International Solidarity Movement

A week of Palestinian calls for the release of the CPT hostages in Iraq

Over the last week Palestinians from across the political spectrum have issued impassioned appeals and demonstrated for the release of the four Christian Peacemaker Team volunteers who were taken hostage in Iraq, three of whom had previously served in Palestine with CPT and ISM. Demonstrations calling for the release of the CPT volunteers were held in Hebron, At-Tuwani and Ramallah. More are planned over the next week in Nablus (tomorrow at 11am) and Ramallah (tomorrow at 4:30pm). 

Palestinian Solidarity Activists Amongst Four Peace Activist Hostages in Iraq

Three of the four Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) hostages in Iraq of whom a video was released today have been in Palestine working as Palestinian Solidarity activists. Palestinians in Ramallah will hold a demonstration tomorrow at 3pm in solidarity with all four kidnapped peace activists and to appeal for their release. The demonstration will be attended by notable Palestinian religious and resistance figures. 

Oct 14-Nov 15: ISM USA Speaking Tour on the Palestinian/Israeli Nonviolent Movement

From October 14 � November 15, 2005, Palestinian Ayed Morrar and Israeli Jonathan Pollak will be touring the United States speaking about Nonviolent Resistance in Palestine. The tour will visit New York, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Olympia Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida and Philadelphia. Ayed and Jonathan are friends and among the major figures in the Palestinian-led nonviolent struggle against Israel�s military occupation. 

Nablus resists

In the high point of a week of planned non-violent direct actions against the occupation, residents of Nablus converged on Huwara checkpoint to protest the continuing closure of the region. Prisoners’ families, accompanied by more than thirty international activists, were flanked by Palestinian medics and ambulances as they approached the checkpoint. The two aims of the action were to raise the profile of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli gaols and to protest the ongoing closure of the Nablus area. There are currently 8000 Palestinians, many of whom are women and children, illegitimately imprisoned by Israel. Currently 1400 of the prisoners are from Nablus. 

Second child from Balata refugee camp dies

On Monday Balata residents endured their second child martyr’s funeral in five days. Fourteen year old Noor Faris Njem was shot in the head late last Wednesday evening when the Israeli army came to Balata Refugee Camp and, without warning, opened fire on unarmed civilians. Noor (meaning light) was peering round a wall to see if the jeep was still there when a soldier shot him in the top of his head. After the best efforts of medics, he died on Sunday afternoon, the second child to die from injuries inflicted by the Israeli army that night. In retaliation for Noor’s shooting, two sixteen year old fighters lay in wait to fire at the army when they entered the camp. Khalid Mohammed Msyme was shot dead and the other boy is critically injured. 

One child dead, two critically injured as Israeli army attacks Balata

Arriving at the gate of the Balata refugee camp shortly before 11pm, the Israeli army opened fire into a group of civilians without warning. One fourteen year old boy was shot in the head and is critically injured. Two sixteen year olds were shot, one fatally, in clashes overnight. The army occupied three homes. The Balata Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has said they will no longer keep the ceasefire. Israeli armed vehicles arrived at the camp late in the evening. Despite the presence of two large groups of civilians, including two internationals, the soldiers began firing live rounds directly into the camp. When medics arrived on the scene minutes later the internationals learned that a child in the other group 50 metres away had been shot in the head. 

Israeli army invades Nablus again

Scores of Israeli army vehicles invaded Nablus today. Surely there can be no claims of a ceasefire on the Israeli side now. Since the Sharm Al Sheikh talks Israel has claimed to be maintaining a ceasefire. Human rights organizations document their breaches weekly. An inestimable number of Israeli armed vehicles entered Nablus town before 1pm, speeding around the city and firing randomly. Newly arrived international visitors, unused to the thunderous echoes from Nablus ‘s rocky hillsides thought they were in the midst of a full scale military attack. Apache helicopters whirred overheard, their conspicuous presence preparing residents for an assassination. F-16 fighter jets scorched across the sky. 

Nonviolent direct action in Bilin - Israeli soldiers tear down the fence!

The villagers of Bil’in, joined by Israeli and International activists, built a mock security fence in the bulldozers path to the construction site of the annexation barrier on their land. The villagers’ fence was constructed on a long metal box that Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists locked themselves into. On the fence hung signs saying “the wall… over our dead bodies” in Hebrew and Arabic. In order to remove the activists the Israeli military first had to dismantle the mock fence! 

Half-blind 15-year-old boy faces long jail sentence

Zaki Mohammed Mansour (15) of Saffa village, West Ramallah, in the West Bank of Occupied Palestine was released on “bail” of 20 000 shekels (about $4800) two days ago. Zaki, who has been charged with making a roadblock and throwing stones, has lost two months of school this year. There is a strong possibility that when Zaki is called for final judgement in his case in about one month’s time, that he will either get a prison sentence or he will have to pay a hefty fine of 5,000 or 10,000 shekels, which will be deducted from the 20,000 shekels bail money he has paid. 

Israeli military murders school children at anti-Wall protest

Two cousins, 14 and 15 years old, were shot dead today by Israeli soldiers who opened fire on a demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in the village of Beit Liqya. After school ended for the day students went out to protest against the illegal Wall which is right now cutting through their homes and lands threatening the livelihood and freedom of movement of the entire region. Israeli soldiers, positioned on a hill above the demonstration, met the student’s confrontation with live fire. According to eye witnesses, the two boys were shot by the same soldier from a distance of 5 to 10 meters.