April 12 2002: News from Palestine
Translation to Arabic | Translation to most European Languages

Past News Archives
April 5 | April 7 | April 9 | April 10


Audio Reports:
1) Democracy Now! (New York, USA)
Thursday, April 11:
- Civil rights attorney Lynn Stewart is Indicted for “Supporting Terrorism,” Part II: She and three others face up to 20 years in prison for allegedly helping Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman deliver messages from his prison cell to his followers in Egypt; Attorney General John Ashcroft invokes the USA Patriot Act to justify these indictments.
- Sickness and Invasion: A Palestinian doctor and a Hebron-based psychologist talk about the effects of invasion on the sick and needy, and the difficulty of saving lives in a state of siege
- Michael Lerner and Cornel West Call for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience to Protest the US Role in the Ongoing Israeli Siege: A conversation with the two social justice leaders as they prepare to march to the State Department and call for international intervention
and more..

News and Analysis:

1) Call To Action: Come to Palestine (Palestine IMC)
2) Extra-Judicial Executions in Jenin Refugee Camp (LAW, Palestine)
3) B'TSELEM Daily Update, April 11 (Israel)
4) Saudi Arabia sets aside $50M for 'martyrs' (United Press International, USA)

1) Call To Action: Come to Palestine
Palestine Independent Media Center
Original article is at
by various • Saturday April 06, 2002 at 09:12 PM

April 6, 2002: The situation is desperate, Internationals are urgently needed for witnessing, reporting and providing humanitarian aid. With no international intervention is sight, and reporters denied, access the role of the International community is of the utmost urgency.

ATTENTION: New American delegation getting organized

April 6, 2002: The situation is desperate, Internationals are urgently needed for witnessing, reporting and providing humanitarian aid. With no international intervention is sight, and reporters denied, access the role of the International community is of the utmost urgency.

This is what human solidarity is about.

To go to Palestine, contact:

International Solidarity Movement (ISM)

Thom Saffold in the U.S.

George Rishmawi in Palestine

Huwaida Arraf

Neta Golan

More info: palsolidarity@yahoogroups.com

For pictures, articles, or if you live in the Colorado area, see:
Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace/ISM


The International Solidarity Movement is a growing movement of Palestinian and international activists working to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. We utilize non-violent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge the illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.

We recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via armed struggle, yet we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.
We support the Palestinian right to resist the occupation.
We call for an immediate end to the occupation and immediate compliance and implementation of all UN resolutions including the right to return of Palestinian refugees and a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem.
We call for immediate international intervention to protect the Palestinian people and ensure Israel's compliance with international law.
More info

Article about 'internationals' in Palestine from CounterPunch.org:

America's Bravest
by Gabriel Ash
April 3, 2002

Not every day you'll catch me declaring my profound agreement with the interloper in the White House. So take note. In his State of the Union, George Bush urged Americans to volunteer, to help build an America that "serves goals greater than the self." He said "America needs citizens to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world."

I couldn't agree more.

It is therefore absolutely essential to publicize the work of American men and women who are doing just that.

This is the third day of Sharon's new military campaign against Palestinian civilians. With 20,000 reservists called, it promises to be a long and bloody one.

Tanks wreak destruction in Ramallah, Hebron, and other Palestinian towns. Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers vandalize homes, wantonly destroying furniture and precious food.

Journalists and TV offices are top targets. The IDF shoots at ambulances, arrests medical personnel, and storm hospitals.

Yesterday they destroyed offices and equipment belonging to two human rights organizations, LAW and Al-Haq.

Five Palestinian policemen in IDF custody were apparently executed in cold blood.

There are reports of more mass executions in Ramallah today. Sharon calls it a war against "the infrastructure of terror." But the only infrastructure that matters is the determination of Palestinians to shake off the occupation or take Israel to Hell with them. Sharon's war is a war against the Palestinian population, and against humanity.

Amidst this ugly orgy, dozens of Americans join hundreds of Europeans in an international effort to protect the life of Palestinians and bear witness to what the American media doesn't ask and doesn't tell.

The internationals, as they call themselves, have been coming to Palestine for some time now, for periods between a few days to a few months. They do not have any official status, but are self-organized in a number of groups, such as the "Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace," "Direct Action for Free Palestine," "International Solidarity Movement," and others.

