For Immediate Release
October 28, 2003
ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCES SHOOT TWO MORE PEACE ACTIVISTS
The Israeli military shot two international peace activists in the leg
with live ammunition, reports ISM Vancouver's Melissa from Balata Refugee
Camp. She is one of three ISM Vancouver volunteers currently in Occupied
VANCOUVER - On Friday, November 24, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)
entered the Balata Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Nablus in
Occupied Palestine. According to the International Solidarity Movement
(ISM), the IOF cut electricity to the camp and fired indiscriminately
into the dark killing one Palestinian and wounding several others.
Two human rights volunteers -- Mark, an American, and Jeremy, an Australian -- were both shot in the thigh with live ammunition after they escorted several Palestinian children to safety away from the Israeli troops.
Several international witnesses stated there was no Palestinian gunfire
in the area and that Mark and Jeremy had identified themselves as unarmed
international civilians in the spotlight of the Israeli Humvee that
subsequently shot at them.
The two injured activists were taken by ambulance to Rafidia Hospital in
Nablus where they are recovering from their injuries. Their ambulance was
stopped and detained by Israeli soldiers en route to the hospital.
Three ISM Vancouver volunteers have been in Palestine for the last month
participating in the ISM Olive Harvest Campaign. In the village of
Yanoun, ISM Vancouver activists recently accompanied Palestinian farmers
so they could harvest their olives despite threats of Israeli settler
violence. Most Palestinians in Yanoun village have been forced to leave
by years of constant violence and intimidation from Israeli settlers and
ISM Vancouver activists also participated in non-violent demonstrations
at the Apartheid wall in the village of Jayyous. The so-called "security
fence" has cut-off Village farmers from 2,000 acres of their land, six
groundwater wells, 120 greenhouses, 15,000 olive trees, and 50,000 citrus
trees. The Apartheid wall threatens the only livelihood of more than 80
percent of Jayyous families.
One Vancouverite was recently refused entry to the Gaza Strip where she
planned to document the Israeli military's flagrant disregard for human
life and international law. In the last two weeks alone, IOF military
operations in the Gaza Strip have killed more than 20 innocent civilians
and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian houses leaving more than 2000
people homeless. The IOF actions have been strongly condemned by both UN
relief agencies and Amnesty International which said the "wanton destruction constitutes a war crime."
In addition to the barbaric attacks on Palestinian lives and property,
the Israeli military is continuing its campaign to intimidate, maim, and
silence international peace and human rights workers and journalists in
the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Israeli government wants to
prevent the international community from hearing about the daily cruelty
and brutality of Israeli military actions against Palestinian civilians.
In July, five ISM peace activists were shot and wounded when Israeli soldiers fired on the demonstrators protesting against the construction of the Apartheid wall. Last spring IOF soldiers crushed and killed one international peace activist with a bulldozer and shot two others in the head -- one of who remains in a coma. They also shot and killed two international journalists in the same period.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement
of Palestinian and International activists who utilize nonviolent direct
action to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and oppose the
illegal Israeli occupation.
Three ISM-Vancouver volunteers are currently in Occupied Palestine and
are available for interviews. For more information or to arrange an
interview, email ISM Vancouver at: .
International Solidarity Movement (ISM-Vancouver)
Box 38 - 16 W. Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4