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  • nasdaq_1000bust nasdaq_1000bust Aug 27, 2002 1:39 PM Flag

    i am still here MF

    Qalqilia, West Bank, Palestine -- July 26, 2002 Report

    The Israeli army has been occupying this town of 40,000 for over four
    months continuously. During that time, there has been a closure of the
    city and a 24-hour curfew (imprisonment in the home). The closure means
    that there is only one entrance to the city, with a checkpoint that is
    controlled by the Israeli army. The curfew means that no one is allowed to
    leave their homes, under penalty of death. Every few days, this curfew is
    lifted and people are allowed to leave their homes for a few hours. This
    curfew has made it absolutely impossible for anyone to work in their jobs
    or farm their fields during these four months. The entire life of the city
    had to come to an abrupt halt when the army invaded in April and began to
    occupy the town. Since then, no one has been able to conduct their
    business, and the population's entire focus has become how to get food for
    the next day. The army does not announce in advance when they will lift
    the curfew, and so it is impossible to plan in advance for anything.
    Everyone is huddled inside their homes, waiting for word that the curfew is
    lifted so that they can go outside. Tanks, armed personnel carriers,
    bulldozers and dozens of jeeps roll into town every day, and have managed
    to destroy the pavement of most of the streets, the curbs, and the shades
    over the sidewalks. They frighten the citizenry by shooting at them with
    M16s, bazookas and tanks. About 20 people have been killed by the army in
    this town since the April invasion, 60 cars have been flattened by tanks,
    30 homes have been completely destroyed by Israeli bombs or bulldozers, and
    hundreds of homes have been entered and their residents harassed and
    property damaged by Israeli soldiers. In contrast, during this same time
    period, six Israeli colonizers living on Palestinian land in the West Bank
    have been killed by Palestinians.

    Qalqilia is a farming town, with many residents dependent on agricultural
    production for their livelihood. The Israeli government has decided to
    build a wall completely surrounding the town, and construction of the wall
    is well on its way. Every day we see Israeli construction workers putting
    up another section of the 20-foot high cement wall. It looks a lot like
    the Berlin wall, but with an added component: guard towers, much like those
    you see in a prison. The towers are being installed every few hundred
    feet, to be staffed by Israeli soldiers (most of which are young men aged
    18-22) with surveillance equipment and guns. This will give the Israeli
    army the power to peer out over all parts of the city, viewing the inside
    of people's homes (including the bedrooms) and shoot at will. The one
    entrance to the city will be strictly controlled by the Israeli army, and
    the gate will be closed at the whim of the officers in charge.

    Construction of this wall will have many devastating effects on a town
    already suffering a great deal due to the occupation. Farmers will be
    forbidden from farming on their own land if it is located outside the city
    limits, workers will be unable to reach their jobs (both those who commute
    in to Qalqilia and those who live in the town and work outside of it). In
    essence, the prison-like conditions created by the curfew will be made
    concrete by the completion of the prison wall. The worst effects, however,
    will be environmental, as much of the water supply of the city comes from
    winter flows from the nearby mountains. This water will be dammed by the
    wall and flood huge amounts of farmland both in Israel and the West Bank.
    The effects of the damming of the water supply will include contamination
    with waste water (leading to diarrhea, dysentery, etc.). It will affect
    Israelis as well as Palestinians.

    Here are some recent incidents that reflect everyday occurrence

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    • July 10 - Chukri Fayik Dawoud, 10 years old, was outside his family's home
      when he was shot by an Israeli soldier. Two other children were injured by
      bullets. The curfew was off at the time, which meant that people were free
      to be outside of their homes. The army gave no warning that they were
      going to attack, they simply rolled into town with tanks and armored
      vehicles and began to shoot. The army gave no explanation for killing this
      boy, who was the youngest child in a family of four children. His father
      had recently undergone heart surgery, and Chukri and his 14 year old
      brother were always helping their father in the shop he owned. Chukri was
      running an errand for his father when he was shot. His 13-year old sister
      saw him get killed.

