Latest news from the Nidal Centre
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On the 08/08/09, we got the following e-mail from Daoud : "The Israeli Occupation closed Nidal Centre !" Enclosed was the following statement made by the Palestinian Health Work Committees :
Health Work Committees (HWC) has declared that on July 14, 2009, the Israeli occupation forces have closed Nidal Center for Community Development in al-Jabasheh neighborhood in the Old City of the occupied JerusalemAccording to the available information, many troops of the Israeli police and army invaded Nidal center and forced the staff of the center to leave the building in order to close it.After evacuating the staff from the center, doors of the offices were closed and an order statement by what so called “General Inspector: Doodi Cohen” was presented. This statement affirms the closure of the center till the 11th of August 2009. It is worth mentioning that the order was issued three days ago.According to the statement, Cohen depended in his decision on the 6th article of the anti terrorism law for the year 1948. He also says that he believes that Nidal Center is a threat to the security of Israelis and therefore he ordered closing the center till 11/08/2009.Cohen adds in another paragraph of his statement: “I inform you by this that I am thinking of issuing another order to close such places for the period of one year”.We at HWC confirm that the closure of Nidal Center for Community Development which provides its cultural and development services to the Jerusalemites is only another violation goes under the systemized attach against Jerusalem.Today, the Israeli occupation has started harassing the Jerusalemite non governmental organizations after they targeted the Jerusalemites through their racist violations.We at HWC reaffirm our rejection to the Israeli decision to close Nidal Center and we demand the local and international human rights organizations to interfere immediately to stop the Israeli practices against the working Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem.The Palestinian Health Work Committees.
We met Daoud in Brussels on September 15 (he was on a mission to create partnerships with different organisations in Brussels). Here is what he explained to us : "On July 14, the Israeli soldiers came into the Nidal Centre and threw all the teachers out without allowing them to take anything (documents or computers). The reason was that they suspect the Nidal Centre to allow PFLP activists (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) to meet on its grounds."
When we asked Daoud whether the Israelis are really afraid of terrorist activities being prepared inside the Centre, he smiled gently : "They didn’t even search the rooms nor the people. They knew they wouldn’t find anything. They had already come in 2005 : then they had taken everything, and searched everything : papers, computers, cupboards... They know we organize only cultural and development activities for the children and women of Jerusalem ... No, this is just one of the steps to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel : they want to discourage the Palestinian people, push them to leave Jerusalem... And in parallel, more and more settlements are being built and more and more Israeli settlers coming in".
When we asked him how the Palestinians of Jerusalem reacted, whether there were demonstrations, for ex, Daoud answered there weren’t any, "because they closed the Centre for one month first, then for another one. But now we know it is for one year... Or more..."
We wanted to know what Daoud was doing now, where he was working : "Currently I’m in another Centre in another district of Jerusalem. There I go on working for the Nidal Centre : I’m making a film about all the activities we organised, and I would be most grateful if you could send me the pictures, videos and interviews you made inside Nidal when you came in April." What about the kids then? "That centre can’t take them in addition to their own children... When I meet their parents, they beg me to try to find a solution because now their kids are back on the streets, they are potential victims to the usual street-problems : drugs and violence."
But Daoud can’t do anything but fight for the Nidal Centre to be recognized as "not dangerous for the security of Israel"...