Forwarded from 'The Other Front'

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Tue May 16 13:36:19 MDT 2000


THE OTHER FRONT is on line, with this week's edition covering:

*Solidarity with the Prisoners Strong and Growing (see article below)
*Massive Demonstrations in the West Bank Teachers Strike
*Clashes in Gaza as Settlements Expand
*Palestinians in Israel Commemorate the Nakba
*The Living Hell of the Abu Haikal Family
*The PA Shows Who's Boss in Al Braij Refugee Camp
*NEWS BRIEFS

You can find us at http://www.alternativenews.org

SOLIDARITY WITH THE PRISONERS STRONG AND GROWING In Bethlehem, Clashes,
Protests and Vigils Take Place on a Daily Basis
by Shirabe Yamada

Last week, as the hunger strike demanding the release of the political
prisoners entered its second week, popular support for the solidarity
activities increased in the West Bank cities. In Bethlehem, the city
erupted almost on a daily basis, with each event ending with violent
confrontation with the IDF, as more than 30 people were injured in a total
of four clashes.

The open-ended strike, which started in Hadarim prison on May 1st and then
followed by the prisoners of Nafha and Bir Saba prisons after May 5th, has
been joined by political prisoners as well as their families. In Bethlehem
alone, 15 people have joined them in solidarity in a tent outside the
city's Red Cross.

The solidarity tent pitched near Bethlehem University has been serving as a
hub of activities- mothers of prisoners conducting daily vigils and the
names of 102 prisoners who died during the detention are displayed with
slogans and Palestinian flags, while many community members pay solidarity
visits around the clock.

On Monday, May 8th and Wednesday, May 10th, marches were organized from the
tent, swallowing more and more people as it proceeded on the
Jerusalem-Hebron Road. The marches, which gathered over 100 people, ended
up at the roadblock which marks the borders of Areas A and C right before
Rachel's Tomb, a religious-site-turned-IDF-fortress in the middle of a
heavily populated Palestinian area. IDF soldiers fired teargas and
rubber-coated metal bullets at the stone-throwing teenagers, activists,
mothers and children. Seven people were wounded on each day.

The most violent clashes took place on Friday, May 12th, when approximately
600 people marched to Rachel's Tomb. Eleven people were injured by IDF
bullets, including a nine-year-old boy who was shot in the eye.

In a society where almost all the families have experienced imprisonment of
their fathers and sons, "The rights of political prisoners is a sacred and
emotional issue for us," said Ziad Abbas, an ex-political prisoner from
Dheisheh Refugee Camp. The strike was organized in an attempt to raise an
issue which is being ignored and neglected by the leadership during the
"negotiations". Today, 1670 Palestinian political prisoners remain in
Israeli jails, 490 of them serving their time since before Oslo.


Louis Proyect

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