PALESTINA - BALSAM
MONITOR PALESTINA: newsletter del 26 febbraio 2004
The Palestine Monitor
A PNGO Information Clearinghouse
As ICJ court hearings come to a close Israel makes preparations for further stages of Apartheid wall and IOF troops invade West Bank towns and cities Wednesday February 25, 2004
As proceedings against the Israeli apartheid wall came to a close at the International Court of Justice in The Hague Israel continued with preparations for constructing further stages of the highly contentious wall running through the West Bank. In the village neighborhoods of East Jerusalem the Israeli army yesterday ordered 60 families to vacate their homes. Forces threatened families in Abu Dis, Azariyah, and Swakhara, with repealing their Israeli citizenship if they did not vacate their homes.
Also yesterday the Israeli authorities started to destroy olive groves in Beit Surik to expand the Wall around the North-Western region of Jerusalem. The bulldozers started uprooting olive trees around the village of Beit Surik, under the protection of the Israeli Army and the Israeli Border Police.
Over the last three days, Palestinian and international protestors demonstrating against the Wall have been met with violent suppression from Israeli forces. This morning to the south of Ramallah, IOF fired rubber-coated steel bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at Palestinian protestors in the Beit Seira village where the community was protesting the beginning of the construction of a new section of the Wall on their land.
Meanwhile in Ramallah itself, some twenty military jeeps invaded the city at around 10am, where they stormed branches of the Arab Bank, the Palestine International Bank, the Cairo-Amman Bank and other banks in the city, detaining employees and customers and imposing curfews on the localized areas. Forces also invaded the offices of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees pulling out the medical teams and invading surrounding residential areas.
As clashes broke out in the streets with Palestinian stone throwers, jeeps deployed in various locations of the city responding with tear gas, rubber bullets sound bombs and live ammunition. On several occasions the jeeps also prevented Palestinian ambulances reaching the scene, first blocking their path and also ramming into a UPMRC ambulance, causing substantial damage.
17 Palestinians have so far been wounded, 3 are in serious conditions. One person was shot with live ammunition in the head and another two suffered rubber bullet wounds, one to the head and another entering the chest.
IOF forces remain in the city and tensions are escalating. The IOF says that the operation is expected to continue 24 hours.
There have been further reports today of invasions into Jenin, Tubas, Beit Jala and Irtas village. Also late Tuesday, more than 60 IOF military vehicles stormed the Old City of Nablus while other troops raided the nearby villages and refugee camps in a detention spree.
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