Boycott israHell!

Boycott israHell!
Бойкот на израел и печелещите от окупацията! Boycott israHell and those who profit from occupation!

Monday, August 17, 2009

1. Bil’in demonstrates against the ongoing Israeli arrest and intimidation campaign
2. International activists beaten, arrested attempting to accompany farmers in Saffa
3. Rights group: Israel killed unarmed Palestinians
4. Candle vigil in solidarity with evicted Palestinian families held in Sheikh Jarrah
5. An account of life on the West Bank
6. Court refuses to issue restraining order against evicted Sheikh Jarrah Arabs
7. Settlers attack Susiyan Palestinian sheep herders
8. Five new house demolition orders issued in Silwan, East Jerusalem
9. PCHR condemns harassment of Palestinian civilians at military checkpoints

1. Bil’in demonstrates against the ongoing Israeli arrest and
intimidation campaign

14 August 2009

Hundreds of Palestinians, Israeli, Spanish, French and other international supporters, responded today to the Popular Committee’s call to resist the Wall and to show solidarity with the Bil’in prisoners.

14 August 2009

Hundreds of Palestinians, Israeli, Spanish, French and other international supporters, responded today to the Popular Committee’s call to resist the Wall and to show solidarity with the Bil’in prisoners.

As is the case each week, demonstrators left the village after the midday prayers and marched towards the gate of the Wall separating Bil’in from its lands. Israeli soldiers used large amounts of tear gas, including the “Cannon” which shoots 30 canisters at a time. They also attempted to use the “Skunk”, a gun shooting a foul smelling liquid that sticks to skin and clothing for days, but the Skunk Machine malfunctioned.

Five years after Bil’in began its’ resistance against the Wall and Settlements, the Israeli army is still trying to break the popular non-violent resistance. Amongst injuring over 1300 people at demonstrations, Israeli forces killed Bil’in resident Basem Abu Rahmah on 17 April 2009 by shooting him directly with a high velocity tear
gas projectile from around 30 meters.

Update on Bil’in prisoners

The latest wave of arrests and night raids on the West Bank village of Bil’in began on 23 June 2009, To date, Israeli forces have arrested 25 people (most under 18). Eighteen of the 25 remain in detention. Through Israel’s interrogation and intimidation tactics, two of the arrested youth have ‘confessed’ that the Bil’in Popular Committee urges the demonstrators to throw stones. With such ‘confessions’,
Israeli forces then proceed to arrest leaders in the community, including Adeeb Abu Rahme and Mohammad Khatib. Adeeb has been in detention since his arrest during a non-violent demonstration on July 10th. Both are being charged with “incitement to damage the security of the area.”

In a military court hearing for Mohammad Khatib on Thursday August 13th, the military prosecution requested to hold Mohammed until the end of legal proceedings against him, a process that can last over a year. The evidence presented against him was a picture the prosecution claimed was of Mohammad throwing stones during a demonstration. The prosecution backed this assertion with a “confession” from one of the Bil’in youth that is currently in their custody, claiming that the person in the picture was Mohammad Khatib, whom the boy knows well. When Khatib’s attorney, Gabi Laski questioned the prosecution about the photograh, she was told the picture was taken in October of 2009. Laski then presented the judge with Mohammad’s passport, showing that Mohammad was in New Caladonia during that time.

Many Israeli supporters of the struggle in Bil’in and the Palestinian Occupied Territories made a showing at this hearing. In attendance of the hearing were Dove Haneen, the Israeli Knesset member from the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, Uri Avnery, the head of Gush Shalom (Peace Group), and Arc Asher, head of Rapanem; the Movement for Human Rights. Other Israelis and internationals supporters held a
vigil outside the prison gates.

A decision for Mohammad Khatib’s case as well as Abdullah Yassin and Mustafa Khatib, will be given on Sunday, August 16th. On the other hand, the court ordered Issa Abu Rahma, and the two brothers Khalid and Muhammad Shaukat Khatibhas to be kept in custody without bail until the completion of legal proceedings against them.

