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5 April - Brutality of Israeli Army continues in Palestine

Palestine Indymedia reports that "the Palestinian Red Crescent [the Muslim equivalent of the Red Cross] has announced the cessation of all its operations due the ongoing and massive Israeli assaults against its hospitals, clinics, ambulances, and medical staff in all areas targeted by the current Israeli military campaign.

News from Bethlehem:
photo: "Image of a 'shaheed', martyr, from Bethlehem. his name was Abood Issa Al Omari. he was 75 years old. He was shot and then denied access to medical care. He bled to death in his home." [ photo from Palestine Indymedia ]

April 05, 2002 12:30--"An emergency medical ambulance team delivered a Palestinian man with gunshot wounds to the emergency ward of al-Husayn Hospital after a humiliating and frightening experience. The ambulance driver and attendant were detained at gunpoint for three hours with their hands tied behind their backs and guns to their heads before being warned not try to save anyone else and allowed to retrieve the wounded man and return to the hospital."

News from Ramallah:
April 05, 2002 13:00--"American citizen Karen Wheeler and British national Dan Glazebrook were forcibly taken off a UPMRC ambulance one hour ago. They were arrested and taken to the Beit El military compound, the British embassy confirmed. Internationals began riding ambulances in an effort to get medical aid to the dying and injured. Palestinian civilians and medics incur even more danger on the ambulances because the IDF punishment is so severe therefore the international civilians have been attempting to provide medical assistance to the Palestinians under siege. The internationals are facing deportation. Buildings around the UPMRC have been destroyed and a clinic has been torn apart and all of the files stolen. Currently there are seven, brave Israeli women volunteering at the UPMRC."

For breaking news, check in frequently with Palestine Indymedia.

Eye-witness report from Palestine [portland indymedia exclusive]: "I honestly don't feel like writing, because it's so damn depressing but on the other hand I want people to know the truth of the crisis here in Ramallah... The Israelis lifted the curfew for 2 hours to let people buy supplies and just breathe fresh air. It was a madhouse. The streets were jammed and supermarkets were packed. It was mainly parents buying milk and bread for their kids.... We [went to the] Ramallah hospital, the scene of much controversy. What is happening there is that Israelis attempted numerous times to go in and take who they wanted, but hospital staff and foreigners refused to let them in."
[ Read more ]

Global outcry
Concerned citizens, friends of Paletine, national governments, and those who oppose Israel's tactics have been protesting these events worldwide. Read more about actions in: Belgium, Berkeley, California, San Francisco, Washington DC, Italy, and Dublin, among other places. Additionally, the U.S. Green Party has called for an end to the violence.

Alternate point of view
Though the present situation in Palestine can be seen in terms of a well-funded, mainstream-media-pimped campaign of Israeli terror against Palestinians, the underlying conflicts are complex and contentious. However, a single thread, almost Biblical for its tenacity and pervasiveness, links most wars: authority's tyrranical perversion of the general populace's shared values. One assertion is that Palestinian Authority religious leaders are "interpreting and teaching Islam selectively, using traditional sources to justify and even to demand uncompromising hatred of Jews and Israel."

Contacting your representatives
Activists in Boston have set up a website to help you contact your representatives. "Please write your senators, reps, and media to insure that they know about the situation in Palestine right now. Hopefully, if we can bombard them with enough e-mails, letters, and phone calls they will take the correct action and pull Israel out of Palestine."
[ Details ]

Historical background: Brief history of the Palestinian conflict

Palestine Indymedia
San Francisco Indymedia
Global Indymedia