Message from Jerusalem

John O'Neill johnfergaloneill at eircom.net
Tue Aug 13 15:50:43 MDT 2002


Friends,

Sorry for clogging up your email accounts in the last week, I know many of
you are on holidays and will come back to endless messages about Palestine,
but since Ive had easy access to email in last week, Ive taken advantage.

We have left Al fara camp and we're now in Jerusalem to discuss with the
coordinators of the ISM where we are needed now. We had long discussions
with community leaders and the affected family in AL Fara camp and though
there were other internationals in Nablus City available to replace us they
felt they did not need them at the moment. It is possible that some of the
family may move back into the house. We were very sad leaving Al Fara, not
only because we have made so many good friends there, but because we know
that the army could come at any time and destroy the familys home and cause
mayhem in the surrounding area. All we managed to do was maybe delay this
act of revenge against innocent people and perhaps highlight this barbaric
policy of collective punishment.

Below I attach a report on our journey to Jerusalem written by one of my
comrades, Matt Horton, from the USA. I dont know where we're going next, but
we'll probably leave Jerusalem tommorrow morning. Again sorry for the
constant stream of mail.

All the best

Colm

FROM AL FARA TO JERUSALEM

We left the camp at 5am this morning through Tubas and
down to Muasker Tiaseer (Tiaseer Army Base) where we
parked in a line of cars to wait for the road to open
at 5:30am.  When the time came around, we were
searched, questioned, passed and continued down the
mountains toward Jericho en route to Jerusalem.  From
the Tubas region down to the Jordan border there was
nothing but military bases, bedouin camps and
settlements.  When we reached the border, i was
surprised that it was not heavily fortified (at least
compared to the San Diego-Tijuana border i am used to)
and i guess it is naive, but that we were close enough
to see jordanian villages from the highway.

We passed two checkpoints on the highway to Jericho
where our paalestinian taxi was pulled to the side to allow cars with
yellow'israeli' license plates to pass freely while we, with
white plates, waited inspection and questioning.
After turning on to the road to Jerusalem (al-Quds),
we were stopped by a border police jeep who also searched and
questioned us.

The taxi took us to Qalandia checkpoint, between
al-Quds and Ramallah, where we got another taxi to
take us into Al-Quds.  When we reached the checkpoint
into the city, the soldiers looked at us
internationals, checked our passports, didnt check any
of the palestinians, and turned us around.  20
creative minutes later through residential streets, we
arrived at the old city.







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