Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Having been enveloped in the endless welcome that is this city, I’ve found it hard to find time to tell you all hi, that I love you and will be home soon. Inshallah. I did write an email retelling the tales of my bruises and tears, but I decided that they can wait. This city, which at the moment is crying from the heavens and has been trying to keep us off the olive groves...but harvesting is resistance!! my days have drifted into weeks, and into months...and this place has gone from a piece of land, to cities and villages, to families and people, who've giving me their stories, and I’m going to bring home, its these stories that have been keeping me going...and my new city love, she been seducing me with beautiful sunsets, rubbing them out with her call to prayers...nablus habiti!
...The rolling hills of the west bank from a distance are not that different from the hills of home, just they have olives and sunshine! but in there if you look past the smiles of the ever pleasing Palestinians, are the scares and dirty secrets of this occupation that no one is meant to see or complain about, and yet in spite of these dirty scares, and the tragedies that these hills have witnessed, the families always have a warm smile for me, always a joke or laugh and always invitation! Even when telling me their stories, watching me selfishly fight back the tears, they can always find a little bit of hope, their last, to give me, to make me feel like this fight is not over.
...Ramadan is over and the city is quite at night again, the cold is setting in, making my 5.30am wake up calls even more painful...I never understood why the revolution couldn't happen after 10am! once you get to know this place its funny how you learn to know when something is out of place, like today, walking round the old city, I noticed a few things, which let me know that tonight might not be so quite...you count gunfire and explosions here at night, the sheep are too busy being look outs...
I’m having the pleasure of spending this extended welcome with some amazing people, already too many I’ve had to say goodbye to, but we've all made promises to come back and free the land, and then to free the donkeys...donkeys have their part in the resistance, only the other day 2 donkeys broke free and ended up having sex on a settler(only!) road causing a traffic jam! Sex is revolution!
Balata refugee camp is one of the most densely-populated places in the west bank, if not the world...30,000 people in one square Km! The children of balata are desperate to have that imaginary friend take them away, somewhere safe, somewhere the army don't shoot at them where their brothers done die in the dark, their homes are safe and their bodies aren\'t prisons ...the imaginary friends of balata. This city in a city is a heartbreaker. you cant live with her, but you cant escape her endless maze of ally ways and sorrow... this project is something I really hope to support when I get back its a ray of light out of the camp.. http://www.picturebalata.net
I’m off to bed, settlers and soldiers and olives, these are a few of my favourite things…
Love and kisses,
[name deleated to protect the not so innocent...let's say she's an awsome woman, part brit, part indian, all revolution]
i have returned to the united states, a less obviously occupied country. i am in washington, dc, a place where we are taxed and policed, but lack representation in congress. we have more jurisdictions of police than anywhere else, and one of the highest murder rates nationally. the place with the seats of power and the worse schools and hospitals. i am far from palestine, but far from our utopia of human achievment.
i have been out of palestine for about three days and i miss it already. i miss the markets and the streets, the fighters and the kids. i miss the strangers who greet you, the guys you know that kiss you, and the new ones you meet every walk. i miss the hospitality, the spirit of resistance, the pride and the intrigue. i miss nablus, balata, ramallah, beit ommar, al-quds...villages...al-jab'a, beit furik, salim, bil'in, and countless others. i miss the music, the food, the smells and the sites. i am already plotting my return.
the trip home was as expected...shitty. i would love to go through the ins and outs of my exodus through airport security but think that for my long term viability as a palestinian supporter, i will avoid this. let me say for anyone trying to pass the airports, know what you are going to say, practice, and be calm. know where you stayed, why you came to israel, how you met the people you met, because these and other such questions which will be thrown at you quickly. the questions are repeated and your answers must match. there is a preliminary security interrogation before you even get your ticket, a second interrogation with the x-ray machines and metal detectors, and a third at passport control. this passport interrogation is preformed by a largely female staff of police. if you can pass the three levels of security, you are home. so, after some troubles in the occupied airport, i eventually made it out and onto my plane.
it was about 6 hours from there to central europe, then 9 hours to the east coast of the US, then another 1.5 hours to my destination. three planes, three airports, much security. i didn't know about this new rule regarding liquids and flying into the US. apparently, because of the foiled plot to bomb airlines with liquid explosives, i was not allowed to fly from NYC to DC with a bottle of wine. i was permitted to take that could-be-a-bomb-bottle through tel aviv, and an airport in europe, but when i reached new york, it suddenly became potentially explosive. so i ditched it. some underpaid TSA chump probably drunk it that night.
and now i am back.
i have been sleeping, trying to get my body synchronized with the time here. i have been eating as everyone keeps telling me that i lost weight. i have been watching TV and eating more. this email is the first real thing i made myself do. yesterday i gave a poorly planned, poorly focused presentation for a small group of people. i though the talk was the following day and a a few hours before it started i was told it was to be that night. so i did what i could. it was held late at night and i was tired. tomorrow's will be better.
if anyone ever spent significant time outside of their home doing taxing work, and returned home, you know what i feel like. i have no motivation. all i want to do is sleep and eat. sleep and eat, and then go back to sleep. its like physical depression, but in my head, i am not depressed, just unmotivated and easily entertained. i could stare into nothingness for long stints of time, whereas normally i need to be typing, surfing the internet, watching TV, talking on the phone and so on. now, i can simply stare off into space and be content. honestly, it is hard being back. there are what can only be called flashbacks in the day and nightmares at night, things you see that are confusing and hard to fit into your life, and it all colides when nothing is present to allow you to avoid dealing with it. with the calm of american living comes the time to be fucked up in your head.
you feel guilty you left. i left behind palestinians and my international comrades. i know that everyone leaves eventually, and that i stayed longer than most, i know this, but i can't help but feel guilty. i feel useless, slothy, selfish, lazy. i want some villagers to organize with, a demonstration to make signs for, a roadblock to scout, a family to visit, a stone to throw, even a long commute to the south. now i have here, everything i could want. loving friends, great food, a TV with hundreds of channels in english, a laptop with a fast and stable connection. so many of the things i missed, the things i crave for comfort, i have. and yet, i still feel like this.
i have applied for some grant money to allow me to stay in the area next year for an extended period of time. if that doesn't work, maybe i will try to go and teach english, or work for an NGO, or do a photography project, or go back to the ISM.
while i am here in the US, prior to my emancipation back into occupation, i will still work for palestine, as i have for the past few years. i will continue to speak about their situation, to learn more for myself, and to teach others. i will use this venue to speak about what is happening to them in their days. i will report the news, keep people informed about the resistance, and point inquiring minds towards more and more information. i will be a warrior for palestine, living in the belly of the beast that sustains the occupation, and await my return.
this will be the last regular email i will send out. to the many people i have been writing to, and the many who have been writing to me, i thank you from the bottom of my heart. thank you for listening. thank you for speaking. as i said, i will continue to write, and you should continue to read. i will continue to post to the blog many times a week, so if you liked what you read from me, please keep reading. just visit: http://OccupiedLove.blogspot.com and it will be like i never stopped writing to you...or i can keep sending them to you directly. if you want that, just email me and i will keep it up.
since i have day to day experiences to write about i will be changing the content of the blog a bit. i will be uploading a lot of pictures from my expierence, and telling stories through them. i will start this as soon as the pictures reach me. i will keep reporting the news, but apply more analysis, now that i have distance and time to think. i will bridge my worlds of activism and academia and post some of my writings on palestine. if you are interested in palestine, the intifada and gender, hold onto your seats cause i got a lot of that coming your way. so the flow of my daily life will stop, but palestine will remain. if you have suggestions, or requests for things you would like to see here, things you have questions on or would like further exploration, please just ask and i will be happy to help.
