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News ::
I Was Shot While Escorting Jenin's School Children (english)
24 Nov 2002
Modified: 26 Nov 2002
shocking to read this . . .

CounterPunch, November 23, 2002

I Was Shot While Escorting Jenin's School Children

(Interviewed by Annie Higgins)

In today's reinvasion of Jenin Refugee Camp, the Israeli Occupation Forces made the bottom section of the camp into a closed military zone in the morning, using about twelve tanks, ten jeeps, and at
least two Apache helicopter gunships. I had been trying to get between the unarmed children and the tanks, when I received a call from a friend who wanted me to evacuate her sick daughter as the Army would not let any ambulances through. I went with a friend who is a Palestinian journalist, and we were immediately arrested, along with another international volunteer, and taken to a place where about twenty Palestinian men were being held. They were blindfolded, handcuffed, stripped to their trousers or underwear, and beaten severely. After I was detained for two hours and interrogated briefly, the Israeli soldiers said that I was free to go. I asked permission to remain with the men, hoping to minimise the violence, but the soldiers refused, saying it was not allowed. When I refused
to leave, I was forcibly dragged away, pulled down the road, and told that if I returned to the area I would be shot.

I went back the way I had come, past the United Nations compound.
There I spoke briefly with Iain Hook, Project Manager of UNRWA
[United Nations Relief Works Agency] in Jenin, who said he was
trying to negotiate with the soldiers for women and children to go
home. He came out of the UN compound waving a blue UN flag,
and the soldiers' only response was to broadcast with their
microphone in English, "We don't care if you are the United Nations
or who you are. Fuck off and go home!" They were trying to go
home. Iain said that things were not going well. He insisted that he
wanted to provide safe passage for his forty Palestinian workers and
himself using legal means, i.e., official coordination with the Ar
Some worried parents had begun to knock a hole in the wall at the
back of the compound to evacuate children who were there for a
vaccination programme. We accompanied some of the children

After this, I headed again to the sick girl's house. On the way I met a
group of children who told me that a ten-year-old friend of mine,
Muhammad Bilalo, had been killed and three children had been
wounded by tank fire, one of whom sustained brain damage. So I
went to where the children were gathered, and the tanks were firing
on them erratically. I walked down the road between the children
and the tanks until I was fifty meters from the tank, where I tried to
dialogue with the soldiers. I implored them not to shoot live
ammunition at unarmed children. At that point, they stopped their
shooting. A few moments later, an APC drove up to the tank [an
armed personnel carrier, like a tank with all the armour except a
cannon]. I could see their faces very clearly and I imagine they could
see mine also. I had seen both of these tanks earlier in the day. A
soldier raised his upper body and his gun out of the hatch of the
second vehicle and began shooting. At first he shot into the air, and
most of the children dispersed, running into an alley on the left side
of the street. About three small children remained, however, and I
tried physically to get them to the alley, dragging and pushing them.
I looked back over my shoulder and could see the soldier in the
APC pointing his gun at me from about one hundred meters. Near
the entrance to the alley, I was shot in the thigh. When I fell they
continued shooting in my direction. I crawled part of the way up the
alley, and then some of the youngsters dragged me up the rest of
the way. No ambulances were allowed into the camp, so I was
carried on a makeshift stretcher to where a Red Crescent
ambulance could reach me near the entrance of the camp. While I
was in the Emergency Room of Jenin Hospital, Iain Hook of
UNRWA was brought in. He died a few minut
es later.

We have been told that when he was shot, the Israeli Army
prohibited a clearly marked UN ambulance from evacuating him and
transporting him for nearly an hour, during which time he lost much
blood. Finally the ambulance crew evacuated him by taking him out
by the back wall that employees had broken down earlier.

Having been present in the Camp all morning, I can testify that any
Palestinian fighters had stopped shooting a good two hours before
either of us was wounded. When I passed the UN compound in the
morning, it was surrounded by Israeli Army snipers and soldiers who
were shooting erratically into the Camp. Two people were killed and
six wounded. All but one were shot by tank fire outside what the
Army deemed a closed military zone. I was not caught up in any
kind of crossfire as the Israeli Occupation Forces are falsely stating,
and I don't believe that Iain was either.

