This is predominantly a message from Anna. It was related to me over the phone this afternoon. Anna has been in Nablus since Sunday, and has no access to a computer, but she asked me to relay this information to the members of her group.
Anna was interviewed recently for the show "Flashpoints" on KPFA radio in Berkeley. The broadcast will be at the top of the 5 o'clock (pacific time) hour today. You can go to the website www.flashpoints.net to listen or find local affiliates. [NOTE: this interview has already aired but is archived online at: http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=18897, starting 10 minutes and 34 seconds into the program.]
The city of Nablus has been under siege by the Israeli military for over two days now. Over 80 military vehicles and the Israeli troops accompanying them have imposed a complete day and nighttime curfew on the residents. The city of Nablus was already the subject of a disastrous U.S. led international embargo which has exacerbated the effects of the curfew. The people, who otherwise might have been a little more prepared to be stuck in their homes for days on end, are suffering in what Anna called an impending humanitarian crisis.
Anna is in the company of and working with other internationals delivering bread, milk, and medical supplies, and trying to attend to sick people. She has primarily been accompanying the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees.
Anna estimates that at least 25 homes have been completely overtaken by the Israeli military, and they are using them for military bases, prisons, and interrogation centers.
Anna reports that she has witnessed the Israeli military:
-- beat Palestinian civilians
-- employ humiliation tactics
-- handcuff and arrest civilians
-- use Palestinians as human shields
Anna also observed at least 8 people in need of insulin who are unable to receive treatment. She told me the story of one man critically wounded by a tear gas bomb in his own house. His family also suffered, but the man's asthma significantly worsened his condition. He is still in need of medical attention.
Anna was encouraged when I told her that I had read about the siege in an Associated Press article, and online from one of Israel's newspapers, Haaretz. From those articles and speaking with Anna, I understand that one unarmed Palestinian man was fatally shot.
Anna stressed to me that innocent civilians breaking the curfew imposed by the Israeli military is an inspirational example of nonviolent resistance employed by the Palestinians. By simply walking down the streets of their own city in the daylight, they are fighting oppression without violence.
Monday, February 26, 2007