To view video, see

2. International activists beaten, arrested attempting to accompany farmers in Saffa

Palestine Solidarity Project

15 August 2009

Today, at 8 am, international activists with the Palestine Solidarity Project and International Solidarity Movement, along with Palestinian members of PSP, accompanied the family of Abu Jabber Soleiby to plow their land in Saffa, near the illegal Israeli settlement Bat ’Ayin. The family has been confronted with ongoing harrasment by the Israeli Military and violent attacks by settlers from Bat ’Ayin. Today, the group of over 20 people was stopped by dozens of Israeli soldiers and
Border Police near the edge of the Saffa built-up area. Initially, the military insisted that the farmers needed permits, and then IDs, to enter their privately-owned agricultural land. The Soleiby family has rejected all attempts by the Israeli military to force them to engage in a process of asking permission from the Occupation Forces to enter their own land, and refused to show ID, insisting on their natural right to go to their land, well within Palestinian territory, freely.
The military also forbade the entrance of the international activists to the valley, and eventually presented a closed military zone area order. One youth, carrying a Palestinian flag, was violently pushed several times by the Israeli forces.

The group then backed up to what was clearly indicated as the edge of the closed military zone and continued their negotiations with the soldiers to at least allow the farmers into the valley to their land. When the military insisted on seeing IDs, the young children and grandchildren of Abu Jabber, who do not yet carry IDs, asked to enter on their own. The Israeli Forces insisted that they must present their birth certificates in order to access the land. After a short time of negotiating, the military illegal declared, without accompanying paperwork, the entire Saffa area a closed military zone, informing the internationals they had 10 minutes to leave the area. They also forced the media present to remove the batteries from their cameras, obviously preparing for a confrontation they did not want documented.
They immediately began violently pushing the group with wooden batons further away from the agricultural area. The Palestinians decided to leave the area, and most of the group began leaving when border police began attacking the back of the group. During a short scuffle, two international women, one from Denmark and one from Germany, were arrested. A third international woman, also from Denmark, was struck
on the forehead with a baton as she tried to help the other two detained activists, leaving a significant welt on her head.

The group decided the leave the area, with the farmers committed to returning another time to continue the work on their land without asking for permission.

3. Rights group: Israel killed unarmed Palestinians

Jen Thomas | Associated Press

13 August 2009

A new report by Human Rights Watch charged Thursday that Israeli soldiers killed eleven unarmed Palestinian civilians who were carrying white flags in shooting incidents during Israel’s offensive in Gaza earlier this year.

The report says the civilians included five women and four children. The group urged Israel to conduct investigations into the deaths, which it said occurred when the civilians were “in plain view and posed no apparent security threat.”

The group says at least three witnesses confirmed the details in each of the seven separate shootings.

The report is the latest in a slew of charges from human rights groups alleging that Israel violated the rules of war in its Gaza offensive. The reports on the Gaza war have focused on Israeli violations, but Human Rights Watch has also said Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups violated the rules of war by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.

Israel says groups like Human Rights Watch are unfairly singling it out and has criticized the methodology of reports based largely on Palestinian testimony. Israel says it did not deliberately target civilians and that noncombatants were killed because Hamas militants took cover, fired rockets and stored ammunition in crowded residential areas.

In a response to the report, the Israeli military said its soldiers were obligated to avoid harming anyone waving a white flag but that in some cases Hamas militants had used civilians with white flags for cover.

“Any person who displays a white flag in this way acts illegally, does not enjoy protection from retaliatory action, and endangers nearby civilian populations,” the military said.

Last month, the Israeli government released its own report defending its use of force in Gaza. The report says Israel is investigating five alleged cases in which soldiers killed civilians carrying white flags, incidents that it said resulted in 10deaths.

Two of the five incidents were among those mentioned by Human Rights Watch.

Both Israel and the Palestinians acknowledge that more than 1,100 Gazans were killed in the Israeli offensive. Palestinians say most were civilians. Israel says most were armed militants, but has not released evidence to back up that claim.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians were killed during the Gaza war.

Shortly after the new report was released, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev questioned the organization’s objectivity.

Regev did not directly comment on the Gaza allegations, instead referring to a recent flap over Human Rights Watch’s fundraising activities in Saudi Arabia. The group came under fire for reportedly highlighting its criticism of Israel at a meeting attended by several Saudi officials.

