| Eyewitness report from Ramallah||0 comments|
|3 Apr 2002 @ 17:33, by Flemming Funch|
It makes me sick to read about the travesties going on in the Israeli occupied areas in Palestine. Below is a report from an American student visiting Ramallah, plus some comments. It is from this site. Very depressing. Although, a somewhat positive news item from today, if you read a little further is:
"Today, between 5,000 and 6,000 people -- Israeli peace activists, Palestinians in Israel and Palestinian MK's in the Israeli Knesset -- marched to the Kalandia checkpoint, with several aims:
1. To ensure that urgently needed aid people here had collected - medicines and food - would enter Ramallah.
2. For the Palestinians, to try to enter Ramallah, breaking the military closure around the city and protesting against the curfew and occupation;
3. To protest America's open support for the clearly illegal occupation, and re-assault in the West Bank. "
Tuesday, April 2, 2002
Ramallah, Occupied Palestine -- My name is Tzaporah Ryter.
I am an American student from the University of Minnesota. I
currently am in Ramallah. We are under a terrible siege and people are
being massacred by both the Israeli army and armed militia groups of
Israeli settlers. They are shooting outside at anything that moves. I am
urgently pleading for as much outside help as possible to help save lives
here. I arrived in Ramallah last Thursday. I had come back for a visit to
the Palestinian city where I had been previously living and studying.
On Thursday afternoon, the Israeli army began sealing off each entrance to
Ramallah and there were rumors that they planned to invade. People were
rushing back home from across checkpoints and also people were trying to
flee. People were not allowed to go out and many working people with homes
and children to return to were not allowed in,everyone was trying to take
cover. Those traveling in began desperately searching for alternative ways
and traveling in groups, but the Israelis were firing upon them and
everyone was running and screaming. Women carrying their children were
trying desperately to flee from Ramallah,carrying infants and toddlers, and
their young children were running along in the rain through the fields,
slipping and falling on the rocks, trying to reach safety. Israeli jeeps
were speeding across the terrain pulling up from every direction and
shooting at the women and children, and also at me, as we ran in opposite
directions. They were chasing down people, hunting them like that in the
fields. When I reached Ramallah, people were panicking and trying to buy
bread, rice and milk from corner stores, but most supplies were already
gone. We bought what we could and went inside to wait for what was coming.
When night fell, Israeli tanks began to invade and also we saw Israeli
troops coming on foot from the valley, and surrounding our house. I could
hear them calling to each other in Hebrew. They were against our door and
all around. They were firing everywhere a barrage of bullets and there was
tank fire. We had to lay on the floor and keep silent. We stayed there, on
the floor, for nearly four days in the darkness. We knew that our
circumstances were better than others because old people or infants or
people with medical emergency needs had no help. It was very cold, with
most families packed all in one room. Some people are without life
sustaining medicines like insulin, and they are altering their doses
dangerously if they have any medicine left to take. People are becoming
dangerously sick from lack of food and water and heat. The fear and terror
only makes things worse, but it cannot be avoided. In the daytime, we heard
them shooting people in the streets, and could hear them screaming and
screaming. No ambulance was allowed through. Then their screams stopped and
there was just silence.
We had a telephone and would receive calls from all over telling us what
was happening. Everyone is in grave danger and Israeli soldiers were
killing people everywhere. They are arresting medics and ambulance drivers,
including foreign volunteer medical workers. They keep taking doctors and
medics, just now another call. Again, this time the wife of a doctor
telling us her husband has been taken from the ambulance. Large groups of
people have been found in rooms, shot dead, there are blood marks where
they have lined people up on their knees and shot them, with their ID cards
laying on top of them. They are taking people from their homes,
blindfolding them, removing their clothes, taking them away or lining them
up and shooting them against the wall. People are making phone calls and
saying that these soldiers and militia have come in and are shooting people
and then the line cuts off. The numbers of these killings I fear are much
greater than the numbers confirmed in the press, because the human rights
offices and the media centers have been stormed, and everything is shut
down. No one can move without almost certain chance of being shot by the
Isreali snipers, who are everywhere. The Israelis are demanding that all
journalists leave Ramallah and today another foreign journalist was shot.
They do not want any more internationals here and are deporting people. It
seems quite clear that they do not want eyewitnesses which is only
heightening my own fears.