\so in some ways, this is good bye to some of you. i am sure that some folks, who were more concerned for my personal safety, and less concerned about palestine might stop reading...that is OK. but what is important here, and what has always been important, is not me. palestine is what is important. i was never what was important. the occupation and palestine is always what i meant to report on, and at times, my experience was the vehicle for that. so please keep reading. i will keep writing either way, but despite my safe return, palestine is still occupied, and to quote an eloquent Brit, 'Palestine is still the issue!'
so keep telling your friends, to check out the blog for their palestine news. because of y'all, more and more people are learning everyday. without this support, my work is without a venue. you all have given me a venue. i know this from the emails i receive, 'jane is a friend of john, and john knows fred. fred is your friend and we heard about it through him.' it is emails like this that tell me i have to keep writing.
so i continue my fight, and you should continue yours. if i can help you plug into this more, please ask. if you would like books to read, places to find more topic-specific information, organizations to intern with, events to attend...just ask and i will hook you up with a local person who can help. if you want to send me stuff to post, pictures you have, commentaries you have written, please send it. this is a forum for all, so help me use it. if you want to organize a event with me, or another person, ask and i can try to help. if you want to help, but don't know how, ask. ask.
a few interesting things to read:
a photo essay about the weekly protests in bil'in
another article by ex-kidnappee michael, about why he came to nablus
short report on an incursion into balata involving tanks and air support
report on of of bil'in largest protests yet
i helped to plan the nablus olive harvest, and now it is underway. they are reporting on each village, and the author, an amazing woman, is a brilliant writer. please read these reports as they will tell about the work we do in the villages, show you what the area looks like, and entertain you with great prose. seriously, these are great pieces, GO ISM NABLUS:
ISM nablus olive harvest reports on salim, awarta, beit iba
ISM nablus olive harvest report rujieb
so that is about it from me for now. please keep reading, if not from me, from someone. keep acting, and keep dreaming. palestine can be free if we all work for it. all occupations, throughout history, end with the emancipation of the people. israel's will fall too, and it can happen in our lifetimes. we can make the walls fall, the settlements dismantle and the soldiers to leave. we can isolate israel as an international criminal, a pursuer of genocide, an occupier, an oppressor. why were germany, south africa, sudan and others so apparent and easy to label as unchecked aggression yet israel continues. we can make this stop, we can make this stop.
all my love from colonial washington, dc, capital city USA:
Mohamed Farraj writing from Balata refugee camp,
Live from Palestine, 21 October 2006
A view of Balata Refugee Camp (Matthew Cassel/justimage.org)
When I was released after serving two years in an Israeli prison, I returned to Balata refugee camp, near Nablus, to find that many of my friends from were gone. Some were killed, many were in prison and others injured. With so many familiar faces no longer there, I began to realize just how much could change in such a short time.
Every day I saw the same young man standing in the same spot on the street. I will never forget the sorrowful expression he always wore. I could tell that like most, he was strong. But there was something different hidden in the depths of his hazel eyes.
Skipper, the son of an electrician, grew up with his three brothers on the outskirts of the camp. Though his given name was Osama, most people in the camp called him "Skipper" and his close friends called him "Disco Skipper." "Skipper" was a nickname given to him in school, and "Disco" came from his love for dancing. Skipper would be the first one dancing at all the wedding parties in the camp.
Like many of his peers, in tenth grade Skipper left school to work for his father. However, he couldn't stand working while the situation around him was worsening and his friends were being killed or arrested. His friend Ramzy says that Skipper would hang out with young men who were "wanted" by the Israeli army. Skipper was considered guilty by association and he too became "wanted."
Once, when I was with an American friend who was visiting the camp, we stopped to talk to Skipper as he stood at that same spot in the street. As we joked around Skipper's warm side emerged. We laughed right there on the street. Later on we all went to a friend's apartment. A friend of Skipper's asked if we had any Michael Jackson music, and my American friend searched his laptop and played a song for everyone. Skipper's friend tried to push Skipper to get up and at first he resisted. But then after a few seconds Skipper was up and dancing just like Michael Jackson. We all laughed.
During the night, Balata's streets shut down. Everyone remains inside his or her home except for the fighters. The fighters sit with each other and wait, unsure if they will live to see the sun rise in the morning.
In the late hours of October 8, with dawn on its way, the Israeli army invaded the camp as they do every night. Like every night, they occupied the land, the military vehicles positioned on the school street that is the highest street in the camp. From there they took aim to begin their attack on the fighters.
Skipper was with another fighter when they headed with their weapons to where the army was stationed. Suddenly there was shooting. These shots were not hollow -- they were felt by every person in the camp. We all knew someone was dying.
Skipper was shot. As he was walking, he suddenly ran into the soldiers in one of the camp's narrow alleys. Both opened fire on each other in their respective struggle to survive by killing the other. Bitter enemies. Of course, the Israelis are militarily stronger thanks to their superior weapons. But Skipper -- like all Palestinians -- was fortified with aspirations of freedom in his heart. And it was his heart that was penetrated by the shots heard throughout the camp. His friend was injured.
Skipper standing in his usual spot on Balata's main market street one week before he was killed. (Do'a/picturebalata.net)
Skipper, despite his chest wound, began to run away from the soldiers. He fled until he was out of the soldiers' sight. He then fell to the ground. The other fighters saw Skipper and momentarily thought that he was an injured Israeli soldier. But after a moment they realized it was their friend. With deep sorrow, they carried his body to a safe place.
Skipper could only say a few words, "Ambulance ... ambulance." He lay in the middle of the camp until an ambulance was allowed to reach him. Skipper's friends put him in the back of the vehicle and watched as it drove away. In the early dawn of that morning Skipper would close his eyes forever.
A detail of Skipper's martyr poster (Do'a/picturebalata.net)
"He was my best friend," says Ramzy, another fighter in the camp. "He was happy and he loved dancing, but sometimes there was pain in his voice. It was a shock for me the night he was shot. I was on the street but in a different place. They told me he was injured and I thought, thank god he's not dead. Later, when I heard he had died, I took my gun and began to shoot at everything around me. I will never forget the way he looked at me that night when I last saw him. I had a few cigarettes and I shared half of them with him so he could smoke during the night."
Before most people become martyrs they will write a will or final letter to their families and loved ones. Skipper wrote a will:
"To the children of Palestine. Don't let anyone get you down, you must overcome your weakness and be strong. Finish your education. Our struggle must be fought through education, it is our path to freedom."
Mother, do not cry for me because if I die I will be alive with the people. If I die don't cry, just come to my grave and touch the ground and you will be touching my face. And tell the other mothers what it is like to sacrifice, and that Palestine needs our sacrifice. Palestine will use my blood to paint her story."
At the age of 23, Skipper died without a coin in his pocket, only a few pictures of his friends who had been killed by the Israeli army. He had never asked for handouts from anyone, but the night before he was killed he asked his neighbor for a sandwich. The following night the camp lost a good man.
His pale face and deep voice are deeply missed. Skipper left not only a bloodstain on the ground and poster on the wall for people to remember him -- like the scores of others killed in Balata, Skipper left a deep void.
I know that Skipper didn't want to die. He had lost many of his friends to the occupation, at least twelve young men who were in his class growing up. Skipper didn't choose to be a fighter. It chose him.
Skipper was a victim of the occupation like every young Palestinian refugee in Balata. The occupation steals each youth's childhood. There are few opportunities in Balata. And the many military checkpoints surrounding Nablus that make it almost impossible to leave the camp remind young people who is control of their future. It is an open-air prison. Everyone I know who has died, including Skipper, used to talk about how they wanted something better for themselves and for we Palestinians generally. No one wants this life we're given -- it's not life at all.
Skipper now lies in the graveyard with his friends and the other victims of the occupation. Like every martyr, Skipper has become a memory in the peoples' minds, memorialized by the posters carrying his name and face that have been hung where he stood every day.
Skipper was from a generation of young people whom I hadn't yet really gotten to know before going to prison. When I was released, however, they had all grown up. They had a fresh sense of resistance and concern for the fate of the people of Balata. This, it dawned on me, was the cycle of conflict. One goes and another one rises to his place. We can never know exactly who will go and who will come, but we can be sure that those who will rise up next will come from the youth.
Mohamed Farraj is a resident of Balata refugee camp. During the current Intifada he was seriously wounded by the Israeli army and served almost two years in an Israeli prison. Currently, he is a journalism student at Al-Najah University in Nablus.
To get in contact with Mohamed Farraj (author), or any of the photographers presented, leave a comment on the blog and I can have them email you. Or you can ask me directly at email@example.com.
I am home, back in the US, staying for a few days in Washington, DC. Some friends here have organized a venue to open the topic of Palestine, and the work I was involved with there. It will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, 8:00pm. The address is 1822 Lamont Street, nw, near the corner of 18 and Lamont. Not sure how many of y'all are in the DC area, so I thought I would pass this along.
You can take the metro to Columbia Heights and walk, take the H4 bus from the Tennlytown area, or visit wmata.com to find other ways via the metro and bus system. It's open to any and everyone so come on by. If I can locate a projector there will be pictures projected huge on a wall, some food and some discussion.
Come by, it should be a blast.