Most of the time, the internationals help Palestinians mount peaceful, non-violent resistance. The foreigners' presence enable Palestinians to demonstrate against the occupation without being shot at with live bullets.

Other protest actions include the dismantling of roadblocks, which allow families short breathers to drive in and out of their villages for essential restocking or to sell produce. Palestinians cannot do such things on their own without risking their life. Returning activists describe these actions as very effective.

Beyond the immediate relief, international presence brings a message of solidarity and humanity to a population that is rapidly losing faith in the world.

Since yesterday, the role of international presence changed dramatically. Caught together with the Palestinians in the military assault, American and European activists find themselves at the forefront of the war. They accompany medical personnel, serving as "human shields" in the hope of deterring the IDF from the usual lax shooting policy. And they use their cellphones to broadcast direct evidence of what the IDF would rather you did not know.

Nancy Stohlman is in refugee camp Aida, which, she reports, is shelled by tanks. How shelling a densely populated urban environment helps the IDF preventing suicide bombs is beyond my reasoning powers. Together with her hosts, she is waiting for the tanks and the soldiers to move in.

In the camp, almost everything adds to the tension of waiting. Nancy describes how "a deaf boy found her staring at a wall of martyr posters, and for 25 minutes, using gestures, described the manner of each of their deaths."

Her journals can be read at .

Jordan Flaherty is in the refugee camp Al-Azzeh, in Bethlehem, together with twenty-three other internationals. They have spread out in the camp, accommodated by local families, in an attempt to provide residents with some protection. Some have also been riding with ambulances.

Jordan reported that, in order to get to his present location, he had to cross a street running under fire from an IDF sniper ensconced in the overlooking settlement. Needless to say, Jordan is completely unarmed. The camp is shelled occasionally by the tanks, and an incursion is expected within a day. Those who needed to escape escaped; the rest are waiting.

This is Jordan's second time in Palestine. Although the tension is higher, he stresses that the international presence in Palestine is not going to shrink. A big recruitment, planned for later this year under the name "freedom summer," will hopefully bring thousands of internationals to Palestine. He urges more people to join because "this is really making a difference." For information, visit:

Brooklynite Adam Shapiro negotiated with the IDF for three long hours the passage of ambulances to Arafat's compound, and ended up trapped inside. The first ambulance was stopped on the way out and both the doctors and wounded were arrested.

Seeing that, Adam remained inside, tending to wounds with inadequate medical supplies, and keeping in touch with the outside world with a dying cellphone. In the morning he was invited to share breakfast with the blockaded Arafat. Adam left the compound today, but other internationals came in, braving the IDF, and intend to stay.

The internationals shatter the lie of the manufactured consensus that the war in the Middle East is between Jews and Arabs. It isn't. It is a war between racism and justice. That is why the American media routinely ignores their efforts. Only the photo-op with Arafat forced the news editors to break their gag rule.

The IDF is alarmed by the presence of internationals. Frenchmen Jose Bove, McDonald's eminence grise, is also in Palestine.

He was arrested two days ago together with nine other internationals and three Palestinians and taken to the settlement of Bet-El. The IDF declared martial law in Ramallah and is trying to evacuate the internationals and the media. Nobody knows what the IDF is capable of doing once the eyes of the world are covered.

Shapiro, Stohlman, Flaherty, and the hundreds of peace activists currently staying in Palestine cannot stop Sharon. They can only slow him down in the hope that the world, that means us, stops him in time. Will we?

Says Irish Caoimhe Butterly, who is also in Arafat's compound: "I urge all Irish citizens, government officials and diplomats to show courage in standing up against the brutal aggression used by the Israeli military against the Palestinian people and the war policies of the Israeli government.

"The Palestinian people desperately need our help and protection - I have witnessed the execution-style killings and the house to house searches and destruction the military has carried out in refugee camps and in cities.

"Only international action and the voices of people working for peace and justice can overcome these criminal Israeli actions."

Count the U.S. president out. George Bush used his rambling press announcement to express cautious endorsement of the Butcher of Beirut. Bush barely managed to mention the Palestinians.

Thanks to the good services of Cheney and Rumsfeld, he had earlier this year swallowed the bait of Sharon's contrived equation between fundamentalist terrorism and the Palestinian struggle against the long Israeli occupation. Sharon's hook is now stuck deep in the throat of American foreign policy.

