- Jan 2, 2003ISRAEL TROOPS ACCUSED OF SHAVING PALESTINIANS' HAIR
JERUSALEM, Dec 30 (Reuters) - A prominent Israeli human rights group
accused Israeli troops on Monday of forcibly shaving the heads of
two Palestinians in a West Bank barber's shop and called for an army
B'Tselem said four soldiers entered a barber's shop in Hebron early
this month and found five Palestinian men apparently violating a
military curfew imposed on the city.
It said the soldiers beat the men, aged 19 to 24, for an hour. The
troops also used three of the men as human shields, firing over
their shoulders at Palestinians throwing stones, and sheared the
hair off two of them, B'Tselem said.
"One of the soldiers inside told me to sit on the (barber's) chair
and didn't say why. When I sat down, he picked up an electric
razor," a B'Tselem statement quoted Bassem Maswadeh, 24, as saying.
"When the soldier put the machine in my hair, I grabbed his hand and
asked him what he was doing. He slapped me and told me in Arabic to
shut up. The soldier put the machine to my hair forcefully. It hurt.
He cut my hair in random lines "
PALESTINIAN TOWNS WOBBLING ON LAST LEGS
Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 12/30/02
DEIR ISTIYA, West Bank -- Fuad Awad rolls his own cigarettes these
days to save the $3 that his two-pack-a-day habit demanded. With the
extra money, he buys a little chicken for his children.
The house that Saeed Zeidan was building for his family sits half-
finished, concrete blocks bare to the wet wind. No job, no money.
Nazmi abu Ali burns tree bark in a tin can to heat the rooms where
his two toddlers sit most of the day, passing the time.
Across the West Bank, villages and towns like this one are dying a
slow death. More than two years of closures, curfews and the
pressure of Israeli army tanks have ruined the livelihood, the
economy, the agriculture, the education and in some cases the health
of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children
Israeli Physicians for Human Rights, after a survey in the West
Bank, concluded that stillbirths were up fivefold in rural
Palestinian areas and vaccination programs depleted. Palestinians
give even bleaker statistics.
According to the World Bank, nearly three-quarters of Palestinians
are living below the poverty line, defined as $2 a day, unemployment
has soared to more than half the population and Palestinian industry
is on the verge of collapse. The Palestinian economy loses $7.6
million a day, according to the U.N
Numerous villages that live on what they grow simply decided not to
plant this season, he said. Unable to reach a market for their
products, and in some cases unable to reach the fields themselves,
residents decided it wasn't worth it
Hundreds of Palestinian travelers have been stuck for days on the
Egyptian side of the Rafah Terminal due to Israeli restrictions
29 December 2002 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Due to Israeli restrictions, hundreds of Palestinian travelers have,
for several days, been waiting on the Egyptian side of the Rafah
Terminal to enter the Gaza Strip. Among the travelers are children,
women and patients, who have been abroad to receive medical
treatment. PCHR strongly urge the international community, and its
organizations, in particular the ICRC, to immediately intervene to
pressure the Israeli authorities to allow the travelers back into
the Gaza Strip.
As a result of the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupying
forces, for more than two years now, the Rafah Terminal, between the
Gaza Strip and Egypt, are almost always crowded with travelers. This
situation has further deteriorated in the past two weeks on both
sides of the terminal. PCHR's field workers report that 400-600
travelers have been forced to spend two to three days on the
Egyptian side of the Rafah Terminal under inhumane conditions and in
extremely cold weather. They also report that the crisis is
expected to further deteriorate as travelers continue to arrive at
the terminal; many after having done the Lesser Pilgrimage ('Omra)
in Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadan.
The Israeli authorities have tightened the siege and closure of the
Gaza Strip since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada. They have
closed the Rafah Terminal completely or partially since the 8th of
October 2000, which has sharply decreased the number of Palestinians
traveling through the terminal. Furthermore, it has prevented
thousands of Palestinians living abroad from spending their summer
vacations with their families in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli
occupying forces have also expelled all Palestinian officials and
security men from the terminal, and have allowed only a small number
of porters in. Furthermore, they decreased the work hours at the
terminal to six hours a day instead of 24 hours. Consequently, the
number of travelers has decreased to 200 per day, instead of more
than 1000 during normal times.
The Rafah Terminal is the only border out of the Gaza Strip for
Palestinians since Gaza International Airport was closed in February
2001. Gazans have also been prohibited from traveling through the
al-Karama Bridge on the Palestinian-Jordanian border and through the
Israeli Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
PCHR condemns these Israeli measures, which violates the rights of
Palestinians to free movement. PCHR considers these measures an
escalation of the policies of collective punishment practiced by the
Israeli authorities. Consequently, PCHR calls upon the international
community, especially humanitarian organizations, to immediately
intervene to force Israel to stop their violations of the Palestinian
Israel bars two Arab political parties for demanding civic equality,
opposing occupation and apartheid
Occupied Jerusalem: 1 January, 2003 (IAP News)
In a draconian measure which observers say underscores the drift
toward fascism among Israelis, the Israeli election committee on
Wednesday barred a second Israeli Arab party from taking part in the
general elections slated for 28 January.
The committee ruled Arab law-maker Dr. Azmi Bishara, who heads the
Arab Unionist Party posed a danger to the Jewish identity of Israel.
Bishara, a former Professor of Philosophy, had repeatedly called for
full civic equality between all Israeli citizens irrespective of
religion and race.
However, a majority of the committee members interpreted Beshara's
statement as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Israel is defined as a Jewish state, not a state of and for all its
On Monday, the same committee barred another Arab party, headed by
Dr. Ahmed Teibi, for supporting the Palestinian people's right to
self-determination and for criticizing the Israeli occupation of the
The committee ruled that any criticism of the Israeli occupation of
the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) amounted to
Teibi described the committee decision to bar him from running in
the election as "a black day for democracy."
"This is certainly a black day for democracy in Israel. I can't
understand how Israel can any longer claim to be a democracy,
Israeli democracy has become a mockery. There is not a better word
Gaza City: Occupation Soldiers Run Over Unidentified Man with Tank,
Hear Paslestine - Dec 30, 2002
An unidentified man was killed in Gaza Valley, Gaza City, in tank
fire. Then occupation soldier drove over his body, according to
witnesses. A 'Mirkva' tank drove over the man near the dividing line
between the Gaza Strip and the 'green line', east Gaza City.
Witnesses confirmed that the man was shot dead before a tank were
brought in to run him over.
2 hours following the murder, the occupation army invaded the area
with tanks and bulldozers under intense heavy fire directed at homes
and raided and searched several homes brutally and provocatively.
Abu Holi and al-Matahin military roadblocks were closed this
morning, while occupation soldiers carried out searches and
oppressive measures against those attempting to reach their work in
Gaza City. Long queues of cars were held for several hours.
Western Khan Younis refugee camp was attacked with heavy fire and 1
missile this morning. No casualties were reported.
Al-Tuffah military roadblock at the entrance of al-Mawasi area
continues to be closed for delegations and residents attempting to
bring medical and nutritious aid to the besieged residents for the
3rd day running.
Rafah: Shelling and Israeli Plan to Demolish Hundreds of Homes
Israeli occupation soldiers based on the border strip between Gaza
Strip and Egyptian territories shelled this morning Rafah refugee
camp, resulting in severe material damage.
The Israeli army has escalated attacks in Rafah lately, in what
seems as an implementation of the plan to expand the border strip to
150 meters into the refugee camp, which means the demolition of
hundreds of the refugees' homes. The occupation army has already
started the implementation of the plan in al-Barahima area on the
The occupation army since the beginning of the Intifada demolished
over 255 homes.
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