On the 35th anniversary of the murder of four non-violent protestors at Kent State, comes this press release from the International Solidarity Movement:
School Children Murdered by Israeli Military at Anti-Wall Protest
Beit Liqya, Ramallah, West Bank
Two cousins, 14 and 15 years old, were shot dead today by Israeli
soldiers who opened fire on a demonstration against the Apartheid
Wall in the village of Beit Liqya.
After school ended for the day students went out to protest against
the illegal Wall which is right now cutting through their homes and
lands threatening the livelihood and freedom of movement of the
entire region. Israeli soldiers, positioned on a hill above the
demonstration, met the student’s confrontation with live fire.
According to eye witnesses, the two boys were shot by the same
soldier from a distance of 5 to 10 meters.
Jamal Jaber Ibrahim Assi, 15, received a bullet in the heart and
died at the scene. Odai Mufid Mahmoud Assi, 14, was shot in the
left side of his stomach. The two boys, who were cousins, were
rushed by ambulance to the village of Biddu while doctors tried in
vain to save Obai. He died enroute to the hospital. Their bodies
are currently in the Ramallah Government Hospital.
Less than 5km away in the neighboring village of Bil’in, residents
organized a non violent action against the annexation wall.
Sixteen people, nine Palestinians, joined by Israelis and
internationals chained themselves to the olive trees while fifty
others demonstrated. Bil’in farmers had received notice yesterday
that eighty five olive trees would be uprooted to make way for the
illegal Wall and called for International and Israeli support.
After a stand off that lasted four hours, the Israeli military using
excessive force cut the chains and dragged away twelve of the non-
violent protesters, arresting 6 Internationals and 5 Israelis.
The six Internationals arrested are scheduled to have deportation
hearings at Ben Gurion airport at 8:30 AM Thursday morning 5 May
after which they may be immediately deported from the country. They
are Atle from Norway, Maria from Greece, Yohan from Sweden, Nathan
and Gabe from the United States, and Ester.
Please call the Ministry of the Interior to protest their
deportation and point out that the building of the Wall was ruled
illegal by the International Court of Justice in the Hague which
ordered that it be dismantled. This ruling has been ignored by the
Israeli government which continues to build the Wall each day
destroying more homes and trees as it steals more Palestinian land.
phone: 972 26701411
fax: 972 26701628
All the Palestinians who were initially detained were all released.
All 5 arrested Israelis were released after agreeing not to return
to Bil’in for 15 days.
For more information:
Flo 0544 059-676088 059-676088
Photos and additional article from Stop the Wall
See our last post on Israeli attacks on peaceful protests at Bilin
Hundreds of Israelis demonstrate against the murders
See also http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/572451.html
May 5, 2005
1) Report of a spontaneous protest in Tel-Aviv, Adam Keller
links to Ha’aretz and Ynet reports
“Killing of children, moral bankruptcy”. Arrests during Tel Aviv rally
Holocaust Day is not normally chosen as a day for protest demonstrations by the Israeli peace movement, though sensivity is eroding by the crude instrumentalization of the memorial events. But the timing of today’s protest was none of our choosing.
In the bus on the way to the Defence Ministry, the voice of Prime Minister Sharon, radio broadcast from Poland: “From the Auschwitz Extermination Camp, I tell you: now we Jews can defend ourselves!”. Maybe, the shooting down of two unarmed Palestinian boys at the village of Beit Likia last night was also part of “Jews defending themselves”?
As it gradually came out, in the late afternoon yesterday Beit Likia boys had been playing soccer at an empty field a bit outside their village. They suddenly got the urge to stage a protest at another field nearby, where the army habitually parks the bulldozers for the night – the fearsome machines which daily tear up the village fields, much of which stand to be forever alienated once the fence is set tup. The boys went to the bulldozer park, with no Israelis or internationals or even adult Palestinians present. Two of them, aged 14 and 15, did not survive the encounter with the bulldozers’ guardian soldiers. (To those not familiar with the geography: Beit Likia is a few kilometres south of Bil’in, where last week’s clash with the army took place).
Shortly before midnight last night the news spread fast by phone, even before the media published it. The Anarchists Against Fences who are in close daily contact with the villagers of this region got the news and immediately spread it to the other groups and suggested an emergency joint protest at the Ministry of Defence. The others – ourselves of Gush Shalom, Courage to Refuse, Yesh Gvul, Ta’ayush, Women for Peace – immediately accepted and hardly drawing breath started to spread the alarm by phone and email.
And so, there were between three and four hundred streaming to the Defence Ministry gates. The small parking lot where we often used to rally on this location has now been obliterated by urban renovators and building contractors, leaving only a very narrow strip of pavement in along which a long long picket line could spread and face the traffic with their upraised placards and banners:”Who is breaking the cease-fire?” “Who has blood on his hands?” “Sharon is no partner!” “The Occupation is killing us all”. Some exchanges with passing motorists: “But they were throwing stones!” “Does that carry a capital punishment?” “Yes, if they are not settlers”…
After an hour, a shift. A large part of the crowd takes to the street, banners waving, with the repeated chant: “Mofaz, hey hey, how many kids did you kill today?” They walk over street after street, across the town, encountering not unfriendly crowds on the bustling Ibn Gvirol Street and on until the Likud Party Headquarters on King George Street. There, the seemingly inevitable conclusion: riot police charging, breaking up the lines, dragging six protesters into the waiting patrol cars to the din of “Police State!” and “Down with the occupation!” from dozens of young throats.
On TV, minor politicians still mouth clinches about the Holocaust. The dozens of protesters who intend to spend this night in solidarity outside the Harakevet Street Police Station might have learned some more essential lessons.