Saturday, August 12, 2006
Checkpoint Humiliation and Bullets at Peaceful Demonstrations
posted by: [jimiffondu] at 8:27 PM
Jenny Digi is an activist, street medic and advocate who is currently travelling her way around the West Bank. She's been up in Nablus a little while, which, as you might know, is a little hairy. Bethlehem's a great place to chill out, and we've been friends a long time, so she came to visit us for a few days. This is her report of her trip down here.

Bear witness and spread the word.


Checkpoint Humiliation and Bullets at Peaceful Demonstrations

Jenny Digi

On Thursday I left Nablus to travel to Bethlehem, Bil’in and Hebron, never an easy journey. The checkpoint just outside Nablus, Huwarra, was in a bad state when we arrived. 100s of Palestinians; men and women, children and the old, doctors, ambulances, Red Cross vehicles, trucks loaded with fruit and vegetables, students, everyone was being held in the burning hot afternoon sun. As my friend and I debated what to do, either to try and use our passports to get through the queue quicker (which always feels wrong), to leave the Palestinians behind, or to stand in solidarity with them, the decision was taken from us. Suddenly, at the front of one of the waiting groups, shouting broke out and we could see soldiers surrounding one of the men. We pushed our way to the front to try and intervene, both of us on the phone; myself to international human rights workers in the city who could come out to help with the situation, and my friend to an Israeli law group who are able to work on the Israeli commanders to stop them behaving so badly.

As the man who was being beaten was dragged away, the penned in crowd were shouting out to the soldiers to stop, to calm down and to let him go and the rest of them through the checkpoint. We questioned the soldiers about why they wouldn’t let people through, one young soldier, not even in his twenties, replied that the commander had given an order that no-one was to be let through, not even women giving birth. When asked what the justification was, he could give none, adding that just because he was serving in the army didn’t mean he didn’t have a conscience.

There was a family with three young children, the eldest, a girl of about seven, was cradled in the arms of her father - obviously quite unwell, and they were pleading with the soldiers to let them pass. Repeatedly, they were physically forced back by the soldiers pushing them away. I spoke to the soldiers, pointing out the obvious to them, that the child was ill, that she was just a child, and asking them to be let through, eventually after about 15 minutes they were. One of the soldiers kept on pushing towards the crowd, shouting angrily that they had to go back, others fingered the triggers on the guns and pushed them against those of us at the front, sometimes not even seeming to notice when they hit us in the face with them.

Another woman came up holding the hand of her son, a young boy of about 3 or 4 who had just been discharged from hospital, on his other hand was a bandage covering where his IV had been. The mother was unable to afford to pay for a taxi or ambulance to get him home so she was stuck at the checkpoint, having to ask permission from soldiers (who have no right to be there) to get her child somewhere safe. She asked me to help, passing me the letter from the hospital explaining that he had been treated for severe asthma and was only being allowed home under strict instructions, which included avoiding too much heat, dust and smoke. None of the soldiers would let her through, one claimed she was using her son, another kept telling her to go and wait in the immobile line. All the while we were trying to get the soldiers to open the checkpoint, and to at least let the women and children through the waiting crowd, who were getting understandably more agitated. One man who had been shouting at the soldiers was dragged off, his crying wife following behind him. As the woman got increasingly distraught, the crowd pushed forwards a little, then, with no warning the soldier I had spoken to earlier, grabbed hold of her child and as he stepped back towards the military vehicles behind him, the woman and I grabbed the bewildered child and had to pull him from the soldiers arms.

Behind us a young girl with a clown mask pushed up into her hair had her face screwed up in fear as she pushed torn plastic into her mouth to try and stifle her screams. Shortly after that, in an apparent acceptance that touching the boy had been very wrong, we were able to get them to let the woman and child through and we accompanied them to the other side. Soon after, other people started following us through in dribs and drabs, though it would have taken hours for them all to get passed, having to go through the ritual humiliation of ID checks and searches.

