- Four Palestinians killed at Separation Wall
- Life at the Separation Wall
- Jerusalem suicide bomb
- Stop the persecution of the Abnaa el-Ballad movement!
Four Palestinians killed at Separation Wall
On 26 February Israeli soldiers shot dead three young Palestinians who were demonstrating at the Separation Wall in the region of Biddu/Beit Surik. A fourth Palestinian died of a heart attack after soldiers threw tear gas.
Eyewitnesses from the International Solidarity Movement reported that Israeli snipers were shooting directly at the crowd.
The demonstrators were attempting to stop the bulldozers from destroying more olive groves.
Life at the Separation Wall
Beit Surik is a small village to the north-west of Jerusalem, situated in the West Bank and close to the 1967 border. During the 1980s the Occupation Forces seized about 400 acres from the western lands of the village. In 2003, the Occupation Forces seized another 175 acres of land north of Beit Surik.
The villagers have been told of the building of a train line that will go through the area down to "Mudein" settlement, confiscating more Palestinian land.
They have been informed by military order that the Israeli authorities will seize 90 acres for the construction of the Separation Wall.
The construction of such a wall will mean up to 1,500 acres will be lost, including the eight water sources that supply the village and other surrounding villages.
The roads in and out of the villages have been blocked off, thus limiting freedom of movement and trade, and leading to rising unemployment.
Jerusalem suicide bomb
On 22 February a Palestinian suicide bomber boarded a crowded Jerusalem city bus filled with high school students and blew himself up, killing eight and wounding 60 others. It was the second bus bombing in the capital in just over three weeks.
The attack took place a day before the International Court of Justice at the Hague was to begin hearings on the Apartheid Wall built by Israel in the Occupied Territories. The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah movement, claimed responsibility.
Since the beginning of the second intifada in October 2000, 180 people have been killed and 1,444 injured in 25 suicide bomb attacks in the capital alone.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei condemned the attack, and called for "an immediate halt to these actions", which he said gave Israel an excuse to continue building the barrier and to carry out military raids.
Activist organisations have been participating in the "Israeli Voice against the Wall" and holding demonstrations in Jerusalem. The protesters are demanding the immediate cessation of the building of the Wall and removal of those sections already built which cause indescribable suffering to the Palestinian population. There is also a mass petition of Israeli citizens against the Wall.
Workers' Liberty and its supporters always stress that the way to achieve peace and security passes through the realisation of the rights of each of the two nations, the Israeli people and the Palestinian people, to live in its own independent state, with two capitals in Jerusalem. But the struggle of the peace-seekers to make this vision a matter of reality is being blocked by the nationalists in the two sides.
David Merhav, Haifa
Stop the persecution of the Abnaa el-Ballad movement!
The Israeli police and the general security service (Shabaq) have launched a brutal political attack against the Abnaa el-Ballad movement, a Palestinian Arab group based in northern Israel. The movement was founded in 1969 and has influence in small Arab cities, towns and villages.
The movement boycotts elections in Israel, does not work in the Israeli trade unions and holds to a Pan-Arabist and pro-Maoist ideology which seeks to build "one democratic and secular state in Palestine", part of a Middle Eastern Arab socialist unity. The attack has been launched only some months after leaders of Israel's Islamic Movement were arrested without any reasonable charge.
In November Israel's Interior minister Avraham Poraz issued an administrative order forbidding the secretary general of the Abnaa el-Ballad movement, Muhammad Kana'neh, from going abroad.
Kana'neh was arrested on 7 February in his home in A'rabi. Also arrested was Hussam Kana'neh from A'rabi, a member of Abnaa el-Ballad's leadership. According to Ittijah (a grouping of Arab community organisations), no reason was given for the arrest and no access to a lawyer was given.
The office of the Balad Cultural Association and Abnaa el-Ballad in Haifa have also been raided and vandalised. Equipment, such as laptops and mobile phones, was confiscated.
Both institutions are officially registered in Israel and operate legally under Israeli law.
Although we disagree with the views promoted by Abnaa el-Ballad movement, we stand for their democratic freedoms and rights. Please send letters of protest to the Israeli Embassy in your country, and send letters of support to Abnaa el-Ballad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Merhav, Haifa
Protest at the Israeli Embassy
Free the refuseniks! Israel out of the occupied territories!
Monday 8 March and Monday 22 March
5.30-7pm, Kensington High St/Kensington Ct, London. Called by Committee for Two States