Cave dwellers hounded by Israelis

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Sep 23 07:49:21 MDT 2001

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 -

[During the past days news came out that 118 cave dwellers whose
dwellings had been demolished a few months ago and who survived in
make-shifts, were chased from their lands during the Jewish New Year
feast - following an action of Israelis to bring them food and water
(sic!). This is a description of what happened + a request to the
supporters worldwide to phone and/or write letters, followed by a
text about what we try to do locally. (NB: Israelis will find there
important additional information about the logistics of the Tuesday
action.) The text of the call in the name of a still growing
coalition of groups (so far: Gush Shalom, ICAHD, Rabbis For Human
Rights, Ta'ayoush, Women's Coalition) was written by Rabbi Arik
Asherman. We edited it a bit to make it understandable also for those
who are not acquainted with the Jewish religion.]

------------international appeal------

Dear Friends and Supporters

Over a year ago, 300 Cave Dwellers from the South Hebron Hills were
evacuated from their homes. You were kind enough to write letters to
the relevant authorities, which assisted us in returning the cave
dwellers to their homes. We are again asking for your help.

Erev Rosh Hashana - the evening which marks the beginning of the
Jewish New Year celebration, this year on Sept. 17. In utter cynicism
this was the time chosen by Israeli security forces for the expulsion
from their homes of 118 cave dwellers of the South Hebron Hills. This
happened in spite of an explicit written promise from the Attorney
General's office to attorney Shlomo Lecker not to do so without
giving time to appeal. The expulsion was apparently retaliation for
the Ta'ayush group's activity bringing massive amounts of
humanitarian aid a few days earlier.

In this precedent setting desecration of Rosh HaShanah, soldiers
arrived around 11:00 PM and evacuated Yusaf Akel Al-Jabur and his 11
family members from his 11 family members. The soldiers damaged
property and tents. After a verbal confrontation the soldiers agreed
to leave one tent for the children until 5:00 AM. Security Forces
moved on to the tents and homes of the families of Ahmed Nasser
al-Nawajeh and Jaber Hamad Nasser Al-Nawajeh (10 people) They also
made appoint of demolishing the water cistern filled by Ta'ayush. The
scene repeated itself on the property of Halil Mahmad Smallem
Al-Nawaja. His 14 year old son was arrested for an unknown reason for
7 hours. He was eventually released and left him to walk the 10
kilometer return trip. The sixty five year old wife of Nasser Mahmad
Al-Nafajeh (sorry that the report which I received does not have
women's names) was dragged on the ground, causing injury to both her
legs and body. The families of Issa Ahmad Shnaran (5 people) Musah
Ahmad Shnaran (4), Hasin Ahmad Shnaran (8), Naaman Shnaran (7), Bnei
Mahmad Abed Al-Mahsan Rashid (18), Halil Mahmad Hamdan Massalem
Al-Nawaja (4) , Halil Mahmad Abed Al-Mahsan Rashid (18), Halil Mahmad
Al-Harini Al-Nabi (5), Mhmad Hamadan Blal Al-Harini (6); Musa Asmail
Hamad Blal (7), Yusaf Al Daramin (6), Aref Mahmad Al-Bedarin (12),,
Assmail Sallami Al Nawajeh (9).

I know this is holiday time for many, while others are still wrapped
up in the terror attack on the US. However, please dig deep and find
a moment to write letters with copies to us of letters and responses:

Please Call Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: The Office of the Prime
Minister, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem, Israel; Office Tel.
972-2-6705555/10Fax: 972-2-566-4838/6705415; webmaster at

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres: HaKirya Romema Jerusalem
91950 sar at; Tel. 972 2 5303531/3631/530 fax (+972-2)
5303506 / 5303896 5303367 Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
sar at Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin Pilosof,
sgansar at

Colonel Dov Tzedaka, commander, Civil Administration Fax 972 2

President George W. Bush, Fax: +1-202-456-2461; E-mail:
president at;

Secretary of State Colin Powell, Fax: +1-202-261-8577; E-mail:
secretary at;

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Fax: +1-212.963.5012;
email: ecu at;

Personal Representative of the Secretary General to the United
Nations in Palestine Fax: + 972 8 282 0966 Email: unsco at

Political Advisers to Mr Miguel Moratinos - Special EU Envoy to the
M-E.: Fax: + 32 2 285 87 52; Mr/M. Bernardino
<bernardino.leon at>; Ms Karin Roxman
<karin.roxman at>; Mr/M. Christian Jouret
<christian.jouret at>;


appeal to the Israeli activists


Friends, We have the opportunity on Monday to really make a
difference in the lives of the at least 118 victims of the latest
expulsion attempt in the South Hebron Hills. The lesson learned from
our successful attempt to return the previous expelees is that a wide
coalition and mass action are effective. However, to do this, we need
you and everybody whom you know to be a part of this effort and
insure that there are hundreds joining us, the cave dweller's
attorney Shlomo Lecker and many other human rights organizations, in
a mass action to return those expelled on Rosh HaShana itself and in
spite of government commitments. You will determine whether or not
Israeli security forces will successfully overturn the High Court's
decision to reverse the previous expulsion and punish people for the
Ta'ayoush convoy bringing humanitarian aid a week ago.


1. 8:30 departure from Binyanei HaUma in Jerusalem and the Northern
Bus Station in TA. 2. 10:00 Shlomo Lecker will give an overview at
the Shoket junction 3.11:00 entry into area in order to rebuild the
cistern which Ta'ayoush had filled with water and the army destroyed,
work in the olive grove and creating a protest tent. 4. Second group
departs at 12:00 from Jerusalem and TA. 5. Those interested will
sleep over

Please let us know if you are coming so that we can plan
transportation. Please bring water and food. If you will be staying
overnight, bring a tent and/or sleeping bag.

As of now, the sponsoring coalition includes:

Gush Shalom Israeli Committee Against House Demolition Rabbis For
Human Rights Ta'ayoush Women's Coalition

A translated excerpt from David Grossman's article on 6.12.99 after
the previous expulsion "I stand here at the cave opening, see and
hear, but don't really grasp things: What is happening here, how is
it possible that we, each and every Israeli citizen, is "signed on"
to such a deed. We fund it with our taxes. We are accessories to it
when we send our children to this army. What is the connection
between the army we knew and this entity which oppresses defenseless
people... Mr. Prime Minister: To put it as simply as possible, it is
not fair to deal this way with people who are so weak. This is not
what you or I were educated to do. This is not what you taught
generations of soldiers This is not what we were thinking about when
we first learned so many years about the Prophet Nathan's parable to
King David about the last baby lamb stolen from a poor person."

Gmar Tov, Arik

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 09/23/2001

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