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Palestine | International

Poisoning the land and stealing trees
by ISM
Wednesday Mar 23rd, 2005 12:41 AM
1. The Theft Behind the Wall
2. Court Convicts Rabbi of Interfering in House Demolitions
3. Palestinian Hillside Poisoned, Likely By Maon and Havat Maon
Settlers (from Operation Dove)
4. April 13, 2005: International Day of Action against Caterpillar
5. ISM Journal: Palm Sunday under occupation
1. The Theft Behind the Wall

At 2:00pm Tuesday, residents of Bil'in joined by Israelis and
Internationals protested the joint attempt by the Israeli
authorities and settlers to steal their trees and land.

Monday, a settler working for a private Israeli company "Dachporai
Habikaa" uprooted over 30-40 olive trees from the villagers' land
located on the western side of the Wall and began transporting the
uprooted trees to the Kiryat Sefer settlement.

Residents of Bil'in contacted the local Israeli military District
Coordination Office (DCO). The DCO instructed the villagers not to
approach their land and told them that the border police have been
given instructions not to allow them to approach the site. Border
police cordoned off the area which the Bil'in residents were later
able to circumvent.

When the landowners arrived at the site, they saw several of the
trees were already stolen and met the driver, a settler form the
neighboring Kiryat Sefer settlement as he was on his way to collect
the remaining uprooted trees. After Israeli human rights groups
contacted the police, the uprooted trees were replanted.

Meanwhile inside the village, Israeli border police stationed
themselves behind one of the houses in the village. One police
officer approached the front of the house and knocked on the door.
After receiving no answer, the border police pried open a window to
the house and threw in a concussion grenade. A neighbor alerted the
border police that a fire that had started by the grenade but were
told to mind there own business. Only after one of the bedrooms in
the home was destroyed by the fire were the neighbors given
permission to extinguish the fire.

Despite indications of reviving the `road map' which requires a
freeze on Israeli settlement growth, the route of the Wall near
Bil'in has been specifically designed to incorporate a planned
settlement, Menura, as an extension of the Kiryat Sefer settlement.
1,300 dunam of agricultural land used for regional crops were
confiscated by the state of Israel for the construction of Kiryat
Sefer settlement, but 200 dunam of olive trees remained in
Palestinian hands. Now Bil'in will lose an additional 1,000 dunam
behind the Wall. The planned route of the Wall comes four meters
from the last house in the village, destroying a well that serves as
the only source of water for two households.

Much of the land confiscated for the existing and planned
settlements illustrate that the same corrupt methods documented in
Talya Sassoon's report on settlement outposts have also been used
for settlements recognized by the state of Israel.

******************

2. Court Convicts Rabbi of Interfering in House Demolitions

Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights, was convicted
Tuesday for "interfering with police performance of duties" on two
different occasions in 2003, and "the intention to commit acts to
prevent police from performing their duties." On the two occasions
mentioned, Rabbi Ascherman was trying to prevent the demolition of
Palestinian homes. Ascherman, who was tried along with other
activists, claims Israel has tried to prevent Palestinian growth in
the city by creating bureaucratic obstacles to obtaining building
permits. He says he blocked the bulldozers because he had a moral
responsibility to stop them.

For full article see: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/555417.html

******************

3. Palestinian Hillside Poisoned, Likely By Maon and Havat Maon
Settlers - Operation Dove

Early this morning, March 22, 2005, the Palestinian shepherds of At-
Tuwani discovered that the hillside next to Havat Maon outpost was
covered in tiny green poison pellets, affecting more than 20 dunam
of land. The pellets were strategically placed under bushes on
which the sheep usually graze, prompting the shepherds to quickly
move their flocks from the hill. The poison was also placed close
to one of the village's major water sources and it is unclear
whether this has also been poisoned.

The shepherds immediately called the Israeli police who eventually
arrived to take samples, pictures and statements. The shepherds are
unsure when the hill will be cleaned and when they can return with
their sheep.

