Regionen und Länder

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - www.gush-shalom.org/

International release
Febr. 25, 2004

While the world looks at The Hague, and suicide bombers are the only
Palestinians to make headlines, Palestinian farmers - and with them Israeli
and international peace activists - are engaged persistently in nonviolent
ways of fighting the Wall.
Beit Surik and Budrus - names of villages until recently not heard of.
The following are reports and articles of the past days as well as an
earlier
background article.

1- Blocking road to Defence Ministry - and spending the night at the police
2- Tuesday report Beit Surik: demonstrators under fire - 50 trees uprooted.
3- The sight of the army and Border Police was too much
4- Huwaida Arraf & Jessica Hanson arrested while protesting against Wall
5- An article from Huwaida Arraf published two days ago
6- 'The peaceful way works best'  - the example of Budrus
     By Gideon Levy, Haaretz Feb. 11

                                           (())(())(())(())

1- Blocking road to Defence Ministry - and spending the night at the police

It all began at 8:00 AM on Monday, February 23, in the parking lot outside
Tel Aviv's Habima Theater).  At the Hague, the International Court of
Justice was starting.  The Palestinians had organized mass protests
throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with Israelis explicitly invited to
take part in the more prominent actions.
"Anarchists against Fences" were headed for  Dir-el-Rasun - a village of
8,500 people north of Tul Karm, more than half of its lands were left on the
other side of the Israeli fence erected last year; and only some 10% of the
villages were granted permits to cross the fence and cultivate their lands.
In preliminary meetings the villagers had shown themselves enthusiastic
for Israeli participation.
However, while the bus driver stood waiting for the activists to arrive, a
man in civilian clothes approached and started interrogating him about his
plans and where the bus was headed for. Though pressed, the driver gave
no answer beyond "I am hired  to go somewhere in the north, my
passengers will give me more details en route." Losing patience, the
interrogator pulled out a police ID, informing the driver that the police
would follow the bus wherever it went, and "advising" him  to "give up
your plans and go home."

Indeed, from the moment the Anarchists boarded the bus and set out, they
had a police tail - first the original plainclothes detective on his
motorcycle, later joined by an increasing number of police partol cars.

The bus reached the Green Line (pre-'67 border) and set out on Route 5 - a
major east-west highway bisecting the West Bank and mainly used by
settlers. In general, police and army patrols on that road are instructed to
stop any car with Palestinian plates and let Israeli ones proceed. But not
this particular Israeli bus. It was stopped about 20 kilometers
into the West Bank and ordered to pull to the side, while settler cars
continued to whiz by.
The police took the driver's  license and also demanded the keys to the
bus.  When the driver refused to surrender these, the police changed tack
"Turn back immediately, you are in a closed military zone". - "What about
these settler cars ? Why aren't you stopping them?" - That's none of your
business".

Following this, the group decided to try to reach their destination by a
different road, but with no greater success.  Near Qalqilya the bus was
again stopped.  This time the driver was informed that were he to be
caught one more single time in the Territories, his license would be taken
away for 30 days.
While wating at the road block and arguing with police, a phone call from
Dir-el-Rasun informed the activists that the villagers had already held
their
rally - to be immediately dispersed by a heavy barrage of tear gas from the
army.
Refusing to end the day in frustration,  the Anarchists improvised a new
plan: destination - the Defence Ministry in Tel-Aviv. The police were
waiting there, too, a phalanx blocking the approaches to the military
complex's main gate. But the Anarachists went a bit further along the
Defence Ministry outer wall, leaving the police behind, and then sat down
in the middle of the road, blocking it to traffic and displaying T-shirts
with
the words "The Wall - Ghetto 2004" on a backgrond of barbed wire.
They had sat no more than five minutes when the police came up and
waded in with little ado. No less than fourteen activists were kicked and
beaten while being dragged to the waiting patrol cars, all the while
chanting "The Wall will fall! The Wall will fall!"  The scene was caught by
hastily-called press photographers, to appear  the following day on the
pages of "Yediot Aharonot" and "Ha'aretz".
Unlike most such cases, the police refused to release the detainees that
evening, and insisted on letting them spend the night in the Abu Kabir
Detention Center. Moreover, on being unloaded at the Harakevet Street
Police Station, several of the detainees were treated to an additional,
gratuitous round of beating, one of them getting his nose broken.

The following morning before Judge Muki Lansman of the Tel-Aviv
Magistrate's Court, the police wanted to make their release conditional
upon their staying five days in house arrest and undertaking "Not to come
for the next thirty days within a one-kilometre radius of the Defence
Ministry". A protest by Adv. Gabi Lasky got the house arrest dropped
and the restriction reduced to "10 days of not coming within 200 metres of
the ministry".
At the time of writing, an offcial complaint about the beatings is being
prepared.
Contact: cat@squat.net

[The above is based on the account written by Dorothy Naor,
supplemented by infornmation given verbally by several of the Anarchists
themselves.]