Israel moves to destroy another family

Omigosh, James is asking for money now. No I'm not! I think the story in this post is important by itself, especially if you have been following Steve's reports from Palestine regularly included on this blog since last summer. However, if you do have any spare funds they would abviously be very useful in saving one good family in the occupied West Bank, and they might even help to establish a precedent which could help others.

The entire segment below is from Steve, but in fact his own words are only in the introduction to the letter from Tracie.

Folks,

I hope you can help out in the case of Nasser Quzmar. Please read Tracie's letter below, and let me know if you have any questions.

Steve

Dear Friends,

I am writing on behalf of a man by the name of Nasser Quzmar. Nasser is a 32 year old Palestinian man who is a farmer in the village of Izbat Salman in the Qalqilya District of The West Bank, Palestine. Izbat Salman is a village of 690 people on 4,800 dunums of land (1 dunum = 1/4 acre). Of these 4,800 dumuns, 4,000 have been isolated or bulldozed for the wall. Last September, on our tour of the villages, Nasser was one of the farmers whose story we were told. His greenhouses were slated for destruction and his land for confiscation. Of course, his families' source of income historically has come from agriculture. Nasser is the breadwinner for a family of six. Their ages range from 2 months to 8 years old. Once a farmer with 27 dunums of cultivated lands of olive, citrus and vegetables, as well as greenhouses, he has lost almost everything due to the wall surrounding his village.

All the papers, documents and evidence that Nasser collected to demonstrate his ownership of the land would not spare him and his community from the devastation. He filed legal complaints through a law office that deals with a number of cases about the wall. The clearest response he got was the arrival of bulldozers to his land. Another response he got was imprisonment. In the middle of the night, approximately 2 months ago, the Israeli Defense Forces entered the home of Nasser and took him away. At the time of his arrest, Nasser's wife was 9 months pregnant.

He has not been charged with anything. Nor has his wife been able to communicate with him since his imprisonment. Nasser was not involved in any political act at the time of his arrest, nor has he ever been. One can only surmise that it was due to his legal complaints and documentation that he may have become a target. He is a simple farmer who carries on the tradition in his family. In the eyes of the IDF, he defied them by continuing to work on his land. It has become increasingly difficult for the family to subsist with Nasser out of the home. It is possible that he will be in prison for years. In the words of Nasser Quzmar, "I never imagined that I would helplessly watch as my land was destroyed."

Nasser was formally arrested today after two months in administrative detention. He will be charged on Thursday, and it is likely that the charges will attempt to link him to terrorism. One of the ways that the Israeli government tries to quell non-violent resitance is to lump those resisters together with armed groups. This, we believe, is what is happening to Nasser.

Of course, there are many stories like this throughout the Occupied Territories of Palestine. Because this is a family who graciously accepted us into their home on two occasions, we feel a special connection and a duty to do what we can to offer assistance. The family is not in a position to pay for legal services. We have been able to lcoate an excellent attorney who is willing to represent Nasser. He is an Israeli Lawyer by the name of Shamai Liebowitz (do we want to put this in the letter?). The cost for his services is NIS 5000 (approximately $1180 US dollars).

We are asking for people to make contributions to the legal fund for Nasser Quzmar. Any money that is raised beyond the NIS 5000 will go to the ISM legal fund. Because our goal is to get Nasser back to his family as soon as possible, we are asking for people to donate today. We ask that you consider sending a check for $100, although any offering will be most appreciated! You can make checks payable to Gabriel Ash and write "Nasser Quzmar" in the memo section of the check. Gabriel is an activist with SUSTAIN who is with us in Palestine and will put the money up now to be paid back through your generous donations. Please send your donations to:

Jews Against the Occupation
Prince Street Station
PO BOX 494
New York, NY 10012

Please send an email to Tracie at pnut119@nessanphotography.com with the amount you are donating so we can keep track while here in Palestine.

Thank you for your assistance and on behalf of the Quzmar family, I thank you.

Sincerely,


Tracie De Angelis
NOR CAL ISM
From The Occupied Territories
West Bank, Palestine
01197267723326 (from the states)

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Published on August 10, 2003 7:44 PM.

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