Today there was a demonstration in the small village of Bil’in, near to Ramallah. There has been a weekly protest there for months now, against the construction of the Apartheid Wall, and an illegal Settlement, which is stealing yet more land, and more water, from the Palestinians. 10 Palestinians, internationals and Israeli peace activists gathered, at the front of the march, where there were about 10 of us carrying mock bodies of children, signifying those who have died in Palestine and Lebanon, to lay near the gate in the barrier. Before we got near to the site, a line of Israeli soldiers were waiting in a line across the road, in some of their hands were orange sound grenades, others had wooden batons and all had their guns. Our group walked peacefully towards them until we were within a few feet, then, with little warning, a soldier pulled the pin on a sound grenade and rolled it straight at us. The people behind us rushed backwards as we moved quickly to the side, our fingers pushed in to our ears to soften the deafening explosion that soon followed. As we took cover behind a pile of bricks, rubber bullets, more sound grenades and tear gas canisters were flying over us and landing around us.

A group of soldiers went by where we now stood, some people had their legs hit with the wooden batons and more sound grenades were thrown all over. None of us reacted in a violent manner; the Israeli activists tried to reason with the soldiers, some internationals and Palestinians just sat in the way of the soldiers - trying to calm the situation down. Still the soldiers fired at people, one passing by me, pushing his gun against me as he reached for more plastic bullets, most people had returned towards the village, not wanting people to be seriously injured. A young Swedish woman was screaming, holding her ears after a sound bomb had been thrown just in front of her whilst she sat in the road, the woman next to her was bleeding from her arm, hit by flying plastic from the same grenade. The young soldiers seemed both out of control and unsure of what they should be doing; some would start hitting out with the batons only after their colleagues did it, or load their bullets when reminded and when they ran towards the demonstrators it was with little coherence.

As I headed back to the village, between the two lines of soldiers, I saw a small group of people, soldiers and demonstrators, crouched by the side of the road with an obviously injured lad in the middle. Pulling my gloves on (first aid training coming to the fore), I ran up to them, I could see a heavily bloodied bandage lying next to his head, crouching down to get a better look I saw his skull was fractured and there appeared to be white matter showing through. Again, the soldiers didn’t know what they were doing, whilst treating him - doing the little we could under the circumstances - some of them were still firing from nearby, even through their colleagues asked them not to. When we were finally able to move him onto a stretcher the soldiers wouldn’t let us take him to the waiting vehicle at first, as some of the young Palestinians were throwing stones, holding the life of the shot lad hostage. The injured lad, one of the Israeli peace activists, was evacuated to hospital where he has just undergone emergency surgery to remove the plastic bullet lodged in his head.

Plastic bullets are supposed to be a “gentle” way to subdue protests. The unlawful, inhumane and immoral actions of the soldiers today at a peaceful protest are abhorrent. Using tear-gas, bullets, batons and sound grenades against peaceful protestors is another example of how out of control the military are in this country. This lad was shot twice, in the head and in the neck, his only crime was to try and demonstrate for a more peaceful and just world, he stood up against his country and spoke out about the crimes being committed in his name and now he is lying in hospital and may not live.

For subsequent reports and photos, see the International Solidarity Movement website
Anonymous Anonymous
The Israelis are working under the US support.
They can do anything!
Occupation and the stealing of land means nothing!
We can do anything and the US supports us!
Bush & Olmert are going to go into history as the people who condemned a people to subserviant living to protect Israeli occupation of a people who have nothing to lose.
If the Israelis left their occupied lands, they would loose a lot of land.
The Palestinians would get their land back.
Palestein needs these lands for their lively hoods.
Israel needs these lands for controll!
6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous
If your interested in home Books Go to stair railing
12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous
Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a lolita site. It pretty much coverslolitarelated stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)
12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous


情趣用品,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,日本AV,寄情築園小遊戲,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,色情遊戲,一葉情貼圖片區,色情網站,色情影片,微風成人, 嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人影片,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,080視訊聊天室,視訊聊天室



麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,遊戲,線上遊戲,cs online,搓麻將,矽谷麻將,明星三缺一, 橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,電玩快打

麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,線上遊戲,矽谷麻將,明星3缺一,橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,遊戲區,電玩快打,cs online

情趣用品,情趣,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,寄情竹園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,色情影片,情趣內衣,情趣睡衣,性感睡衣,情趣商品,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室 ,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080苗栗人聊天室,080聊天室,視訊交友網,視訊
1:55 PM  

Post a Comment

Return to Main Page