The hospitals have also been surrounded and invaded and Israeli troops are
taking the injured people and interrogating them. Today a woman, a patient,
tried to walk out from hospital. The Israelis shot her in the neck and
killed her. The Palestinian Ministry of Health is saying that they fear the
spread of diseases because of the number of unburied corpses. The numbers
are only growing in reports of the mass killings here and Israeli troops
continue to round up people. People are calling frantically, missing a
relative and we do not know where they have been taken, including children.
The numbers we have now exceed 600, and we are estimating between 700 and
800. All human rights groups and legal advocates are being denied any
information of where the detained are being held. From what we know
confirmed is that 10% of those taken so far have been children under age
18. On the fourth day I decided to try to move. People were running out of
supplies and I also was so worried about people, and had to check to see if
they were okay. If I didn't, I feared panic would overtake me so badly that
I really had no other choice but to try and go. It was not safe where I was
in any case and at least if I left I would still have my sanity. It was
really terrifying as there are some internationals here, usually traveling
in groups, and the Israelis are saying on the radio that they will arrest
or shoot the internationals. They did shoot some yesterday and regardless,
it's not as if snipers differentiate and they are everywhere. My friends
told me not to go, and were really scared for me, but I had to go.
When I went outside, there were cars all shot up and hit by multiple
bullets and shells in the middle of the road, unparked. There must have
been people in them but I dont know where their bodies are. There are no
reports of them, but they must exist I got to the corner trying to go to
the bakery for bread and food for people. Some people were calling and
calling with only one cup of rice left. I made it to the corner but they
opened fire on my first try, and shot at me,so I had to turn back. After
that I tried again and it took me one day to make it a block because I had
to start over again and again. I had to climb through the valley, and as I
passed house by house, people were warning me and pointing out what path
seemed safest for these two minutes. In the next two minutes, it would be
something different. They really helped to keep my path safe.
Today is Day Five and they are still rounding up people like this and we
hear them shooting all day long. This afternoon the Israelis suddenly
lifted the curfew, suddenly announcing that everyone had two hours to go
out to get food. However, the Israeli soldiers also took food from many of
the stores, looted, and there is no bread or things. People went to get
whatever they could. Even though the Israeli army said it had lifted the
closure for two hours in which we still were not able to transfer medical
supplies and still was not long enough to everything that was badly needed
the Israelis continued shooting people in the streets indiscriminately on
their way, so people were running around trying to make it to the store or
find a safe route only to have to run back home again. It was an added
cruelty and terror tactic inthis macabre situation, a sick joke: starve
people and then shoot them when they try to find food with your permission.
In an apartment building in Beitunia neighborhood where I used to live,
they took 60 people who were my neighbors, including several familes, and
pushed them into one room since last night. The Israelis told them that
they are to be used as an human shieldsÂ’ as the apartment building is
across from a building that they were invading. One child needs to go to
the hospital since last night and, initially, the families were able to
call outside. Now, the Israelis have taken their phones.
There are reports that they are rounding up men between the ages of 14 and
45 in that neighborhood, and these civilians, from these same Palestinian
families trapped in that building, were just used to walk in front of an
Israeli tank as it invaded the Preventative Security Compound. Reports also
have alleged that the Israelis were saying that some could leave but shot
them when they attempted to leave. The buildings there are burning, and
people are trapped inside. We keep calling to try to find people but there
has been no electricity and most people's phones are dead now. I do not
know what is happening to many people. The only solution to this is to try
to brave the deadly streets in order to check, but its almost impossible
and terrifying to leave the house at all. Each place I come to, I am afraid
to leave not only for myself but for everyone else in this horrifying
Israeli death squads have been yanking people into the street. I also hear
only shooting and shooting, with no return fire. This suggest that unarmed
civilians are being gunned down mercilessly everywhere and I am so scared
for everyone. I feel like maybe if I leave one place, one area or
neighborhood I will never see the people again alive. There are more
explosions outside now and more shooting. Another explosion. More firing,
it just doesnt't stop. This is a massacre.
The foreign delegations tried to get in but were turned back, the
International Committee of the Red Cross is trying to help but they are
being ignored. Please help. I am not only scared for myself and for people
here, but if this cannot be stopped, I am truly scared for all of humanity,
for a world in which we send men to the moon but cannot stop ethnic
cleansing. On the news in America, we see hardly anything of
demonstrations. What are you doing over there?
