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Media Blackout On Nablus Siege

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  • ummyakoub
    Please Act Immediately to Lift the Siege off Nablus, Balata and Beit Foreek! This is a Humanitarian Crisis! by Amer Abdelhadi with International Solidarity
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2004
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      Please Act Immediately to Lift the Siege off Nablus, Balata and Beit
      Foreek! This is a Humanitarian Crisis!

      by Amer Abdelhadi with International Solidarity Movement -
      Jan 3, 2004

      Greetings from Nablus Under Siege.

      Nablus has been under siege for the last 10 days while Balata refugee
      camp has been under siege for the last 18 consecutive days. We have
      just heard that every single entrance/exit to Balata has been sealed
      off completely. No food or medicine is allowed in. Medical relief
      teams are being obstructed and at times completely prevented from
      passing through. Activists from ISM (the International Solidarity
      Movement) were attacked while carrying out their missions to observe
      and bear witness on what the Israeli occupation authorities are
      brutalizing the Palestinian population. Beit Foreek has been
      completely sealed off; its mayor reports that there are signs of
      starvation.

      Two men and a boy were killed by Israeli military fire since this
      morning. The first, Amjad Bilal Masri is a 15 year old boy who was
      shot while standing in front of his house. The sniper bullet hit
      Amjad in the back. He died on his way to the hospital. The second is
      Amer Kathym Arafat who was also shot in the back by a sniper bullet.
      The third is Rouhi Hazem Shouman, 25, who was also shot in the back
      by a sniper. Ms. Majida Masri, spokeswomen for the Coordinating
      Committee of Palestinian Political Faction, called a couple of
      minutes ago on all Nabulis who are able to get to Rafidiya Hospital
      to defy the curfew and join the families of the martyrs in a
      collective funeral for the three. "They were all shot in the back by
      cowardly snipers.

      Their only crime was to refuse to succumb to Israeli occupation
      designs to empty Palestine from its people."

      Reports from Balata indicate that a deliberate starvation campaign is
      being carried by the Israeli military which has sealed off the Camp
      and refuses to allow food and medicine to get through every single
      allyway, formal or informal entrances. A few days ago, the Israeli
      military shot and injured 4 people who were walking a funeral for an
      old woman who passed away. No demonstrations or political events were
      taking place in or around the funeral.

      The siege of the old city of Nablus and its neighborhoods (Yasmeeneh,
      Qaryoun, Habaleh) has been intensified since December 30, 2003. The
      Israeli military claims that they were looking for the leader of the
      Aksa Martyrs Brigade, Abu Sharkh. They took his brother and wife as
      hostages, paraded the wife in a jeep in the old city and forced to
      call out to her husband over loud speakers to surrender in return for
      her freedom. She has been released only yesterday. No one can get
      into the old city, but Dr. Ghassan Hamdan of the Union of Palestinian
      Medical Relief Committee, who is in the old city has called on the
      whole world to immediately intervene to support the people of Nablus.
      He condemned media outlets for neglecting to cover what's going on,
      including the largest Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, which has not
      reported on what's going in Nablus in its front page. Dr. Hamdan
      criticized the Palestinian Authority who have not done anything to
      aid Nablus and demanded that "Abu Alaa, the Palestinian Prime
      Minister, hold a ministrial meeting in Nablus to highlight the
      horrible conditions the city is experiencing under this brutal Israeli
      campaign."

      We have just heard explosions in the old city. It was in Qaryoun
      neighborhood inside the Abdelhadi Palace that houses 75 people. The
      Palace, built 400 years ago, is a waqf, endowed by Mahmoud Abdelhadi
      for the use of Abdelhadi women who have no place to live and no
      sources of income (widows, single women who do not work or have no
      income, and women whose main breadwinners are disabled). The
      Israeli military has ordered the 75 people to vacate the palace at
      3:30 in the mooring and left them out in the cold.

      Mr. Aslan, a neighbor, invited took in all the 75 people and offered
      them hospitality and warmth. The families are scattered throughout
      the old city (before the more strict siege) and unable to go home.
      Dr. Mahdi Abdelhadi, Director of PASSIA, has gone to the Israeli
      supreme court. The Court ordered an injunction against the
      destruction of the Palace but the military appealed the decision and
      received a permission from the court to destroy this historic
      building "if security needs call for such action." This also requires
      your immediate attention.

      Nablus has been split again into two parts near Maha's Gate, which is
      named after Mrs. Maha Nimr who lived nearby and whose son has been
      arrested and is currently being interrogated in Ofer settlement
      prison (near Ramallah); no family members or lawyers are allowed to
      see him until the "interrogation is completed." "Tora Bora," as
      the residents call it, is the mount of dirt Israeli occupation army
      has compiled near the destroyed Governate of Nablus (as well as the
      prison that was bombed with prisoners inside in 2002 resulting in
      the killing of 10 Palestinian policemen who were guarding the
      prison). Tora Bora literally separates the two parts of the city and
      no one can come or go without risking being shot at by the Israeli
      military. Children (including my own nephew Ibrahim and nieces Widad,
      Noura, and Nada who live in the eastern part beyond Tora Bora) have
      been risking their lives to get to school to take their final exams.
      Ibrahim, 10 year old, and other kids almost got killed on December
      23, 2003 as he tried to get home. He was finally able to reach his
      home a few hours later and only after the international media,
      medical relief workers, my other brother, Amer, and Amal, my sister-
      in-law and Ibrahim's mother risked their lives, argued with the
      soldiers and insisted on getting all the kids home across a
      checkpoint.