The massacre has not stopped. Human rights violations and war
crimes seen so blatantly across the world in April of this year
continue on a daily basis in Jenin. Yesterday, with the casual killings
that marked it, was not an unusual day in Jenin. It has become a
potentially suicidal act to engage in the most basic acts of survival.
The Israeli Occupation Forces engage again and again in a shoot-
to-kill policy without regard as to whether its targets are civilians or
armed fighters. Israelis have been shown in April that they can get
away with a massacre, and that all the international condemnation
in the world cannot get one ambulance in to evacuate a wounded

Thus the lack of accountability on Israel's part has become bolder
as the events witnessed yesterday become almost standard. These
are not military campaigns. They are acts of terror designed to
humiliate, brutalise, and bully Palestinians into subjugation. They
are being denied not only the right to resist, but to exist.

Annie Higgins in Jenin (tel: + 972-67-540-298)

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Just more terrorism (english)
26 Nov 2002


5 Arabs killed, 13 injured in Tul Karm
Five Palestinians, including a wanted man, at least two innocent bystanders and a
13-year-old boy, were killed yesterday in Tul Karm, when an army force arrived at the
home of wanted Fatah man Tarek al Za'al and demanded he give himself up.

When he refused, a helicopter gunship opened fire at the house. Za'al was killed, as were
four passersby, said Palestinian sources, Iham Zakle, 13; Ziad Masharka, 33; Sha'aban
Badir, 33; and Ahmed Juissy, 30. In addition, 13 other Palestinians were wounded, some
seriously, including several children, said Palestinian sources.....

Haaretz 11/20/02


IDF: British UNRWA worker in Jenin mistakenly shot
by soldier
An initial IDF investigation into the death of Iain Hook, a British UNWRA official who
was killed Friday during a gunfight between soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank
city of Jenin, revealed that he was mistakenly shot by an IDF soldier......

Elsewhere in the camp in different shooting incidents, an 11-year-old
Palestinian boy was killed and an Irish national wounded.....

By Ha'aretz Service and AP


Palestinian youth killed in clashes with Israeli army

Israeli troops enforcing a curfew have clashed with dozens of young Palestinian
stone-throwers, killing a 15-year-old boy.....

Four other Palestinians aged between 10 to 15 have been killed by Israeli gunfire in and
around Nablus in the last two weeks as the death toll from the two-year-old Palestinian
uprising approaches 2,500.... 10/6/02


15:15) Two Palestinian children killed in IAF attack
By The Jerusalem Post Internet Staff
Two Palestinian children were killed when an IAF helicopter, apparently targeting an
Islamic Jihad leader, fired at least two missiles at a car in Hebron earlier this afternoon.

The two children killed in the attack, who may have been in a nearby car at the time, were
aged three and 13-years-old.

Palestinian toddler killed in army
November 14 2002
A two-year-old Palestinian boy has been killed and his mother wounded by Israeli army
gunfire in Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, according to witnesses....
Asa'ad al-Masri told Reuters that Israeli forces had opened fire from tanks. He said he and
his wife, each with a child in their arms, had fled their home near the border after the
shooting began and that their two other children followed them.....
It was the latest child death in the last few days of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A two-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by army gunfire in Gaza the next day.

Sydney Morning

Palestinian boy, 8, killed by IDF gunfire in Nablus By and Arnon Regular, Ha'aretz
Correspondents, Ha'aretz Service and Agencies

An eight-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by IDF gunfire Monday in the West Bank city
of Nablus.

The children gathered in the center of the city, hurling stones at an army jeep, witnesses
said. The soldiers opened fire, killing Jihad Faqeh, an 8-year-old boy who was standing in
a side alley, hospital officials said.

Seven Palestinians were wounded, including two adults who were in serious condition.

IDF sources said the boy threw two explosive devices at troops carrying out operations in
the Casbah. The soldiers returned fire, killing the boy.

Haaretz 11/25


Soldiers killed an armed Palestinian and wounded several others, including a 14-year-old
Haaretz 11/26/ 02