Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
February 19, 2010
19 February 2010
One week following the victory forcing Israel to begin rerouting the path of the Wall, and under the shadow of an unprecedented wave of repression against the popular struggle, over a thousand protesters took part in a demonstration at the west Bank village of Bil’in, marking five years of struggle there. At the height of the demonstration dozens of protesters stormed the Barrier, toppled some 40 meters of it and crossed to village’s lands. Protesters also managed to take over a military post adjacent to the path of the Wall for a short time.
In a show of support of the popular struggle and the village of Bil’in, hundreds from all across the West Bank joined the demonstration today, as well as many Israeli and international activists. Among the many supporters were also the mayor of Geneva, Nabil Sh’ath, Mustafa Barghouthi and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who said that popular resistance like the one employed in Bil’in can tip international public opinion against the Occupation.
During the demonstration two demonstrators were lightly hurt. One was struck with a tear-gas projectile in the leg and another was shot in the stomach by a rubber-coated bullet.
“The Israeli court had already ruled two years ago that the Wall here should be rerouted, but it is our struggle, not their court, that forces the Army to implement this decision now” Said Mohammed Khatib, an organizer from the village. “The International Court of Justice in the Hague ruled that the Wall should be dismantled in its entirety, and not just partially like the Israeli court had ordered. Today the demonstrators made an important step towards the implementation of this decision” Khatib added.
Last week, 2.5 years after an Israeli Supreme Court decision deeming the path of the Wall on the lands of Bil’in illegal, preliminary infrastructure work to reroute the barrier in accordance with the ruling has finally began. Since the ruling, the state has twice been found in contempt of court, for having not implemented the decision.
Roughly 680 dunams of the 2,000 dunams currently sequestered by the Wall will be returned to the village following the court-ordered rerouting of the trajectory. While the rerouting is viewed as a victory, demonstrators vowed protest will continue until the Occupation is over and the Wall is dismantled in its entirety.
Demonstrations against the Wall and settlement expansion also took place today in the villages of alMa’sara, south of Bethlehem, Ni’ilin and Nabi Saleh, where 10 protesters were hit by rubber-coated bullets, including a Swedish national who was struck in the mouth.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
After the recent raids on the Ramallah media office of the International Solidarity Movement, we are in dire need of financial support.
In the past few months, Israeli forces illegally arrested and deported our media coordinator Eva Novakova on 11 January 2010 (see: http://palsolidarity.org/2010/
ISM Palestine is working to support the ongoing Palestinian resistance to the occupation and the expanding grassroots organizing (see: http://palsolidarity.org/2010/
Friday, February 12, 2010
The Nonviolent Resistance is winning.
After five years of popular resistance in Bil'in, through which people of Bil'in have shown an excellent example of challenge and peaceful resistance, and which confused the enemy and made him wonder what to do against this form of peaceful resistance. First violence was used, becoming more and more excessive, with severe beatings, then use of all kinds of weapons, arrests of militants, incursions and curfews at night, and finally murder.
Yet, people of Bil'in resisted, with the support of foreigners, but also Israelis, to continue the struggle for their right, with the deep belief that this wall is the wall of death.
This wall kills peace, freedom and justice. We had to resist and stand against it, not only to restore land to its owners, but because we believe in peace and in its achievement here.
There can be no just and lasting peace with the presence of walls and settlements. Hence we say that we see today Bil'in's victory; bulldozers have begun the removal of the wall, which implementation was released two years ago and a half by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Thank you for you continued support,
Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
co-founder of Friends of Freedom and Justice - Bilin
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Mobile- (00972) (0) 598403676
Work starts to reroute West Bank security fence at Bil'in
By Haaretz Service
Newly routed barrier will hand 700,000 square meters of agricultural land back to Palestinian village.
Israel has begun work to reroute a section of its West Bank security barrier at Bil'in - two and a half years after the Supreme Court ordered the state to return land to Palestinian farmers, Army Radio reported on Thursday.
Once completed, the newly routed fence will skirt agricultural land to hand some 700,000 square meters of arable back to the village, long the site of often violent weekly protests.
Two activists have been killed in clashes with security forces since regular Friday demonstrations began in 2005 at Bil'in, which lies four kilometres beyond the Green Line dividing Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Around 150,000 square meters of village land will remain on the Israeli side of the fence, however, and it is unclear whether demonstrations will continue.
Bil'in residents have not officially endorsed the move and Michael Sfarad, a lawyer representing the village, told Army Radio on Thursday that if campaigners found their legal options exhausted in Israel, they would consider filing suits internationally.
