IWPS Incident Report number
Date………………………………… To…………………………………………………MP House of Commons Westminster, LONDON SW1A 0AA Dear MP, Enclosed with this letter are Reports 293, 302, 304 & 308 produced by the International Women’s Peace Service (www.IWPS.info), which monitors Human Rights abuses in the Salfit region in the West Bank, Palestine. They document abuses by the Israeli army over a month-long period against the town of Marda. All of them are unacceptable, illegal under International Law, and Report 308 of the beatings of the young men is particularly distressing. Internationals have never seen resistance presence in the town, not ever any stone-throwing near the main road. Indeed the young people or Marda are reluctant to leave their homes or play outside sports, etc. There is general a report on the town on the IWPS website under Reports> Village Surveys> Marda. The town has also been the subject of a campaign film described on the website www.BristolComputers4Palestine.co.uk. Marda has the misfortune to be situated close to Ariel, one of the largest illegal settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank. Within the last year Marda has been enclosed between two barriers. First the infamous Separation barrier, which has been built along the hillside to so-say protect the settlement and to join it back to Israel, although this is over ten miles inside the West Bank. Secondly, a security fence has been built alongside the main road in front of the town. The way into the town is now controlled by a metal gate, which has already been locked on several occasions preventing any vehicle movement to and from the town. The town of Marda is well known to peace activists who have stayed in the town for the annual olive harvest and to deter such attacks. These recent incidents appear to be a deliberate escalation of the level of harassment, which has been going on over several years now. People in the town, and international visitors, conclude they are part of a covert plan by the Israeli authorities to drive the people from their town and to destroy it. Such actions are typical of the many blatant human-rights abuses happening regularly throughout Palestine. Israel has violated more United Nations resolutions than any other country in the world. Last year it laid waste Southern Lebanon and caused terrible suffering to the people of Gaza. In the West Bank the Israel is annexing upto a third of the land and dividing the remainder into isolated cantons split by settler-only/military roads, checkpoints, and fortified Settlements with up to half a million settlers. The Israeli program of enforced house-demolitions, several thousand since year 2000, is effectively slow-motion ethnic-cleansing. Since 2000 almost four and a half thousand Palestinians have been killed and over thirty thousand injured (www.PalestineRCS.org) including many women and young children. The respected Israeli human right group, B’Tselem (www.BTselem.org) report the majority of these killings involve victims who are in no way involved with resistance or violent acts. All this is in blatant violation of international law, as is the forty-year occupation of the Palestinian lands since the 1967 invasion. Britain supports Israel both historically and currently. It has a flourishing arms trade with Israel (www.StopArmingIsrael.org), lucrative trade links including agricultural produce produced in the illegal settlements (www.BIGcampaign.org) and gives tacit political support to Israel’s aggression and racist practices. Will you publicise the harassment of Marda as just one example of Israel’s breeches of International Law? Should you forward this to the Israeli Embassy please DO NOT INCLUDE MY PERSONAL DETAILS has they have a record of disclosing these to third parties. And will you work actively towards changing your party’s position on supporting Israel? Yours, Signed………………………………………………….. Print name………………………………………………………….. Address….………………………………………………………………………………………………….... ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Human Rights Report No. 293 Israeli army harasses villagers on a daily basis for over one week Date of incident: February 11-17, 2007 Place: Marda Witnesses: Reported by residents Description of incident: For over a week, the Israeli army has continued to harrass residents of Marda, including nighttime invasions, throwing sound and gas bombs, beating adults and children, preventing movement, and threatening people. 11 February: Jeeps entered village at night and threw sound bombs. 12 February: Jeeps entered village at night and threw sound bombs. 13 February: Soldiers locked people inside shop, beat man, slapped boy and threatened elderly man (HR Report 291) 14 February: Jeeps entered village at night. Soldiers held identity cards of two men, threatened them. (HR Report 290) 15 February: Jeeps entered village at night, hit two boys aged 18 and 19 with rubber bullets. 16 February: Jeeps entered village at night (around 6pm) and threw sound and gas bombs in center of village. 17 February: Soldiers entered village at about 12 noon, after prayer time. One jeep stopped in front of shop in the center of the village. Two brothers, aged 23 and 25, were inside shop. The soldiers demanded to know who had thrown bottles of lime at the army jeep. The soldiers slapped one man and held a gun to his head. Another brother, aged 31, entered and the soldiers pushed them all against a wall, cursed at them and demanded that they wash their jeep. In addition, a few hours in the day, the jeeps stopped in front of the primary school and reportedly prevented students from passing in the road. Date report written on: February 23, 2007 The International Women's Peace Service, Haris, Salfit, Palestine. Tel:- (09)-2516-644 Email:- email@example.com Website:- www.iwps.info Operating out of Haris, near Salfit, the International Women's Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Haris area. Human Rights Report No. 302 Summary: Israeli soldiers entered home in village of Marda, intimidated and abused 14 year old boy. Date of incident: March 05, 2007 Place: Marda Witnesses: Family in Residence Description of incidents: At 3:00 p.m. on 5 March 2007, ten soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Forces forced their way into a family home in the village of Marda. According to the family, soldiers arrived in two jeeps and demanded entry into the home, breaking a window and kicking the door open in the process. The soldiers targeted the 14 year old son, shook him, intimidated him with threats, and hit him. The family reports that the boy and other family members incurred no physical injuries. The soldiers searched the entire