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1360Palestine News

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  • ummyakoub
    Oct 17, 2003

      Thursday 16th October, 2003

      Mohammed and Laura in Rafah (International Solidarity Movement)

      The situation in Rafah has intensified further still. At midnight,
      yet another
      area of Rafah was invaded by the Israeli army. This time it was the
      Al Brazil
      refugee camp, again situated along the border with Egypt. It is a
      of the previous raids on Yibnah and Block J, and the ongoing
      operation in Hay

      The army has advanced at least 400 metres deep into the area, with 65
      tanks as
      well as a number of bulldozers and APC's. Two Apache helicopters
      were also
      deployed. One Palestinian man has been reported killed. Four people
      have been
      injured. The local hospital was already desperately overstretched.
      Now it will
      have reached crisis point.

      Further details are not yet known. It is extremely difficult to know
      what is
      happening inside the area due to the severity of the lock-down. No-
      one can even
      approach, due to the threat from Israeli snipers. The streets
      surrounding the
      occupied area are deserted.

      Israeli tanks are reported to be assembling on the border near an
      area called
      Tel Zorob. This is the on the opposite side of Rafah to where the
      army is
      currently operating in Hay Salaam and Al Brazil. Local residents are
      this area will be invaded next. Fear is also mounting among the
      residents of
      the Salah-El-Deen area of Rafah. This is also situated on the
      border. It is
      also not inconceivable that the IOF will return to the Yibnah refugee
      camp, the
      scene of last weekend's devastation.

      Last night Rafah's main transformer, located in Al Brazil by the
      Rachel Corrie
      Nursery School, was shot at and damaged. The entire city has been
      a power blackout since 2 a.m. this morning.

      The international media is not reporting the plight of Rafah's
      population. International governments are not condemning Israel's
      Support from the UN Relief and Works Agency is limited. This is an
      Urgent action must be taken immediately. Please friends, pick up the
      phone and
      call your representatives! Demand that your country take a stand
      against what's
      happening here! Someone stop the Israeli war machine.....

      The repeated practice by the Israeli army of deliberate and wanton
      of homes and civilian property is a grave violation of international
      rights and humanitarian law, notably of Articles 33 and 53 of the
      Fourth Geneva
      Convention, and constitutes a war crime," said Amnesty International.

      Israeli Occupying Forces Continue to Perpetrate Violations of Human
      Rights in
      the OPTs

      Weekly Report : On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied
      Territories by Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
      http://www.pchrgaza.org ( 09
      - 15 October 2003 )

      10 Palestinians, including 3 children, killed by Israeli

      Israeli forces conducted a series of incursions into
      Palestinian areas
      in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

      Israeli forces moved into Rafah refugee camp, killed 8
      Palestinians and
      destroyed 170 houses

      Israeli forces moved into Qalqilya and Tulkarm and imposed a

      Continued arbitrary arrests and detentions

      More areas of agricultural land were razed in the Gaza Strip

      Indiscriminate shelling of Palestinian residential areas

      A house in Nablus was destroyed by Israeli forces as part of
      continued campaign of retaliation against the families of
      Palestinians accused
      of involvement in attacks against Israeli targets

      Israeli forces ordered the transfer of 18 Palestinians from
      the West
      Bank to the Gaza Strip

      Continued siege on the OPTs
      Continued construction of the "separation wall"


      This week, Israeli occupying forces have escalated violations of
      human rights
      against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
      including extra-judicial and willful killings, indiscriminate
      shelling of
      residential areas, incursions into Palestinian areas, house
      demolitions, land
      leveling, unlawful transfers, and arbitrary arrests and detentions.
      They have
      also imposed a comprehensive siege on the OPT.

      This week, 10 Palestinians, including 3 children, were killed by
      occupying forces.

      On Friday morning, 10 October 2003 , Israeli occupying forces
      conducted a large
      scale incursion into the Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian
      border in
      the southern Gaza Strip. Under cover of intense shelling and gunfire
      from tanks
      and helicopters, Israeli forces invaded the area which is one of the
      densely populated in the Gaza Strip. During this incursion, which
      lasted for
      two days, 8 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 3 children,
      were killed
      and 56 others were wounded, including 20 seriously. Israeli occupying
      destroyed 170 Palestinian houses, a number of civilian facilities and
      infrastructure in the area. More than 2000 Palestinians, mostly
      children and
      women, have been rendered homeless.

      This number is added to hundreds of families whose homes were
      destroyed in the
      same area by Israeli occupying forces in previous incursions.

