molly hankwitz on Fri, 22 Jun 2001 03:08:43 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] anti-occupation (in tidy format!)

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Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 22:46:54 +0300
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Subject: The Anti-Occupation Struggle: Ongoing Actions & Threatened Free
Reply-to: Adam & Beate <>
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The Anti-Occupation Struggle: Ongoing Actions & Threatened Free Expression
The Other Israel briefing, June 21

1) Next Ta'ayush food convoy this Saturday, June 23
2) Land Defence Committee: systematic destruction of trees at Ab'oud
3) Gush Shalom: Uri Avnery targeted by rightwing campaign
4) Ongoing struggle in El Khader

1) Next Ta'ayush food convoy this Saturday, June 23

The following is excerpted from Miri Weingarten's earlier message

Our next Arab-Jewish food and solidarity convoy to the Occupied
Territories will take place on Saturday, June 23rd. The convoy will take food
to two encircled villages in the Nablus region.

This convoy is especially significant in light of the tightening of the
and blockade on the Occupied Territories, aiming to separate and isolate the
Palestinian population. Recent Israeli activities include the creation of a
Žsecurity zoneŪ east of the Green Line, division of the West Bank and Gaza
eleven separate and isolated zones, prevention of Palestinian travel on roads
by means of numerous new barricades, trenches, and manned checkpoints,
supported by tanks and armored vehicles, as well as the practice of
shooting at the tires of moving Palestinian cars.

For Palestinians in the villages, this means virtually no work and no
school. Visiting a hospital or pharmacy is now almost impossible. Fuel is
scarce and becoming scarcer. Worst of all - food and basic medicines are
running out.

These violations have been consistently ignored by Israeli media. The public
must be made to see reality on the other side of the barriers.

We meet at Rakevet Tsafon on Saturday morning at 9.30, continuing to
Kfar Qassem (1000), and from there to our final destinations.
Contact:; ph:  03-5240166

2) Land Defence Committee: systematic destruction of trees at Ab'oud
A non-violent protest us planned also for thsi Saturday at Abo'ud Village,
Ramallah District where wide-scale uprooting of trees and burning of fields by
army and settlers is taking place. So far at such short notice no Israeli
organization took it upon itself to organize Israeli participation in this
action with many people already having committed themselves elsewhere.

You may write a line to Secretary of State Colin Powell <>
but preferably to fax: +1-202-261-8577. Send it to him before his visit to the
region next week. You can use the sample text or make your own:

Dear Mr Secretary

The uprooting of trees and burning of fields by the Israeli army and by
settlers on the lands of Ab'oud village in Ramallah District is incompatible
with the idea of stabilizing a cease-fire and of calming down the situation.

copies to:
Israeli Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres <>
fax: +972-(0)2-5303704

Israeli Defense Minister, Benyamin Ben Eliezer <>
Fax: +972-(0)3-6916940, -+972-(0)3-6976990

Land Defence Committee <>

The following is background information excerpted from the LDC message:
"Over the past 11 days, the Israeli army has implemented a massive
program of tree-uprooting alongside road 465 (running East from the
Green Line towards Um Safa and serving three illegal settlements). This
devastation, affecting upwards of 50 Abo'ud families' livelihoods and
covering an area estimated to be 3 km by 1 km, was initiated by settlers
on June 7th, in what Ha'Aretz called "a simple act of revenge," following
unrelated shooting incidents in another area. On June 10th, Latin Patriarch
Michael Sabbah tried to enter the area to appeal for restraint but was warned
by settlers, "if you enter we will kill everyone with you," whereupon the army
informed him, "we will not protect you." Since that date the army has
huge swathes of land along both sides of road 465 and held the village under
total closure, denying 22 Tawjihi [matriculation] exam students access to
examinations and more than 50 Birzeit University students from reaching their
classes. LAW have documented several cases of urgent medical treatment being
denied to Abo'ud (pop. 2,000) residents.

