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Several wounded in Arafat's headquarters, little food, German peace activist says
Fri Apr 5 2002 13:50:11 ET
Ramallah, West Bank (dpa) - There are several wounded people in Palestinian President Yassir Arafat's besieged headquarters in Ramallah and food is scarce, a German peace activist said Friday evening by mobile telephone.
One man had been wounded by a shot in the stomach when Israeli soldiers stormed the compound on Good Friday, and another had had a leg amputated without proper medical supervision, 21-year-old Julia Deeg said in a telephone conversation with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
Deeg, a kindergarten teacher from Berlin, said that she and approximately 40 other international activists intended to remain with Arafat until Israel ended its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
She said that Arafat was in good condition, considering the circumstances. ;He repeatedly thanks us. He is always friendly and invites us to eat with him.''
However, food supplies were scarce and there was little drinking water and no water to wash with. ;The toilet is clogged up and I've never been so dirty in my life,'' she said.
She said that Arafat was determined to hold out and that some of his men were armed.
Over 200 people were still in the headquarters. They slept on mattresses, carpets and the stone floor.
;We fear for our lives,'' she added. ;We want to protect the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation,'' said Deeg, who read out a declaration from the activists demanding among other things an Israeli withdrawal and the deployment of an international protection force.
She said that her 50-year-old mother Sophia, who lives in Munich, had left the compound on Thursday together with eight other people. But Deeg herself had insisted on staying.
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