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International Activists Abducted by Settlers From Itamar Settlement and Arrested
11:18am Thu Jan 30 '03
At 11 am ISM activists Colin Kelsall (from the UK) and Satoshi Itakura (Japan), staying at Yanoon in the Occupied West Bank, were told by Palestinians that settlers from Itamar Settlement had moved onto Palestinian farmland and were working the land with tractors.
The two activists went alone to observe the situation and were approached by two armed settlers who demanded to see their passports. An altercation took place when the activists refused to hand over their passports and the settlers used their mobile phones to call in more settlers from Itamar.
After 20 minutes 3 more armed settlers arrived and the activists decided to retreat from the area by walking away. They were overtaken by the settlers who attacked them and confiscated their phone and camera. Then they confiscated their jackets, shoes, socks, wallets and passports and made them lie face down on the ground while they kicked them, walked on them and trod on their fingers.
After about 30 minutes they marched them back towards Itamar settlement. When they got to the fence separating the farmland from the settlement the settlers received a phone call then halted, making their prisoners lie face down on the ground again, while they walked on them and kicked them. This continued for another 20 minutes until the Army arrived, returned them their property (excluding the camera and the phone) and set the activists free.
The activists returned to Yanoon but ten minutes later the Army arrived to arrest them for trespassing on settler property. They are currently in detention at the Arael police station near Salfit.
For further information contact
Robin on 059 350 466 or
Michael (02) 277 4602 mob: 067 862 439.
ISM Media Coordinator
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2:17pm Thu Jan 30 '03
International organizations like ISM are actually
used by the Palestinians to instigate conflict
with their Jewish neighbors. The ISM might sound
like a very nice group of sweet people but are
often a group of provocateurs
Palestinians often send foreigners into the no
man's land to provoke Israeli residents, who have
been targeted by terrorists and whose suspicions
are aroused when they observe people in the
prohibited area. This often results in violent
incidents which can be filmed and photographed
for propoganda purposes.
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It was instigated long ago.
by John Veldhuis
2:37pm Thu Jan 30 '03
Israeli residents have no business there, they are
illegal immigrants according to international
law, so they are doing all the provocating.
Israeli residents have no right to attack, rob
and torture anyone inside Israel, they seem to
find nothing lies in their way to do so in the
The Israeli residents here are the terrorists who
should have been arrested by the Israeli Army,
instead they get their full cooperation.
"Israeli residents" sounds so sweet and innocent,
where in fact the ones living outside of Israel
in the Stolen Territories are the people causing
suicide bombings, together with terrorist parts
of the Israeli Army (yeah I found out not
everyone in the Israeli Occupation Army is a
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Just a disclaimer: I am believe that the occuapation is wrong, that confiscation of land is wrong, that collective punishment is wrong,that a just Palestinian state must be established soon, that Israel must dismantle settlements, and address the refugee issue in a fair manner.
Having said that...
While the behavior of these settlers is clearly barbaric, illegal, and pathetic, the behavior of the "international activists" must also be brought into question. Why are these activists focussed on Israel? The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is trivial compmared to dozens of other conflicts raging around the world. Not that the loss of life, and harsh occupation are trivial, but in comparison, this conflict (which is two sided) doesn't even approach the levels of butchery and chaos raging elsewehre. Aren't there injustices in the U.K., and Japan (their home countries) that these people could be focussed on? Why are they meddling into affairs that 1. pale in comparison to other human rights abuses around the world, and 2, have nothing to do with them? Perhaps they should go to the Sudan where there has been an ACTUAL (as opposed to imagined) genocide going on for the past twenty years. Oh wait, they'd be instantly abducted, and killed, and besides nobody cares about the unfortunate Black non-Muslims who are being murdered by the Arab Muslim majority. Its only when Jews are the perpetrators of some injustice (real or exaggerated) that these internationals feel compelled to action. Jews have been the target of oppression, and derision for too long. This is why Irael exists. These internationals are simply perpetuating the long heritage of their ancestors in singling out Jews above all others, as the target of their hatred and blame. Its funny how "peace" activists can be so full of hate, scorn, and judgement. Seriously, who are these people? Who are they that they can afford to not work, or be in school, and meddle in other people's affairs? Who's funding them? Are they spoiled rich kids who think this is some kind of glamerous danger vacation? If you are one of these people,(and I do apoligize for offending you,) I'd love to know whats motivating you. Why did you choose Israel to go to to carry out your huminatarian mission above all other places on earth? Are there people who do this in other countries? I'd really like to know.
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(Why) is Israel singled out?
4:35am Sun Feb 2 '03
Hello Amir, I visited Palestine aka the occupied territories as an international last year. I come from a palestinian family, and i wanted to come and see for myself what the situation is like instead of depending only on media which are always biased towards one side or the other. I wanted to do something hands-on instead of complaining about how bad things are. And i was hoping to inspire in other Palestinians the belief i hold, that resistance can be achieved through non-violent means. If you care to know, I also spent time in Israel and got to know Israelis, discussed with them about the occupation as well as how they experience their daily life. Many of them actually approved about my intentions.
While i agree that not all of the other internationals i met made the same effort to take a balanced view that i did, i don't think it's fair to accuse those people of being antisemitic. More than a few "internationals" are jewish themselves, did you know? And even the others aren't jobless punks seeking the ultimate kick. Among them you find lawyers, doctors, housewives, artists... many took unpaid leave or sacrificed a part of their vacation. All of them were scared shit that something could happen to them, but they are the kind of persons that want to be able to look their grandchildren in the eyes one day and say: I didn't just sit there and watch.
Why do they single out Israel, you ask. As you point out correctly, there are so many causes in this unjust world, worth fighting for. Of the people that are actually unselfish enough to stand up for others less privileged, some engage in the fight against landmines, others against child prostitution in china.
And yes, some single out the injustices Israel commits against the Palestinians. Why shouldn't they? Even if the death toll in Sudan is much bigger, does that make the israeli crimes any better? The way the israeli occupation army (aka IDF) and especially the colonizers (aka settlers) behave IS outrageous by any standards and justifies being accused, period. (By the way, nobody in Sudan claims to be the only democracy in the region and to uphold moral standards in a barbaric environment) And let's not forget, Israel is seeking a lot of attention everytime a suicide attack happens. When you do that you can't complain when you DO get attention but maybe not in the way you wanted...
Anyway Amir, believe it or not, to most people Israel is just one of many concerns. And in my humble opinion, Israel still has more friends than enemies... at least in the places that count.
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