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645Palestine News

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  • ummyakoub
    May 24, 2003
      Zionists destroy at least 12 Palestinian homes in Rafah, Bethlehem
      and Nablus

      Report by Hear Palestine News Service - May 21, 2003

      The Israeli army demolished at dawn today 8 homes and bulldozed
      agricultural
      land during a military invasion southwest Rafah, near the border
      strip that
      separates Palestine and Egypt. 4 bulldozers supported by over 10
      armored
      vehicles invaded the area under intense fire directed towards homes.

      3 residents were moderately wounded. Last night a woman was critically
      wounded in Israeli fire in Tel al-Sultan area (See Feature Story
      Below).

      8 homes were completely demolished and a number of other homes and the
      infrastructure were seriously damaged.

      Over 2 dunums of land cultivated with olive trees were also bulldozed
      during the
      invasion.

      Israeli tanks continue to be based near the borer strip in Rafah.

      This morning, several Israeli tanks and bulldozers reinvaded Beit
      Hanoun,
      north of the Gaza Strip less than 12 hours of withdrawal that
      followed 6
      days of occupation of the town.

      Israeli armored vehicles and soldiers are based at all the entrances
      and
      within the town especially in the industrial area where Israeli
      soldiers
      attacked and kicked out Palestinian workers from the area.

      A new Israeli military location, 100 meters away from the entrance of
      the
      town was set up.

      Bulldozers continue to level and destroy agricultural land in Beit
      Hanoun.
      Over 2000 dunums (1dunum=1000m2) of land were leveled in the past 6
      days.

      Israeli soldiers also opened fire at journalists who were supposed to
      cover
      Abu Mazin's visit to the area. The visit was postponed after the
      reoccupation of Beit Hanoun this morning.

      A tight military closure continues to be imposed on all towns and
      cities in
      the Gaza Strip.

      Bethlehem: Israeli Army Levels 2 Homes South of City
      *******************************************

      The Israeli army early this morning demolished the homes of Jamil and
      Jamal
      Nawawra brothers who were killed previously by the Israeli army.

      A large number of soldiers besieged the homes at dawn before blowing
      them up and
      leveling them to the ground at 5:00 am. The homes were inhabited by
      10 people
      now made homeless.

      The 3rd brother Sa'd Nawawra is detained by the occupation
      authorities.

      Two school students 16 and 17 years old were wounded in al-Ubeidiya
      school,
      which was raided today by Israeli soldiers. 2 other students were
      arrested.

      Israeli soldiers opened fire inside the school where students were
      sitting
      exams. The soldiers threatened to open fire at teachers and students
      if they did
      not leave the school. Students were forced to leave their exams and
      evacuate.

      This was not the first time in which the school was attacked by the
      Israeli
      army. Last week the same school was raided and several students
      suffered
      from breathing problems as a result of teargas bombs fired in their
      direction.

      A tight military siege continues to be imposed on the city of
      Bethlehem.

      Nablus: Israeli Army Blows Up 2 Homes
      *******************************

      The Israeli army at dawn today (3:00 am) blew up 2 homes in the city
      of
      Nablus.

      Israeli soldiers in armored vehicles besieged the home of Zarifa
      Hamdan,
      mother of Abir Hamdan who carried out a suicide attack in Israel. The
      home
      was located in al-Yasmina quarter in the Old City of Nablus. The
      mother and
      her son were forced out of their home without their belongings.
      Israeli
      soldiers then planted explosives inside the house and blew it up from
      a
      distance. 3 other adjacent homes were damaged as a result.

      Another 2-story residential building inhabited by 25 people north of
      the
      city was besieged and blown up. The home belonged to the family of
      Buraq
      Khilfa who carried out a suicide attack in Tel Aviv on 5 January
      2003. 25
      people are now left without refuge and set up a tent near the
      location of
      their demolished homes.

      On another front, the Israeli army arrested a number of people from
      Salem
      and Beit Forik villages and from the city of Nablus.

      http://www.iap.org E-mails: iapinfo@...
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      --------------------------------

      Jenin: Child killed by Israeli fire while sitting in his school
      classroom, 7
      wounded in Beit Hanoun, Nablus under attack

      Source: Hear Palestine News Service - May 22, 2003

      Israeli soldiers killed 13-year old Kamal Nawahda with live
      ammunition in
      the head this morning during an invasion of the village of Yamoun,
      Jenin.