Friday, October 27, 2006
it has been raining here for the later part of the day, only about the fourth rain since i have been here. when i walked the old city, from jaffa gate in the jewish quarter, through the christian quarter, to the muslim quarter and out damascus gate, the streets were hollywood-style gothic. the rain trickled from in between the tin roofs that cover the walk ways, cats scurried to and fro, and i saw only four people the entire fifteen minute walk. when you are in the long stone streets, under arches and tarps, you can look up and down the long central passages and see for blocks and blocks. as i turned a corner onto the central street of the palestinian souq, i saw no one the entire length.
wednesday, according to occupation sources, twenty palestinians were seized in overnight raids across the west bank
wednesday, occupation forces once again invaded the village of qabatiya, south of jenin, this time seizing two men. the invading soldiers carried out house to house invasions and took two men. during the village incursion, at least one army unit simultaneously invaded near by jenin city.
wednesday, colonial settlers attacked palestinian farmers attempting to harvest olives in the nablus region. colonists from gilad farm settlement outpost, attempted to stop the palestinians from harvesting by attcking them with rocks. three palestinians and one settler were injured. gilad farm is an illegal colonial settlement outpost, consisting of ten units near the much larger settlement of keddumim, west of nablus. according to an article by israeli newspaper haaretz, the outpost is built on land owned by the nearby palestinian village of farata.
thursday, occupation forces invaded tulkarem and nur shams refugee camp, both in the northern west bank. four men were seized in the raids on nur shams camp. one of the men, ala adnan darwish, 21, is a member of the national security forces, and a second, ashraf fawiz shehadeh is a member of the palestinian police.
thursday, according to israeli radio, occupation forces have drafted a hit list of hamas government officials and proimises to begin assassinating democratically-elected leaders if hamas' military wing resumes attacks inside of the lands occupied in 1948. israeli raido reported that its domestic covert intelligence service, shabak, has reason to believe that hamas and other factions will soon begin attacking inside of 1948 palestine, something they have acvoided for some time. israeli military officials have alsready informed palestinian president mahmoud abbas of their intentions to murder government officials if attacks occur. defense minister amir perez met with generals in the occupation army and created a list of targets which includes, 'Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Interior Minister Said Siyam, Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar and Information Minister Yousef Rizqa.' in addition, leaders of military wings from hamas as well as other factions were listed.
thursday, occupation forces invaded abu dis, an eastern suburb of al-quds (jerusalem) and seized five men. all five were activists with the democratic front for the liberation of palestine. the DFLP in jerusalem repoted the attack to the media and stated that the raid weas supported by special forces, border police, intenlligence officers and police digs. the men taken were daoud muhammed muhsin, 26; ramzi adel ahmed salah, 22; hamza muhammed ibrahim salah, 19; mohammaed mahmoud salah, 22; and omar ibrahim salah, 22.
thursday, occupation forces invaded hebron and seized five people from the same family. the raid on the sami al-ja'abari home occured in ar-rama. three sons, fahmi, mashour and hatem were detained aslong with judeh and his brother rami. in addition, occupation forces seized the family car.
friday, occupation forces invaded al-yamun, west of jenin, and MUREDERD ONE palestinian man, and injured two. ahmad hassan abu hassan, 28, married a little over one month agao, and a leader with the fatah al-aqsa martyrs brigades was instantly kileld after being shot. two of his brothers, muhammed, 35 and ra'if, 20, were also injured by shots fired by occupation soldiers as they sat on the roof of their family home.
friday, occupation forces invaded al-fara's refugee camp, between nablus and tubas, and MURDURED TWO palestinian men, and injured two. the invading forces were met with resistance from palestinian demonstratots who thre stones and moltov cocktails. during these clashes, occupation forces opened fire and killed fadi nimr subuh, 27, and muhammad jaber, 19. two men, hazem hamhoud awad and abed amar salmah were injured from sildier gunfire. salmah was seized after the attack by occupation forces. fighters with the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad, attacked occupation forces with hand thrown explosve devices in a seprrate incident during the incursion.
friday, occupation forces invaded jenin and seized three brothers. the three men, tah'er, muhammad and abdullah wishahi were taken, and all but tah'er were later released.
friday, occupartion forces invade jenin refugee camp and clashed with palestinian fighters. figters from the hussam jaradat martyrs briagdes, a unit of the al-quds briagde, the military wing of islamic jihad were involved in the clashes. also, the al-quds briagde, in conjunction with fatah's al-aqsa martyes briagdes have reportely destroyed two occupartion military vhecilces during the three hour incursion into the camp. the briagdes also repotedly injured a number of occupation soldiers.
thursday, occupation forces invaded southern gaza and KILLED ONE palestinian, and injured at least one critically. the incursion, which occurred in the village of khuza's, east of khan younis, included more than twenty tanks and american-made apache attack helicopters. the helicopters and tanks provided heavy machine gun fire and during the incursion, a member of the palestinian national security force, lami hamdan abu lahiya, 22, was shot in the abdomen. he died after reaching the hospital. during this shooting, a second man was shot and seriously injured. there have been more than ten such incursions into the village of khuza's in the last four months. in the most recent incursion, ten days ago, seven residents were murdered.
thursday, occupation forces invaded beit hanoun in northern gaza and KILLED ONE palestinian. during the invasion, suhail abdul-razzag almajdalawi, 35, a civilian, was shot in the chest by occupation forces. he was transferred to the hospital, but died shortly there after.
wednesday, the national resistance brigades, the military wing of the democratic front for the liberation of palestine, in conjunction with the al-aqsa martyrs brigades, the main military wing of fatah, detonated an explosive device next to an occupation military patrol near the border fence east of rafah in southern gaza. the brigades statement reported that occupation forces responded to the explosion with gun fire and flare fire.
thursday, palestinian fighters from an unknown faction, disguised as shepards, fired at a colonial settler on a road in the west bank, near tarqumiya village, north of al-khalil (hebron). the fighters closed the road, forcing the settler to slow down and then fired at him from close range. the settler was lightly wounded in the hand and transported to the hospital for treatment. later that day, occupation forces invaded the hebron area and seized three palestinian men whom they suspect of being involved in the shooting.
thursday, the al-qassam brigade, the military wing of hamas, launched one home made 'yassin' rocket at an occupation armoured personell carrier in the faraheen area east of khan younis in southern gaza. the statement reported that the APC was hit directly.
thursday, the nasser salah addin brigades, the military wing of the popular resistance committees, attacked sufa crossing, south of khan younis with two home made 'nasser-2' rockets. the stetement reported that the atatcck was in retaliation for the assassination of atta al-shinbari, from beit hanoun, and a leader with the brigades.
thursday, the al-quds briagde, the military wing of islamic jihad, launched three home made mortars at a group of occupation military vehicles neae erez crossing in northern gaza.
thursday, the al-quds briagde, the military wing is islamic jihad released a statemtn claiming that they shot an occupation soldier east of beit hanoun. this has not been conformed by occupation sources.
thursday, fighters from two factions were able to sucessfully repel an occupation incursion into the village of kafr dan, west of jenin. fighter from the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad, as well as fighters from the al-aqsa martyrs briagde, the main military wing of fatah, thre explosves at the invading forces and angegedd them in armed clashes. the occupation forces were unable to enter the village, enter homes or make arrests and they retreated.
one of my pictures, the one with the soldier on the left and the palestinain farmers on ther right, made it into a BBC spanish article. they did not ask my permission to use it, they did not pay me for tis ude, they did not credit me, but hey its mine and its for the world to see.
Amira Hass--'Twenty-six hours, minute by minute,' a great monologue from the ex-kidnapped other michael, from america, living in nablus. here is the real story as told by him.
a letter to the editor also from ex-kidnappee michael about why he still supports palestine
two more road blocks removed by PSP in the beit ommar area
b'tselem release report documenting the policy of preventing families from being allowed to visit relatives in jail
b'tselem release report calling israel's bombing of the gaza power plant a war crime
haaretz--"Settlements grow on Arab land, despite promises made to U.S."
report on home demolitions in east jerusalem
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
As you may (or may not) know, the time for the 2007 National Conference on Organized Resistance is fast approaching! Next year, it will be held from March 9th to 11th at American University. For those of you who are not familiar with NCOR, it is an annual conference dedicated to bringing people working for social justice together. The heart of the conference is the 80+ workshops that are offered on a variety of topics, check out organizedresistance.org for last year's schedule.
Organized resistance requires an acceptance of the basic idea that to resist is to accept one’s responsibility to act in the world. People all over the planet are using the tools of resistance to snatch a life of dignity from those who would take it away. The National Conference on Organized Resistance is about those causes and people that seek their own freedom and the freedom of others.
In the past year, Nepalese rebels toppled their monarch, Oaxacan teachers and peasants exiled their state government, and French students and immigrants set French cities and suburbs ablaze. In local struggles across the US, poor tenants organized against gentrification, workers of all kinds fought declining working conditions and benefits, and millions of immigrants used civil disobedience to go from the margins and shadows of society to the forefront of political debate.
