MAIREAD CORRIGAN MAGUIRE
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Maguire said today: “I was invited with my friend to attend a nonviolent conference in Bilin, a village outside Ramallah [in the West Bank], and to give a talk there, which I did. At the end of the conference, we were invited to participate in a nonviolent demonstration with some of the Palestinian members of parliament and Israeli peace activists and local villagers and international visitors.
“We walked along to try to walk up toward the separation wall, and it was a totally nonviolent protest. And we were viciously attacked by the Israeli military. They threw gas canisters into the peace walkers, and they also fired rubber-covered steel bullets.
“As I tried to move back and help a French lady, I was shot in the leg with a rubber-covered steel bullet, and the young Israeli soldier who shot me was only 20 meters from me. I was stunned by it, and then later on, after having some treatment by the ambulance medics, I went back down to the front line with the peace activists, and we were again showered with gas. I was overcome and had a severe nosebleed and had to be taken by stretcher to the ambulance and treated.
“And I witnessed there … an old Palestinian man with blood on his face. These were over 25 unarmed peace people who had been viciously attacked by the Israeli military. And it was a completely peaceful protest. It was absolutely unbelievable. I never in all my years of activism witnessed anything so vicious as from the Israeli military.”
Nogueira is an independent documentary filmmaker who has footage of Maguire being shot. Footage is expected to be available later today at the web page of the International Middle East Media Center.
GEORGE N. RISHMAWI
Rishmawi, based in Bethlehem, is executive director of the International Middle East Media Center as well as the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People and was covering the conference Maguire was attending.
Kindy has worked as a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams in both the West Bank and Iraq. He said today: “Walls ought to be built only when people on both sides agree to it; not when someone else is making the decisions. The wall in the West Bank — which Israel is imposing on the Palestinians with U.S. support — is breeding more chaos and is helping in the robbery of Palestinian land, contrary to international law. What’s needed are bridges, like when former Israeli and Palestinian fighters meet together to recognize their commonality.
“Now the U.S. government wants to build a wall in Iraq too, but the Iraqis don’t want that. There too, what’s needed are bridges, like when Shia Muslims gave blood when the largely Sunni city of Fallujah was attacked.”
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167