- On Dec. 28th, the Israeli army fired on peace activists, protesting against the apartheid wall, injuring one American and one Israeli, Gil Naamati.
Naamati had just finished his compulsory Israeli military service and joined the demo because he was outraged by the separation wall and its consequences on Palestinians; his injuries fueled the growing debate in Israel over the army’s actions in the Palestinian territories.
- On Dec. 29th, armed settlers attacked and brutalized a Palestinian man in Halhoul.
- On Dec. 25th, Israel launched a missile attack in Gaza, killing 5 Palestinians; shortly after, there was a Palestinian bombing in Tel Aviv that killed 4; all this followed a two day assault on the Rafah refugee camp, which left 9 Palestinians dead.
- The meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian PMs is on hold.
- On Dec. 28th, Israeli soldiers killed 3 Palestinians in Gaza; Israeli leaders signed orders to evacuate four of the ?gwildcat settler outposts?h, 3 of which are uninhabited, and the settlers say they will oppose the action. The settler population has grown by 16% under Ariel Sharon?fs government, as compared with just 1.8% for the county as a whole; outlying settlements had a particularly high growth rate.
An interview with Melissa, a B.C. peace activist, who had just finished a three month volunteer period with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. Melissa spent the majority of her time in the Rafah refugee camp, and was one of the few international observers to the devastation Israel is inflicting there. She spoke of the destroyed homes, the despair and poverty of the people, and the meager amount of international aid for the families made homeless by Israel. She encouraged all interested people to support the work of ISM, either by going as volunteers themselves or by getting involved in the Vancouver chapter (www.ism-vancouver.org).
Focus on Zionism
Reporters San Frontiers (RSF) lambasted Israel for its abuse and harassment of Palestinian and foreign journalists. Israeli troops have killed 10 journalists, two of them European, during the second intifada. Many journalists agree that Israeli attacks on press freedom have reached a new level of ferocity.