The National Conference on Organized Resistance has for ten years now sought to bring people and groups from a wide array of causes together and facilitate an open discussion on actions, strategies and beliefs. Through workshops, presentations, tables, shows, and conversations, NCOR promotes and supports organized action against injustice and inequality. In this climate of turbulence and change, it has never been more important for us to unite in our struggles.
The National Conference of Organized Resistance is an annual event that brings together people from all backgrounds for a weekend of learning and discussing local and international social justice issues through workshops, panel discussions, and skillshares.
We are currently seeking workshop proposals for the 10th Annual NCOR, which will be held from March 9- 11, 2007 at American University in Washington, D.C. The 2006 conference was a tremendous success, with 80 workshops and almost 2,000 registered participants. We hope to make the 2007 conference an even more vibrant and stimulating experience.
NCOR is shaped as much by the people who attend as the people who run it. As volunteers, as workshop leaders, as discussion participants, you create NCOR. We hope you will join us to help make NCOR 2007 an inclusive and diverse forum for global resistance.
NCOR provides an open forum for discussion among people engaged in social movements everywhere. Workshops are generally facilitated by one person or a panel of people, and may be held in lecture or discussion format. Workshops are scheduled in blocks of approximately 1 ½ hours. We encourage active hands-on participation and allocation of ample time and space for questions and answers and discussion.
In past conferences, workshops have been broken down into three tracks: strategy/theory, case study, and skillshares. The purpose of these parameters is to provide a starting point for developing a workshop, but please feel free to get creative and propose something outside of these categories.
Strategy/theory workshops are intended to address broad, philosophical questions in our movements and allow a constructive critique of our actions. Some examples of workshops that were included in the strategy track from past years include Anti-Oppression Organizing within Activist Movements, Radical Pedagogy and Community Education, and Techniques of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Case study workshops are intended to explore the inner-workings of movements for social change – this usually means stories or lessons from a particular local or global struggle or issue or a comparison of several case studies. Some examples include Chiapas: 10 years of Resistance, Racism, Statehood and Democracy in our Nation’s Capitol, and Issues for Women Prisoners.
Skillshares workshops are geared toward sharing specific skills for better organizing and better living. Think of this as the ‘how-to’ portion of NCOR. Some past examples of skillshares include Fundraising for Radicals, Anti-Prison Organizing and Movement Building, and Building Student and Worker Coalitions.
To propose a workshop for NCOR 2007, a one to two page description of your workshop is needed by December 1, 2006. Please submit your name, the organization you are representing (if applicable), full contact information, one reference (professional or personal), and a short biography of yourself and/or your organization.
Please send in your proposals via email to firstname.lastname@example.org making sure to include the word “Proposal” in the subject line.
If electronic submission is not possible, please use the mailing address listed below. You will be notified of the status of your workshop by early January. Should your proposal be accepted, a confirmation of your availability is needed immediately thereafter, whereupon travel and housing accommodations will be made for you.
Snail Mail Address:
c/o Elizabeth Sanders
1022 Fairmont St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
For additional information and workshop ideas, check out the NCOR website www.organizedresistance.org for a complete archive of every conference since 1998!
Submit your proposal now and be a part of the 10th annual National Conference on Organized Resistance!
See you in March!
With peace and solidarity,
The 2007 NCOR Collective
human rights report: 28 palestinians killed this week in palestine:
in the west bank:
saturday, occupation forces invaded the town of ya'bad, southwest of jenin and invaded numerous homes. furniture in two homes was destroyed by the soldiers.
saturday, occupation forces closed the allenby bridge for the first day of eid al-fitr, the holiday marking the end of ramadan. this closure was times to prevent palestinians from reaching their families during the holiday. allenby bridge is the only exit point for palestinians seeking to travel to and from jordan, where tens of thousands of palestinian live in the diaspora. allenby is closed approximately twice each year.
saturday, occupation forces invaded the village of obaidiyah, east of bethlehem and seized seven palestinians.
saturday, occupation forces invaded al-khalil (hebron) and seized one fighter with the al-aqsa martyrs brigades, the main military wing of fatah. ten military vehicles invaded and surrounded the home of abdul rahman amro, 38, and laid siege to the area for four hours before taking the man. three of his family members were temporarilly seized and used as human shields to carry out the raid.
sunday, occupation forces invaded jenin refugee camp and injured two palestinians. during the incursion and home invasions, palestinian demonstrators confronted the soldiers. during these demonstrations, ghaled mohamad al-damj, 21 and rushdi nadar mohamad, 21 were moderately injured.
sunday, occupation forces invaded tammun village, southeast of tubas and KILLED ONE and injured fifteen. occupation forces invaded to assassinate bashar beni 'odeh, a fighter with the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad. instead of killing him, occupation forces shot dead muhammad abed al-fatah 'odeh, 23, with one bullet to the head. during the clashes, fifteen palestinians were injured.
sunday, occupation forces invaded the village of jayyus, northeast of qalqiliya, and invaded several homes. this invasion came after the southern gate established by occupation forces to block palestinian access to their land was burned.
sunday, occupation forces invaded the village of dura, southwest of hebron and clashed with palestinian demonstrators. seven military jeeps entered the village and were met with stones from palestinian youths. occupation responded by firing live bullets and tear gas.
sunday, occupation forces invaded the al-khalil (hebron) area and seized eight men. six were seized in the city and two in neighboring villages. the six from the city were accused of being activists with the islamic jihad movement.
sunday, colonial settlers broke into the palestinian village of bruqin, west of salfit. the settlers were from the largest colony of thr ariel block. this was the second attack on this village by colonial settlers following the injury of a settler three days ago on a settler-only road near the village.
tuesday, occupation forces invaded bethlehem and seized one 19 year old man.
tuesday, occupation forces invaded jenin and seized two men, one 20 and the other 23 years old.
tuesday, occupation forces invaded the village of burqin and seized one 19 year old man after invading his home and detonating an explosive in his uncle's home.
tuesday, occupation forces prevented palestinian olive farmers in salfit from reaching their lands annexed by the apartheid wall. the farmers arrived at the gate to access their land and found it locked, preventing their access. the villages demanded that the gate be opened as it is their legal right to access their land for the harvest.
wednesday, occupation forces invaded the bethlehem area and seized 11 palestinians. in the village of beit fajjar, south of the city, six men were seized ranging in ages from 30-66. the village of al ubedidiya and seized five men including three brothers. these men ranged in ages from 16-21.
wednesday, occupation forces invaded the village of kafr ad-dik, west of salfit and destroyed private property. many homes were invaded and a number of palestinian cars were destroyed.
in the gaza strip:
saturday, occupation forces invaded an area near the sufa crossing, east of khan younis and murdered ONE palestinian. while firing randomly during the invasion, baraka alomour, a 50 year old civilians was shot dead. civilian homes in the al-fukhkkari area were fired at.
sunday, occupation forces released forty palestinian civilians who had been seized during incursions into rafah early last week. occupation forces continue to imprison five additional persons taken during the incursions.
monday, occupation forces invaded beit hanount in northern gaza and KILLED SEVEN palestinians on the first day of the muslim holiday of eid al-fitr. while morning for a dead family member, special forces dressed as arabs opened fire on the al-ahinbari family home in the bayarat area. atta fuad al-shinbari, a leader with the popular resistance committees was killed, as were his two brothers mohammad al-shinbari and ibrahim al-shinbari. also in the attack, kamal adnan al-shinbari and his brother khalid al-shinbari was also killed. another brother, riyadh al-shinbari was critically injured and died on tuesday. a seventh man, rami musa hamdan, a fighter with the abu ali mustafa brigades, the military wing of the popular front for the liberation of palestine, was also killed.
the funeral for five of the men, held tuesday
besides these seven murdered palestinians, approximately 25 additional palestinians were injured in the raid. some of these injuries were the result of bombings which occurred following the ground assault. occupation forces prevented ambulances from evacuating the injured.
monday, occupation forces invaded the farahin area of abasan, east of khan younis. here, occupation forces attacked the car of the former palestinian minister, sufian abu ziyadeh, injuring his brother. wednesday, the rafah crossing in southern gaza has now been closed for 14 consecutive days. this closure has blocked the UN emergency aid convoy meant to be delivered by the UN world food program. the shipment awaits passage at kerem shalom crossing.
from the resistance:
friday, the national resistance brigades, the military wing of the democratic front for the liberation of palestine, detonated one roadside bomb east of khan younis. the bomb hit an army jeep.
friday, the nasser salah addin brigades, the military wing of the popular resistance committees, detonated a roadside bomb in the industrial area of northern gaza, east of beit hanoun. the bomb hit an occupation troop transport.
friday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad launched three home made rockets at sderot, injuring three settlers according to occupation sources. one of the rockets hit a settlement house according to the occupation source.
saturday, the sami al ghoul, a military wing of fatah, launched three home made rockets at sderot.
sunday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad launched one home made rocket at zekim military base, south of al-majdal. monday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad, claims to have shot two occupation snipers near the rafah crossing in southern gaza, near the egyptian border. the statement from the brigades also reports that their fighters clashed with occupation special forces in beit hanoun, in northern gaza on the same day.
tuesday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad launched one home made rocket at the gevim junction, south of sderot. in their statement, the brigades promise to 'continue to bomb all the places that were stolen from the palestinians in 1948.'
