onsdag, november 04, 2009

More news from Bethlehem

4 November 2009

An Update on the return of Berlanty Azzam from Gaza to Bethlehem University

Dear Friends,

Below is an update on the case of Berlanty, the date of the next
Israelicourt hearing, and a request for another letter from you to help

1. Thank you for your continued support for the Bethlehem University
studentBerlanty Azzam to be returned to the University campus by the
Israelimilitary who took her blindfolded and handcuffed to Gaza on Wednesday,
28October 2009.

2. The Israeli High Court of Justice will hold another court hearing
onBerlanty’s case next Thursday, 12 November 2009 at 9:00am to have theIsraeli
military to further explain why Berlanty was removed from Bethlehemto Gaza. We
will keep you informed of the outcome ... but for now, we needto as for yet more
involvement from you if we might.

3. On Tuesday, 3 November 2009 the lawyers at Gisha were informed that
thestate of Israel claims that Berlanty has no right to be at
BethlehemUniversity – to be in the West Bank. However, Berlanty did not need a
permitto remain in the West Bank after entering, and no such kind of
permitexisted in 2005, so she couldn't have requested one. Berlanty only
neededthe Israeli permit to cross through Israel from Gaza to the West Bank,
which she received.

4. In their response to the court, the Israeli state admits that a
“mistake”was made in removing Berlanty on the night of Wednesday, 28 October
2009.Orders were given by the legal adviser's office not to do it. It was done
anyway and still, they refuse to return her to her studies at

What did the judge do in response to this November 3rd report from the
state of Israel?

1. The judge ordered another hearing as soon as possible (Thursday,
12November 2009 at 9:00am) for the state of Israel to further explain why
Berlanty was removed from Bethlehem to Gaza while she, and her lawyers, weretold
when she was first detained by the Israeli military that this would no thappen.

2. Your involvement is already making a difference! Can we ask for you togo
one step further? Many of you – and your friends through you – have contacted
your elected andappointed government officials. We have heard from citizens in
the UnitedStates, United Kingdom, Ireland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand,
Denmark,France, Italy, Spain who have done so. This is making a real difference
–some of these governments and media in these countries have contacted us
andBerlanty’s lawyers.

This is part of the reason why, along with the international
mediaattention, the Israeli High Court of Justice is continuing to have the
Israeli military to further explain why Berlanty was removed from Bethlehem to

3. In the meantime, Berlanty is still in Gaza where she was
broughtblindfolded and handcuffed on Wednesday 28 October (this is day #8). Her
father, who works for the YMCA in Gaza , and her mother, who works for the UN
Relief and Works Agency, are with Berlanty. She and they and all of us want for
her to return to Bethlehem to complete her bachelors degree inthese last few
weeks of the academic semester.

What can you do? PLEASE consider sending a specific letter to
• To your local newspapers (letters to the editor, perhaps)
• To you elected officials – again –
• To the United States Consulate in Jerusalem (


More updates will be forthcoming as the situation develops. Thanks for all
that you are doing to help return Berlanty to Bethlehem – andalso for what you
are doing to help to get our 12 first year students out of Gaza and to Bethlehem
for the first time. Click
for more background on this aspect of the quest for education and freedom
ofmovement in Palestine. Today, 3 November 2009, is day #8 of Berlanty’s absence
from Bethlehem University due to the Israeli military removal of Berlanty to

Blessings to you, Brother Jack