This, Regev said, “raises important questions about the organization’s impartiality, professionalism and credibility.”

4. Candle vigil in solidarity with evicted Palestinian families held in Sheikh Jarrah

10 August 2009

At 8pm, around 200 Palestinians, Israelis and international solidarity activists congregated outside the evicted homes of the Hanoun family. Under the presence of the Israeli police, the demonstrators lit candles which illuminated signs and posters condemning the evictions and demanding their homes back. Peacefully, people sang and spoke whilst traffic tooted their horns in support of the families.

As demonstrators began to march towards the al Gwahi home around 9pm (another home that was evicted and is currently being occupied by settlers), the police violently attacked people walking on the sidewalk, dragging kicking and beating them as they pulled them back along the street towards their vehicles. Police units dressed in all
black charged through to lend a hand and eventually forced Arik Asherman of the Rabbis for Human Rights into a police van, which hastily left the scene. When things calmed down, an announcement was made that the peaceful protest was an illegal one and everyone had two minutes to leave the area. Taking that as their cue, the protesters regrouped and once again moved towards the home of the Al Ghawi family
where they were met with a police blockade. The vigil continued with two groups in separate spaces on the streets with the space in between occupied by settler youth mixing with the police and border police.

As settlers exited their settlement through the groups people jeered and whistled but the candle lit peacefulness prevailed, despite the best efforts of the police. Eventually the banners, posters and protesters made their way back to the space outside on the street where the families are now living and are joined overnight by friends, family and international support.

To view pictures see,

5. An account of life on the West Bank

Lamia Khatib | The Huffington Post

13 August 2009

Lamia Khatib is a 27 year old Palestinian mother of of four. Lamia’s husband Mohammad is secretary of the village council and a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. They live in the West Bank village of Bil’in, which has been under Israeli military occupation for the last 42 years.

On August 3, my husband Mohammed Khatib, and my little brother Abdullah, were taken from their beds in our West Bank village of Bil’in at 3 AM by the Israeli military. My husband is a member of the Bil’in Popular Committee, which has been leading our village’s nonviolent campaign against Israel’s construction of a Wall and a
settlement on our land. For nearly five years, every Friday we have been joined by supporters from Israel and around the world as we attempt to march to our land on the other side of the Wall. According to the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the settlement amounts to a war crime, and in 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled the Wall illegal.

In addition to years of peaceful protests, for the last four years our village has held an annual international conference on nonviolent resistance. Bil’in’s struggle has become an emblematic example for Palestinians and worldwide. Last December, the Bil’in Popular Committee was awarded the 2008 Human Rights Medal by the International
League of Human Rights in Germany.

Despite this, the construction of the Wall and settlements continued, and we are treated as criminals in our quest for justice. On top of tens of arrests, hundreds of protesters from Bil’in have been injured and one has been killed by the Israeli military.

Just a few days before he was arrested, Mohammed wrote this account of our life in Bil’in:

I woke up this morning to find my three year-old son, Khaled, beating me and screaming wildly. Of course I was shocked by this, so I started to comfort him and ask what was the matter… through the sobs and tears, I managed to make out a few words:

“Why are you not a good Dad… you left me to the soldiers… at the Wall…
and they shot me in the leg!”

“What happened to your leg, Khaled?”

“It’s better now…”

He was describing a nightmare.

My wife, Lamia, once asked me: “Why can’t we live like other people?” It was a very difficult question for me to answer. All the Palestinians of my generation were born under military occupation, so this is the only life we know.

As I write these words, it’s almost midnight and we are sitting on the roof of my house, on the look-out for the Israeli army. It’s been two months since the most recent wave of night raids began, with the army now employing a new strategy of arresting every villager who attends the demonstrations, in an attempt to crush our campaign of nonviolent resistance. Up until now eleven people have been arrested, but the list of those wanted is much, much longer. So in Bi’lin, no one goes to sleep before four or five in the morning. We stay awake all night, observing the movements of the Israeli military, fearing that we may be the next person to be kidnapped and thrown in jail. Our nights have become our days, and our days have become our nights. For some it is more difficult than others because of work commitments, but we have no choice.