      Witness reported that military reinforcements were carried out on the
      edges of
      the village early this morning before the invasion. During the
      invasion, Israeli
      soldiers opened fire intensively and randomly.

      Nawahda was hit with a deadly bullet in the head while inside his
      school
      located at the entrance of Yamoun Village. He was then transferred to
      the
      hospital in Nablus City.

      The Israeli army also invaded Silat al-Thaher, Ya'bid, Silat al-
      Harithiya
      and other villages today. Heavy military presence was reported in the
      area
      and residents are unable to move from one place to another. School
      students were
      unable to reach their schools to sit their final exams.

      Deep ditches were dug on both sides of road between Arraba and Ya'bid
      villages.

      In Tamoun and Toubas, Israeli soldiers arrested several residents
      during
      home raids and searches. The area continues to be placed under tight
      military siege for the 6th day running.

      Beit Hanoun: 7 School Students Wounded in Israeli Fire
      ********************************************

      Seven Palestinian school students were wounded this morning, one
      critically, in
      Israeli fire in the occupied town of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza
      Strip, while
      they were on their way to school to sit their final exams. All 7
      children are
      under the age of 15.

      Israeli soldiers in tanks based at the southern entrance of the town
      opened
      fire at them and continued to open fire preventing ambulances from
      reaching the
      location to rescue the wounded.

      The Israeli army reinvaded Beit Hanoun town yesterday for the second
      time in a week. Over 10 homes and hundreds of dunums of agricultural
      land were
      bulldozed.

      Deep holes were dug in all main streets, including and a large number
      of side
      roads, today.

      The Israeli army occupied the industrial area of Beit Hanoun and
      prevented
      hundreds of workers from reaching their workplaces. Israeli soldiers
      are
      based on the roof tops of some factories and opened fire
      intermittently at
      residents and workers who approached the area.

      In the meantime, bulldozing activities continue to be carried out
      near the
      border strip in Rafah.

      In Khuza'a area, Khan Younis, ongoing bulldozing activities were
      carried out
      while Israeli soldiers reportedly opened fire intermittently towards
      the
      residents in the area.

      Nablus: Ongoing Israeli Attacks in Old City and Villages
      ********************************************

      Israeli soldiers at dawn today raided al-Midani Hospital in al-Yasmina
      quarter in Old City of Nablus after blowing up the main gate of the
      hospital. The Palestinian Medical Relief Agency reported that the
      Israeli
      soldiers ruined large quantities of medicine as well as destroyed the
      hospital's furniture and some of its medical equipment. This was the
      fourth
      time in which the hospital is subjected to a similar attack in recent
      days.
      (See report at:
      http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?iapinfo+1176)

      At least 8 residents were arrested in Nablus today during home raids
      and
      searches at military roadblocks that spread heavily throughout Nablus
      and
      its villages.

      At the Deir Sharaf military roadblock residents reported being
      physically
      attacked by Israeli soldiers.

      The villages of Zawata and Asira al-Shamaliya continue to be
      completely
      isolated from the outside world, while escalated closure measures are
      imposed around Nablus and its surrounding villages.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      -------------------------------
      Separation wall swallows up Rafat land

      Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 12:03:09 +0300
      From: Palestine Report Newslist <prlist@...>
      Subject: Separation wall swallows up Rafat land

      Separation wall swallows up Rafat land
      Published at http://www.palestinereport.org on May 21, 2003.

      Also in this week's issue: Palestinian media outlets are targeted by
      Israeli troops, and Riham Barghouti discusses folklore, politics and
      going beyond in Palestinian popular dance.
      by Ahmad Sub Laban

      "I SEE my land in my village of Rafat every day, but I cannot reach
      it because of the so-called separation wall, which prohibits me from
      reaching the land of my fathers and forefathers," says Abdallah Al
      Rafati. "This land has been passed down through generations, but now,
      I cannot even reach that olive tree, which neither I, nor my father
      or grandfather planted, but rather our first ancestors," he continues.