Settlers from Maon and Havat Maon have a long history of harassing
village residents, poisoning their wells, destroying property and
beating residents. In the last two months alone, international
volunteers have recorded at least 20 incidents of settler violence
against South Hebron Hill shepherds who are grazing their sheep. In
fact, only five days before this recent poisoning, a Maon settler
security officer told international volunteers that he wanted
a "demarcation zone" around the settlement where neither
Palestinians nor settlers could go. He warned that if the village
did not agree to such a zone, he had "ways of making it happen."

The shepherds of At-Tuwani will not be able to graze on the hillside
next to the Israeli outpost of Havot Maon for a while, leaving even
less space to graze. Two weeks ago the Israeli military informed
villagers that the area south of the village had been made into a
military firing zone and they were forbidden from grazing their
sheep there. The shepherds have been prevented from grazing to the
north of the village, as they are prohibited from crossing the
Israeli settler road. To the west of At-Tuwani, shepherds have
undergone illegal harassment from both settlers and soldiers as they
tried to graze within 400 meters of Maon settlement.

Israeli settlements, including Maon, are illegal according to
International law. The outpost of Havat Maon, along with other
outposts in South Hebron Hills, are illegal according to both
International and Israeli law.

http://www.operazionecolomba.org

******************

4. APRIL 13, 2005: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST CATERPILLAR
ENDORSE THE "CAT DECLARATION" & TAKE NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION

The Chicago chapter of the International Solidarity Movement is
issuing a call to action against Caterpillar on Wednesday, April 13,
2005, to protest the role CAT equipment plays in the illegal
demolition of Palestinian homes, olive groves and infrastructure.

We strongly urge all organizations committed to justice and peace to
visit http://www.catdestroyshomes.org to endorse the "Declaration Regarding
Caterpillar Violations of Human Rights." We further call for
worldwide protests and nonviolent direct actions at Caterpillar
facilities. Our fight is not with Caterpillar workers but with
management who refuse to acknowledge the role their equipment plays
in the illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

On April 23, 2004, despite numerous requests for a meeting,
including one made at the annual shareholder meeting in Chicago,
hundreds of activists traveled to CATERPILLAR Headquarters in Peoria
(Illinois) with the parents of Rachel Corrie who wanted to meet with
CAT chairman James Owens, he refused to meet with them. As all of
you are aware, Rachel Corrie was a volunteer with the International
Solidarity Movement who was murdered in Rafah (Gaza) on March 16
(2003) by an Israeli soldier using a Caterpillar bulldozer. She was
attempting to prevent an illegal home demolition.

If you live in the Midwestern region of the United States, we ask
that you join us in Chicago for our local action at the annual
shareholders meeting of Caterpillar. As resolutions regarding the
role CAT equipment plays in illegal home demolition in Palestine are
offered inside to the shareholders meeting, we will raise awareness
outside with our street protest. We can assist with housing and
logistics for those traveling to Chicago. Visit our local website at
http://www.stopcat.org or e-mail us at info [at] stopcat.org for more
information.

Palestine solidarity activists in the United States and around the
world can aid our outreach efforts by placing this call to action on
your local Indymedia website along with all listservs that you can
access.

STOP CAT ON APRIL 13, 2004!
SUPPORT PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS!

*********************

5. ISM Journal: Palm Sunday under occupation
by Donna

There was a carnival atmosphere in Bethlehem's `Manger Square' on
Palm Sunday: after all, it was a holy Christian day for a
predominantly Christian town close to the holy city of Jerusalem
where it all happened!

A colourful crowd had gathered to mark the occasion; some American
Christians started singing gospel songs, identifying themselves from
the "Every church a peace church" movement. They mingled with a wide
cross-section of the Bethlehem community: young and old
Palestinians, men and women, Christian and Muslim and a good mix of
other internationals from various countries.

To read the full article on the ISM website please see:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/DesktopModules/Articles/ArticlesView.asp
x?tabID=0&alias=Rainbow&lang=en-US&ItemID=840&mid=10618

You can view pictures from the Palm Sunday demo at:
http://www.donnainpalestine.photosite.com

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Christian citynot any moreWednesday Mar 23rd, 2005 12:56 AM