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Latest eye-witness news from palestine
03/09/02 at 07:15:19


tis exclusive latest on the situation in palestine..
Greetings. The third invasion of Bethlehem is under way. So far the human toll is much like the last invasion of Bethlehem in OCt 2001: innocent civilians.

Attached is a repport written by a friend in Beit Jala named ----------. Please use it as you phone President Bush and demand the Israelis get out of Palestine.


The Occupation Kills  

Today the 8th of March 2002, Bethlehem area witnesses another episode of the indiscriminate and brutal Israeli attacks on the Palestinian villages, cities and refugee camps.  

Today, was a bloody day for the Palestinians all over the West Bank and Gaza strip. The day hasn't finished yet, but so far there are almost 36 Palestinians killed. 23 in Gaza and 13 in the west bank, 6 of them in Bethlehem area.  

This new cycle of terror started on Bethlehem area, 2nd of March, when the Israeli apache’s shelled the security forces headquarters for the first time. Then shelling the same site with F-16 jet fighters on a daily basis since then, terrorizing the civilians living in the area. Many houses have been badly damaged, many families had to leave their homes, since they are not safe to live in anymore.  

Last night after shelling the security forces head quarters known as (El-Moqata'a), which is only few meters away from Arafat’s house, the Israeli tanks accompanied with apache’s and F-16's, started moving towards the towns of Beit Jala, Bethlehem, Al-Doha, El-Khader nearby village, and the two refugee camps of Aida, and Dehasheh. They have been shelling and shooting indiscriminately on these areas, using heavy machine guns, tanks, and the apaches all night.  

Up to this minute, the human casualties are: 6 people killed, and many others injured, they are:  

1. Sulaiman Al- Dibs. He’s from Aida refugee camp. His brother Salameh Dibs, a father of 9 children was killed during the second invasion to Bethlehem in October 2001.
2. Ibrahim Al-Araj – Aida camp, was shot in his own home.
3. Sa’id Soud Eid 20 years- Dehasheh camp
4. Dr. Ahmad Noman Othman – Head doctor of Al-Yamamah Hospital in El-Khader. He was shot during his duty trying to reach with his crew the injured people.
5. Hoda El-Khawaja – Aida camp; their house was shelled, the Israelis forbid the Red Crescent ambulances from reaching their house. So she bleed to death. She is a teacher and a mother.
6. Imad Al-Sofi – he’s from Gaza, he serves in the national security forces in Bethlehem area. He was killed during his duty in resisting the Israeli occupation.  
The Israeli forces have been shooting at anything moving, especially at ambulances, in order to forbid them from reaching the injured people. This is how Dr. Ahmad Othman was killed. In addition to this, the Israeli ground troops are doing a house to house search for what they call “terrorists”, arresting some civilian people, occupying some of these homes, terrorizing children, women, aged people, and handicapped people, as well as placing snipers in houses in every town and village.  

The Israelis attacks also include health services, since they are surrounding Al- Yamamah Hospital in El-khader, forbidding the doctors and nurses from moving around, doing their duty, and helping people.  

In Beit Jala the Israeli occupation army forced curfew on the every neighborhood and street in the town. Tanks, APC’s and bulldozers are the only things moving around in the streets, destroying roads, and the infrastructure.  

If the International community doesn’t interfere to stop the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians, Bethlehem area will witness a new massacre, similar to the ones committed against the Palestinian civilians in Nablus, Jenin, Gaza, and the massacre which has been carried out for the last few days in Tulkarem. All what we ask for now, is more interference from the international community to put pressure on the Israeli government to stop this State Terror and war against the Palestinians. And send international observers to see what is really happening on the ground. The Palestinians want to live in peace, have their independent state and enjoy some of the rights, which are very essential to live a decent life, that will make us feel more like humans not animal.  