      Two days after they had withdrawn from Rafah refugee camp, Israeli
      forces moved into al-Brazil and al-Salam neighborhoods in Rafah,
      adjacent to the
      Egyptian border. At time of writing, one Palestinian has been
      killed and 10
      others, including 6 children, have been wounded by Israeli
      shelling. Israeli
      forces also arrested 3 Palestinians, demolished a number of houses
      and razed
      areas of agricultural land.

      They have also damaged the infrastructure in the two neighborhoods.

      In the West Bank , Israeli occupying forces moved into Qalqilya and
      They also moved into Nablus and arrested a number of Palestinians.
      forces have continued to impose a curfew on Jenin and its refugee
      camp for the
      11 th consecutive day (see PCHR's press release issued on 11 October
      2003), on
      Qalqilya for the 5 th consecutive day, on parts of Hebron for the 4 th
      consecutive day and on Tulkarm and its refugee camp for the 2 nd day.

      On 15 October 2003, in an apparent willful killing, Israeli soldiers
      shot dead a
      Palestinian civilian in Tulkarm. They claimed that he did not obey
      orders to
      stop. Israeli soldiers did not offer him any medical assistance and
      access for an ambulance for about an hour, during which time he

      Further confirming Israel as "a state above law," the United States
      used its
      veto on Wednesday, 15 October 2003, to oppose a UN Security Council
      that calls upon Israel to stop construction of the "separation wall."

      The United States was the only state that rejected the resolution.
      Four other
      states; Bulgaria , Cameron , Germany and the United Kingdom ;

      The resolution stated that the construction of a fence inside the
      OPTs is
      illegal and violates international law. The resolution further
      called for the
      immediate cessation of construction. The resolution further stated
      that "the
      UN Security Council rejects the settlement activities in the OPTs and
      confiscation of land that may affect sources of income." PCHR is
      that this the US veto serves to encourage Israel to perpetrate further
      violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,
      including war
      crimes, in the OPTs.

      In addition to restrictions imposed by Israeli occupying forces
      Palestinian civilians as a result of the construction of
      the "separation wall"
      in the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces have maintained a total
      siege on the
      Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.

      Israeli occupying forces imposed a total internal and external
      closure on the
      Gaza Strip from early morning on Sunday, 5 October 2003 .
      All main internal roads were closed, segregating the Gaza Strip into
      4 isolated

      In the West Bank , Israeli occupying forces have declared some areas
      military zones.

      This week, there were a series of attacks on medical personnel and
      facilities by
      the Israeli occupying forces and restrictions on movement of

      In violation of the prohibition on collective punishment, Israeli
      continued to take retaliatory measures against the families of
      Palestinians they
      allege were involved in attacks against Israeli targets.

      In this context, they destroyed a Palestinian house in Nablus.

      On Tuesday, 14 October 2003 , Major General Moshe Kaplinsky, GOC of
      the Central
      Command of the Israeli Occupying Forces, issued a military order
      transferring 15
      Palestinians, who were being held in administrative detentio n, from
      the West
      Bank to the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday morning, 14 October 2003 ,
      Occupying Forces transported a further three Palestinian detainees to
      the Erez
      military compound under a similar procedure. All 18 are currently
      detained in
      Erez pending an appeal against the transfer order.

      The full report is available online at:


      Israel Sequesters Palestinian Farmland West Of Wall
      Kicks farmers out of their orchards, claiming land is "Israel"

      Wednesday, 15 October 2003, 9:04 am
      Press Release: International Solidarity Movement (via Scoop.co.nz)


      [Occupied West Bank] Contrary to what the Israeli establishment has
      been saying,
      the government of Ariel Sharon has made another big land grab. A new
      issued by the military commander of the West Bank announced to
      Palestinians that
      they are no longer allowed to be on their land west of the separation
      wall. The
      order, which was distributed in Hebrew and illegible Arabic last
      week, states
      that the land west of the wall is a closed military area and that
      only Israelis,
      those eligible to be Israelis under the Law of Return (i.e.
      practically every
      Jew in the world) or those issued special permits would be allowed to
      be on the
      land. (See below for English translation of order)

      The military order announcing the new restrictions, signed by Major
      Moshe Kaplinski, the commander of IDF forces in "Judea and Samaria",
      and dated
      October 2, 2003, declares that lands west of the barrier are closed
      zones and farmers who want access need to apply for a "long-term
      permit. Palestinians also found at least two accompanying orders,
      signed by
      Brigadier General Ilan Paz, the head of the civil administration, and
      October 7, 2003. These orders detail how Palestinians are supposed to
      go about
      applying for the appropriate permits to be on their land west of the

      Of course, nothing in the order guarantees that permits will be
      granted to these
      Palestinian landowners, nor even respecated if granted.

