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Related Categories: Palestine | International | Anti-War
Report from Trees Not Walls in Budrus, Palestine
by ISM
Friday Jan 23rd, 2004 10:42 AM
Budrus, RAMALLAH] Hundreds of Palestinians - men and women, old and young,
Israelis and Internationals from at least 12 different countries* braved the pouring rain today and marched to plant olive tree saplings where the Israeli government has destroyed trees to build what it calls a "Security Wall."
Thursday, January 22, 2004

TREES NOT WALLS!
Hundreds March to Plant Trees

[Budrus, RAMALLAH] Hundreds of Palestinians - men and women, old and young,
Israelis and Internationals from at least 12 different countries* braved the
pouring rain today and marched to plant olive tree saplings where the
Israeli government has destroyed trees to build what it calls a "Security
Wall." The aims of today's action were:

- To take back the land illegally and unjustly bulldozed
for the wall (two weeks ago, a beautiful family olive
grove)
- To call for the International Court of Justice in the
Hague to rule against the Wall
- To show the Israeli Occupation Forces that the village
will not stop their peaceful resistance, despite being
shot, beaten and jailed.

Sixty Internationals and Israelis joined over 250 Palestinians and marched
down to stand in front of the machines flattening the village's farmland for
the path of the Wall. Upon sighting the crowd, the earthmovers digging up
the land stopped working and pulled back. The villagers set to work
planting 50 of the 500 olive trees (previously reported as 100) donated to
the village by Rabbis for Human Rights. As the villagers were planting the
trees on their land, the Border Police arrived and announced to the Israelis
in Hebrew that Israelis had 15 minutes to clear the area so the Border
Policemen could then "deal with the Palestinians". If the Israelis did not
leave, they would be arrested. The villagers, not wanting their supporters
and guests to be hurt, asked everyone to retreat for the day.

The villagers, having planted 50 trees today announced that they would not
stop their resistance to the destruction and confiscation of their land and
the attempt to turn their village into a walled-in ghetto. They thanked
everyone standing with them and called on the international community not to
turn a blind eye to this crime against humanity being executed in the 21st
Century. "And we say to Sharon, 'you may have the weapons to destroy our
land and lives, but you do not have the weapons to destroy our spirit, and
so we will not stay silent, and our friends will not let you destroy us
silently", said one villager, Fayed Ahmed.**

Budrus and the neighboring villages of Nihilin, Qibbya, and Medea stand to
lose 90% of their land to the Wall. The Wall is being built in a circle
around these villages and there will only be one gate to let villagers in
and out. In other villages where the land has been destroyed and the Wall
completed, gates remain almost permanently closed.

Budrus village has managed to stop the building of the Wall through peaceful
sit-ins on the land and the bulldozers. However, the response from the
Israeli Occupation Forces has been extreme - over 60 villagers have been
injured by rubber coated metal bullets, troops invade Budrus and open fire
with live bullets, 10 activists are imprisoned (including young children),
and women and children alike are beaten and heavily gassed at each
demonstration. The organizers of the village's nonviolent resistance have
been abducted from their homes in the middle of the night by the Israeli
military.

Good News: Tonight, Ayed Morrar was released after 8 days of interrogation
and abuse. Thank you to everyone who called and wrote to the Israeli
authorities on behalf of Ayed, Nai'm and the other villagers of Budrus
imprisoned for their resistance to the Wall. Nai'm and the other villagers
remain in Israeli custody.

Please continue to pressure your members of parliament and government
representatives to speak out and act against Israel's violations of
Palestinian human rights. Please do continue to call and write to the
Israeli authorities about Na'im Ahmed Hussein Morrar and those from Budrus,
imprisoned for their active but peaceful resistance.

Ofer Prison
+972-2 588-4202 or +972-2 588-4348

Israeli Prison Service Spokesman
Tel: +972 8 977 6806

Minister of Justice, Yosef Lapid
Phone: +972-2-646-6527
Fax: 0+972-2-628-5438

Military Attorney General, Brig. General Menahem Finkelstein
Fax: +972-3-569-4370

Meir Sheetrit, Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice, 29 Saleh al-Din Street
Jerusalem, 91010
Israel
Fax: +972 2 628 8618
E-Mail: sar [at] justice.gov.il

Mrs Orit Adato
Commissioner, Israeli Prison Service
Fax: +972 8 921 0649



For pictures from today's demonstration, please see: http://www.palsolidarity.org

For more information, please call:
Ahmed (Arabic): +972-66-339-862
Max (English): +972-53-471-226
Huwaida (Arabic & English): +972-67-473-308


* Countries represented: Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland,
France, Iceland, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, United States +
Israelis

** Pseudonym used for purpose of protection.
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