There do not seem to be any reports of what is happening. In truth, it's
got to stop. Please go out to the streets, please demand a response from
your representatives. Be loud, march up to the capitals, refuse to leave
until the Israelis withdraw.
Act now! Tell them the Israelis are murdering innocent people whose only
crime is being born in their own homeland, a Palestinian under a military
occupation. Demand international protection for the Palestinian people,
scream that this is an affront to humanity and that it is time that the US
not only stop supporting Israel, but that the US stop its abuse of human
rights within its own borders. This is about all of our struggles.
For the love of God, please stop this slaughter. Please help.
(END OF REPORT)
(Jean Hudon's Comments...)
As I read this poignant call for help from a human being just like you and
me going through what can only be described as the murderous, ethnic
cleansing policy of the Sharon government, I only felt like crying in
despair and horror.
Israel is supposed to be a civilized, sophisticated society, not some
medieval hold-out of bloody fanatics out to kill everything that moves just
for the sake of satisfying some lurid desire for vengeance.
Another Rwanda is now taking place under our very eyes, and everybody seems
to be looking the other way, once again...
All governments throughout the world must obviously be aware of what is
going on right now in Palestine. And they seem to do nothing except paying
lip service by publically proferring vain, pitifully inadequate
condemnations of Israel's grossly murderous policy of genocide - and in the
case of George W Bush, he is even overtly condoning this policy, and by so
doing he is, to me and in the face of history, its fully consenting
accomplice. This does not bode well for the future of America, for the
future of our quickly uncivilizing world, and for the future of democracy
If the power of those hidden manipulators and cabalists holding a
stranglehold grip onto so many elected politicians around the world - which
is the only reason why Ariel Sharon can get away with what he is doing - is
not quickly countered by a popular - and *peaceful* - uprising against this
inhumane policy, then a much worst and wider conflict could ensue, and our
very future on this environmentally bleeding planet would then be in even
greater jeopardy -- for while all attention and resources would be diverted
to this war, the ongoing and entirely human-made catastrophe of planeticide
will continue unabated and unattended.
Please consider this as a possibility to be taken seriously.
There is still time to stop this policy of terror, but there is preciously
little of it left...
ACTION IS URGENTLY NEEDED NOW!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
Visit this website above to find out more about this worldwide information
P.S. I wish I could tell you what can be done - there are some useful
resources for action below though - besides the obvious which is to
circulate this entire email to all your contacts (copied and pasted into a
new email as for all the Internet petitions) and hopefully eveyone else
receiving it will do likewise immediately and very soon there will be
hundreds of thousands if not millions of people (especially in the US)
reading this and getting also activated to just do something about this. If
you feel like me and would like to add your personal comments before
sending it to your list, I heartily encourage you to do so as this cannot
be just a matter of a few people protesting this horror. The chorus of
voices raised against this must become deafeningly loud for our coward
governments to hear it, our media to perhaps echo it and Israelis people to
come out of their stupor and stop their government and army from continuing
this incredibly evil thing they are doing. This is NOT about turning
against Jews who have suffered more than enough throughout history. This is
NOT about hating those who are committing these crimes and those condoning
their actions - for there is already far too much hate and anger to go
around and far not enough loving compassion for ALL human, divinely
ensouled beings. This is about reclaiming our humanity and affirming loud
and clear our will to live in a world free from all forms of violence, a
world caring for all its children and for all generations to come, a world
where the Will of God will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
NOTE FROM JEAN: If you are not on the Earth Rainbow Network e-list and
receive this as a forward, there are 3 other compilations posted yesterday
that will give you much more details as to what is going on in Palestine...
The X-Files #12: Kafkaesque, Grotesque and Downright Putrid (04/01/2002)
Media compilation #60: Ethnically Cleansing Palestine? (04/01/2002)
Miscellaneous Subjects #138: The Insanity of War (04/02/2002)
I also STRONGLY recommend you read more such reports as above at
[link] (try it again if it
does not work immediately as it is likely to be a very busy URL)
Here are some excerpts of what is posted there:
Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Report from Kalandia Checkpoint
Posted by The Editor
Sent 3 April 2002, 6:23PM Palestinian Time (GMT 2)
Kalandia checkpoint -- Today, between 5,000 and 6,000 people -- Israeli
peace activists, Palestinians in Israel and Palestinian MK's in the Israeli
Knesset -- marched to the Kalandia checkpoint, with several aims:
1. To ensure that urgently needed aid people here had collected - medicines
and food - would enter Ramallah.
