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<nettime> Sorry to have to ask you again to protest about restrictions a
by way of richard barbrook on Wed, 15 Oct 2003 11:25:26 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Sorry to have to ask you again to protest about restrictions at Birzeit


On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, Israeli occupation forces closed off the
Ramallah-Birzeit road, prohibiting even pedestrians from crossing the
kilometer-long checkpoint situated near the village of Surda. Since the
majority of staff and students live in Ramallah, they were denied access to
the University. The University was forced to cancel classes and all other
activities. At the same time, the Israeli army placed a curfew on Birzeit
town from the early hours of the morning until the afternoon, prohibiting
all residents of the town from leaving their homes.

In the early hours of the morning, Israeli soldiers entered several
buildings which house students and faculty in the town of Birzeit and
forced them to leave their apartments and stand in the streets while the
Israeli forces searched the buildings.

In one incident, Israeli soldiers forced 15 students to clean up one of the
streets from rocks and debris, taking their identification cards from them.
After the students had completed the task, the Israeli soldiers returned
their ID cards and as they were returning to their homes, a second group of
soldiers arrived on the scene and began randomly shooting at the students
in clear sight of the first group of soldiers. As a result two students
were shot; one student, Amr Batma, was seriously wounded when a live bullet
fractured his leg; the other student Bashar Mashaa was hit in the hand with
a rubber bullet. An ambulance was called to the scene but was delayed for
half an hour by the Israeli soldiers. When it could get through, the
ambulance rushed both students to Ramallah Hospital where Amr had to
undergo surgery. He is currently in stable condition. Both students are
fourth year Engineering students from the village of Battir in Bethlehem.

Today, Thursday October 9, 2003, the Ramallah Birzeit checkpoint at Surda
remains hermetically sealed, preventing any travel or access to the
University. Some students and faculty from the town of Birzeit were able to
reach the campus, which was subsequently surrounded by Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli soldiers intermittently shot and threw sound bombs at the two
entrances of the University and blocked anyone from entering or leaving the
University until 11:00 AM.

In the two days preceding the total closure of the Ramallah-Birzeit
checkpoint at Surda, the Israeli soldiers have been setting up temporary
and random roadblocks on various points along the Ramallah Birzeit road,
prohibiting individuals from passing for several hours at a time. The
soldiers are stopping students and asking them questions about their
academic situation and personal information including their telephone
numbers and e-mail addresses.

These actions by the Israeli soldiers: firing at unarmed students, denying
access to education, and surrounding educational institutions, are clear
violations of international human rights conventions. We call on the
international community to defend human rights by taking immediate action
against these most recent activities which deny our students their right to
an education.

It is worth writing to the cultural attache at the Israeli  Embassy
<mailto:culture {AT} london.mfa.gov.il>culture {AT} london.mfa.gov.il
<<mailto:culture {AT} london.mfa.gov.il>culture {AT} london.mfa.gov.il>. He replies
with a variety of misinformation, but it must figure somewhere in his
skull.

Look at the website <http://www.jfjfp.org/>www.jfjfp.org for other ways to
protest.


from Irene Bruegel for Jews for Justice for Palestinians UK


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