But it’s not only the adults who stay awake. Our children can’t sleep either, afraid that the army will burst into his or her room in the middle of the night. They don’t knock on the door during the night raids. So imagine the horror for a child to wake up to find a stranger with a painted face pointing his gun in their face. We don’t stay up so much to avoid arrest, but to avoid facing this terrible moment.

Even with all this, I know that I have a good quality of life compared to other Palestinians. I’m lucky enough to have avoided, up till now, both jail and the loss of a family member. Two out of three Palestinians you meet will have suffered one or the other, if not both.

Yesterday, I saw Mohammed and Abdullah in the Israeli military court. My brother had bruises all over from the beatings he received from the soldiers. My husband is being accused of “incitement to damage the security of the area.” It is obvious that the Israeli authorities will do all that they can to prevent Palestinians and Israelis from working together towards a just peace. Mohammed may no longer be one of the “lucky” ones, but I know that he, Abdullah and I, and everyone in Bil’in, will continue our struggle for justice.

6. Court refuses to issue restraining order against evicted Sheikh Jarrah Arabs

Jonah Newman & Abe Selig | The Jerusalem Post

14 August 2009

A Jerusalem District Court rejected on Thursday a request by Jewish families who have taken possession of homes in east Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by court order to issue a restraining order against the Arab families who were evicted from those homes.

However, Judge Eilata Diskind issued a warning to the Arab families to refrain from violent behavior.

The petition for the restraining order, which was made by the Nahalat Shimon International organization, asked that nine people – three members of the Hanoun family and six members of the Gawhi family – be prohibited from congregating outside the homes.

It was rejected by Diskind, who said there was insufficient evidence to prove the plaintiffs’ claims that members of the families had thrown rocks at the homes and harassed the new occupants.

The judge did issue a warning to the defendants to refrain from such behavior in the future.

Both the Hanoun and Gawhi families have set up makeshift protests across the street from their former homes to protest what they have called the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian residents from the neighborhood.

In their testimony, the Jewish plaintiffs said the defendants yell, “Your grave will be here” and other curses every time they pass in front of the building.

“They have nothing to do there but bother us,” said Yitzhak Mamo, one of the plaintiffs. “What are they doing there, playing backgammon?”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ilan Shemer, cross-examined each of the respondents after the judge finished asking questions, and asked one of them, Khaled al-Gawhi, why he and his family continued to live on the sidewalk, if their intention was not to bother the new residents.

“I want to show the whole world what kind of law they have in this country,” Gahwi responded.

Gawhi also claimed that the Jewish families had thrown rocks at him, including one which came from the upper floors of the building and landed meters from a five-month-old baby.

Two of the other respondents, Majed and Salim Hanoun, refused to answer questions without their lawyers present.

The respondents complained that the court summons had been far too hasty, arriving an hour before the proceedings were to begin, and hardly giving them enough time to contact their lawyers.

“I called someone to come translate [the court summons] for me, and then it took us 30 minutes to get here,” Maher Hanoun told The Jerusalem Post.

Hanoun and Gawhi’s lawyers, who said they didn’t know about the hearing until almost an hour after it was set to begin, arrived just as the judge was reading her decision.

Nonetheless, both families seemed somewhat relieved after the decision was read, and were seen moments later preparing to return to their ongoing protest vigils in Sheikh Jarrah.

While the Jewish plaintiffs declined to comment on the verdict, Khaled al-Gahwi told the Post simply, “They didn’t get their request, that’s it, it’s over.”

7. Settlers attack Susiyan Palestinian sheep herders

10 August 2009

At 7:30 of this morning, a group of sheep shepherds from Susyia, a small Palestinian village in the Southern Hebron hills, came under attack by a pair of Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal colony.

The shepherds, a small group of two Palestinian men and one woman had been grazing their sheep in their family land, in the hills near their homes. The two settlers, having faced no previous provocation from the group, came running suddenly down a dirt road, attempting to frighten the sheep off the land. The Palestinian shepherds began chasing after their animals and shouting at the settlers to end their harassment, but the pair continued their attack, hitting the sheep with stones and
sticks they had been carrying with them. The Palestinian woman in the group had a stack of firesticks she had been collecting thrown of her hands and herself pushed away from her retreating animals.