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
i have been away from the computer for a few days so the news in in backlog. i guess i will do a news wrap up if i have time tomorrow...for now, we can say that monday was a bad day. occupation forces murdered eight palestinians, seven in gaza and 1 in the west bank city of tubas.
i received the last bit of donations today, but i can't access the account remotely from over sees today...the people at paypal security think someone hacked my account since it was set up in the US and accessed from the middle east. as soon as i can get into it i will send the thank yous...so thank you in advance.
i left nablus sunday night after spending the day meeting with people and saying goodbye. i visited balata and said my good byes, and walked the old city one last time trying to run into peace to pass on a hug and a farewell. i found all my boys in the square as i was walking out of the flat with my pack on. i passed on my trust to another ISMer and told them to listen to her, cause from now on, she's in charge. 'chubby seal,' use these powers for good and not evil, i am counting on you to keep the new recruits safe and happy.
so i said my good byes, got my pack on my back, and we hopped a cab to huwaara to begin what some would consider mission impossible, traveling south from nablus to jerusalem without a viable passport. huwarra is the first challenge. we timed it so that we traveled during the break fast diner of ramadan, on one of the final, most holiest of nights. when we got to the checkpoint which usually has hundreds or thousands of waiting persons, we found about ten people waiting. everyone else was about to eat. so we approached the soldiers, and they were a bit baffled. they were in good spirits because the checkpoint work was so light. they chatted with us for a second, asked what the hell we were doing in nablus, and cheerfully let us pass without even asking if we had passports. checkpoint 1 passed. next was the small checkpoint called yitzar. because of the light traffic, yitzar was closed. checkpoint 2 passed. next is zatara, only a few miles away. by tyhe time you get to zatara, the third checkpoint, you have only passed about 6 miles. at zatara, you stay in your car and your ID is checked. i passed my passport mixed in with the others and hoped. she checked the two palestinian IDs, then the five other international passports. then she got to mine, paused, and came over to the car. she told the driver to turn off the car and my heart sunk.
she wanted to know who had the american passport and i said it was mine. she informed me that i didn't have a visa. i quickly pulled out the receipt i had been given upon my rejection from the ministry of the interior and showed it to her, arguing that indeed the receipt showed that i must have gotten a visa because the paper shows i paid for one. she believed me, handed me back my passport, and we quickly drove away. a round of applause was summoned and the palestinian driver looked back in the mirror at me, 'fish visa' (no visa) he asked, 'iwah' i said, and he smiled and drove on. checkpoint 3 passed.
maybe because i had no passport, or maybe because he wanted to, the driver took the taxi around atara checkpoint, and we avoided it completely. checkpoint 4 avoided. then comes the last challenge, qalandiya, the final gate between palestine 1967 and palestine 1948. qalandiya is not a typical checkpoint, but a terminal with motorized turnstile gates, an x-ray machine, a full body metal detector and the soldiers watch from behind bullet proof glass, communicating with the palestinians through a speaker in the ceiling. so i had a plan.
i switched bags with a friend in case i was stopped, passed her bag through the x-ray and approached the soldiers. the procedure is to pass your ID through a bank teller style space designed to be a one way entry to avoid physical contact. i knew this, but i thought i'd try something else, trying to keep the passport from the soldiers' hands. so i put the photo page of the passport up to the glass to show i am foreign, made eye contact, reached back for the bag and quickly sped away out of the checkpoint. the guard must not have been satisfied because they shouted at me from the loudspeaker in hebrew. but i was too fast for them, pretended not to hear and was out of there quicker then you can say 'masalam jundi'. checkpoint five passed.
so that's how you get from nablus to jerusalem without a visa. you need one part ramadan, one part stupid soldiers, one part fake receipts in hebrew and one part the willingness to openly disobey the procedures of checkpoints while seemingly doing it because of ignorance. i did it and you can do it to. come to palestine and give it a shot.
that night we celebrated my departure in al-quds with some of taybeh's finest and even fit in a grand act of anti-occupation resistance in the process. can't speak of such things here. the next day we spent walking around jerusalem on vacation, having coffee, people watching and eating cake. that night, we went to a drag show and knocked back a few. we danced, we laughed and we enjoyed our last night together. habibibtis and habibbis, i wish we had one thousand more arabian nights, but the fields await you and philly awaits me.
late monday night we got a phone call from rabbis for human rights...and i saw it right in front of me, a last hurrah in nablus was within reach. after my miraculously lucky trip south, through all four checkpoints, i am not willing to risk going back north and getting stuck, but with the rabbis, its all different. since they drive an israeli car, and this is an apartheid state, when you ride with a rabbi you use special roads and pass through checkpoints, hardly slowing down. so me and nine ISMers caught a ride up north, and squeezed in an extra day of harvesting this morning.
we left our al-quds hideout at 5:30am, got to nablus after many delays and i was dropped in the village of jamaein. since i needed the rabbi group to get smuggled back south, i had to say bye to my comrades and friends i had been working with for the past 1 week to 3 months. we snuck kisses and made our parting hugs. i have really grown to love and respect the people who have shared so much with me. if the shabak wasn't on the other end i'd call ya out, but you know who you are and i love so all so much. be safe in the fields while i'm gone and we'll meet again very soon on the streets of balata.
so in jamaein i spent the day in the trees with the abu abdullah family. about ten palestinians and five internationals and israelis we were an olive picking force to be reckoned with. we were pretty deep in in the grove, away from the road and beneath the area where tapouah colonial settlement is encroaching. like so many racist colonies in palestine, the settlers here just wen't happy with this government funded housing and decided to expand. so they got trailers, expanded out of the settlement further into palestinian land, cried defencelessness, got a military 'protection' presence and are now getting very closer. so we picked near their outposts and had no problems.
during the day, as i was high in a tree grasping for far away branches, i saw a man in the distance with sunglasses and a camera. behind him was an armoured white van from the DCO. we were being photographed by the DCO and possibly the occupation intelligence service. they took our picture, got a good shot of me in the tree, and left eventually. i saw some soldiers in the grove, but (assumingly) because of the international and israeli presence, the soldiers never came close. so we picked all day, stopping every so often for fresh tea cooked on a fire and lunch of bred, oil, vegetables and tea in the afternoon. even in the fields, palestinians are hella good hosts.
i was really therapeutic being able to be in the nablus region one last day, after i had just gotten used to the idea of giving it up. so i picked as hard as i could, spent most of the day off the ground in the branches and really enjoyed myself. we picked only black olives today, which when picked, are a lovely shade of purple and brown. we picked bucket after bucket, bag after bag. as we stripped each twig, and the olives fell to the tarps below, the rhythmic sound of plop, plop made me smile the whole day through. i wish the olive picking pose of nablus this much enjoyment the rest of their days.
the other groups that split from us and went to other villages with the rabbis had less luck. they were chased from the land by the army...we'll not exactly chased. the army called the head rabbi and told them that they didn't have permission to be on the land, so the rabbis caved in and ordered their people to leave the fields. they left the palestinians in the fields without accompaniment. i tell you, so many of these israeli 'peace' groups are worthless. i have seen them condom the war and praise the soldiers and the army. i have seen them sit back and watch as their friends get arrested. i have seen them engage in anti-solidarity by trying to stop us from preventing the arrest of palestinians as well as internationals, and today, when the army said to leave, they left without even putting up a fight. i guess when you're and israeli you really don't have much to loose and you can pick and choose your solidarity as it suits you.