      July 15 - The Israeli army launched an assault on a plastics factory that
      produced car seat covers and accessories in Qalqilia. 40 workers were
      inside the building when the assault began at 8:00 in the morning, as well
      as two families who lived in apartments above the factory. The Israeli
      soldiers threw fire bombs into the building, which immediately ignited the
      highly flammable materials in the factory. The soldiers gave no warning,
      and offered no reason for the assault. They surrounded the building, and
      refused to let the local fire department enter to put out the fire.
      Despite this fact, most of the workers and the families with their twelve
      children managed to escape. One man, Mahmoud Helal, was stuck on the
      second floor and burned to death. His friends and co-workers tried
      repeatedly to tell the soldiers he was trapped inside, and begging them to
      allow the firefighters inside to rescue him, but the soldiers refused.
      According to one friend of Mahmoud's, when he told a soldier that his
      friend was trapped inside, the soldier laughed and threw another firebomb
      inside the building, telling Mahmoud's friend, "I will kill you next".
      Mahmoud was 23 years old, and was working at the factory to save money for
      his university studies. His family was devastated by the loss, as his
      death was a particularly painful one ? and completely unexpected. He was a
      completely innocent man whose only crime was going to work on the day that
      the army decided to attack his factory. The army gave no explanation for
      the attack, which displaced two families from their homes, destroyed the
      jobs of 60 people and caused 2.5 million dollars worth of damage to the

      July 18 - Fathi Hassan Sweedan, 40 years old, was shot in the head while
      picking olives from an olive tree on his land in the village of Azoun near
      Qalqilia. The army gave no warning that they were going to shoot, and gave
      no explanation for the attack.

      • 1 Reply to nasdaq_1000bust
      • July 20 ? Anis Albe was killed near Qalqilia when he was crossing a road to
        go to work in the town of Kfar Saba.

        July 24 - Ghaleb Nazal was driving his car in the evening when the Israeli
        army rolled into town with its entourage of tanks and armored vehicles.
        Ghaleb requested permission to pass in order to reach his home, and the
        commanding officer gave him permission to pass. As he was driving, a tank
        rolled up and rolled over his car. He managed to escape with only
        relatively minor injuries, but his car was completely flattened by the tank.

        July 25 - Three men were arrested, forced to kneel, blindfolded, for five
        hours in the hot sun as their homes were destroyed by bulldozers. One was
        Ahmed Hazza, 52 years old, who spent 21 years of his life as a political
        prisoner in Israel (1968 ? 1989) and suffered from many internal injuries
        from that time. He was the General Secretary for the Fatah political
        organization in this area and very active in working for peace. He was
        recognized as a patient negotiator and willing participant in the political
        process. According to local sources, his arrest will obstruct the peace
        process. The other two men arrested were his nephew, Ehad Hazza, 27 years
        old, and a neighbor, Jawad Barham, 30 years old, who lived in the house
        behind. Jawad's family is quite poor, and his mother has had a very
        difficult time raising her eight children after her husband left her when
        Jawad was young. His mother and his sister are both quite sick, and have
        had to resort to begging in the marketplace for money for medicine and
        food. Now they have lost their home, and the soldiers gave no reason for
        arresting the men or destroying the homes.

        Also, Jamal Shekar Ge'ada was shot in the stomach by Israeli soldiers in
        Qalqilia with no warning. There was a child looking out of a second-story
        window in the house behind where Jamal was standing. The soldiers sprayed
        a round of bullets toward the window, barely missing the four-year old
        child and his one-year old brother who lay sleeping near the window. As
        Jamal tried to make his way to a nearby home to get help for his injury, he
        was shot 3 more times in his legs and his side. The Israeli soldiers
        refused to allow an ambulance to retrieve the injured man, and after about
        30 minutes took him in an armored vehicle to an Israeli hospital where he
        remains in critical condition today (July 26). A ten-year old child who
        witnessed the attack was standing nearby with a shocked look on his face,
        repeating "They were smoking" (ie. The Israeli soldiers were smoking
        cigarettes when they shot this unarmed man).

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