the structure... but the policeman were not too diligent. The one who started to arrest me was content of detaching me from the structure and lifting me to my feet... and went away. Only two of our six were arrested.

Other three Israelis who confronted the state forces verbally were arrested too..
>From the 5 Israeli detained two were released at the fence route and three were arrested and processed at the Givat Zeev police station - released few hours later on small bail and acceptance of 10 day abstaining from participation in demonstrations in Bil'in.

After the dispersing of the demonstration by tear gas, shock grenades, and the old metal bullets rubber coated and the new rubber foam bullets, the stone throwers started the ritual of attrition war with the soldiers. After short invasion of the village in the pursuit of the stone throwers, the defeated soldiers retreated and kept for a while the fight with the stone throwers on the fringes of the village.

After a while, they just retreated to their positions near the route.

During the dispersing of the demo and the stones "festival" Israelis, Palestinians and internationals 19 people were injured. Two of them more seriously, were taken to hospital.

One soldier too was moderately injured from a stone.

Electronic media reported on the demonstration - including very short item in the main public TV evening news. Usually giving the official lies - who do not admit the stone throwing starts only in retaliation for violent dispersing of our nonviolent demonstration.