i made another observation as we drove with them to the fields today. since they never come into the west bank, they don't have any idea where anything is. they live here and never come into palestine. so what do you do when you don't know where you are, you get a local map...we'll not if you're and israeli peacenik, then you get a racist zionist map. the maps they passed to me, asking me to show where we were, were missing a few things. they were missing the borders of palestine, showing all of palestine as part of israel. they were missing the palestinian names of palestinian areas. there is no nablus on the map, only schlechem. the map was even missing the label, 'west bank,' but instead had the biblically zionist terms, 'judea' and 'samara.' i have decides that the israelis of the pro-zionist left have their place in the struggle, but i decided today its far away from me.
when i left nablus again i got a ride back down south on the israeli van and was dropped in west jerusalem. as i struggled to find my way back to palesinte, i happened upon an animal rights protest and wouldn't you know it, i knew two of the crazies. so we hung out for a few hours, got some falaffel and tonight, i met up with two friends from DC and chatted away for hours. its been a relaxing few days with some olive harvest mixed in. tonight, as i was in east jerusalem, a massive fire broke out right inside damascus gate, the palestinian entrance to the old city, directly across the street from where i am staying. no word yet on why or how.
tomorrow i start my end of the trip errands and i have a few social engagements to attend to. the ride is coming to a full and complete stop and i have so many things to do. its time to put my nose to the grindstone and get it done. so tomorrow, errands a plenty.
all my love from occupied palestine, future capital city, east al-quds:
Sunday, October 22, 2006
its my last night in nablus and i'm feeling peaceful, yet sad. i really love this place so much. such amazing people, and sites and history. the streets, the shops, the markets, the mosques. the demolished muqatada, the camps, the bases on the mountain, i will miss it all. nowhere else can a foreigner walk the streets and be welcomed so many time, be invited for tea and diner so many times. nowhere else do the kids shout, 'what's your name,' 'hello,' and 'how are you' so loudly and so frequently. tonight, as we reached the center circle after returning from a diner in balata, a camel with two young men atop walked by, and behind it, more than one hundred people proceeded and enjoyed the site and the night air.
we made our way through the open air markets, through the old city markets, through the alleys and streets and hills to our square. on my walk home i saw so many familiar faces, so many people who stopped me to chat. i will miss speaking with so many different people on the streets. of the men who are so gentle when they pass and so fierce at the checkpoints. i will miss the men shouting for taxis, and the speed of commuting. i will miss the slow walks through the crazyness at all hours, and the calm that takes the old city when the night gets late. i will miss walking the market to buy food for diner, and searching out the best fresh bread for breakfast.
nablus is such a magical place. really and truly. from balata camp to the villages, from the checkpoints to the closed roads, it is a mixture of classical, muted hedonism and a desperate war zone. this balance is difficult to strike anywhere else.
even as i type, i can hear the clashes outside. its a little past 2:30am and everything is quiet, only interrupted by occasional explosions and intermittent gun fire. its not the sound of a war, more like a night-long game of cat and mouse. the blasts have lulled me to bed for some time.
i will miss old domed buildings, brick that precedes the founding of my nation, the trash the fills the streets at night and is magically gone in the morning, pious men with prayer marks on their foreheads, and the young fighters that are scattered about. what will i have to look at without the mountains, valleys and sprawling homes. what can be called beautiful except the view of the red dome of the greek orthodox church above jacob's well, breaking the mountain's horizon as you approach balata camp from the north. the valley of a city is to your left, cows to your right, and balata slowly becomes the border as you approach the main archway.
or when you get a taxi heading into the city. you exit at the head of the fruit market, then enter the center circle full of men drinking coffee and people selling clothes. then past the table vendors, the cart vendors, the stores, the gold shops, the sweet shops, the food, clothes, toys and flags. you enter the covered old city, and there are butchers and places to buy tea sets and intifada music cds. then the buzz of the main market. the meat market and food area to the left, the clothes and everything else to the right. from there its into the main square of the old city with the clock tower and nasser mosque. from the mosque its under some more arches, up a slight hill, past a smaller mosque, past the work shops and the pool hall. then to the right, past another mosque, up another small hill, past more workshops and into aryoun square. when you enter the square you see your friends, and the haj and his wife who run the local store. they smile, the haj in his green hat, and he welcomes you with a great smile for what has to be the hundredth time. down your street to the left, the walls are ancient and crafted in broad stone; the charm as the kids shout your name.
when palestine is free will nablus be so lovely? will the martyr posters become permanent sites of remembrance? will all the fighters become candy makers?
tomorrow i leave this place not knowing when i will return. when i return i know it will be different. there will be more buildings destroyed, more martyr posters, more cement monuments, more holes in homes. some of the friends i have made will be dead, others in prison. there will be new checkpoints, new closures and new settlements on the hills. it's so very hard to leave knowing that when i come back, it will not be the same. the occupation changes this places so quickly. another few loud blasts in the night and i know its time for me to sleep. its nearly 2:45am and tomorrow is a long day. tomorrow, i take my pack, leave this all behind and try to make it to jerusalem with no visa. in'shallah with some luck, some lies and some palestinian ingenuity it will be 'mish mushkulla,' no problem. in'shallah.
when palestine is free, nablus will be different, but even more beautiful. when palestine is free...we will rejoice in the hills and valleys of these lands and sing the songs of the resistance. i hope this day will come soon, and i will drive with my friends from the city through the former checkpoints, into jerusalem for tea and kanafa. when palestine is free, nablus will still be as it is now, strong, majestic and captive. visit nablus if you can, it will steal your heart, i promise.
from the mean streets of nablus' old city, the dreaded al-qaryoun neighborhood, beit um jihad, beit ajaneyb, i send all my love:
Friday, October 20, 2006
By the International Solidarity Movement, Nablus
October 19, 2006—The Nablus region, with its three refugee camps, many villages, Old City and sprawling central city has been a scene of consistent Israeli violence. Such violence has accelerated since the beginning of the Palestinian Intifada in September 2000. Nablus has become synonymous with nightly invasions, targeted assassinations, home demolitions and other acts of occupation violence.
This report combines the reporting of eight Palestinian and Israeli news sources to document the violence perpetuated by of the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) in the Nablus region. The various news sources were used to generate an accurate and complete report, and the factual differences in reporting were taken into account and investigated. Sometimes it was not possible to locate arrestees names, or places of birth, though this information was recorded whenever available.
The invasions of villages of the Nablus region were noted, though the invasions of the refugee camps and city were not because of the regularity. Nablus Old City, Balata Refugee Camp, Askar Refugee Camp and Ein Beit el Ma Refugee Camp (known simply as Ein) are invaded nearly every night. The Old City as well as Askar and Balata Refugee Camps have rarely gone 24 hours without the presence of IOF soldiers firing at citizens. Because of the regularity of these invasions, and the presumption that they are occurring each and every day, invasions are only noted when they involve significant property destruction, arrests, injuries or deaths.
In thirty days in the Nablus region:
6 Palestinians were killed.
At least 18 Palestinians were injured by IOF attacks.
At least 63 Palestinians were arrested.
Below you will find a day by day account of incidents of arrests, injuries, killings, village invasions and other such incidents of occupation violence.
Tuesday 19th –
IOF stormed Askar refugee camp, invaded houses in Nablus city, and invading homes in Osarin village, southeast of Nablus city. In total, seven people were arrested:
- Rashad Yassein, 16, from Askar camp
- Fadi Abu Koshik, 18, from Askar camp
- Bara’a Abu Ja’far, 21, from Nablus city
- Amin Qdili, 20, from Osarin village
- Turki Adili, 20, from Osarin village
- Salim Azimah, 19, from Osarin village
- Haitham Adili, 20, from Osarin village
Wednesday 20th –
IOF invaded Beit Furik village, east of Nablus city, and arrested Firas Mlitat, 26. Later that day, another unnamed Palestinian male was arrested at Jit checkpoint.
Thursday 21st –
During an incursion into Nablus city nine Palestinians were arrested:
- Ferass Militat, 30
- Nafeth Ahmad Al Faqeeh, 23, from the Hebron region
- Mohammed Ahmad Al Faqeeh, 21, from the Hebron region
- Yousef Ahmad Ayed Al Faqeeh, 20, from the Hebron region
- Nassem Al Khzari, 32
- One unnamed woman from Balata Refugee Camp
- Two unnamed resistance fighters, from Nablus city
Sunday 24th –
IOF fired at a Palestinians taxi approaching Nablus from Ramallah, injuring four people:
- Ali Mohammed Al-Aqra, from Qabalan village, suffered a head injury
- Maged Snuber, 33, from Qabalan village, was shot in the left hand
- Jamil Abdur-Rahman, from Qabalan village, was wounded in the hand and back
- Mohammed Al-Aqra, from Qabalan village, shot in the back and suffered hand injuries
Tuesday 26th –
IOF invaded Nablus Old City and shot Amjad Anabtawi, 22, from Nablus Old City. Anabtawi was shot in the chest and critically injured.
