logo
  ABOUT US  
  YOUR CONTENT arrow
  EDITORIAL arrow
  PECKHAM PULSE  
  PECKHAM arrow
  V DAY arrow
  OUR TV WORK arrow
  DIARY  
  NEWS arrow
     KENTUCKY   
     LOCAL RADIO STORY   
     PALESTINE-ISRAEL   
     ELEFEST 08   
     B Tselem   
     PEACE BREAKFAST   
     LOCAL POWER   
     Indymedia   
     Do U Love Peckham   
     FREE SPEECH   
     ST_PETER   
     ARTS on S.TV   
     St_Peters   
     Sunshine Cube   
     LONDON LISTINGS   
     Alternative Iraq   
     chickenshed   
  MENTAL FIGHT CLUB  
  MY LONDON  
  S.TV INTERNATIONAL arrow
  MENTAL HEALTH arrow
  VIDEOS  
  SLIDESHOW  
  NOTICEBOARD  
  SOUTHWARK.TV arrow
  CONTACT  
  LINKS  
 
Home  divider  Sitemap  divider  Help  divider  Media Library  divider  Find a Partner  
divider
John Lynes of CPT sends news from Palestine

Ship for Gaza stormed by Israel

Ishmahil Blagrove, Black film-maker and founder of RicenPeas Films is currently being held in Ramla High Security Prison in Israel, along with other UK nationals and ex US senator Cynthia McKinney. Ishmahil was aboard the Free Gaza ship, Spirit of Humanity that was attempting to take aid and toys to the beseiged people of Gaza. Ishmahil was intending to make a film about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Israelis opened fire on the unarmed ship when it was 23 miles off the coast of Gaza, in international waters on Tuesday, 30th June. They then boarded the ship in Palestinian waters and arrested all on board including Mairead McGuire a Nobel Prize winner whose wherabouts are currently unknown. So far there has been little or no coverage of the incident.

Ishmahil's work has previously been broadcast by both the BBC and Channel 4.

Please do what you can to spread the word about this.

Thanks
  3/7/2009           

Iíve been back in Hebron for nearly two weeks. Itís good to be here again.

In 1994 the Israeli army (IDF) closed the Palestinian wholesale market in the Old City of Hebron. Israeli settlers squatted in some of the shops, turning them into dwellings. A year ago the Israeli court ordered the army to evict them. The settlers appealed to their supporters to rally to Hebron. The senior army officer avoided a violent confrontation by promising that if the settlers left peacefully they would soon be permitted to return as legal occupants. They left, but the Israeli government promptly repudiated the compromise, which the officer had not been authorised to offer.

For some months the shops stayed empty. Then a couple of Israeli families quietly reoccupied them, in defiance of Israeli law. Again the Israeli army moved to evict them, and hundreds of Israeli extremists flocked into Hebron. Some set fire to a mosque, a Palestinian school and several empty Palestinian buildings. As you can imagine Christian Peacemakers were dashing hither and thither trying to reduce the level of violence. Hooligans also attacked Palestinian civilians, including women and babies.

It came as a relief when the Israeli army went into the wholesale market in the early hours last Monday morning to remove the settlers, some of whom had welded their doors shut from the inside. The attached photograph shows that the assault took place quite close to the CPT office. Considerable violence and several injuries occurred, three soldiers were taken to hospital, but by mid-morning the eviction was complete.

When I wrote to you last May, I mentioned the Palestinian cafť just opened near the Beit Romano checkpoint. It has borne fruit. Other shops have opened in the same square, and the Israeli army has ordered them to close. One of the shop-keepers, Abu Hatem, refused to stay shut until the army could show him a written order. Day after day Christian Peacemakers took it in turns to sit with him in his shop in case the army turned up to intimidate him. Finally last Thursday morning an Israeli patrol arrived with a written order and portable welding equipment. We wanted to stay sitting in Abu Hatemís shop to resist his eviction non-violently, but he would not let us. An attached photograph shows an Israeli officer welding his shop shut, with the merchandise still inside; Abu Hatem is standing just behind him.

Two small incidents in one week. What do they purport? Firstly it is clear that settlers in Hebron no longer have unquestioning support from the IDF, though casual attacks on Palestinian people and property are generally ignored. Secondly it is clear that the IDF has chosen to be seen clamping down on even peaceful symbolic Palestinian resistance: one of the soldiers closing Abu Hatemís shop told us that this was to appease the settlers.

The Christian Peacemaker Team is continuing to watch the situation. Please continue to pray for all peacemakers in Hebron Ė Palestinian resisters who refuse to be provoked into using violence, and Israelis who come from outside to stand alongside them. It is a privilege to be working with such brave people.

John / Joe / Dad / Grandad / Haj (Lynes)
  12/8/2007