- May 24, 2003Zionists destroy at least 12 Palestinian homes in Rafah, Bethlehem
Report by Hear Palestine News Service - May 21, 2003
The Israeli army demolished at dawn today 8 homes and bulldozed
land during a military invasion southwest Rafah, near the border
separates Palestine and Egypt. 4 bulldozers supported by over 10
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
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
Israeli tanks continue to be based near the borer strip in Rafah.
This morning, several Israeli tanks and bulldozers reinvaded Beit
north of the Gaza Strip less than 12 hours of withdrawal that
days of occupation of the town.
Israeli armored vehicles and soldiers are based at all the entrances
within the town especially in the industrial area where Israeli
attacked and kicked out Palestinian workers from the area.
A new Israeli military location, 100 meters away from the entrance of
town was set up.
Bulldozers continue to level and destroy agricultural land in Beit
Over 2000 dunums (1dunum=1000m2) of land were leveled in the past 6
Israeli soldiers also opened fire at journalists who were supposed to
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
the Gaza Strip.
Bethlehem: Israeli Army Levels 2 Homes South of City
The Israeli army early this morning demolished the homes of Jamil and
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
now made homeless.
The 3rd brother Sa'd Nawawra is detained by the occupation
Two school students 16 and 17 years old were wounded in al-Ubeidiya
which was raided today by Israeli soldiers. 2 other students were
Israeli soldiers opened fire inside the school where students were
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
This was not the first time in which the school was attacked by the
army. Last week the same school was raided and several students
from breathing problems as a result of teargas bombs fired in their
A tight military siege continues to be imposed on the city of
Nablus: Israeli Army Blows Up 2 Homes
The Israeli army at dawn today (3:00 am) blew up 2 homes in the city
Israeli soldiers in armored vehicles besieged the home of Zarifa
mother of Abir Hamdan who carried out a suicide attack in Israel. The
was located in al-Yasmina quarter in the Old City of Nablus. The
her son were forced out of their home without their belongings.
soldiers then planted explosives inside the house and blew it up from
distance. 3 other adjacent homes were damaged as a result.
Another 2-story residential building inhabited by 25 people north of
city was besieged and blown up. The home belonged to the family of
Khilfa who carried out a suicide attack in Tel Aviv on 5 January
people are now left without refuge and set up a tent near the
their demolished homes.
On another front, the Israeli army arrested a number of people from
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
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
the head this morning during an invasion of the village of Yamoun,
Witness reported that military reinforcements were carried out on the
the village early this morning before the invasion. During the
soldiers opened fire intensively and randomly.
Nawahda was hit with a deadly bullet in the head while inside his
located at the entrance of Yamoun Village. He was then transferred to
hospital in Nablus City.
The Israeli army also invaded Silat al-Thaher, Ya'bid, Silat al-
and other villages today. Heavy military presence was reported in the
and residents are unable to move from one place to another. School
unable to reach their schools to sit their final exams.
Deep ditches were dug on both sides of road between Arraba and Ya'bid
In Tamoun and Toubas, Israeli soldiers arrested several residents
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
Israeli fire in the occupied town of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza
they were on their way to school to sit their final exams. All 7
under the age of 15.
Israeli soldiers in tanks based at the southern entrance of the town
fire at them and continued to open fire preventing ambulances from
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
Deep holes were dug in all main streets, including and a large number
The Israeli army occupied the industrial area of Beit Hanoun and
hundreds of workers from reaching their workplaces. Israeli soldiers
based on the roof tops of some factories and opened fire
residents and workers who approached the area.
In the meantime, bulldozing activities continue to be carried out
border strip in Rafah.
In Khuza'a area, Khan Younis, ongoing bulldozing activities were
while Israeli soldiers reportedly opened fire intermittently towards
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
soldiers ruined large quantities of medicine as well as destroyed the
hospital's furniture and some of its medical equipment. This was the
time in which the hospital is subjected to a similar attack in recent
(See report at:
At least 8 residents were arrested in Nablus today during home raids
searches at military roadblocks that spread heavily throughout Nablus
At the Deir Sharaf military roadblock residents reported being
attacked by Israeli soldiers.
The villages of Zawata and Asira al-Shamaliya continue to be
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
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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