Wednesday 27th –
IOF invaded Balata Refugee Camp, and injured three unnamed Palestinian males. Soldiers attacked the Qattaui building, arresting three people:
- Ala’ Shary’ah, 21
- Jihad Yusef Shamah Dukan, 17
- Abdullah Khaled Mahmod Qatari, 17
Three unnamed Palestinian males from Nablus Old City were also arrested that night.
Thursday 28th –
IOF invaded Rujeib village, south of Nablus, and Assira Al-Shamalila village, north of Nablus. Homes were invaded and searched and private property was destroyed.
IOF invaded Balata refugee camp, and destroyed a number of shops with an armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer. Two Palestinians were arrested:
- Du’a Hussin, 20 (female)
- One unnamed Palestinian male.
Friday 29th –
IOF invaded Ein and Balata Refugee Camps, as well as Nablus Old City, searching shops and destroying private property.
Sunday 1st -
IOF closed the line for senior citizens at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center. Palestinian demonstrators threw stones in protest, and were shot with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets.
Wednesday 4th –
Nablus city and Balata Refugee Camp were invaded in the night and two Palestinian males were arrested:
- Muhammad Abu Halimah, 17, from Nablus city
- Ammar Hassanain, 26, from Nablus city.
Nasir Hasan Mansur, 40, from Kafr Qallil village, south of Nablus, was shot in his foot by IOF soldiers stationed at Beit Ur checkpoint, while he was sitting in front of his house.
Thursday 5th –
- One unnamed Palestinian male arrested in southern Nablus city.
Friday 6th –
- Six unnamed Palestinian males arrested in Nablus city.
Saturday 7th –
IOF invaded Askar Refugee Camp. Two unnamed Palestinian males arrested:
- One unnamed man arrested south of Nablus city center.
- One unnamed man arrested in Salim village, east of Nablus.
IOF, stationed near the Apartheid wall, shot Farid Tu’amah in his abdomen, and left him bleeding for 20 minutes while the ambulance was banned from reaching the scene of the shooting.
Sunday 8th –
IOF invaded Balata Refugee Camp and killed one Palestinian male:
- Usama Saleh, 23, known locally as “Skipper,” shot twice in the chest.
- Four additional unnamed Palestinian males were injured during the invasion.
Mohammed El-Haj Tirawi, 23, from Balata Camp shot dead while attempting to pass Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center, via a bypass road. The checkpoint was closed because of the Jewish holiday. During the attack by IOF soldiers, Ahmed Hazzaa Ramadan, 21, from Til village was shot in the shoulder and injured.
IOF arrested three unnamed Palestinian males from Nablus city.
Monday 9th –
IOF invaded Nablus city, targeting a number of houses in Jabal Al- Shamali, and Wad Al-Toffah areas. Three unnamed Palestinian males were arrested.
Wednesday 11th –
IOF raided Nablus Old City, as well as Ein, Balata and Askar Refugee Camps. Armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers destroyed water pumps and pipes, and also causing damage to the central market in Askar Camp.
During the invasion into Ein Camp, one man was shot and killed:
- Abdullah Mansour, 29, from Jericho city, was shot and killed while looking out the window of a relative’s house.
Five Palestinian males were arrested in Nablus Old City and Balata Refugee Camp:
- Fadi Ziad Galiz, 18, from Nablus Old City
- Mohammad Ziad Galiz, 25, from Nablus Old City
- Azmi Tawfiq Al Serafi, 20, from Balata Refugee Camp
- Abu Rish, 20, from Balata Refugee Camp
- Hussam, 20, from Balata Refugee Camp
Two unnamed Palestinian males were arrested near Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center, during the night.
IOF established additional closure barriers at Yitzhar checkpoint, south of Nablus, forcing Palestinians to use bypass roads.
Thursday 12th –
IOF at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center, shot and killed Mohammed Waleed Mustafa Sa’ada, 20, from Til village, as he approached soldiers searching a taxi:
Two unnamed Palestinian males were arrested, one from Nablus city and one from Ein Refugee Camp.
Friday 13th –
IOF raided Beit Furik village, east of Nablus. Military vehicles entered the village, imposing curfew.
All men under the age of 45 were denied passage through Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus city center. One unnamed Palestinian male was beaten and thereafter arrested.
Sunday 15th –
A number of Palestinians were arrested under suspicious possession of a pistol and knife in their car.
Mohamed Rabai’a, 28, from Nablus city was arrested under unclear circumstances, while his brother was detained over one hour.
Monday 16th –
IOF invaded Nablus city and Balata Refugee Camp and arrested three Palestinian males:
- Motaz Affouri, 23, from Nablus city
- Iyad Tirawi, 22, from Balata Refugee Camp.
- An unnamed Palestinian male from Nablus city.
Tuesday 17th –
Two Palestinian brothers killed in Ein Refugee Camp, west of Nablus, by IOF Special Forces:
- Adel Abu Al-Rish, 24, shot with ten bullets in chest and head.
- Firas Al-Rish, 22
Several people were also injured. Soon after the assassination IOF reinforcements carried out a full invasion of the camp.
Wednesday 18th -
IOF invaded Beit Iba village, north of Nablus, and Nablus Old City arresting five Palestinian males:
- Khalid Ismael Ramadan, from Beit Iba village (brother of Mohammed)
- Mohammed Ismael Ramadan, from Beit Iba village (brother of Khalid)
- Fuad Safwan, 25, from Nablus city
- Ihaab Mahmad As’ad Karhash, 22, from Taluza village
- Ahassan Ali Hussein Vah, 25, from Nablus city
Ma'an News Agency (Palestinian news source, online)
WAFA News Agency (Palestinian news source, online)
Independent Middle East Media Center (Palestinian-Israeli news source, online)
Al-Jazeera News (Arab news network, online)
Ha'aretz (Israeli newspaper, online)
Jerusalem Post (Israeli newspaper, online)
Ynet News (Israeli newspaper, online)
Israeli Defense Force (military press statements, online)
tuesday, occupation forces invaded tubas, by dropping soldiers via helicopter. near aqqaba, the airdrop lasted for several hours as more troops were deployed. the nearby villages of tayasir and tammun were also invaded.
wednesday, more then 250,000 palestinian muslims gathered at al-aqsa mosque to celebrate leilat al-qadr, a special day within the holy month of ramadan. there were no incidents of occupation violence, here, however this was not true for palestinians celebrating in other areas. at the imbahim mosque in al-khalil (hrbron), occupation soldiers near the mosque fired rubber-coated metal bullets at civilians waiting to enter the mosque. three young boys were injured. shadi ishti, 16 years old, hissam abu hussain, 12 years old and ammar nafiz, 16 years old were shot and injured. they were transferred to a nearby hospital and described as stable. the worshipers in al-khalil were also seeking to enter to mosque to pray for leilat al-qadr.
wednesday, occupation forces kidnapped two palestinian children. in qabatia, south of jenin, SEVEN YEAR OLD basem hanaysheh and his TWELVE YEAR OLD brother haitham were taken from their home after it was invaded in search of their family member, yasser, the target of the raid. wednesday, occupation forces invaded beit iba village near nablus and seized two men. the men, brothers, named khalid and mohammad ismael ramadan were taken after their homes were raided.
wednesday, occupation forces invaded the town of qabatiya, south of jenin for the FORTH TIME IN 24 HOURS. dozens of homes were occupied and converted into military operating positions. home with high roofs were used as sniper positions. more then 40 military vehicles were involved in the operation that included house to house searches with police dogs. the women of the town were taken together and held in a school yard and the men were held in another location. men and women were interrogated separately.
thursday, occupation forces invaded jenin and kidnapped a number of persons. more than 25 military vehicles invaded, and soldiers invaded and searched many homes. a 15 year old palestinian male was attacked and taken to an unknown destination. during the invasion, occupation forces were confronted by palestinian demonstrators.
friday, once again occupation forces attacked and prevented palestinians trying to reach jerusalem for friday ramadan prayers. still, 250,000 muslisms attended prayers. at the main checkpoints between jerusalem, bethlehem and ramallah, occupation forces attacked the waiting palestinians by throwing concussion grenades and tear gas into the crowd causing burns and some injuries. more than 25 people were treated for burn injuries. because many were prevented from crossing, many palestinians held the last friday prayers of ramadan next to the Apartheid wall.
