Herald, April 15, 2003
By Miriam Ward
More than a thousand Palestinian
males, ages 15 to 55 were pulled out of bed at midnight, blindfolded, hands tied
behind their backs, put on trucks, driven eight miles and dumped with orders not
to return for three days. In the meantime, a total curfew was imposed on the town
so the women could not go looking for their husbands and sons. This happened in
Tulkarm refugee camp on April 2, 2003.
need international protection now. Ariel Sharon has used the cover of war in Iraq
for Israel to intensify inhumane repression of Palestinians and to test the idea
of "transfer," euphemism for mass expulsion or ethnic cleansing, of Palestinians.
Palestinian NGOs, religious, political, and professional organizations and Israelis
in Gush-Shalom have appealed for world protection.
An Israeli government minister
has said, "Make their life (Palestinians) so bitter that they will transfer themselves
willingly." Shulamit Aloni, former Knesset member, comments, "This is done on
a daily basis."
Citing historical precedents,
former Knesset member Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom fears most "internal transfer,"
i.e., deportation of Palestinian population from towns near the 1967 borders.
This happened in 1967 when Moshe Dayan drove whole neighborhoods of Palestinians
in Qalqiliya on foot to Nablus.
Palestinians and Israeli
friends view the April 2, 2003 action in Tulkarm as a test of public and international
reaction to mass expulsion of Palestinians. This time, 1500 men, three days and
only eight miles away; next time more people, longer period of time, further away;
after that, transfer even more people, and not let them return. So far, no great