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Vancouver, April 16, 2003
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.
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,
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.
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.
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
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."
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."
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.
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.
more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Gordon, ISM-Vancouver spokesperson, at email@example.com
or Reem, Coordinator of ISM-Vancouver, at firstname.lastname@example.org.