Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Palestine-Israel, Rough translation of report on the murder in Ni'ilin in the Sunday 26-12-08 shooting, written for Btselem by an AAtW member

"I wrote down the details of what happened for Btselem and thought that people on the list may be interested too... Hebrew only, sorry."
On Sunday, the 28/12/08 there was in Ni'ilin a demonstration in protest of the massacre in Gaza. Very fast the demonstration escalated into confrontations in few locations between the army & gendarmes that shoot bullets covered with rubber & tear gas and villagers that threw stones on the state force.

The biggest focus of confrontation was in the main entrance to the village, near the intersection between road 446 and road 4460, and there were concentrated lot of gendarmes. A second focus was a bit to the south-west of the 4460 in an olive plantation adjacent to the village houses. The most marginal building - a poultry, is already within the olive plantation and around it were confrontations. The soldiers were on one side of the poultry and the demonstrators - about 15-30 young villagers on the other side.

I stood near the second focus of confrontation, about 30-40 meters from the stone throwers.

For a long while the state force used tear gas and rubber coated bullets. [which are much less lethal - I.S] At a certain moment, the noise of shooting changed into that of non automatic live ammunition (based on my experience). I approached to the stone throwing people to warn them that the state force started to use live ammunition.

At that moment, the demonstrators stood behind a high pile of stones adjacent to the poultry and about 4-5 soldiers who were about 20 meter from them, were walking freely to and fro behind a low field wall ("terasa").

It was clear from their behavior they did not perceive any danger to their life*. The shooting of live ammunition (not upward in the air) continued for few minutes.

Because of the danger, after warning few of the youth there of the danger I started to retreat backwards looking all the time towards the confrontation. After about 5 meters of retreat one of the demonstrators was hit in his leg. I run to him and was the second to reach him. We carried him about 15 meters backwards, towards a team of para-medics who were there. About 30 seconds or less passed and we heard shouts about another casualty. I run back but half way I saw four people carrying a limp body - a person that was shut at his back and seemed dead. Later I learned it was Arafat Khauagha.

I looked at the location where the people were shot and I have seen another one shot at and collapsing. The people around him carried him and cried that he was shot at his head. Later I learned that his name is Muhamad Khawaga.

The fire continued. The head of the injured was covered with blood that was flowing in a big stream. The people who were carrying him were covered with his blood.

I run towards Arafat Khawaga and replaced one of these who carried him. I held his left shoulder and his head so it will not be shaken. My hand that held his shoulder and back was covered with his blood. Then, one of the youth replaced me. There was no ambulance at that place at the moment and he was evacuated in a car of one of the villagers. The ambulance arrived a minute later and evacuated the other three injured ones to the Ramallah hospital.

I will stress again that the use of live ammunition was not of short duration and was not because of any distress of the soldiers that could have been interpreted as threatening their live[**].
The duration of that shooting was along few minutes in which the soldiers were behind a cover with out retreating. In addition, a short distance from them there was a much bigger force - tens of border guard gendarmes, that had not come "to save them" - proving that no danger was felt there.

In addition, Araphat Khawaga was shot at his back, meaning his back was towards the soldiers while he was shot at - hardly any threat to them at all.

** The spokesperson of the Israeli army declare each time the state forces murder a Palestinian that
"they were just protecting themselves as there was a threat on their lives..."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Palestine-Israel, joint struggles the AAtW participated in Friday on the eave of the savage onslaught and on Saturday to protest it

This week the focus was on the Friday demonstrations against the separation fence in Bil'in - the 201st one, in Ni'ilin - the eighth month, in Um Salmuna - nearing the two years anniversary. Some of the comrades that could not come to the demonstrations in the Palestinian areas participated in that of the coalition of the radical left in Tel Aviv against the approaching Israeli onslaught on Gaza - that materialized Saturday noon. Friday noon near the road block on the outskirt of Ni'ilin, there was also another demonstration - that of the youth of the Licud party (probably the ruling one after the coming February election) which was widely promoted in the media during the week. They demonstrated against the anarchists against the wall initiative (AAtW) and the Palestinians who make troubles to the Israeli state forces in the demonstration against the separation fence.


In Bil'in demo there were four main themes - one was the new year represented with a nice Santa Claus. Another was a big placard printed on it: "Salyut to the Israeli Sministim" meaning Salyut to the graduates of initiative of the high school graduates total refusenics of this year - nearly all of them also participated in the struggle against the separation fence and occupation in Bi'lin.
The other themes were expressed mainly in chants.

