By: Daniel Breslau
Week 2,023 of occupation
2 March 2006 - 8 March 2006
Protests against the fence continue
On Friday, 3 March, the usual protests were held in three villages that are being harmed by the annexation wall, Bil`in, Beit Sira, and Abud. In Beit Sira, 300 protesters, including Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals, set out toward the site where trees belonging to the village had been uprooted to make way for the wall. As the group descended along the planned route of the fence, it was met by about 50 soldiers and border police who tried to prevent the procession from continuing. When the demonstrators blocked the path of a jeep that tried to pass through the crowd, they were set upon by soldiers who assaulted them with fists, clubs, and tear gas. At least five protestors were injured. The army claimed that the protesters had attacked the soldiers.
In Bil`in, a small group of protestors managed to evade soldiers and reach the fence, to which they attached themselves with nooses. They were forcefully removed from the site.
Incursions, arrests, and a civilian killed in the occupied West Bank
On Friday, 15-year-old Amer Basiuni was shot and killed by an IDF sniper in Nablus. He was trying to observe army operations from the fifth floor of his family`s home. IDF sources say that he may have been holding a gun, and that an investigation of the event is underway.
The killing is the predictable result of the intensive military pressure Israel continues to place on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. The Palestine Centre for Human Rights recorded 29 incursions and 38 arrests over the week. Few of these incursions have any declared connection to terrorist activities, but are aimed at all forms of Palestinian resistance to occupation.
Human rights organizations under attack
The state`s prosecutor in a case in which a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem is suing the state for numerous human rights abuses, has issued a harsh incitement against Israeli human rights advocacy groups. Attorney Nira Mashriki repeatedly accused the organizations Ha Moked and B`tselem with harming Israel and aiding its enemies. The Israeli establishment prides itself on the existence of a civil society in which such independent organizations are allowed to exist and to criticize the state. But now it looks as thought the appearance of democracy in this area is too much for the state to tolerate.
Missiles in the Northern Gaza Strip
Israel`s preferred method of responding to Kassam rockets has become air to land missile attacks on the Northern Gaza Strip, destroying roads and fields, and terrifying the civilian residents. On Friday, 3 March, Israeli Air Force jets launched at least five missiles, around Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya.
But on Monday a missile was fired at a white Peugeot carrying two members of the Islamic Jihad-affiliated Al Quds Brigade, on of whom, Munir Sukar, was said by Israel to be a senior operative responsible for Qassam launches. The two were killed, as were three bystanders: Raad al-Batash (8), Mahmoud al-Batash (15), and Ahmed A-Susi (24). Eight more innocent bystanders were injured. Ha`aretz quoted a senior Israeli defense official as saying that the targetted assassinations will continue, although a response by Islamic Jihad is expected.
Sources: Ha`aretz, IMEMC, Palestine Centre for Human Rights, International Solidarity Movement.