Appalling Accounts from Ramallah

John Cox hazel_motes52 at
Mon Apr 1 06:38:13 MST 2002

The Palestine Monitor,
A PNGO Information Clearinghouse

Appalling Accounts from Ramallah
30th March 2002

Today is the second day of Sharon’s appalling war
against the Palestinian civilian population in
Ramallah, and the first day of attacks, siege and
curfews in the Bethlehem area.

Throughout the day, thousands of new soldiers were
deployed inside Ramallah and, as we write, even more
are heading towards the already besieged and occupied
city. Israeli snipers sit on the top of all the high
buildings, and a complete 24-hour curfew is being
enforced across the town. Hence, no one is able, or
willing to leave the homes or other buildings. Since
yesterday afternoon a total of five members of the
Palestinian Police have been assassinated; the
policemen, who were on duty at the time, did not shoot
at or display any resistance to the Israeli soldiers,
however they were shot dead at point blank range.

Attacks on medical staff and services continue. The
Arab Care Hospital has been attacked and searched; the
only two ambulances available to medical relief teams
were both confiscated by the Israelis (one yesterday
at 10 PM and the second this morning with its driver,
Mr. Mahad al-Qadi, who, at the time of writing, is
still under Israeli detention).  We have been
receiving alarming news about Israeli soldiers using
the ambulances in their raids against Palestinians.

Since yesterday Israeli soldiers have been carrying
out house-to-house searches. In addition to the terror
caused by armed soldiers forcibly entering the
premises and removing fathers and brothers, soldiers
are also causing the utmost possible material damage,
destroying all furniture, fixtures and ransacking all
belongings. It has also been reported that some
soldiers are stealing money and mobile handsets.
Several witnesses are available, who also intend to
make formal complaints

Soldiers have also taken control local television
station, and have been broadcasting racist material
with anti-Arab content as well as pornographic videos.

The overall mood is of despair and apprehension and
Palestinians feel completely vulnerable.

Today scores of women together with international
grass-root solidarity teams (GIPP and ISM) attempt to
defy the curfew and demonstrate in the center of the
city – approximately 100 people were arrested,
including several political leaders. GIPP delegates
from various countries who were inside Ramallah when
the invasion took place, managed to reach the Ramallah
Hospital to donate blood, and a number of them managed
to reach the compound of the Palestinian Authority.
Some of them still remain in the compound.

The Israeli military aggression has already caused a
major crisis in the Palestinian Territories, what is
as worrying is the humanitarian crisis in the making:
pregnant women cannot risk seeking proper medical care
for eventual deliveries, many injured people are still
inside the PA compound and it is impossible for local
medical teams provide care for them or anyone who is
in need of medical care.

We demand immediate international pressure to allow
provision of medical care and, foremost, we call upon
you to exercise the utmost pressure possible on
Israeli authorities and missions abroad for the end to
the atrocious military actions.

For more information contact the Palestine Monitor at
+972 (0)59 208258

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