The Palestine Monitor,
A PNGO Information Clearinghouse

Urgent Appeal to Stop Implementation of Racist Separation Plan
1st June 2002

Since Wednesday, 28 May 2002, the Israeli army has been preventing all
residents of Ramallah, Birzeit and all villages in the surrounding areas
from passing through the Surda roadblock on the main Birzeit-Ramallah Road.

Israeli soldiers, with the support of at least one Armoured Personnel
Carrier (APC) began this procedure by stopping everyone attempting to cross
in one direction or the other, asking for and checking identification cards
of men and women of all ages. This process was taking them no less than 15
minutes per small group, thus causing a major back up in the flow of
traffic.

On that first day, Wednesday, the soldiers allowed some women to pass, while
no men were allowed through.  Male students of Birzeit University in
particular were prevented from passing and several of them were detained at
the roadblock for hours for no apparent reason.  Birzeit University could
not run classes as usual that day because more than half the student body,
staff and many faculty members could not reach the University.

On Thursday, 29 May, the Israeli army completely forbade people from
crossing the roadblock, thus paralyzing all movement between Ramallah and
the Birzeit areas.  Thousands of people could not go to work, schools and
hospitals, or to doctor’s appointments.  No food supplies or goods of any
kind were allowed to be transferred from trucks on the Ramallah side to
transport trucks waiting on the Surda side of the blockade.  Tear gas and
sound grenades were hurled at crowds waiting to pass over the dirt pile and
through the trench that was dug up by the Israeli army over a month ago.

The same has happened on Friday, 30 May, and Saturday, 1 June.  Again, and
on both days, the soldiers threw tear gas and sound bombs at groups of
people, including mothers with children, old and sick people and Birzeit
University students, trying to go on with their lives.

The implementation of the separation, or outright apartheid policy that the
Israeli government has decided to impose in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories has begun. So far, little protest has been launched against this
merciless plan that is in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention and
violates international human rights law.

This “silent” war on the Palestinian people in the occupied territories is
extremely dangerous, more so than any bloody military aggression.  The
closure has caused several deaths already and many more innocent people will
die still if prevented from crossing checkpoints and roadblocks to receive
medical treatment. Furthermore, tens of thousands of people living in remote
villages all over the West Bank will starve because food and essential
supplies cannot reach them.

The Palestinian areas have been turned into isolated camps of slow death.
The world cannot remain silent while millions are being subjected to this
horror.

We implore all those with a conscience to contact their government officials
and insist that they put pressure on the Israeli government to immediately
cease its inhuman policy of collective punishment, mass imprisonment and
slow murder of the Palestinian people.

Urge your government to intervene immediately, and demand international
protection for the Palestinian people. See www.palestinemonitor.org activism
for a list of contact addresses.

For more information, contact the Palestine Monitor at +972 (0) 2 298-5372
and see www.palestinemonitor.org