But other Americans do listen to their inner call of duty. They are participating in a true international "army of compassion," enduring the occupation together with Palestinians. They may not enjoy the cachet of sophisticated war toys, fawning media accolades, and "black hawk down" style adulation, but they are the real elite troops.

With their ordinary heroism, they are America's finest and bravest.

Gabriel Ash writes for YellowTimes. He encourages your comments: gash@YellowTimes.org


2) Extra-Judicial Executions in Jenin Refugee Camp
LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

PO Box 20873, Jerusalem
Tel. +972-2-5833530
Fax. +972-2-5833317
E-mail: law@lawsociety.org
Web: http://www.lawsociety.org
- Wednesday, 10 April 2002 -

Reports from witnesses in Jenin refugee camp to LAW indicate that from
those Palestinian fighters resisting the Israeli military assault on Jenin
refugee camp, a number of those sought to surrender to Israeli forces and
were summarily executed. It has been difficult to confirm exact numbers of
those executed, due to the fact that Israeli forces prevent any of the
residents of the refugee camp or any independent monitors from returning or
entering the refugee camp.

However, LAW has received the names of two of those fighters, who were
apparently executed after their surrender: Ala' Sabagh and Mahmoud al-Hilou.

Reports indicate that other fighters remaining within the refugee camp, who
have stopped their resistance, and seek to surrender, are being summarily

Witnesses report that when leaving the refugee camp, they saw bodies of
residents that appeared to be run over by military bulldozers and bodies
within the rubble of homes and shelters that had been destroyed. They
expressed their fears that they did not know whether all the bodies in the
rubble were dead or injured persons.

LAW understands that the majority of the residents from the camp, after
being forcibly expelled by Israeli forces, earlier today, have still not
been allowed to return. These refugees are now currently scattered
throughout the area, surrounding the refugee camp.

Various sources from the refugee camp, estimate that at least 30 percent of
the total area of the camp, including homes and shelters, have been totally

LAW calls for an international protection force to protect civilians to be
deployed immediately in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and for an
international investigative body to be immediately despatched to
investigate this apparent evidence of war crimes and crimes against
humanity, perpetrated by the Israeli forces, including in Jenin refugee

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving
human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International
Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Federation Internationale des Ligues de
Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) and the World Organisation Organisation Against
Torture (OMCT).

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
8 HaTa'asiya St. (4th Floor)
Jerusalem 93420, Israel.
Tel: 972-2-6735599
Fax: 972-2-6749111
E-Mail: mail@btselem.org
Web: http://www.btselem.org
- Thursday, 11 April 2002 -


1. 60-year-old 'Ali Faraj, resident of Bethlehem, left his house yesterday
at around 3:00 PM to buy food in Beit Jala. In his house, where nine people
live, food has run out. Even though the curfew in Bethlehem had not been
lifted, Faraj took advantage of the fact that the curfew in Beit Jala was
lifted for a few hours. After he had bought some food supplies, he returned
to Bethlehem. On the way back, soldiers stationed near Bab a-Zaqaq junction
in the city noticed him. They shot him dead. A Red Crescent crew which was
passing by was stopped by the soldiers who told them to go to Faraj's body
and fetch his identification card. After having done so, the crew took the
body to the morgue. (Source: B'Tselem)

2. Yesterday morning, a tank shelled a house located across the street from
the house of A.A, resident of Hebron District, in his early 40's. After the
shelling, soldiers entered A.A.'s house, took position on the roof and
fired at the house across the street using their personal weapons. As a
result of the intensive shooting, a fire broke out in the house. The
soldiers asked a Palestinian man to enter the house, put the fire out and
remove a scorched body that was inside it. The soldiers who were on A.A.'s
roof ordered A.A. and his 32-year-old cousin I.A to carry the body for a
distance of about 100 meters. After interrogating the two men as to the
identity of the deceased and the residents of the house where he was found,
the soldiers let them go.