The Supreme Court ruled on the change in September 2007, ordering the first alteration to the barrier's route in the Bil'in area since construction of the fence began in 2002.
Chief Justice Dorit Beinish wrote in her ruling: "We were not convinced that it is necessary for security-military reasons to retain the current route that passes on Bilin's lands."
Monday, February 08, 2010
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued persecution of international human rights defenders in the West Bank by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and the deportation of international activists from the country. PCHR is concerned about such measures, as they aim to expel international witnesses of human rights violations perpetrated by IOF against Palestinian civilians during peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 07 February 2010, IOF moved into the cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh. They stormed an apartment building in al-Bireh in which a number of international human rights defenders live. After checking the visas in their passports, IOF arrested Ariadna Jove Marti, 24, a Spanish journalist, and Bridgette Chappell, 25, an Australian student at Bir Zeit University, and took them to Ofer Prison, pending their deportation from the county, citing their expired visas as the reason. The two women are activists in the International Solidarity Movement. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that the women are "known for being involved in illegal riots that obstruct Israeli security operations."
The detention of these two activists from an area controlled by the Palestinian National Authority is part of an IOF campaign against Palestinian and international human rights defenders in the West Bank, aiming to silence voices of Palestinians and hinder internationals from witnessing Israeli violations of human rights in the West Bank. It is worth noting that IOF have denied international human rights defenders access to the Gaza Strip for several years in order to prevent them from observing serious human rights violations, especially the humanitarian crisis of the Palestinian civilian population due to the ongoing illegal siege imposed on Gaza.
PCHR deeply appreciates the role played by international human rights defenders and solidarity activists, and:
1) Reiterates its condemnation of the IOF's persecution, and, in some cases, deportation, of Palestinian and international human rights defenders;
2) Calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities with regard to war crimes and serious human rights violations perpetrated by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and
3) Recommends that international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and international solidarity groups, become more involved in the process of locating suspected Israeli war criminals and urge their governments to prosecute them.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Army raids Ramallah to arrest international activists in violation of Oslo Accords
7 February 2010
For Immediate Release:
Israeli soldiers raided a Ramallah apartment around 3AM to arrest a Spanish and an Australian activist over expired visas in direct violation of the Oslo Accords.
At three in the morning, the Israeli army forcefully entered an apartment in the Area A city of Ramallah and arrested two activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) on suspicion of overstaying their visas. The two, Ariadna Jove Marti, a Spanish journalist, and Bridgette Chappell, an Australian student in the Beir Zeit university, were then taken to the Ofer military prison located inside the Occupied Territories, where they were handed over to the Israeli immigration police unit “Oz”.
The raid and detention of the two is in direct violation of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which clearly forbids any Israeli incursion into Area A for reasons not directly and urgently related to security. Even the conduct of “hot pursuit” is disallowed in non-security related matters, which overstayed visas are.
The arrests tonight follow the unlawful detention and deportation of Czech citizen Eva Nováková under similar circumstances last month. Her arrest stirred controversy over the misuse of the “Oz” unit inside the Occupied Territories, despite them having no authority in the area.
According to Ryan Olander, an American solidarity activist who was at the scene during the raid, around ten soldiers forcefully entered the apartment and demanded to see the passports of everyone who was present and informed the two of their detention on the grounds of overstayed visas. The soldiers confiscated cameras, a computer, pro-Palestinian banners and ISM volunteers’ registration forms.
Following the arrests Olander said that, “This raid is a continuation of Israel’s attempts to quash the grassroots movement against the Occupation. This is a cynical and unjust attempt to hide the reality of the Occupation and further bar access to information from the international community”.
Israeli attempts to deport foreigners involved with Palestinian solidarity work are part of a recent campaign to end Palestinian grassroots demonstrations, which involves mass arrests of Palestinian protesters and organizers. Over the last ten months, the “Oz” immigration unit illegally arrested and attempted to deport four other international activists.
Eva Nováková, a Czech national and former ISM media coordinator, was arrested in Ramallah on January 11th, 2010, and deported the next day, before the deportation could be appealed. Nováková’s lawyer is currently in the process of preparing an appeal to the Israeli High Court to challenge the legality of her arrest.
Additionally, American solidarity activist, Ryan Olander, was twice arrested illegally by the “Oz” Immigration unit, but his deportation was prevented after a judge ruled his detention illegal. Similar appeals to the court have also annulled the deportations of other American and British activists in recent months.