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Vancouver, January 7, 2003
activist witnesses Israeli police aggression first-hand
Border Police attack a peaceful group of Palestinian villagers and
international volunteers near the “Apartheid Wall”
Drew, in Palestine with the International Solidarity Movement
(ISM), reports that Israeli Border Police in Jayus (near Tulkarem)
threatened and attacked a non-violent delegation that was attempting
to negotiate with them. The police were "pointing machine guns
at us, using tear gas and hit one of the negotiators with a concussion
bomb," Drew stated.
incident began when Israeli police detained three Palestinian youth
who walked by on their way to visit a friend who lives near the
Apartheid Wall. The ISM team and a number of people from the nearby
village approached the Border Police to inquire about the status
of the detained youths.
reply of the Border Police was a swift attack on the ISM team and
the villagers. "Two tear gas canisters were thrown in our direction.
Border Police and private security pointed automatic weapons and
threatened to shoot the non-violent team for wanting to discuss
the situation," said Drew. One of the negotiators narrowly
avoided being injured when she was hit on the head with a concussion
grenade that exploded at her feet.
the ISM team did succeed in talking directly with the police and
they were joined by the frightened mothers of the two youths. In
consultation with the villagers, the ISM team negotiated to withdraw
from the scene in return for the youths' release. The youths were
freed and disappeared quickly into the village.
the anxiety that the Wall's construction has brought still exists"
Drew explained. "Armed private security forces, the infamous
Border Police and regular soldiers are denying Palestinians access
to their lands daily. They have destroyed and blockaded roads into
agricultural areas (and whole communities), ruined irrigation systems
and detained and beaten Palestinians in the area of the Wall."
"security fence," known as the Apartheid Wall by Palestinians,
will mean de facto annexation of more than 10% of the West Bank.
This includes theft of important water sources and much of the best
agricultural land of the West Bank.
Drew, a resident of Delta BC, is currently an ISM-Vancouver Delegate
to Palestine. He was a UN Accredited Electoral Observer of the UN
Consultation on East Timor in 1999. Drew has been working with
other Canadian and international volunteers to support the Palestinian
non-violent resistance to the occupation.
delegates document and report humiliation and injustices Palestinians
face daily from Israeli occupation forces and settlers. Activists
accompany Palestinians trying to access food, water and medical
attention; assist farmers to work their lands safely; and protect
Palestinian homes from demolition.
Drew is available for interviews by phone and email.
Drew's eyewitness reports are available online at valis.indymedia.org/ism-vancouver.
more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Reem, Coordinator of ISM-Vancouver by email at