house, throwing clothes on the floor. The family suspects that their son was targeted because of last week’s arrests of 8 boys from Marda. The soldiers remained in the home for approximately one hour. This is the second time that the family has been targeted by the IOF. Recently another son, 21 years of age, was arrested and held by the Israeli forces for one week. Date of report: March 05, 2007 Human Rights Report No. 304 Summary: Israeli soldiers arrest 8 young men. Date of incident: February 27, 2007 Place: Marda Witnesses: Victims Description of incidents: On February 27th, 2007, 8 young men from the village of Marda were arrested for allegations of throwing stones on the main road. 1. At 2:55 a.m., one family of 6 awoke to soldiers pounding on their door. Nine soldiers broke the glass above the door and went to the other side of the house. Seven minutes of silence followed. Then soldiers put their machine guns through the windows and kicked the door demanding to be let in the house. The father opened the door only to be forced outside with the entire family, including two sleeping babies. Soldiers checked everyone’s ID, searched the entire house, and asked for their 18 year old son who was sleeping away at his sister’s house. The father told the soldiers where to find his son and two soldiers forced him to walk 400 meters to get him with their guns in his back. As they walked, the soldiers threatened to hold him accountable if his son was not found. When they arrived at the house, the soldiers found the son and took him in custody. 2. At 3:00 a.m. the same day, soldiers targeted another family. Date of report: March 08, 2007 The International Women's Peace Service, Haris, Salfit, Palestine. Tel:- (09)-2516-644 Email:- firstname.lastname@example.org Website:- www.iwps.info Operating out of Haris, near Salfit, the International Women's Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Haris area. Human Rights Report No. 308 Summary: Israeli soldiers invade family’s home twice; steal 875 NIS; ransack house; blindfold, handcuff, abduct, and beat three sons aged 13-21, one beaten unconscious Dates of incidents: Mar 11 and 14, 2007 Place: Marda Witnesses: Victims and family First incident A 19-year-old Palestinian man reported that at around 8.30 – 9.00 pm on Sunday March 11, 2007, soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Forces came with 3 jeeps and began kicking the family’s door and throwing sound bombs outside the house. He was studying upstairs for a university English exam the next day when he heard a lot of noise and went downstairs to see what was happening. About 14 soldiers were in and around his house. They grabbed him and hit him several times. His father, mother, aunt, and 13-year-old brother tried to intervene but the soldiers slapped his father, pushed his mother and aunt to the ground, and pushed his little brother down and hit him in the stomach each time he tried to get up. Each time his mother and aunt screamed with horror at the beating of the young boy, the soldiers beat him again. Shortly after, several soldiers covered the 13-year-old boy’s face at once so that he could not breathe, suffocating him. The soldiers ransacked the house and took several greeting cards and photographs of the brothers, which they laughed at. They destroyed some of the children’s toys, took several CDs, and stole 400 NIS from one brother’s wallet. The soldiers handcuffed (painfully tight) the 19-year-old and his 13-year-old brother and took them in jeeps to the gate at the entrance to the village where they beat the 13-year-old as his older brother was blindfolded and forced to listen from the jeep. They kicked the young boy and beat him with their fists, bats, and guns. While hitting the 13 year old, soldiers asked him who had thrown stones at them. They made fun of him, taking away his hat and calling him Hamas. When the boy told the soldiers that he was sick, one soldier said that they would punish him to the point of death. After half an hour of beating, the soldiers left the boy to walk home. After dropping off his younger brother, the soldiers took the 19-year-old brother to the Ariel police station where they continued to beat him with their fists, bats, and guns all over his body, particularly in his head and temples. All the time he was blindfolded so he never knew from where the next blow was coming. They also kicked and choked him. When he asked the commander for some water he told him “go to hell.” One soldier even forced his boot into the young man’s mouth and kicked him in the groin. At this point he lost consciousness. He regained consciousness when they threw cold water on his face. They continued to beat him and accused him of throwing stones, destroying settlers’ cars, and being a member of Hamas. After beating him for almost 4 hours, the soldiers gave him a document and told him to report to Military Prison in Qedumin settlement three days later for further questioning. Then they drove him to the gate at the entrance to Marda village and left him there. It was about 1.00 am. His family reported that when he came home it looked as if he’d taken a blood shower. Second incident The eldest of the three sons who is 21 years old reported that on Wednesday March 14, 2007, the same soldiers returned to his home in 3 jeeps. They cursed at the father who tried to stop their entry, tracked mud through the house, searched everything, broke a cabinet, and stole some more CDs and photos. They handcuffed the 21-year-old and his 19-year-old brother (the same one who was beaten unconscious three nights before) and took them to an abandoned building off the main street outside of Marda. They took the eldest son’s wallet and phone, and without saying a word, they began punching the brothers, especially in the face. After a long beating, they began to accuse the brothers of throwing stones, possessing weapons, and being members of Hamas. The young men denied the allegations. The soldiers then took their coats, brought them out into the rain, and began to beat them again. Having beaten them for almost 2 hours total, they left the young men at the entrance of their village. They returned the eldest brother’s phone and ID but stole 60 NIS, 70 JD (worth more than 415 NIS), and the university papers that were in his wallet. SOLDIERS HAVE CONTINUED TO INVADE MARDA ALMOST NIGHTLY FOR MORE THAN ONE MONTH. Date of report: March 17, 2007 The International Women's Peace Service, Haris, Salfit, Palestine. Tel:- (09)-2516-644 Email:- email@example.com Website:- www.iwps.info Operating out of Haris, near Salfit, the International Women's Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Haris area.