In the afternoon, the soldiers returned to A.A.'s home, searched it, and
locked the family members in one of the rooms. After the search was
conducted, the soldiers ordered A.A. to go out into the street with them.
One of the soldiers pointed his gun at A.A's back. He was forced to walk in
front of them and serve as a "human shield". A.A. was ordered to knock on
doors and order the residents to get out. At the end of the "patrol" he was
allowed to return to his home. (Source: B'Tselem)

3. At present, 3,353 Palestinians who have been detained since the
beginning of operation "Defensive Wall" are held in various holding
facilities throughout the Occupied Territories and Israel. 281 of these men
are held in administrative detention at Ofer military camp. Before
operation "Defensive Wall" began, 60 Palestinians were held in
administrative detention. Information received since yesterday about Ofer
camp reveals difficult holding conditions and severe violations of
detainees' dignity. During the first three days, detainees did not receive
any food at all and only small quantities of drinking water. Access to
bathrooms depended on the mood of the soldiers. The detainees are held in
open sheds in groups of about 150 detainees per shed. They sleep on the
ground in crowded conditions. During their entire detention, detainees'
hands are cuffed behind their backs. (Source: HaMoked - Center for the
Defence of the Individual)

4. On April 3, 2002, over the course of the second day of the IDF's
incursion into Bethlehem, an 80-year-old resident of the city, Yussef
Hizboun, had a stroke. As a result of the curfew and intensive gunfire,
medical crews could not reach the house to evacuate him. On April 9,
Hizboun died. Only last night, did his family manage to get his body to the
hospital in Beit Jala. (Source: B'Tselem)

5. 12 kidney patients, who reside in the city of Jenin, have been unable to
reach hospital for dialysis treatment. Most of them have gone without
treatment for about a week. Prevention of this vital treatment poses a
severe danger to their lives. (Source: Physicians for Human Rights Israel)

6. 68-year-old Fahima Najajra, from Bethlehem is a cancer patient who is
receiving chemotherapy. Her medication ran out on April 8, 2002. Her family
has been unable to get her more medication due to the curfew. Two days ago,
on April 9, 2002, she felt severe pain. Her family contacted the Red
Crescent in the afternoon and asked that she be taken to hospital. At 4:00
PM, the Red Crescent informed the family that they had managed to
coordinate her evacuation to hospital with the military and that an
ambulance was on its way. 15 minutes later, the Red Crescent informed them
that the soldiers were not letting the ambulance through. At around 10:00
PM, Najajra passed away. Her body was taken to hospital only today at noon.
(Source: B'Tselem)

7. Between April 3 and 6, 2002, some 130 released detainees were
transported by bus from Ofer camp to Qalandiya checkpoint on the outskirts
of Ramallah. The detainees who live in the vicinity of the checkpoint made
it home on foot. The others, who live further away, cannot return home
because of the curfews imposed in many parts of the Occupied Territories.
They are currently housed at the community center in Qalandiya. Palestinian
human rights organization Al Haq has been trying to arrange private buses
to take them home, so far without success. (Source: HaMoked - Center for
the Defence of the Individual)

8. 22-year-old Shinhaz Shatara lives at 'Askar refugee camp in Nablus
District. Over the last few days soldiers have taken position on the roofs
of two houses near hers. Yesterday evening, her three-year-old son 'Alaa,
left the house to play on the street. Shatara ran after him quickly, but
the soldiers shot both of them before she could reach him. Shatara and her
son were injured. For three hours, relatives pleaded with the soldiers to
be allowed take the two to hospital, but the soldiers refused. Farouq
Shatara, a relative, whose roof was overtaken by the soldiers, went up
asked the soldiers again to evacuate the injured. A short while after that,
the IDF evacuated Shatara and her son. Relatives have not been told where
the two were taken. At the time of writing, over 24 hours after their
evacuation, relatives do not know their whereabouts. B'Tselem and HaMoked -
Center for the Defence of the Individual are trying to locate them.
(Source: B'Tselem)

9. M.H., from Ramallah, was detained on March 30, 2002 and taken to Ofer
military camp. On April 6, 2002, he was released, but the soldiers did not
return his identification card, which had been taken upon detention.
Yesterday, M.H. was again detained by soldiers because he did not have his
identification card. Other detainees have told HaMoked - Center for the
Defence of the Individual that after their release personal possessions
such as identification cards, cell phones and money were not returned to
them. (Source: HaMoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual)

10. Last night, at around 11:00 PM, B'Tselem received a call from a
representative of the last group of armed Palestinians remaining in Jenin
refugee camp. According to the caller, the group wished to surrender, but
in light of rumors of the IDF shooting Palestinians who have surrendered,
they requested to have a representative of B'Tselem present when they turn
themselves in. The group included three wounded Palestinians, of whom one
was a 13-year-old boy. After lengthy overnight negotiations between the
armed Palestinian and the IDF, brokered by B'Tselem, the 29 Palestinians
left the house where they had been holed up. The soldiers arrested them.
(Source: B'Tselem)

B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied
Territories is the leading Israeli organization monitoring, documenting and
advocating to improve human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Founded in 1989, B'Tselem publishes reports, engages in advocacy and serves
as a resource center.