in the gaza strip:
tuesday, occupation forces seized a bodyguard of the director of crossings in the gaza strip. ali abu elfoul, 35 was taken in beit hanoun in northern gaza. elfoul, is a guard for general nazmi muhanna and also the brother of the spokesman for the al-aqsa martyrs brigades in gaza.
wedsday, occupation forces in gaza uncovered five tunnels used by palestinian resistance fighters to smuggle weapons from egypt. the tunnels were destroyed. thursday, occupation war planes fired a rocket at a palestinian home in rafah, in southern gaza. the home of hamdan salim was hot with the rocket, though the rocket failed to explode.
friday, according to occupation sources, occupation soldiers shot and injured an armed palestinian during clashes in southern gaza. it is reported that the palestinian opened fire on a military patrol and when occupation forces returned fire, the palestinian was injured, and fled.
from the resistance:
tuesday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad launched two home made rockets at ashkelon. wednesday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad launched two home made rockets at kissufim crossing on the gaza border.
thursday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad and the al-aqsa martyrs brigade, the main military wing of fatah, jointly claims a roadside bomb attack on an occupation patrol. during an incursion into the village of yamun, near jenin, fighters from the two groups directly hit an army jeep with the explosive device.
thursday, the abu ali mustafa brigades. the military wing of the popular front for the liberation of palestine attacked an israeli volkswagen car east of beit hanoun within the gaza strip. the car was 'hit directly,' and the operation was videotaped.
thursday, the nasser salah addin brigades, the military wing of the popular resistance committees detonated a roadside bomb near an occupation military personnel carrier close to the rafah crossing in southern gaza. the brigades reported that the explosion his the carrier and injured numerous soldiers.
thursday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad, launched two home made rockets at sderot.
friday, the al-quds brigade, the military wing of islamic jihad launched more than twenty home made rockets at occupation targets. the launchings were to commemorate the assassination of islamic jihad leader fathi shiqaqi and to mark the international day of jerusalem, which occurs the last friday of ramadan. the targets hit include sderot, kfar azzah and ashkelon. the brigades also hit military positions east of sufa crossing, another east of al bureij refugee camp, another east of juhor ad dik as well as an electrical station in ashkelon.
friday, according to the associated press, egyptian security forces seized 200 crates of weapons, mostly rifles, being smuggled by three bedouins to gaza. the weapons, heading to the gaza strip, were captured near the village of baluza, 100km from the gaza border.
friday, according to hamas, their al-qassam brigades shot an occupation soldier, east of the rafah crossing. the soldier, stationed on an armored military bulldozer 'received a direct hit.' this has not been confirmed by media or occupation sources.
there are many great things about ramadan. the people are so warm and friendly, everyone calling us foreigners 'my love,' (habibi) and the sweets are plentiful after diner. the streets are so lively all day until 5pm and then again starting around 7pm. especially now as it comes ever closer to the end of ramadan holiday of eid, the streets become markets and the markets become overflowing bazaars. the scene is unbelievable. if i could capture it on video and show it to the world, we would not believe that this is the same city that is invaded nightly, was bombed from the sky only a few years ago, and will once again see an invading army in less than ten hours. ramadan is a spirit, a tired but happy soul.
there are some things not so great about ramadan. since people fast starting around 4am, farmers seeking to get a full day of work in begin at 5am so as to utilize their small food source for a longer period of time. when it comes to harvesting olives, this is a great idea for the farmer; start at 5, end in the mid afternoon. when internationals from the old city are thrown into the mix, this becomes problematic. we are here in resistance, and so we live in a community steeping in anti-occupation freedom fighters. as i said last entry, when we went to the village early in the morning, we were out before the fighters took their rest for the day. the fighters can rest when the civilians population comes into the streets to do their daily lives, so at 5am, with no pedestrians, the fighters are all over.
nightly, plain clothes special forces units of the occupation covertly enter the old city and arrest and kill palestinians. this makes the fighters paranoid when they see unknown faces strolling at 5am. also, at 5am, there are hidden dangers laid by the fighters to combat the soldiers. so, after our dangerous adventure a few days ago, we spoke to the village and asked them if we could start a few hours later, when the sun was nearly up to prevent an accidental shooting by a scared fighter. the farmer agreed this was a good idea, but once again, ramadan stepped in and saved the day.
the farmer reported that because the end of ramadan was so close, they were going to postpone further harvesting in dangerous areas until after eid. so our last trip to the village was unknowingly my last olive harvesting day of this year. a little sad and a little happy, i said OK and we made other plans. today i spent the day working on a report, trying to catalog all of the arrests, invasions, and killings that went on in nablus over the past 30 days. so far its a five page document. i'll tell you all more when its done.
i also sent some emails setting up some speaking things in DC....so to anyone reading this, i have very little to do outside of work when i get back to the states, so find me something to do. if you go to a school that has a palestine or social justice club and you want someone to speak at an event...drop me a line. i love public speaking and i can make a good presentation. i even have access to a video projector to show laptop slides digitally on a wall. i can speak on non-violent direct action work in palestine, the state of the palestinian intifada, the state of the occupation in the west bank, the state of the apartheid wall, the palestinian olive harvest, or any number of topics. my studies have been based on gender in the intifada, female fighters, and so on...so if that strikes your fancy i'd love to speak on that. i have thousands of pictures, video and sorts of things. i love to do events because we can raise a little money, raise a lot of awareness and get people plugged into helping resist the occupation here. leave a comment on a blog entry with your email address and i'll get back to you. so think about it, universities, high schools, conferences, churches, political groups....whatever you got, i and others can come by and give a talk. there are ex-ISM folks all over the US as well as europe, so tell me what you need and we can set something up.
the fundraising drive was a great success. thank you to everyone who sent money and the few of you who have promised some additional money in the works. with it all included i reached my goal and will be some what stable when i get back to the US. this allows me some time to do some talks, get my head together and move into my new place in a new city.
today i began to say my good byes, meet up with some friends for some conversation, and take a leisurely walk around the city. my cohorts are in bil'in for the weekly non-violent demonstration at the site of the wall, and since i have no visa, i'm stuck here. in a few days i leave nablus and i'll spend some time in al-quds wrapping up loose ends.
today's walk was very nice. its quite cold today with an overcast, so everyone was in coats like it was the middle of winter. i wore a thin sweater and was a bit hot. the palestinians really can't handle the cold. i went to see a friend who runs a shop and while i was in there, six armed fighters from balata came in. they were out for the day buying holsters, vests, straps for their rifles and other such things. later in the day, as i walked through a totally different section on the market, i saw five other fighters from balata. i'm not sire what's happening in balata but for some reason, all of its fighters are spending the day in a display of force and shopping.
its friday, the muslim holy day so most people don't work. people were buying new clothes for eid, food for diner and the mosques were full. i must have passed four or five mosques during mid afternoon prayers, and all of them were full to the door. because ramandan is ending, and the prophet mohammad made his journey to heaven sometime in these last few days, the are the holiest of the year. men are in the mosque a lot, and after diner, some stay in the mosque until early in the morning.
when i was walking in the old city market i walked past a man i see everyday who sells necklaces of martyrs. they look like military dog tags, rectangular thin pieces of metal with color pictures of martyrs on them. he was selling maybe 40 different pictures. most were recent and from this area, and some were older and more famous. when people loose friends, they buy their face and wear it proudly over their clothes. for the last few months, fadi, the former engineer and leader for the al-aqsa martyrs brigades in the old cit of nablus was the face to have. i would see him around thirty necks a day. when i was looking today, i saw skipper and i bought his picture on a string for 10 shekels, about two and a half dollars.
got some new reports that relate to our work here and in the south, always check the ISM site because i only include small fraction of what we publish and we publish a few a day:
PSP report: occupation forces attack palestinians outside mosque in beit ommar:'
report on detainment and oppression at qalandiya checkpoint:
so tonight i am having the break-fast diner with some friends from the square, and later we will probably go out as a group and relax. we have some small tasks over the next few days but i'm pretty much done until i leave. its so hard to think about leaving here, but i do so, knowing that i will return. just as the refugees will one day return to their lands, i too will come back here soon to try and make that dream a reality.
i love palestine, the people, the country, the culture. i will help to resist this occupation from america, and when i can get the resources to come back, i will help to resist from here. no matter where you are you can help in this resistance. if you have a skill you want to use, tell me what it is and i'll help you find a way to plug it in to help the people.
so let's join together and say:
fuck this occupation!
fuck this apartheid state!
fuck the checkpoints, and the wall, and the guard towers, the military bases, the tanks, the helicopters and the fighter jets!
fuck the settlements, the settlers and the ideology of settling!
victory to the intifada!
all my love from occupied palestine, nablus' old city: