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Friday, August 31, 2012

Video: Ni'lin demo in solidarity with Rachel Corrie and Tristan Anderson

Graphic video:- killed by rgm,syria- Mahmoud,11 years old and the second child unknown -palestnian camp ,damascus

Occupation steals Jordan River waters

Occupation steals Jordan River waters
 
AMMAN, (PIC)-- Jordanian farmers in the Jordan Valley said the Zionist entity laid 10 inch diameter pipes to pump water from Jordan River to treatment plant in order to irrigate occupied lands and dispose salt water in the southern part of the river, increasing water salinity.
Adnan Khaddam, head of the Jordan Valley Farmers' Union, called through statements to the Jordanian "al-Arab al-yawm" newspaper for "taking legal actions to protect Jordan River from Zionist attacks represented in disposing waste water in the river and pumping the remaining of its water to the western side and desalinate it in order to irrigate farmlands."
"The installation of pipes by the occupation for pumping the rest of the river water is contrary to Wadi Araba Convention," added Khaddam.
For its part, Jordan Valley Authority denied its knowledge of the occupation's procedures of pumping the Jordan River waters to the West Bank and promised to take appropriate actions regarding this issue.

Occupation sentences Palestinian minor to 14 months in prison

Occupation sentences Palestinian minor to 14 months in prison
 
JININ,(PIC)--The Israeli Military Court at the Salem military camp, northern West Bank city of Jenin, sentenced, on Thursday, a 16-year-old Palestinian minor, from Ya’bad village, near Jenin, to 4 months imprisonment and $800 fine.
The lawyer representing Ahmad Taleb Abu Baker, 16, filed for the release of his client, but the court turned the appeal down and sentenced the child to four months, and $800 fine, citing what the court called “security considerations,” local sources confirmed.
Also on Thursday, Israeli soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian child while trying to cross a roadblock north of Jericho in the West Bank.
The Israeli Radio claimed that the soldiers searched the youth and found a “concealed knife”; he was taken to an unknown destination.
The villagers in Ya’bad and Zbobah villages in Jinin complained of an increase in the arrest of Palestinian children in those areas.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Palestinian reporter allegedly held by Assad’s forces

Palestinian reporter allegedly held by Assad’s forces
By AFP
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM
A Palestinian reporter for the al-Hurra network, missing in Syria with a Turkish colleague, is being held by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, his brother in east Jerusalem told AFP Thursday.

Jerusalem-born Bashar Fahmi al-Kadumi was in Syria’s commercial capital Aleppo with Turkish cameraman Cuneyt Unal when they disappeared on August 20.

“The Red Cross in Jerusalem today confirmed to us that Bashar has been arrested by the Syrian army,” his brother Majed al-Kadumi said.
He said that his brother had studied in Turkey, married a Turkish woman and was living there with their two children.

A Red Cross official refused to confirm or deny his comments, saying that the organization’s work was confidential.

Syria’s al-Ikhbariya news channel has shown video of Unal, also believed to be in the hands of loyalist troops. In the video, Unal appears tired and nervous, with bruises under both eyes.

The rebel Free Syrian Army has said that Kadumi was injured at the time of their capture but that Unal was unhurt.

Army To Demolish Homes In Silwan

International Middle East Media Center
by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies 
Palestinian field researcher, member of the Committee for Defending Lands of Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, Fakhri Abu Diab, stated that the Jerusalem Municipality handed notices for the demolition of five homes in Al-Bustan neighborhood in the city.
File - Palinto
File - Palinto
Abu Diab said that the notices were handed to members of Abu Shafe’, Abu Rajab, Abu Diab, and Ar-Rishiq families, and added that the homes in question were built more than 20 years ago.

The Jerusalem Municipality claims that the homes were built without construction permits.

The official said that the notices did not mention the real name of the Al-Bustan neighborhood, and referred to it as the “King Neighborhood”, and added that this is part of Israel’s plan to demolish the homes and take over the neighborhood for the benefit of Israeli settlements.

It is worth mentioning that several homes in the neighborhood have been previously demolished, and several other homes were taken over by Israeli settlers.
Dozens of homes have also been demolished in the Old City of Jerusalem, and in East Jerusalem under claims that they were built without construction permits.

The Jerusalem Municipality usually refrains from granting construction permits to the Arab citizens of Jerusalem, an issue that forces some of them to build without permits due to natural growth of their families.

At the same time, Israel is ongoing with its construction and expansion of Jewish-only settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem.

Including Children; Soldiers Kidnap 13 Palestinians In The West Bank

 International Middle East Media Center
by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies 
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, several Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, broke into several homes and kidnapped 13 residents, including children, the Palestine News & Information Agency (WAFA), reported.
Archive
Archive
Local sources reported that the army invaded Beit Awwa town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, broke into and searched several homes, and kidnapped five children.

The five children are from the same family; they were identified as Shadi, Hamza, Iba’, Mohammad and Mos’ab As-Sweity, 15 -17 years old.

The army also installed several roadblocks on Hebron’s northern, southern and western junctions, stopped and searched dozens vehicles and interrogated the residents.

Furthermore, soldiers invaded Awarta town, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped four residents, identified as Salim Awwad, Mohammad Sa’ada, Baha’ Darawsha, and Mohammad Sahah. Soldiers also broke into and searched several homes sabotaging their property.