4) Saudi Arabia sets aside $50M for 'martyrs'
By Pamela Hess
UPI Pentagon Correspondent
From the International Desk
Published 4/9/2002 6:22 PM

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- The Saudi Arabian government has paid out
at least $33 million to families of Palestinians killed or injured in
the 17-month-old intifada and in December 2001 earmarked another $50
million for the payments, according to Arabic news agencies and the
Saudi Embassy's Web site.

Similar payments promised by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein have drawn
sharp condemnation from U.S. President George W. Bush and Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The Saudi Committee for Support of the Al-Aqsa Intifada distributes
payments of $5,333 to the families of the dead and $4,000 to each
Palestinian receiving medical treatment in Saudi hospitals. The fund is
managed by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, according
to the embassy.

The sum is far less than the $10,000 Iraq offers to the families of
those killed and the $25,000 it gives to the kin of suicide bombers, but
is nonetheless significant to the average Palestinian whose annual
income is $1,575.

Saudi Arabia makes no distinction in compensation to families of suicide
bombers and those killed by Israeli military action. There have been
more than 50 suicide bombings since the intifada began in September
According to Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council
on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic faith enjoins Muslims to take
care of widows and especially orphans. The families of suicide bombers
are just as needy as those killed by military attacks, he said.

"They want to make it sound like (all the money is for) the families of
suicide bombers," Hooper told United Press International.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld professed ignorance of the Saudi
fund Monday.

"I have no information whatsoever that suggests that the government of
Saudi Arabia is doing what Iraq is," he said at a Pentagon news

Saudi Arabia created the fund in October 2000 at a conference of Arab
nations held in Cairo, Egypt. It donated 25 percent of the $1 billion
fund, $200 million of which goes for direct payments to families of the
dead and injured and $800 million to fund economic development in the
Palestinian territory.

As of January 2001, the Saudi government had paid $33 million to
families of 2,281 prisoners and 358 "martyrs," as well as to 8,000
wounded, 1,000 handicapped and another 102 Palestinians who have been
treated in the kingdom's hospitals. In addition, food hampers were
distributed to more than 200,000 families, according to the embassy Web
The Bush administration avoided commenting on the Saudi fund but has
decried the Iraqi payments -- especially to suicide bombers -- as
inducement to murder.

"They're not martyrs," President Bush said April 4 at the White House.
"They're murderers and they undermine the cause of the Palestinian
people. Those governments like Iraq that reward parents for the
sacrifice of their children are guilty of soliciting murder of the worst

Bush and Rumsfeld charge the promised payments only serve to increase
the violence.

"Here is an individual (Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein) who is the head of
a country, Iraq, who has proudly, publicly made a decision to go out and
actively promote and finance human sacrifice for families that will have
their youngsters kill innocent men, women, and children. That is an
example of what it is we're dealing with," Rumsfeld said last week.

Since Saddam increased the payments for suicide bombers in late March
there have been more than 13 suicide attacks. That increase also
coincides with Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, a
military crackdown known as Operation Defensive Shield. It began March

Nearly 1,300 Palestinians have been killed since the uprising began,
according to the Palestine Monitor, a pro-Palestinian Web site
maintained by non-governmental organizations in Ramallah. More than 340
Israelis have been killed. More than half of the dead are men between
the ages of 19 and 29, according to the Palestine Monitor.

"Sometimes I'd like to ask these people who criticize these things (the
funds) to find a list of Palestinian orphans who shouldn't be fed. Give
us a list of Palestinian widows and orphans so Muslims can comply with
dictates of not feeding the wrong people," Hooper said. "Are you
supposed to penalize some child, some widow, because of what their
father did or did not do?"

Hooper said the criticism "plays very well (in the United States) when
you have this hysteria fed by the far right."

The Saudi government's press office in Washington did not return
repeated phone calls seeking comment.

Copyright © 2002 United Press International. All rights reserved.


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