Following is an excerpt from report of Eyad Bornat of the Bil'in popular comity:

"Santa Clause Against The Wall in Bil'in
Friday 26\12\2008 - Bil'in residents left after the Friday prayer in a march joined by international and Israeli peace activists. Waving Palestinian flags, and banners against the Israeli occupation. The protest today was solidarity with Palestinian families inside Israeli jails especially Juma'a Muosa's family and Ahmad Sa’dat and Ofers' detainees. The Popular committee condemned the violence against the detainees inside Israeli prisons.

The protesters marched, chanting slogans of the same substance, and another calling the Israeli activists to refuse serving in the military. The protest also condemned the arrest of Israeli refuseniks and demanded their release.


In Um Salmuna the demonstration this week excelled these of previous weeks as about 200 people from the wide region of the south of Palestine joined the usual ones.

Following is a call following the Israeli attack at noon on Gaza:



About thousand activists of the coalition against the occupation converged at the Cinemateque square. As hundreds of state force prevented us from going to the center of town we marched towards the compound of the war ministry. There we chanted for about three hours and few activists of the AAtW who tried to block the road were arrested.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Palestine-Israel, AAtW activists in struggle both the occupied territories and in Israel

The Friday demonstrations against the separation fence we joined were as usual: Bil'in, Um Salmuna, Ni'ilin, and the resuming village Jayyous. In Bil'in it was th 200th demo nearing the 4 years anniversary at February. On the way to Jayyous and Ni'ilin road blocked of the Israeli state force road blocks made it hard to arrive... but not too hard. In the refusnics front Yuval Oron-Ofir was sentenced on yesterday (14 Dec.) to additional 21 days in military prison for his refusal to serve, joined again Tamar Katz, and Raz Bar-David Varon, who are held in the military prison for women.
Thursday we held another demonstration in their support. Excerpt of Haaretz daily article: "About 200 demonstrated in front of the "Kirya" - the security ministry compound in solidarity with the refusnics in jail, as part of the international day of solidarity with occupation refusnics..."

And The Yediot Aharonot on-line:

Leftists urge Barak to free conscientious objectors

Leftist protesters backed by thousands of Jews worldwide demonstrate outside Defense Ministry

Dozens of people gathered outside the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv Thursday evening to support conscientious objectors who refuse to join the IDF.

The demonstrators sought to present Defense Minister Ehud Barak with letters written by about 20,000 supportive Jews from around the world. The rally coincided with the international day of solidarity with conscientious objectors. Meanwhile, Amnesty International again declared that jailing individuals who act on their conscience violates the United Nations' human rights convention.

Roughly 20,000 Jews residing worldwide relayed letters through Jewish groups in an effort to secure the release of the objectors. One of the protest organizers, Shimri Tzameret, said that "three occupation objectors are currently jailed in Israel."

One of the objectors, Raz Bar-David Baron, who is currently on vacation from prison, told Ynet that during her time in jail she could personally feel the "lack of freedom and helplessness of the Palestinians, who have no freedom when it comes to the smallest issues."

"The imprisonment merely served to reinforce my objection," she said.

Turning her attention to Israeli residents hit by Qassam rockets from Gaza, Bar-David Baron said she feels great empathy for Sderot residents and is fully familiar with their plight.

"We need to understand that they are suffering just like the Palestinian people are suffering," she said. "We need to understand that Sderot residents pay the price because we are unwilling to compromise and adopt the path of peace, and so the easy way is to adopt the path of war."

Video clip of the "Shminists" (high school graduates) refusnics
A web site dedicated to the refusnics:


Friday 12-12-08 link to video


In Bil'in we had a bigger and livelier demonstration than usual. For the 200th demo joined us a big contingent from the region of the Front For Struggle with their mobile sound system. The theme of the demonstration was the Bus shoe trowing. Marchers held poles with shoes and Bus picture. Lot of old shoes were also carried in baskets. When we arrived at the gate to the route of the separation fence a kind of "negotiation" with the state force commander enabled us to enter the route and starting showering the state forces with shoes. After a while, the state force who were on the other side of the separation fence lost their tolerance and they started their usual harassment with tear gas and bullets covered with rubber. Our dedicated videographer got there his tenth bullet. (The state force do not like our videographers who often share their clips with the TV channels of Israel...)

