Israeli forces arrest Palestinian on his return from testifying to the United Nations

July 22, 2009

Israeli forces fire tear gas at demonstrators in Ni'lin.

Israeli forces fire tear gas at demonstrators in Ni'lin.

Mohammad Srour was arrested on July 20, 2009 while crossing the Allenby Bridge from Jordan.

Srour and Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli solidarity activist, testified to the United Nations in Geneva on July 6, 2009 about the murder of two young men by Israeli forces during a demonstration in Ni’lin.

A video of Srour and Pollack’s testimony is available on the UNHRC’s website here. You can also download the video.

Srour, a member of the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Wall, participates in demonstrations that take place against the theft of Ni’lin’s land. He and Pollack were witness to the shooting of two Ni’lin residents (Arafat Rateb Khawaje and Mohammed Khawaje) on December 28, 2009 during a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza.

“I know full well that I will pay the price for this testimony when I return at Israeli crossing points in my journey of return after this hearing,” Mohammad Srour stated at minute four of his testimony to the United Nations

Srour was arrested at the border crossing of the Allenby Bridge and taken to Ofer prison. On Wednesday, he was interrogated by Israeli forces and his lawyer has requested an urgent hearing for Thursday. He will likely be taken to court on Thursday, July 23 2009 to hear the charges against him.

[Report from the International Solidarity Movement]

Disguised Israeli forces arrest two Palestinians in Ni’lin

July 22, 2009

Around 80 Palestinian residents, alongside Israeli and international solidarity activists, gathered to demonstrate against construction of the Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin on Friday, July 10, 2009. After the weekly prayer, demonstrators marched to the Wall, chanting slogans against the Occupation and theft of their land. Upon arriving at the site, protesters cut the illegal fence with cutters.

Israeli forces shot tear-gas canisters at the protest, but individuals continued to destroy the fence. In response to the military violence, young Palestinian men threw stones and paint at the military vehicles driving below the Wall. Demonstrators managed to cut through the fence and placed boulders and a burning tire on the road to prevent military vehicles from driving close by and attacking.

The demonstration ended abruptly when approximately 10 members of Israeli special forces, disguised as participants with masked faces pulled out pistols and telescopic batons. Soldiers armed with guns and riot shields then entered through the fence and shot large amounts of tear gas, smoke grenades, percussion grenades and live ammunition from their handguns.

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Bil’in’s Response to Cellcom Advertisement

July 21, 2009

Bil’in village has responded to a recent Israeli Cellcom advertisement in which Israeli soldiers play soccer with Palestinians over the Apartheid Wall with a video of their own, showing the reality of what actually happens in the Occupied Territories. Truth in advertising.

Bil’in’s response was created by Ayyad Mediqa.

The original ad:

Bil’in’s response:

New Booklet by Breaking the Silence

July 16, 2009


“You feel like an infantile little kid with a magnifying glass looking at ants, burning them.”

Half a year after Operation Cast Lead, the organization Breaking the Silence has released a new booklet that includes numerous testimonies by soldiers who participated in the operation. The testimonies expose significant gaps between the official stances of the Israeli military and events on the ground.

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Defending the Indefensible Settlements

July 15, 2009


The Guardian’s Richard Siverstein has written an interesting piece entitled “Defending the indefensible settlements” looking at The Israel Project‘s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, designed to counter opposition in the US to Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

“Douglas Bloomfield, former chief lobbyist for Aipac, writes that TIP, a group dedicated to promoting Israel’s positive image among the US media and policymakers, has circulated a 140-page primer designed to prompt supporters in their exchanges with US journalists and key decision-makers when they are arguing in favour of the settlements:

If you can’t convince ’em, accuse ’em. That’s the advice from The Israel Project (TIP) for pro-Israel activist. … Rather than try to defend Israeli settlements, change the subject. If that doesn’t work, try accusing those who advocate removing Jewish settlements of promoting “a kind of ethnic cleansing to move all Jews” from the West Bank. TIP calls that “the best settlement argument” in its 2009 Global Language Dictionary.

You can download the 2009 Global Language Dictionary in PDF here or here on Newsweek’s site. It’s an enlightening read.

Report: Rights Without Remedy

July 10, 2009


On the occasion of 5th anniversary of the ICJ decision, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign issued a joint report entitled Rights without Remedy. The report examines the impact the Wall has had on the rights of the Palestinian population and the inadequacy of measures taken by Israel and the international community to ensure that the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion is implemented or redress provided to victims of damages or human rights violations caused by the Wall.

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Israeli Apartheid on Tour: Montreal Video

July 5, 2009

Photo: Valerian Mazataud

Photo: Valerian Mazataud

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A video report by filmmaker Boban Chaldovich of the final event of the Israeli Apartheid on Tour, from Montreal. The event on Bil’in was the last of an 11 city national tour on Bil’in village which saw Mohamed Khatib of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Emily Schaeffer, an Israeli lawyer representing the village of Bil’in, cross the country educating hundreds of people across Canada on the struggle of Bil’in against Israeli apartheid.

Bil’in village has launched a historic lawsuit in Quebec against two locally registered companies, Quebec Superior Court against Green Park International and Green Mount International, which are accused of illegally constructing residential and other buildings on the village’s lands. According to the lawsuit, the lands of Bil’in are subject to the rules and obligations of international law because the West Bank is currently under Israeli military occupation.