      More than 33 dunams of Al Rafati's land have been confiscated in
      order for Israel to build the "separation fence," which is
      constructed solely on Palestinian land. More than 75 percent of
      Rafat's land, a village north of Jerusalem, has been confiscated to
      make way for the wall.

      According to a report prepared by the Center for Land Research of the
      Arab Studies Society, Rafat's land has been taken control of through
      confiscation, military closure and land leveling. Rafat, one of the
      closest villages to Ramallah and located on the borderline between
      Ramallah and Jerusalem, has been closed off from three directions -
      to the east, west and south.

      "From the west, the village is surrounded by the Beitunia and Ofra
      military camps. From the east, it is encompassed by the Jerusalem
      Airport, which has been turned into an Israeli army camp. And now,
      from the south, the village has been closed in by the security
      fence," explains Rafat local council head Mohammed Khader Taha. He
      confirms the claim made in the Land Research Report that Rafat is an
      estimated 6,000 years old, and has Canaanite origins. Its ancient
      name is Raphael, meaning that God heals, and was built on an area of
      4,583 dunams.

      Today, the village's area is no larger than 329 dunams, all of which
      falls within Area B, an Israeli categorization of Palestinian land in
      which home construction is permitted. An additional 500 dunams of the
      village's land falls within Area C, where all construction is
      prohibited. But this land is not even fit for agriculture, rendering
      it effectively useless. In all, 75 percent of the village's land has
      been confiscated by Israeli authorities over the past 35 years, sums
      up the council head.

      According to Taha, Israeli forces confiscated the plains in 1967,
      which constituted the village's most fertile agricultural land, and
      on which village residents depended for much of their food and
      income. Approximately 60 percent of the village population worked the
      land at that time. The Israeli confiscation was slated to build the
      Ofra military camp, which was built on 700 dunams of Rafat land.

      But the confiscations continued after that, with the most significant
      taking place after the arrival of the Palestinian Authority. Since
      then, Israeli authorities have confiscated the equivalent of 300
      dunams of land located between the village and Ramallah in order to
      build a settlement bypass road. Then in 1996, Israel built yet
      another street, severing the connecting road between Rafat and Al
      Jdeira, a nearby village. The road was built directly on Rafat land.

      The most recent of these land confiscations took place in August
      2002, when the Israeli army informed village residents that they
      would confiscate around 768 dunams of land from the village,
      including 168 dunams for the purpose of the separation wall and the
      surrounding road. Israeli forces closed off 600 dunams of land that
      fall behind the separation wall, and banned village residents from
      accessing it to plant, harvest or reap the fruit of their olive
      trees. What's more, Israeli occupation forces cut down 638 fruit-
      bearing olive trees, says Taha, including those belonging to Al
      Rafati, which were planted by his ancestors.

      Al Rafati speaks of the impact the separation wall has had on the
      village land. "The impact is huge on the village people. At first, it
      led to a further decline in the already poor economic situation that
      the village is in, especially after 60 percent of the village
      population lost their source of income with the confiscation of the
      remaining land used for agriculture." Rafati adds that the
      unemployment rate has reached 80 percent in Rafat.

      "But economic damage is not the only thing to hit the village because
      of this separation wall," says Rafati. "It also has social and
      academic consequences." He explains that there used to be many
      marriages between the people of Rafat and neighboring villages, such
      as Al Jeeb and Bir Nabala. However, these relationships since have
      been severed, because the fence has completely cut these areas off
      from one another. "Parents no longer go to visit their married
      children who live in other villages," Rafati explains.

      He says there are also grave academic consequences that have recently
      appeared, and will continue to grow, with the construction of the
      separation wall. Many students attend high schools and universities
      outside the village because these facilities are not available in the
      village. But now the separation wall is standing before them and
      their destinations. "Students used to spend half an hour traveling to
      their university," Rafati says. "Now, the journey needs four hours at
      least, if the student is able to get there at all."

      Published 21/5/03.(c)Palestine Report

      *********************************************************************

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