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Nablus: Life Under Curfew

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    Day 220: Nablus Under Curfew, My moving story From: Amer Abdelhadi Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 23:12:22 +0200 My god I hate the occupation. I
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2003
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      Day 220: Nablus Under Curfew, My moving story

      From: "Amer Abdelhadi" <amerhadi@...>
      Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 23:12:22 +0200

      "My god I hate the occupation. I hate what it stands for and I hate
      it when it interferes with my daily life and my plans" My daughter
      Qamar said.

      I lost my father just over a month ago. The curfew prevented me from
      visiting him when he was still alive. The odd times I had a chance to
      visit him were when he was taken to a hospital near my home.

      After my father's death, my mother became all alone in their house.
      Although she claims she is strong enough and can manage alone, we
      know she couldn't. She is past her seventies and needs to be looked
      after and checked upon all the time.

      I decided to move from my apartment to another one next door to my
      parents' house so I will be close to her, so will my little family.

      The apartment we are renting used to be leased to a friend of mine,
      Khaled. Khaled is married to Dina, a young lady from Jordan, they
      have a two year old son, Walid.

      In the first year of their marriage, Dina used to visit her family in
      Jordan every once in a while. On her last visit, Dina was not allowed
      to return to Nablus because she does not have a Palestinian, Israeli
      or a foreign passport. -- According to the Israeli military
      regulations, a spouse is not automatically granted citizenship after
      marriage through her/his partner. This law applies only on
      Palestinians and their spouses. Israelis, on the other hand, are
      granted immediate citizenship and bonuses just because he/she were
      born Jews. --.

      Khaled has not been with Dina and their son Walid since the Intifada
      begun. When Khaled's father died two years ago, Dina could sympathize
      through phone only.

      Dina and Khaled tried everything to reunite. …. No avail. They
      decided Dina and Walid would stay in Jordan, and Khaled at his
      parents in Nablus. An occasional trip would unite them together
      everyone once in moonlight. The apartment would be given back to its
      owners (I will rent it later).

      Back to my story.

      For me to move into the new apartment, Khaled has to take his
      furniture and belongings out. For that to happen, Khaled has to get
      clearance to ship them to Jordan via the Israeli borders, for that to
      happen he needs permissions and a special coordination. None was
      obtained.

      Upon my pleas and the landlord's request, Khaled agreed to store his
      furniture temporarily to a warehouse until he gets his papers
      completed.

      The clearance was supposed to take place Saturday, June 18th. The
      curfew was imposed on that same Saturday. It still is.

      Today, the Israeli Defense Minister declared a closure on all
      Palestinian areas from 4 pm until Wednesday morning, the day after
      the Israeli Elections.

      The delays are continuing. So will my mother's loneliness.

      Curfews do not only stop people like me from getting on with their
      plans. They also stop children from reaching their schools, sick
      people from reaching hospitals, ambulance drivers from carrying them.
      Those poor drivers, who are often beaten up and humiliated, are not
      allowed to pick up wounded Palestinians who get shot by Israeli
      bullets. The wounded would often die of loss of blood more than from
      the actual wound injury.

      The curfew also stopped people from going to work; thus, it stopped
      them from feeding their children and taking care of their families.

      The curfew started on June 20. It was long and continuous. Few weeks
      ago we were allowed to `enjoy' our freedom but only in the day time
      (not all days).

      The curfew is back. Eight continuous days already and no signs of any
      breaks.

      The world is watching, yet has done little.

      Amer Abdelhadi
      Radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh
      TMFM 97.7
      Nablus Under Curfew
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Malnutrition in Gaza 'as bad as Zimbabwe' says Clare Short

      From: "Sam Bahour" <sbahour@...>
      To: "readers5" <sbahour@...>
      Date: Sat, 01 Feb 2003 00:48:47 +0200

      http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/news/stories/030130s.htm
      Malnutrition in Gaza 'as bad as Zimbabwe' says Clare Short
      Christian Aid
      30.01.03

      The Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short,
      spoke at the launch of Christian Aid's hard-hitting report on
      Palestinian poverty in the House of Lords on 29 January 2003.

      The disturbing report, Losing ground: Israel, poverty and the
      Palestinians, examines in detail how Israel's occupation of the West
      Bank and the Gaza Strip has been the primary cause of the destruction
      of the Palestinian economy. It calls for full Israeli withdrawal from
      the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and for international monitors
      to oversee the process.

      International Development Secretary Ms Short told a packed meeting in
      the House of Lords that if there was no speedy action the possibility
      of a viable Palestinian state would be 'eroded'.

      'Most people in the world have agreed that the answer is two states
      side by side, two states that both people can feel safe in and gain
      security.

      'There would need to be lots of international intervention to make
      people feel safe. But if we don't move quickly, the possibility of a
      Palestinian state is being eroded by growing settlements and then we
      have no solution.

      'President Bush has said he believes in two states, Colin Powell has
      said he believes in two states, Prime Minister Sharon has said he
      believes in two states. If we don't make progress on that, two states
      will be eroded and then we don't have any political solution around
      which to mobilise. Then the danger of the crisis becomes enormous.'

      William Bell, co-author of the report and Christian Aid's Policy
      Officer for Palestinians and Israel said: 'The Palestinians are
      currently living in a state of extreme, worsening poverty and fear
      for their future. Almost three quarters of Palestinians now live on
      less than US$2 a day - below the United Nations poverty line.'

      The report details how, in the ten years of the Oslo peace process,
      living standards have worsened for almost all Palestinians living in
      the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Last year, due to Israeli closures
      of these regions, Palestinian earnings from agriculture fell by 70
      per cent, as farmers were unable to market their produce, for
      instance.

