Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

Raids And Blockades - Gaza

Ewa Jasiewicz dispatched this report from the West Bank on the increased targeting of International Solidarity Activists by the Israeli army and the kids who steal tank gun barrels.

10th May 2003

IOF soldiers detained and arrested International Solidarity Movement activists Alice (UK) and Nick (Scotland) two days ago at Erez Checkpoint in Gaza. They were told they were suspected of being terrorists. They were interrogated for over 20 hours. Alice was chained, and resisted by screaming repeatedly into the ears of her captors and wrestling against them. This happened when they attempted to re-cuff her after allowing her to eat some food. They are currently being held in a prison near the Negev desert, awaiting deportation.

The Beit Sehor HQ of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) was raided on Friday afternoon. Twenty jeeps surrounded the place, soldiers entered, arrested three volunteers, one from ISM, US citizen Flo, the other a Palestinian volunteer and the other an Australian human rights worker. Flo is being held in an unknown incarceration facility but she is to be deported.

Yesterday, soldiers arrested and severely beat Osama (he needed hospital treatment), a Palestinian ISM co-ordinator living in Tulkarem and then stormed the ISM office and arrested Charlotte (Ireland) and Radika (US) from therein. They said they had been aiding rioting youths. They are being held at Ariel settlement/military base. They are also expected to be deported. Osama was released.

Jenin Four days ago the IOF began to ease up restrictions on the movement of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (commonly defined as Arab Israelis but the term offends many and is seen as yet another tactic of collective state-propelled amnesia of the enduring Nakba) coming from 1948 zones in Israel. 900,000 Palestinians were burned out of their villages and towns in the '48 Nakba. The areas that remain - like Afula and Om el Fahm - are Arab-Israeli towns inside the Israeli side of the Green Line with Palestinian residents having Israeli citizenship but being denied the right to cross over into the further occupied Palestinian Territories. Families saw each other for the first time in two and half years - since the beginning of the Intifada. Yellow number plates have been flashing through the streets and I even saw a big dusty battered Israeli bus chugging its way through town. Palestinian vehicles must carry green number-plates to distinguish them from Israeli cars and to facilitate the harassment and targeting of their owners by the Israeli Authorities.

About five days ago two shebab from The Al Aaqs Martyrs Brigade hiked up to a settlement behind Jenin Camp and shot a soldier. Noone knows here he was injured on his body but the two shebab succeeded in escaping unharmed. People I mentioned the attack to groaned or grimaced with disappointment. Enough is enough seemed to be the sentiment. People didn't want the reprisals, the revenge incursions, the hate-taut tension to rise again.

People are still expecting something. There is a popularly known total of five tank guns hidden away in Jenin right now. The three teefed from Kadeem settlement by three kids last week and two more that were ripped off the tops of APCs or Tanks by 'Allah O'Ahkbar'-ing shebab during curfew-smashing street clashes a few weeks ago. Tank-top guns can shoot down Apaches.

Tank-top guns spell danger in big jeep-devastating, tank-denting, soldier-body-halving letters. There are fears there may be an incursion to retrieve these guns. Although an incursion to retrieve them would inflate the chance to use them.

A friend of mine's brother - just 19 years old - left for Ramallah to get his training with the Mohabarat - Palestinian Shin Beit (Israeli secret services), Palestinian CIA basically; the now fast expanding Palestinian-American-Israeli triangular partnership apparatus of Intifada suppression and free-market roadmap paving. If Sharon is a Bulldozer, then the Mohabarat are the construction sub-contractors clearing away the refuse, trying to collect the 'detritus' of the Palestinian resistance.

Operation clean-up Palestine is up and running and it's going to be the biggest Jayyasousing (Collaboration) seen this side of Oslo. This isn't just my speculation, it's been articulated by many. And my friend's brother is coming back in approximately one month. Where his work will take him is anyone's guess but the dragnet on the wanted will be drawing in tighter as the Sulta (Palestinian Authority) finishes off its new prisons and the released detained from Israeli prisons free-up space for the uncaught fighters of the past.

Some people here think it's all over. Others, fresh from prison, ready again to resist, think it's going to pick up again. Maybe there could be a newer, stronger structure of armed resistance built up now, but the key is community support and the three year grind of collective punishment meted out by the Israeli state since this Intifada ignited has taken its toll.

Death kills you, grief becomes a living form of death and people want to live again; however comparatively caged that life remains.

Like in any State and Capital, the relative 'freedoms' brokered/imposed upon populations following the defeat of social movements, uprisings and strikes which shook the foundations of a class system, the repression and the buy-off translates to bigger cages and longer chains.

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INSIDE JENIN - West Bank - 07-May-2003