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The new year in palestine

jolifanto | 04.01.2004 18:23 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Repression | Cambridge

Shooting of Israeli anarchist during anti-wall protest; invasion of Nablus continues over the New Year.
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There has been a lot of press around the Israeli activist shot in the leg at the Mas'ha demonstration. Apparently he left military service only two weeks before the demonstration, and it was the things he saw on duty that made him protest. He was unlucky, out of two bullets hitting his leg, one shattered his kneecap.
I have to say that, given the usual trigger happiness of Israeli soldiers, to a certain extent it felt like it was about time an Israeli was shot for standing with Palestinians. My first thought when I saw Gil Na'amati go down and the blood welling out of his leg was not of shock, but of 'Oh look, they've shot somebody again.'
The shock and attention given to the shooting is both useful and frustrating. The Knesset and many newspapers have demanded to know who gave the orders, how an Israeli could have been shot by 'their own army' happened, why the 'non-lethal' tear gas and 'rubber bullets' (that killed three people in Balata last week) weren't used first. Yet this is unlikely to have an impact on Palestinians. The fact that this outcry happens when an Israeli is shot, as opposed to the many equally innocent Palestinians gunned down in Nablus alone, is a symptom of the obvious racism within the Israeli structures and international media. The same is also the case when an international is shot. Although Tom Hurndall's 'killer' [he remains in a vegetative state] was finally arrested after continued pressure from his family and supporters, children like those he was shot protecting continue to be killed in Rafah. It will take many more Palestinian, international and Israeli 'martyrs' before the occupation ends.

New Year's Eve the Army continued their operations in the Al-Karyon district of the Old City, blowing up walls and roofs. The small area has been under intense siege for over five days, with soldiers in almost every house. I entered the New Year visiting quivering families believing their roofs were going to fall on their heads and arguing with the non-drugged-up soldiers to allow the children to be evacuated out.
The next night, soldiers kidnapped the wife of Naif Abu Shareh (one of the men they want), and drove around the city with her in a jeep, hoping to pressure him into giving himself up.
Apart from minimal rifle fire (maximum a few shots a day), the first response from the 'armed resistance' to the ongoing invasion took place yesterday. A bomb attack near the Karyon district left two Israeli soldiers significantly wounded. There are warnings that if the Occupying Army remains in the city, people will take the risk and increase the attacks.

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