Re: Latest eye-witness news from palestine
03/09/02 at 07:20:24

On TV today they showed an Israeli tank coming down a street and it just shoved/rolled over two Red Crescent Ambulances  >:(
If the people who donate to these charities knew what was happening to the product of their generosity they'd get sick. >:(

Re: Latest eye-witness news from palestine
03/09/02 at 07:23:14


my friend wrote this article not too long ago.. on the situation there. It's really really very moving to read.. :(
I always wanted to share this with you, but forgot..



Salaam alaikum wa rehmatullah, my name is -------------------, and I am writing to you from Palestine. The path that brought me to Palestine, for the second time, is one of many unexpected though welcome twists and turns, much like the path that carried me to Islam- Alhamdulillah. I am a revert to Islam, and was raised with no particular affection for Palestine or the Palestinian people, likewise there was no ingrained prejudice against those of the Jewish faith or the state of Israel, and I remain still, an American citizen. So I am writing to you, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam to speak to you of the Occupation of Palestine and the responsibilities of the American Muslim community, coming from a platform of love for Islam and concern for our Brothers and Sisters in Palestine; lacking thankfully, the hatred and prejudice against the “yehud” that many of us espouse, as we ourselves are in fact a part of the problem and must, Insha Alllah, be part of the solution.

Before I continue, I would like to ask you to please read and consider the following excerpts from the journal of a friend of mine, who has been struggling along side our Brothers and Sisters here, I emphasize this as the author is not Muslim. This is significant for many reasons, some of which I will address in my following commentary, I pray you will read it and consider it with respect although you may consider them to be the words of a “Kafir”, though one who has done more for the safety and freedom of our people than most Muslims- may Allah(swt) bless him for his efforts…

(Excerpted from the journal of an anti-occupation activist)

Bitter Coffee in Gold Rimmed Cups
Salfit. December 23.

After our three days clearing roadblocks we packed up and made tracks to Nablus. The plan was to go on solidarity visits with the family of recent martyrs. The sharing of, and in, the 40 days and nights of grief is a cultural tradition in Palestine, and then we walked into Jawal Abdel Latif’s home. It had been less than two weeks since an undercover Israeli death squad forced him to lie face down in the red Salfit mud before assassinating him. His father sat in the center of the room and tried to tell us about Jawal, the young man, the Police Officer. But he could only get a sentence out before his eyes broke and tears navigated his face. A relative poured out tiny cups of bitter coffee and passed them around to all of us, and we swallowed it hard.

He Watered the Earth; and in the Earth He Was Buried*

Next was the family of Diab Al-Sawari, who'd been assassinated just three days earlier. His wife had prepared a great meal because the tanks were pulling out of  Nablus, and Diab could return home after a week's absence. Just before sitting down they heard the unmistakable crushing of concrete outside. Tanks were pulverizing the road outside their home, and when Diab stepped outside on his terrace to see what was going on, a sniper shot him cold. Three times in the head.

His cousins passed the disfigured bullets around the room, and I held in my hand what my taxes have paid for all these years.

His wife, in her ninth month of pregnancy, called out to the Americans before we left her on the very terrace Diab died on, "What are you going to do about this? How come your people kill us? How come your people give Israel guns and tanks and Apache and F16 to kill us? What are you going to do about this? Does any body see us?

Her questions and her pain were more bitter than any coffee I've ever drank. And harder to swallow. And in that moment all that ran through my head was a line from a June Jordan poem that says, simply, "How do I negotiate my shame?" Indeed.

Diab Al-Sawari is survived by his wife and his five children. (End Journal)

… My dear Brothers in Sisters in Islam, I will continue, praying that Allah(swt) will open the hearts of the Muslims in America as to our responsibility towards our Palestinian Brothers and Sisters. In doing so, I would like to echo the cries of Diab's wife, and address the realization of the anti-occupation activist who authored the above piece- AMERICANS ARE RESPONSIBLE for the continuing occupation of Palestine, and yes, that means American Muslims too.