The action on Saturday will see a non-violent mass protest march in
solidarity with the rural community of Abo'ud, whereby we intend to
return the landowners to their land (or what is left of it) while
drawing attention to the plight of this village and the numerous others
facing the same senseless destruction. We encourage you to pass on word of
this demonstration and attend in a spirit of peaceful solidarity.
Contact: Issa Samandar <>; ph: 052 463 686 / 02 - 298 0322

3) Gush Shalom: Uri Avnery targeted by rightwing campaign

In his article "An Interim Balance Sheet: Who won?" Uri Avnery of the Gush
Shalom movement analyses the supposed aims of the two sides in the ongoing
Israeli-Palestinian war of attrition.
The article was spread a few days ago through the internet. One of the papers
who published it (in translation) was the Palestinian daily Hayat Al-Jadida.

In today's Ma'ariv, a right-wing institute calling itself "Palestinian Media
Watch" - which specializes in collecting tendentious quotes - launched an
attack on Uri Avnery, for "inciting the Palestinians to continue the

The settler pirate radio station Arutz-7 elaborated on the theme and reported
that a complaint to the police was lodged against Avnery for "incitement to
murder" (sic!).

Avnery calls upon the public to view the text in question. It is available in
Hebrew, and in English translation at
and it could be easily seen that what he wrote is a sober analysis of the
terrible situation in which we all are. The accusations are an effort to
deprive opponents of the occupation of their right to free expression -
part of
the deligitimation campaign whose main targets so far were the Arab Knesset
Members. The bill now pending in the Knesset which would specifically legalize
"a call for killing a member of a terrorist organization" is another
example of
the rapid deterioration of democratic norms in Israel. So is the Knesset
committee's proposal to include the term "an army of occupation" among terms
which would be forbidden for Knesset Members to use from the floor.

4) Ongoing struggle in El Khader

The Wednesday action in El-Khader went unreported in the Israeli media which
give so much space to settler demonstrations. It was only in the English
Ha'aretz, but not in the Hebrew one. It was well-reported abroad,
especially in
France, but if you didn't get to hear of it:  here is an excerpt from the
account written up by Gila Svirsky on the basis of what she heard from a
participant, Liad Kantorowicz. (We added some details from other sources.)

Jose Bove, the French farmer who gained fame for damaging a McDonalds
restaurant to protest globalization and who is on a short visit to this
country, joined the group at al-Khader because "We farmers are protesting
together with the Palestinian farmers to defend their land."
There were about 100-150 Palestinian villagers who
demonstrated,  together with about 20 Israelis and 30 internationals -- twenty
of them from Bove's group.  The activists had a very hard time reaching the
village, because the army had closed off all the access roads.  But the
group found a way in, climbing fences until the spot where the villagers were
there to greet them, and although they were spotted and followed by
Israeli soldiers, the events continued as planned.

The Palestinians, Israelis and internationals began to climb up the hill
toward the settlers' mobile homes placed on top, carrying signs that said
"Stop the occupation" and "Settlers, get out!".  Once stopped by the police
army, they attempted to set up a protest tent near the foot of the
hill, to replace the one confiscated by the army a few days ago. This was
constantly impeded by the security forces, which finally lost patience and
began to arrest those they considered "ringleaders", followed by the
release of
tear gas canisters and stun grenades into the crowd. The violence was
on a lesser scale then last Friday, according to those who were
present on both occasions, and no one seems to have been seriously injured,
although several activists were struck by police clubs..

The detainees - four Israelis, one Palestinian-American and three French,
including Bove himself whose arrest made headlines on the French radio - spent
several hours in detention, and went through the normal routine of refusing to
sign an obligation not to come back and finally getting released
Neta Golan took part in the action - and was arrested - despite having a
arm from the Friday action.

There seems no sign of the army intending to evict the settlers from this
though their presence is illegal even under occupation law and though Sharon
and Ben-Eliezer promised the Americans to remove all illegally-established
settlement outposts created since the elections, of which this is one. So
furhter action on the spot is likely in the coming weeks.

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