The Israeli High Court accepted again an appeal by the residents of Bil'in two days ago against the route of the Israeli Annexation Wall which is confiscating a lot of farm lands from the village. The court ruled that the Israeli authorities should change the path of the wall according to the July 4, 2007 High Court decision - and not compromise it according to needs of enlarging the settlement as the state want. The court also ordered that the Israeli government should pay a fine of 10,000 NIS to the village representative.

Shoes Not Molotovs

Shoes Not Molotovs: a video and pictorial report from the weekly demonstration against the wall at Bilin, 19.12.08
(Pictures also at: )
In Iraq they throw shoes at Bush. In Bilin they threw a similar contempt party yesterday against the aparthied wall and the servants of occupation.
To watch the video report go to the next link (by: Israel putermam)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle of the AAtW* and the Palestinians against the separation fence and occupation

The joint struggle against the separation fence this Friday was in Bil'in, Jayyous, and Ni'ilin. In Bil'in it was the 199th Friday demonstration started - with out even one miss, February 2005. In Jayyous, that was one of the first villages to struggle against the separation fence 6 years ago, seen last few weeks the resuming of the struggle. The state forces tried halfheartedly with out success to block the Israelis from arriving to the joint demonstration. At a certain point of the nonviolent demonstration the state forces broke their own rules and shoot live ammunition to the air - to frighten the demonstrators.


In Bil'in,
Excerpt from member of the village popular comity:

"Bil'in residents left after Friday prayers in a massive march in which a group of international and Israeli peace activists and a delegation from the Bethlehem district for the Committee for Solidarity with the owners of confiscated land and areas affected by the wall, waving Palestinian flags, and banners glorifying the first Intifada - the popular uprising that started twenty years ago."

As usual the last few weeks, when we approached the gate to the route of the separation fence the state forces started to shower us with tear gas grenades. However, as the wind was changing frequently it often blew the tear gas away from us and even some times towards the state forces. As usual lately, few of us succeeded to reach the laundry of the route of the separation fence. We stayed there for a while and then regrouped and approached the route of the separation fence on another point. There we stayed for a while chanting and challenging the few soldiers present there till the state force reinforcement arrived and started to shower us again with tear gas.

At that point the popular comity activists declared the demonstration as ended, and we held a meeting circle with the contingent of activists from the Bethlehem district.
* The Anarchist Against the Wall initiative

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Palestine-Israel, An interesting week of joint struggle the AAtW initiative involvement

In addition to the Friday demonstrations against the separation fence in Bil'in, Ni'ilin and Um Salmuna we were involved a lot in the South. Due to the settler colonialists assaults after the state destruction of one illegal space near Hebron and the evacuation of the occupied house on the fringe of Hebron, we were invited to join the threatened Palestinians. For that we were invited to the Bethlehem region on Saturday and to Funduq on the north on Sunday. Tuesday, we participated in a demo at Deir Al Sharaf, against a settlers garbage dump in the old quarry. On Saturday evening, we and our drumming circle participated in a demo of a wide coalition in front of the war ministry compound in Tel Aviv.


Excerpt from report of Iyad Burnat - Head of the Popular Committee in Bil'in:
"The Friday demonstration in Bilin, against the Israeli Apartheid Wall today, was in solidarity with the people of Hebron who have endured the violent attacks of Israeli settlers in revenge for their removal from a Palestinian owned house in the old city earlier in the week.

Over 100 protesters including internationals, Israelis, and Palestinians marched from Bilin village after Friday prayers. Chanting “No to the settlers in Hebron – No to the wall” the demonstration got within twenty meters of the wall when the Israelis occupation soldiers started to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd."

The Israeli authorities are still trying to put end to the Bil'in Friday demonstrations. Following Shai latest report:

"tonight around 21:30, few jeeps of the army entered the village and started to provoke clashes. they arrested 3 shabab youngsters and took them beyond the fence. many people tried to prevent it and followed them up to the fence. the soldiers used tear gas, sound grenades and maybe even live bullets. the situation near the fence became very dangerous and about 22:30 an army officer came and the 3 were released.
I can also testify that about a week ago, when I was visiting the village, the same thing happened. around 19:00, 3 or 4 army jeeps entered the village without any reason and started to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets. it took them something like half an hour. a child about 12 was also arrested and later released. I was calling the news channels both today and last week, but this things are not "news" enough.
in these days when the settlers are being accused of doing "pogroms" against the Palestinians, we must not forget that the army is just the same and maybe even worst."