As some Muslims in America may know, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip would not likely continue without the political and financial support of Western Nations, most notably the United States. Last Year, the U.S. contributed 3+ Billion Dollars in Aid to Israel, much of this went to directly finance the Occupation Army of Israel. During this past year, the Intifada raged on and Jawal, Diab and over 1,000 others have been killed; no less the pain of thousands more wounded, crippled, imprisoned, tortured and widowed. This in the shadow of Masjid Al-Aqsa, where we as privileged international tourists may go and pray, but our Brothers and Sisters who have lived upon the surrounding hills for generations are denied entry. Yet, we fail to fully support efforts that work actively for their freedom and security.

As some Muslims in America may refuse to believe, we are responsible for the occupation and murder of our Brothers and Sisters. Period. As there are 6 Million(est.) Muslims in the America, a substantial amount of U.S. foreign aid to Israel comes directly from our community. But, we are responsible not only for our action in contribution to the occupation, but as well for our inaction- and I pray with all of my feeble being, rising often from Salaat in tears, that we will begin to see and act upon our responsibilities.  For we live in a country which still affords us comforts and freedoms that our Brothers and Sisters do not possess, and which we should be using for their benefit, additionally the events of the past year should have made clear that we can no longer enjoy the comforts and security of the U.S. without honestly addressing its foreign policy. Towards this end I would like to restate the emotional inquiry of Diab's wife, with sadness and urgency- What are we going to do about it?


The world over, violence is quickly losing its "legitimacy" and certainly its viability as a political tool, and within the United States, consideration of violent action would not only be fruitless but foolish- regardless of the justification. The type of action that needs exploration, understanding and application by our community is Social/Political Action and Non-Violent Direct Action.  These avenues are being developed and employed in the struggle to end the occupation of Palestine, both here in Palestine and back in the United States, though they have received little if any engagement and support from the American Muslim community at large.

Examples of the type of existing efforts that need support and expansion towards ending the occupation of Palestine, Insha Allah, include: Divestment Campaigns to undermine Israeli Holdings, Political action to challenge the strangle hold of the America Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for those who believe in engaging in Politics, for those who believe we should not be involved “politically” and for those who have sufficient Iman, Non-Violent Direct Action is needed- now. Additionally, there are less contentious, less confrontational efforts such as informational campaigns, rallies and teach-ins, etc… all of which can and should be conducted in the United States, the major source of Israeli funding for the Occupation. If we continue to hide in our Masjids, and avoid active, engaged efforts, nothing will change.

In Palestine, there is a long and creative history of Non-Violent Direct Action, which is little known though gaining momentum in the last year as a means to end the occupation. While the Palestinians themselves conduct such actions, consisting of non-violent resistance to Israeli blockades and oppressive policies, risking injury and death while committing no offense against the oppressor, these actions are more effective when conducted by Internationals (such as Muslims from U.K., France or America). Currently these endeavors are conducted predominately by non-Muslims, many of whom place their money and their bodies on the line daily for the safety and freedom of the Muslims in Palestine, that we have done so little and that we have given so little support for these activities makes me ashamed. I pray humbly to Allah(swt) for that to change.

I will not give lengthy comment to the question of "How we negotiate our shame"? I will leave it up to each individual who reads this, by the grace and illumination of Allah(swt), to come to realize their individual, and Insha Allah, our collective responsibilities towards our people- including our previous failures to fulfill them. I have heard often of late, in American Masjids, that "…we as Muslims don't have to do anything, we don't have to strive to change the things we see wrong, we don't even have to speak out with our tongues, all we have to do is (abide by the lowest form) and hate it in our hearts… and that will be enough for Allah(swt)…" or so it's been said time and again. I refuse to believe that, though I do not refuse to believe, and the Qur'an, Sunnah and Seerah teach me that we must act.  So, in closing I would like to humbly, desperately ask you, my beloved Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Do you see the suffering of your Brothers and Sisters in Palestine? Are you going to do anything about it?

Anyone interested in providing support to the family of Diab Al-Sawari, Jawal Abdel Latif, or for the continuation of non-violent direct action and non-violent resolutions to the occupation of Palestine, please contact Br. ------------------------------------

*Mahmoud Al-Rimawi. "The Procession."      

Please let me know if you are interested in supporting him in any form?? I can give you his contact info.

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