      Doctors report clear growth in important indicators of poverty -
      including child malnutrition, anaemia in pregnant women and a sharp
      increase in numbers of underweight babies. Stress-related conditions
      such as heart disease and hypertension have also increased. Since the
      beginning of the second intifada, in September 2000, new cases at
      mental health clinics have grown by 100 per cent - alarmingly, most
      of these cases are children.

      Ms Short said that according to UNICEF figures, children in the Gaza
      were now as malnourished as children in the Congo and Zimbabwe.

      Christian Aid recognises that the Palestinian Authority has failed to
      tackle poverty among Palestinians. The report calls on the
      international community to support reforms of the Palestinian
      Authority in order to serve the interests of the Palestinian people.

      Christian Aid unreservedly condemns suicide bombings and all other
      attacks on civilians, Israeli or Palestinian. Israel's right to
      recognition and to safety for all its citizens, as well as its right
      to economic development, is not in question. Christian Aid believes
      that the Palestinian people should also be afforded that right.

      • Clare Short backs Losing ground - Extracts from her speech at the
      launch: http://www.christian-
      aid.org.uk/indepth/0301isra/clareshort.htm

      The full 67-page report may be found at: http://www.christian-
      aid.org.uk/indepth/0301isra/losing_ground2.pdf

      ***********************************
      2) Hebron: a city without streets

      From: owner-palmongeneral@...
      [mailto:owner-palmongeneral@...] On Behalf Of Palestine
      Monitor
      Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 9:39 AM
      Subject: Hebron: a city without streets

      The Palestine Monitor
      A PNGO Information Clearinghouse
      URGENT UPDATE
      Hebron: a city without streets
      31 January 2003

      In the largest incursion seen in the city for several months, Israeli
      forces yesterday entered the city of Hebron in full force, imposing a
      strict curfew, destroying homes and businesses and shutting down
      radio and television stations.

      Israeli soldiers have also blockaded all roads in the city with
      concrete blocks and piles of dirt and rubble - preventing residents
      from making any movement in and around the city.

      Soldiers destroyed two homes early this morning and also bulldozed
      about 100 stalls in the vegetable market, set up by owners after they
      were forced out to the Old City due to its close proximity to illegal
      Israeli settlers. In the operation, Israeli tanks and bulldozers
      leveled stall after stall as soldiers fired at Palestinian civilians
      in the area.

      According to Hebron Mayor Mustafa Natsheh, Israeli soldiers - in
      addition to closing down the local radio and a television stations -
      also shut down several buildings belonging to the Palestinian
      Authority and three Palestinian police stations. "They even released
      all of the criminals being held in the stations," he said.

      "Tanks have been rolling up and down the streets constantly ever
      since yesterday," said Mayor Natsheh. "It is impossible for us to
      move, to communicate - and we have no idea how long this will last.
      Looking at the blockades on every street corner, we are in for a long
      haul."

      Hebron's 130,000 residents are often the victims of Israeli
      incursions, due to the presence of about 450 militant Israeli
      settlers who insist on living in the center of the Palestinian city -
      although their presence there is illegal under international law.

      "If this is an early example of Israeli 'democracy' in action, we
      fear that the worst is yet to come," said Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, a
      leading Palestinian democracy and human rights activist. "They are
      already at the point where they are shutting down private radio and
      television stations - what's next?"

      For more information contact: The Palestine Monitor +972 (0)2 298
      5372 or +972 (0)59 387 087 http://www.palestinemonitor.org

      ***********************************
      3) [Israeli] Commanders chided for officer's 'moral' refusal to
      provide data

      Tuesday, January 28, 2003 Shvat 25, 5763 Israel Time:Ý 16:30 Ý(GMT+2)
      Commanders chided for officer's 'moral' refusal to provide data
      By Amos Harel

      A colonel in Intelligence Corps Unit 8200 has been reprimanded for
      his part in the affair of a first lieutenant's refusal on moral
      grounds to provide intelligence for a military operation in the
      territories.

      Ma'ariv daily yesterday reported that the first lieutenant was
      relieved of his post for the refusal, for which he pleaded "moral
      motives."

      The affair dates to the start of the month after the suicide bombings
      at the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. Following the attack, the
      political leadership ordered a series of retaliatory operations in
      the territories, including an aerial attack on the Fatah office in
      Nablus.

      The lieutenant was asked to check whether the office was occupied.
      However, the officer's comrades in the unit say the intelligence
      requested was unusual. They say he was asked to find out if there
      would be any people at all in the office at the time of the attack,
      and was not asked for intelligence about any specific individual.

      The officer took this to mean that the objective of the attack was to
      cause random casualties, and he balked at the order. He then took the
      matter up with the colonel, who responded that the directive was
      indeed "puzzling" but had to be carried out nevertheless. In
      retrospect, it emerged that the young officer continued to hold back
      intelligence at his disposal because of his concern that the military
      operation would lead to the death of innocent Palestinians, and
      because he believed the order to be "blatantly illegal."

      Withholding of the intelligence eventually led to the scrapping of
      the assault on the Fatah office and the commander of Unit 8200
      decided to relieve the first lieutenant of his post. Ha'aretz has now
      learned that Military Intelligence wasn't happy with the colonel
      either and together with other officers, he was reprimanded.

      The IDF Spokesman's Office yesterday refused to respond to Ha'aretz's
      questions on the reprimanding of the officers, or to inquiries about
      the intelligence the first lieutenant was ordered to gather.

      The affair is causing a storm in Unit 8200, one of the Intelligence
      Corps' most prestigious units. It appears many officers and soldiers
      have expressed support for the considerations of the first
      lieutenant, with some believing that he was right in defining the
      order he received as illegal.

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

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