      The idea of applying for a permit to be on one's own land is rejected
      Palestinians who have been on these lands for generations. In
      addition to the
      thousands of dunams of farmland, water wells, and greenhouses that
      are being
      isolated from their owners, thousands of Palestinians reside in 15
      villages that
      fall between the wall and the Green Line. According to this new
      order, these
      Palestinians are "illegally" residing in their homes now.

      In building the Separation Wall, the Israeli government has insisted
      that it is
      not confiscating more Palestinian land and has argued against the
      impact of this wall on Palestinians by claiming that farmers with
      land falling
      on the other side (west of the wall) will have access points -
      openings that
      they can pass through into their farmlands. Since the concrete walls
      have been
      built and the fences erected, a small number of gates have been built
      into the
      barricade and a prison-like system of access to orchards for farmers

      Due to the random open/close schedule of the gates, however, and the
      faced by farmers attempting to pass daily, dozens of farmers in
      [Qalqilya region] had taken to camping out on their land to ensure
      that they
      could tend to their fields, while other farmers faced up to the abuse
      and daily
      attempted, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to reach their
      fields. (For
      video footage of events at the gate in Jayyous on October 8, please
      www.palsolidarity.org). For the farmers that have been camping out on
      land, ISM volunteers have been helping with the delivery of food to
      them from
      the village, passing bread, water and some home-cooked meals through
      the barbed
      wire to the farmers on the other side.

      On Friday October 3 the gate was not opened at all for the farmers of
      and Palestinians throughout the West Bank. The gates have remained
      closed since.

      On Monday, October 13, 2003, in Jayyous, over 30 of the farmers who
      were camping
      on their land were rounded up, their IDs confiscated and told that
      they could no
      longer be on the land, because the land was "now Israel". A 17-year-
      old boy,
      Nael Zaher Nofel, who was riding his bike near Jayyous' west gate was
      by Israeli soldiers yesterday and has yet to be released.

      As opposed to Israeli government claims that the wall is a security
      this military order is seen by Palestinians as another political
      move, part of a
      political initiative - the Seperation Wall, in Israel's overall
      political plan
      to remove them from the area, taking their land. According to Israeli
      State Law,
      land that is neglected for 3 years or more can be siezed for state
      use. Making
      it almost impossible for Palestinians to be on their land ensures
      neglect and thus "legalized" confiscation of the land by the Israeli
      Soldiers enforcing this new order have already called it for what it
      is - "this
      land is now Israel" an Israeli soldier screamed at a Palestinian
      farmer in
      Jayyous as he forced him off his land yesterday.

      US vetoes resolution on Israeli fence
      By Masood Haider
      UNITED NATIONS, Oct 15: The United States on Tuesday vetoed a UN
      Security Council resolution condemning the security barrier Israel
      is building across the Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

      After the US killed the resolution with its lone negative vote for
      the second time in two months blocking a measure criticising
      Israel, Palestinians promised to seek a UN General Assembly vote
      on a resolution condemning Israel for building the massive
      security fence cutting across their territory.....


      --------------West Bank wall illegal: Pakistan
      UNITED NATIONS, Oct 15: Pakistan on Tuesday urged the Security
      Council to declare the separation wall constructed by Israel
      as "illegal, since it is an unlawful annexation of the occupied
      Palestinian territory."

      "It entails enormous humanitarian suffering for the affected
      Palestinian people. And, it seriously undermines the prospects for a
      just and lasting solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute."

      Addressing the UN Security Council, Pakistan's permanent
      representative to the UN said: "The government of Israel must by
      asked to cease and reverse its construction."

      Ambassador Munir Akram said: "We have returned to this Chamber,
      again, to discuss one grave aspect of the disturbing situation in the
      Middle East."

      He said that a fundamental principle of international law, flowing
      from the UN's Charter was the illegality of the acquisition of
      territory "by the use of force."

      Resolutions 242, 338 and all subsequent international agreements on
      the Middle East were based on the principle and require Israel's
      withdrawal from Arab occupied territories.

      The separation wall, being built in the occupied territory, he
      said, "incorporates substantial areas of occupied West bank into
      Israel and (it) does not follow the so-called Green Line. There is a
      contention that the wall is a temporary measure ... (enhancing
      measures against terrorism) ... This is not a tenable argument."

      "There would have been no terrorism had there been no foreign
      occupation. The objective, we fear, is indeed to pre-empt the
      solution of the Middle East conflict on the basis of the principle of
      land for peace," Mr Akram said. -APP




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