Mia Tamarin was sentenced on Tuesday, 2 Dec., to 14 more days in military prison. However, as was the case in her previous term, the military authorities seem to prefer not to send her actually to prison (possibly due to legal pressure in her case). She is again confined to base instead (sentence due to expire on 15 Dec.)

Tamar Katz and Raz Bar-David Varon have been sent to a another prison term yesterday (1 Dec.). Both have been sentenced to 21 days in prison and are due to be released on 19 Dec. Tamar Katz refused to wear a uniform and is now held in the Isolation Ward of the military prison, where conditions hare harsh, and various forms of mistreatment have been documented in the past.

Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send your letters of support and encouragement to the imprisoned objectors via e-mail to shministim@gmail. com, and they will be printed out and delivered to them during visits.

Saar is out of jail in a process that may result in her exempt from the compulsory army service.

Yuval was released for the week end at the end of his first jail verdict. Will probably will be tried again for another term in jail at the beginning of the new week.


This Saturday there will be an action with farmers to get to their lands and work it in areas where they have not been able to get to for a while. The organizers are not expecting too much trouble but still the presence of Israelis is important to support the farmers. The community in the area is just getting introduced to the idea of working with Israelis and the first activities are important to encourage the cooperation even if they are modest.


"I saw in the settler paper "BeSheva" that the settlers intend to
arrive on Sunday December 7 at 1.00 pm at the entrance to Funduq Village
to hold a "memorial" for the settler who was killed there last year,
and afterwards they are going to march by foot all the way to Kdumim.
Considering what they have done in Funduq last year and what they
are doing in Hebron and elsewhere, there is a reason to worry."

A number of international and Israeli groups will be heading to Al Funduq on Sunday to have a presence in the village while this memorial takes place.

Due to the fact that last year Qedumim settlers demonstrated in Funduq during the day, but then came back and rioted in the night, stoning cars and houses, some groups have decided to stay in the village on Sunday night - at the request of villagers.


Today, our "permanent delegate" in Germany and a special delegate represented us in the award to the Bil'in popular comity and the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative. Following is the content of the speech of our comrade Adi:

I would like to be honest – I am standing here, over on this podium, though as an anarchist this situation raises very mixed feelings in me, and my comrades/partners.
We are reluctant to receive prizes for political activism. We would prefer not to be singled out for glory, and receive gratitude for doing what is our duty. However, we are aware of our position not only as anarchists, but also as Israelis - beneficiaries of our country's unjust deeds toward Palestinians.
Despite our reservations, we are very thankful for the support you have vested in the struggle against Israeli apartheid.
Here on this podium, just as in the olive groves of the West Bank, our primary moral duty is not to maintain ideological purity, but rather to stand with Palestinians in their resistance to oppression.
We recognize the importance of garnering international support for the ongoing struggle, and the major contribution of this award to this end. We feel that standing here, in the current situation, is a direct continuation of the blocking of bulldozers, standing side by side with the stone throwers, or running away from teargas along with elderly protesters.
Here, as in the olive groves, I would like to stress that we are not equal partners, but rather occupiers who join the occupied in THEIR struggle. We are aware of the fact that for many, the participation of Israelis in a Palestinian struggle serves as a stamp of approval, but in our eyes, this partnership is not about granting legitimacy to the Palestinian struggle - it is legitimate with or without us - but rather an opportunity for us to cross, in action rather than words, the barriers of national allegiance.
For the past four years, and through over 200 demonstrations, Bil'in has grown to become a symbol and focal point for the movement against Israel's wall – a movement that for the past six years **has** mobilized thousands of people in grassroots popular resistance, and forged an unprecedented on-the-ground, joint Paelestinian-Israeli struggle.
The fact that the movement is a civilian and unarmed one, only serves to accentuate the army’s excessive and unjust violence.
Thousands have been injured, hundreds jailed and imprisoned for lengthy periods and 15 have been killed, 10 of them minors.
We would like to dedicate this medal to the two most recent casualties of the struggle, ten year old Ahmad Mousa and seventeen year old Youssef Amirah, who were murdered by border policemen in the village of Ni'ilin four months ago, as part of the attempt to militarily suppress the wall-related insurrection in the village.
Thank you again for supporting the joint popular struggle,
Anarchists Against the Wall"