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News Release

For Immediate Release
Vancouver, April 16, 2003

Is there another war still going on?

Last week Israeli Occupation Forces killed 15 Palestinian civilians and shot two international peace activists in the head. ISM-Vancouver volunteers have just returned with eyewitness reports from the war zone in Palestine.

VANCOUVER, APRIL 16 - Under cover of the "fog of war" in Iraq and international media apathy, the Israeli military has escalated its operations in the Occupied Territories. Israeli soldiers killed 15 Palestinian civilians - including five children- and seriously wounded two International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists between April 4 and April 11, 2003.

The most horrific attack occurred on April 8, when two Apache helicopters and an F16 jet from the Israeli Air Force fired four missiles at a car carrying two "suspected militants" in a densely populated residential area of Gaza City. The missiles killed five innocent bystanders, including two children. Another 53 civilians, almost half of them children, were wounded in the appalling carnage.

"The Israeli occupation forces have benefited from the media's obsession with the invasion and occupation of Iraq - they have been able to kill and main civilians and international human rights volunteers almost with impunity," said ISM Vancouver's Drew.

On Friday, April 11, an Israeli army sniper shot British peace activist Tom Hurndall of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the head while he was trying to help two young Palestinian girls out of the line of fire. He was wearing a fluorescent orange vest and was clearly visible at all times to the sniper tower. He is currently on life support in hospital and is not expected to recover from his injuries.

"With three serious attacks on international volunteers in less than a month, the Israeli army is obviously trying to intimidate us," said Carel. "In some areas, ISM is the last international presence, so removing that obstacle could be a prelude to a larger operation against Palestinian civilians."

Less than a week earlier, on April 5, American Brian Avery of ISM was shot in the face by a heavy machine gun mounted on an Israeli Armed Personnel Carrier. He was wearing a high visibility jacket and, according to witnesses, had his hands raised when he was shot at without warning. He sustained serious injuries in the attack and is presently in hospital. "Brian was a friend and a dedicated activist," reports Gordon. "We really appreciated his calm and thoughtful presence when we first arrived in Palestine."

The Israeli occupation army announced yesterday that they had cleared themselves of any wrongdoing or responsibility in the March 16, 2003 slaying of American Rachel Corrie of ISM. Corrie was crushed and killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Rafah when she attempted to block it from destroying a civilian home. Carel and Gordon stayed several nights in the house Corrie died trying to protect in order to prevent its demolition. "That house has become a important symbol for stopping the more than 3000 Palestinian house demolitions the Israeli army has carried out since September 2000," said Carel.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led initiative of Palestinian and International activists who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence. "We utilize nonviolent direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge the illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies," said George Rishmawi, ISM Co-founder.

Drew, Gordon and Carel are available for interviews in person or by phone.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Gordon, ISM-Vancouver spokesperson, at or Reem, Coordinator of ISM-Vancouver, at

ISM-Vancouver News Releases:

May 10, 2003
Israeli army declares war on international human rights workers

May 7, 2003
TERRORISTS! Do we have your attention now?

Apr. 16, 2003
Is there another war still going on?

Mar. 18, 2003
IOF disrupts memorial for Rachel Corrie in Gaza Strip

Mar. 8, 2003
Israeli army attacks the traditional economy of Nablus

Mar. 6, 2003
Old city of Nablus under seige in Occupied Palestine

Jan. 15, 2003
Another Palestinian child is murdered - who cares?

Jan. 14, 2003
ISM-Vancouver volunteer asks NDP Leader to take a stand on Palestine

Jan. 7, 2003
Vancouver activist witnesses Israeli aggression

Dec. 27, 2002
ISM-Vancouver Delegate arrives in Palestine