2. For the Palestinians, to try to enter Ramallah, breaking the military
closure around the city and protesting against the curfew and occupation;
3. To protest America's open support for the clearly illegal occupation,
and re-assault in the West Bank.
Update on faculty, staff and students at Birzeit University
Ramallah is without water
Israeli military turns off water to all Ramallah
Wednesday, April 3, 2002
These children, again,...
Posted by Arjan El Fassed
Ram, Occupied Palestine - The children, who lost their mom, 64 years old
Sumaya, and her son Khaled yesterday, are still in the bathroom of their
home in the old city of Bethlehem. The bodies have still not been
evacuated. Ambulances and medical personnel, including the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been prevented access by the Israeli
forces, despite the desperate humanitarian crisis. Nine children remain in
the bathroom. The bodies are decomposing and nor the bodies nor the
children are allowed to be evacuated. Two hours ago, a local cameraman,
accompanied by a journalist have visisted the home. The images already have
been broadcasted on an Arab Satelite Channel.
A demonstration at the checkpoint
MANY MORE ARTICLES!
<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
LESLEY WHITING ALSO SENT THIS...
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002
Subject: We need help! Send help now please!
The presidential compound in Ramallah is currently being fired upon. We
still have 34 foreign peace activists inside. There is a dire shortage of
food and no water. They urgently need medical supplies. Please see the
appeal below. Also posted on website. Palestinian doctors were forced to
dig a mass grave in the parking lot of the Ramallah hospital today to bury
25 of the dead bodies that have been retrieved over the past 4 days. Though
it is difficult to get an accurate count of the dead due to the Israeli
military preventing medical workers from operating, doctors were forced to
make room in the hospital morgue. We have been unable to bury the dead
properly due to the Israeli siege and their open shoot policy. Pictures
available on website. A 55-year old woman by the name of Widad Majed Nimr
Safwan was shot dead by Israeli snipers as she left the Ramallah hospital
this morning where she came for treatment of her broken leg. Widad left
the Shiekh Khaled bin Zayed hospital at approximately 11am this morning, to
have her dead body carried back by an Italian peace worker at 11:15am.
Snipers shot Widad in the cheek and back of the neck. PLEASE keep up the
pressure on your respective governments.
We really need help here.
SEND HELP NOW
As members of the international civilian peace force on the ground in the
besieged Palestinian towns of Ramallah and Bethlehem, we are sending out an
urgent call for help.
First of all we'd like to confirm that there are 34 foreign civilians still
inside the Presidential compound, under siege by Israeli forces. They are
27 French, 2 Germans, 1 British, 1 Belgian, 1 Brazilian, 1 Israeli/Canadian
and 1 Irish. They have been in there since Sunday, March 31, 2002. They
are reporting to us a severe shortage of food, no water and a desperate
need for medical supplies. We have repeatedly attempted to deliver food,
water and medicine via a Red Crescent ambulance but the Israeli military is
not allowing the aid through. The foreign peace activists inside the
compound are calling for immediate international intervention. They have
issued an urgent call to their respective ambassadors. In addition to the
ambassadors, we are calling upon UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, EU Foreign
Minister Javier Solana, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, General Anthony
Zinni, and EU Special Envoy Miguel Moratinos to come immediately to
Ramallah and intervene to stop the Israeli assault on all Palestinian
cities and people.
Up until now unarmed foreign civilians have been doing the work that our
governments and the international community should be doing and MUST START
DOING NOW. We have now also become purposeful targets of the Israeli
military. Yesterday Israeli soldiers opened fire on a large group foreign
peace activists in Beit Jala, wounding six (2 Americans, 3 British and 1
Australian). Now international peace activists are in Ramallah, Bethlehem,
Hebron, the Dhaishe refugee camp, Aida refugee camp, and Azza refugee camp,
serving as human shields to protect the Palestinian people. The Israeli
government has declared martial law in Ramallah and Bethlehem and has
ordered all of us out. We refuse to leave. Some of us have already been
arrested and deported for our solidarity work with the Palestinian people.