      Mustapha Barghouti has described the bloody campaign against Nablus
      as a "real war on this city whose other name, the Mountain of Fire,
      has basis in the steadfastness of Palestinians and their refusal to
      allow the Israeli military to break the Palestinian collective will
      to continue struggling for their rights."

      "There is a completely news blockage of what's going in Nablus,"
      Barghouti added, explaining that lack of news coverage has to do
      with "the negligence of the Palestinian Authority, PA, to assume its
      responsibility for the protection of the population." "Instead,"
      Barghouti added, "the PA is wasting time and energy in useless
      meetings with the Israeli occupation government that is intent on
      destroying our people's will."

      Reporter's Note: This report is partly drawn from word of mouth of
      relatives and friends, and partly from Radio Tariq Mahabbeh (you can
      listen to the radio station at www.tmfm.net). For interviews and more
      information, you may call:

      Amer Abdelhadi at (+972-59-371-372)
      Tariq Mahabbeh (Radio station) at (+972 57 830 333).
      Rabab Abdulhadi(no later than 9:30 p.m.) at (+972 9 237 2891).
      ----------------------------------------------------------------

      Al-Awda Urgent Action Alert
      Stop The Atrocities in Nablus

      There is a media blackout on atrocities being committed in Nablus,
      the nearby Balata Refugee camp and surrounding villages. The Israeli
      occupation forces have implemented an inhumane siege (10 days so far
      in Nablus, 18 days in Balata) with no allowance even for of medical
      care and basic necessities. Israeli occupation forces have already
      murdered and injured many civilians. Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to
      Return Coalition joins the International Solidarity Movement in
      requesting that you take urgent action now.

      Actions Requested:

      - Write, call and/or visit government officials. Write to your
      congressional representatives using this link:
      http://www.cflweb.org/congress_merge_.htm

      - Write and Call media outlets and ask why they are ignoring the
      news of Nablus, Balata and Beit Foreek. Letters to the editor (150
      words or less) or Opinion Articles (700-800 words) may be addressed
      to your favorite local, national or international newspaper or other
      media outlet. Each letter should be sent to one newspaper only and
      must include your name, address and phone number. Contact data for
      newspapers and other media outlets can be found at:
      http://www.MrSmithMedia.com/

      For tips and other media resources, visit
      http://Al-Awda.org/mediaactivism

      - Write to the following UN Special Rapporteurs:
      Mr. John Dugard, SR on the Situation of human rights in the
      Palestinian territories dtopali.hchr@...
      Mr. Miloon Kothari, SR on the Right to Adequate Housing
      cmoller@...
      Mr. Jean Ziegler, SR on the Right to Food dbhagwandin@...

      - Organize protests outside Israeli government embassies and
      consulates calling for an end to the occupation. For a list of
      Israeli embassies in your area, please see:
      http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/israel1.htm

      - Call for divestment from companies that conduct business with
      Israel.

      Talking points:

      - Every single entrance/exit to Balata has been sealed off
      completely. No food or Medicine is allowed in. Medical relief teams
      are being obstructed and at times completely prevented from passing
      through.

      Activists from ISM (the International Solidarity Movement) were
      attacked while carrying out their missions to observe and bear
      witness on what the Israeli occupation authorities are brutalizing
      the Palestinian population.

      Beit Foreek has been completely sealed off; its mayor reports that
      there are signs of starvation.

      Amjad Bilal Masri, 15 year old, was shot while standing in front of
      his house. The sniper bullet hit Amjad in the back. He died on his
      way to the hospital. Rouhi Hazem Shouman and Amer Kathym Arafat were
      shot in the back by a sniper bullet.

      Defying curfew, thousands of Palestinian citizens joined the funeral
      of those killed. Israeli occupation troops attacked the march with
      stun grenades, tear gas, rubber coated steal bullets and live
      ammunition. Details are difficult to come by as there has been a news
      black out.

      Dr. Mustapha Barghouti has described the bloody campaign against
      Nablus as a "real war on this city whose other name, the Mountain of
      Fire, has basis in the steadfastness of Palestinians and their
      refusal to allow the Israeli military to break the Palestinian
      collective will to continue struggling for their rights." "There is a
      completely news blockage of what's going in Nablus," Barghouti added,
      explaining that lack of news coverage has to do with "the negligence
      of the Palestinian Authority, PA, to assume its responsibility for
      the protection of the population." "Instead," Barghouti added, "the
      PA is wasting time and energy in useless meetings with the Israeli
      occupation government that is intent on destroying our people's
      will."

      To see what else you can do, visit
      http://www.al-awda.org/whatyoucando/

      The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
      P.O. Box 1172
      Orange, CT 06477
      E-mail: info@...
      WWW: http://www.al-awda.org
      Fax: 1-802-609-9284
      (donations in the US are tax deductible to teh extent allowed by law)

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

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