Meanwhile, a pair of Israeli soldiers standing watch on an adjacent hilltop and overlooking the scene did nothing to stop the attack. Instead a large number of Palestinian residents of Susyia arrived shortly to attempt to confront and halt the settler attack.

The two settlers eventually retreated having pushed the sheep completely off the hills and back to the Palestinian settlements, giving no explanation or reply as regards their actions. With the two of them present, the shepherds together with fellow family members confronted the Israeli soldiers who had been overlooking the scene, demanding explanations for their inaction. The two attackers however remained protected by the soldiers, and allowed to leave freely.

The Israeli police arrived shortly afterwards requesting information from the Palestinian shepherds. As of this moment no information is known as to possible responses from the occupation authorities regarding the attack.

8. Five new house demolition orders issued in Silwan, East Jerusalem

Alternative Information Center (AIC)

10 August 2009

Israeli forces issued five new house demolition orders in the al-Bustan section of Silwan in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, 5 August, injuring eight Palestinians in the process and seizing the identification card of Musa Odeh, a member of the al-Bustan Committee working to non-violently oppose the demolitions. Authorities also deployed tear gas to prevent residents from confronting the soldiers ordering the demolitions.

The orders augment the 90 demolition orders already standing in Silwan, a densely populated village located on the southeastern slopes of the Old City of Jerusalem. The area, which is located near the biblical site of Siloam and which houses approximately 55,000 residents, was annexed by the state of Israel in 1967; since then, the Municipality of Jerusalem has nearly uniformly refused Palestinian residents building permits to develop the neighborhood, typifying Israeli urban planning policy in East Jerusalem for the past 42 years. In 2004, a directive was issued from the Municipality’s building supervision department to demolish all the homes in Silwan in order to build the “King’s Valley” archaeological park, which is
currently under the administration of the fundamentalist settler group
Elad. If completed as planned, the Silwan demolitions would constitute the largest scale demolition program in the city of Jerusalem since the leveling of the Maghrebi quarter the night after Israel’s seizure of East Jerusalem in 1967 in order to build today’s Western Wall plaza.

9. PCHR condemns harassment of Palestinian civilians at military

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)

11 August 2009

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the harassment and cruel and degrading treatment inflicted upon Palestinian civilians by Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoint throughout the West Bank.

PCHR field workers documents three cases of harassment against Palestinian civilians in the first three days of the week.

At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers harassed Tha’er Bader Jaradat, 20, from Sa’ir village northwest Hebron. They attacked him near the Annexation Wall in al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem. He sustained fractures to the legs.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the victim’s testimony, at approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers forced him to jump from a height of 4.5 meters, when they caught him and other civilians attempting to climb the Annexation Wall in al-Ram town. He fell onto the ground, and sustained two fractures to the left leg and one fracture to the right heel. Soon after, Israeli soldiers gathered around him and attempted to force him to stand up and accompany them to a military vehicle. They also released a bloodhound to attack him in order to force him to stand up. When all of these attempts failed, they forced him to creep towards the military vehicle, which was approximately 15 meters away. They
handcuffed him and transferred him to the Hamashbir area to the northwest of al-Ram town. Jaradat attempted to go to Jerusalem in order to work in a boutique.

On Sunday morning, 09 August 2009, Israeli soldiers positioned at a military crossing established on al-Zahiriya – Bir al-Saba’ road, south of Hebron, harassed Mohammed ‘Abdul Hai ‘Asafra, 26, from Beit Kahel village northwest of Hebron. They forced him to stop while he was his way to work in a workshop in the area. The detained and violently beat him for more than two hours. He sustained bruises
throughout the body.

At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 10 August 2009, Israeli soldiers patrolling in al-Sahla and Tariq Ben Ziad streets in the south of the old town of Hebron stopped Saleh Mohammed al-Rajabi, 20. They detained and violently beat him for nearly an hour. He sustained bruises throughout the body.

In light of the above:

1. PCHR asserts that acts of harassment are a form of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and constitute serious violations of international human rights standards and instruments, especially the Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of 1984.

2. PCHR calls upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel to dismantle military checkpoints and stop acts of harassment and other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.




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