We need help NOW. The United Nations and the International Committee of the
Red Cross are being prevented from working inside the besieged Palestinian
towns. The Palestinian Red Crescent society and aid workers are being
detained by Israeli forces and their ambulances are denied passage to
deliver humanitarian aid and to pick up wounded and the dead. Ambulances
are also being shot at and medics and doctors forced to sit on their knees
at gunpoint in the streets.
We appeal to the world not to remain silent and to come to the Occupied
Palestinian Territories to help protect the Palestinian people. WE are
witnessing war crimes and must work to stop this! We will continue our
attempts to help the Palestinian people, despite the danger on our lives.
The United Nations and our respective governments must intervene now,
decisively and unconditionally.
WE NEED HELP! SEND HELP NOW! PLEASE.
Please contact your political representatives immediately and ask them to
urge a cessation of hostilities on both sides. Also encourage them to urge
the use of international observers, many of whom are currently in Ramallah
and the surrounding area.
You can easily find how to contact for your own U.S. Senators and
Congresspeople at [link]
To begin, here are four important people to address in the United States.
Use phone AND fax AND email:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvanian Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1111 -- Fax: (202) 456-2461 -- E-mail: email@example.com
Vice President Dick Cheney
(The White House, as above)
National Security Advisor
(The White House, as above)
Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Phone: (202) 647-6575 -- Fax: (202) 261-8577 -- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITED NATIONS ADMINISTRATION:
Prime minister Jean Chretien
Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister:
Fax: 972 2 651 2631
Benjamin Ben Eliezer, Israeli Minister of Defense
Shimon Peres, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs
Here is the phone number of the IDF Commander for the Ramallah area
(from the US):
Voice your protest to him personally.
<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
YESTERDAY I RECEIVED THIS WHICH CAN BE VERY USEFUL EVEN TODAY IF YOU CHOOSE
TO TAKE ACTION
From: "David Harris"
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002
1. ADC Action Alert: Nationwide White House Call-In/Email Campaign on Palestine
ADC strongly urges all its members and supporters to join a nationwide
call-in/email campaign to the White House tomorrow, Tuesday, April 2,
between the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM eastern time, to protest Israel's
onslaught against the Palestinians and to demand an end to the illegal
Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Remember that the White House will take a tally of all calls and e-mails it
receives, so every single call you make or email you send counts. This is
the least we can do to show our support and solidarity with the Palestinian
people who are being subjected to around-the-clock Israeli aggression. So
alert your family and friends to join you tomorrow, in what will only take
a few minutes of your time, but will mean so much.
WHITE HOUSE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Tel: 202-456-1111 (Public comment line where you can leave a message)
Tel: 202-456-1414 (President's Office)
TALKING POINTS: Reminder: Keep your comments, brief, polite and simple.
1. Demand that President Bush immediately act to enforce Security Council
Resolution 1402, which the US voted for on Saturday and which the State
Department and the UN Secretary General endorsed today. Resolution1402
demands an immediate Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian areas
re-invaded since Friday.
2. Emphasize that there is no military solution to the conflict. Peace and
security for both Israelis and Palestinians can only come with an end to
the 34-year old Israeli occupation. Urge President Bush to embrace the
Saudi-initiated Arab League Declaration offering Israel peace and normal
relations with all the Arab states in return for Israel withdrawing fully
from the West Bank Gaza and East Jerusalem and a just resolution to the
refugee problem based on UN resolutions. The Arab League plan provides the
best opportunity in years to resolve the conflict, meets the stated needs
of all parties and is consistent with international law.
3. Express your outrage that Israeli occupation forces have reportedly been
attacking Palestinian medical services and personnel, including hospitals,
ambulances, doctors and nurses, and paramedics.
4. Urge President Bush to express as much outrage about Israel's killing of
over 1,200 Palestinians in 17 months as he does concerning the deaths of
400 Israelis in the same period. Most of the dead on both sides are unarmed
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
4201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 300 Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196
Web : [link]
2. Sample letter of protest to Colin Powell
To U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
I am writing to urge the United States to immediately implement UN Security
Council Resolution 1402, passed last week with the support of the United
States, requiring the immediate withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces
from Palestinian towns and cities, especially Ramallah.
Openly defying the will of international community, Israel is continuing
its widespread attacks against the entire Palestinian population including
medical facilities and personnel.
Israeli occupation forces are currently attacking the headquarters of the
Medical Relief Committees in Ramallah. The Haaretz website reported at 6 PM
local time that:
"The Ramallah headquarters of the Medical Relief Committees came unde
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