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Weekly report on human rights violations

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
9 January 2003

This week, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians, demolished dozens of Palestinian homes and shelled residential areas. Consequently, more than 300 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have become homeless. Israeli forces maintained the total siege on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, separated areas, imposed round the clock curfews and prevented all Palestinians between the ages 16 and 35 from traveling abroad.

Supreme Court of Israel ruled to reject ban on Palestinian political parties

8 January 2003


This morning, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled to reject three disqualification decisions issued by the Central Elections Committee (CEC). The Court approved the participation of the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), and reinstated the candidacies of MKs Azmi Bishara and Ahmad Tibi, for the upcoming Israeli elections.

Israeli security forces kidnap Jaggi Singh

Nigel Parry
8 January 2003

Canadian activist Jaggi Singh traveled to Palestine on December 14th to write about the realities of the Israeli occupation and participate in the activities of the International Solidarity Movement. On his arrival he was banned by an Israeli court from entering the occupied territories, an edict he defied on the grounds that it “normalized Israel’s occupation” of these lands. On January 8th, while arriving for a pre-arranged meeting with a friend in West Jerusalem, Singh was bundled into a car by three Israelis in plain clothes. Nigel Parry reports.

Gretta Duisenberg: Ramallah lunch

Radio Netherlands
8 January 2003


Gretta Duisenberg, wife of the President of the European Central Bank, undertakes a week-long trip to the West Bank and Gaza Strip as chairwoman of “Stop the Occupation”. In May last year, the ECB chief’s wife excited controversy when she hung a Palestinian flag from the balcony of their Amsterdam home. Radio Netherlands reports.

The Tel Aviv suicide bombing and illegal foreign workers

Jaggi Singh
East Jerusalem
7 January 2003

The double suicide bombing at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv yesterday evening is dominating headlines internationally. The attack resulted in at least 23 deaths, and over 100 injured, many very seriously. Israel’s predictable response is to tighten the military occupation over Palestinians. Jaggi Singh reports.

Life Story of the Olives

Annie Higgins
7 January 2003


Photo by Musa Al-Shaer.

As we are picking, news comes of yet another increase of the attacks on Nablus. An international calls friends there, climbs back into the high branches to pick, but comes down shortly after, resolving to go to friends whose house is in immanent danger of being bulldozed. Everyone understands and bids her a safe journey. I think of the many dunums of olive trees that have been bulldozed, innocent trees wrenched and uprooted from their refuge in the soil. On my first journey to Palestine some years before, I had seen an olive tree claimed to antedate Jesus’ advent on earth. The symbol and the reality of the olive tree made an impression, and I began to name things like my car license “olive/zaytoun.”

How powerful the Palestinians are

Betty Anderson
7 January 2003

Betty Anderson, Assistant Professor of Middle East History at Boston University, recently spent four days in Jerusalem, Abu Dis, Bir Zeit, Ramallah, Qalqilya and Nablus. In this diary entry from Amman, Jordan, she reflects on the spirit she found among Palestinians during her visit.

We Are Here; They Are There

Darren Ell
7 January 2003


Above: Cover of The New Intifada. Buy this book on

Since returning from my November 2002 trip to Palestine, I’ve been reading an illuminating new book on the Israel/Palestine conflict: The New Intifada: Resisting Israel’s Apartheid. Its essays reveal just how seriously the mainstream media has misrepresented the conflict. I recall that in 2000 we heard how former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was the Palestinians’ best chance for peace and how Arafat ruined it all by turning down Israel’s magnanimous concessions at Camp David. Quite a different story arises in Sara Roy’s essay. Darren Ell writes from Montreal, Canada.

In the home of Mohammed Ramadan

Jaggi Singh
7 January 2003

Nablus is a city under siege. The West Bank’s largest town is the primary target for the Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) increased campaign against so-called militants and terrorists. It’s a campaign that, in effect, collectively punishes all Palestinians for being Palestinian. Jaggi Singh reports.

Supreme Court hearings today on appeal against NDA disqualification

7 January 2003


Today, an 11-justice panel of the Supreme Court of Israel will hold hearings on an appeal against the decision of the Central Elections Committee (CEC) to disqualify the National Democratic Alliance from running in the Israeli elections. It will also hear concluding arguments submitted by Adalah challenging the CEC’s decision to ban MK Dr. Azmi Bishara, the head of the NDA list, from participating in the Knesset elections.


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