Soldiers further invaded Azzoun town, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and kidnapped four residents, including two children; the kidnapped residents were identified as Mohammad Abdul-Fattah Radwan, 14, Qusai Saleh Mashal, 16, Malek Abdul-Latif Salaam, 19, and Abdul-Salaam As’ad Hussein, 45.

Local sources reported that the invasion started around 2 A.M., and that the army searched dozens of homes causing damage.

On Wednesday evening, undercover forces of the Israeli army ambushed two brothers at the main entrance of Az-Zababda village, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers stopped the vehicle of the two brothers, and thoroughly searched it, and removed its doors and seats. The two are from the West Bank city of Tubas.

The Israeli army conducts invasions and attacks targeting Palestinian communities in the West Bank, these invasions include kidnapping residents, breaking into and searching homes, and installing roadblock to search vehicles and interrogate the residents.

Israeli Court Sentences Teenager to 4 Months in Jail for "security reasons"

Israeli Court Sentences Teenager to 4 Months in Jail

JENIN, August 30, 2012 (WAFA) - The Israeli military court in Sale military camp Thursday sentenced a 17-year-old Palestinian to four months in jail, under the pretext of “security reasons”, according to his family.
They said the court sentenced Ahmad Abu Bakr to four months in prison and imposed $750 fine on him.
T.R./F.R.

Israeli policeman kills Palestinian in Tel Aviv

Israeli policeman kills Palestinian in Tel Aviv
 
TEL AVIV, (PIC)-- An Israeli policeman shot and killed a Palestinian man in his thirties in Tel Aviv at midnight Wednesday, Radio Israel reported on Thursday.
It said that the man was from Tulkarem and had no permission to be in Tel Aviv, adding that the policeman detected the presence of the two men near his house and suspected their presence there.
It claimed that the policeman flashed his ID and tried to arrest them but a quarrel ensued and one of the two Palestinians brandished a knife prompting the policeman to shoot him.

Israeli Authorities to Evict Palestinians from Agricultural Land

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 


BETHLEHEM, August 30, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Thursday handed a number of Palestinians from the village of Nahhalin, west of Bethlehem, eviction orders to take over 12 dunums of land, according to local sources.
Head of Nahhalin village council, Osama Shakarneh, told WAFA that Israeli soldiers accompanied by civil administration employees handed eviction orders to Palestinians south of Nahhalin.
He pointed out that the soldiers have escalated their attacks against the village and its people by pumping waste water to their agricultural land and contaminating their drinking water spring.
M.H./F.R.

Israelis tear Palestinian woman’s clothes off

GulfNews.com
Ramallah: A group of Israelis attacked a Palestinian woman in the village of Lebnan Al Sharq on Wednesday afternoon, tearing off her clothes in front of her husband and son who retaliated by attacking the colonists, injuring one. The Israeli military allowed the gang to beat the Palestinian husband Khaled Sameeh Daraghmah and his son Sameeh before they arrested the two men and removed them from the area.
Ghassan Doghlous, the Palestinian official in charge of colonial activities in northern areas of the West Bank told Gulf News that the Israeli colonists targeted Khaled’s house which is located at the village’s side and not surrounded by neighbours.
“The colonists targeted the woman and tore her clothes off, knowing that such an action would badly humiliate the husband and the son,” he said. “The man and his son could not stand the attack and responded.”
One colonist injured by the man and his son was admitted to hospital for treatment.
“The Israeli military only got involved when the colonists were attacked,” he said.
Doghlous said that with the proposed evacuation of the Israeli colony of Migron, attacks by Israeli colonists are expected to rise and become more serious.
“The Palestinian targeted cities, villages and communities have been organised in a way which provides possible safety,” he said. “Guard groups have been organised day and night, and during these Palestinian youths will provide dog watches on shifts.”
Doghlous stressed that Israeli colonists attempt to show they exist in number and in strength. “The Israeli colonists demonstrate that they form an independent army with a deterrent strength that can not be ignored,” he said.

PCHR Condemns Continued Israeli Violations against Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip

PCHR Condemns Continued Israeli Violations against Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip 
by PCHR Report post
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns Israel’s continued violations against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and expresses concern about the escalation of these violations. On Tuesday morning, 28 August 2012, 2 Palestinian fishermen were arrested and a Palestinian fishing boat was heavily damaged in 2 separate incidents in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
pchr_logofull.jpg
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 06:45 on Tuesday, 28 August 2012, Israeli naval forces positioned off Beit Lahia shore arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen who were fishing in the sea nearly 300 meters from the shore of al-Waha Resort.

The Israeli naval forces also opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to Kamel Deeb al-Anqa (60), from Beit Lahia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, who was sailing with his son Mahmoud (16).

Al-Anqah stated the following to a PCHR fieldworker:

At 05:00 on Tuesday, I went fishing with my son Mahmoud. At 06:15, we collected the fishing nets and sailed to the shore. At 06:30, when we were nearly 300 meters off al-Waha Resort, 2 Israeli gunboats arrived and they circled my fishing boat.

There were 5 soldiers on board each gunboat. The soldier started firing intensively above our heads.

One of the soldiers shouted at me and ordered me to stop. The gunfire continued. My son and I were panicking, so we stopped. One of the gunboats got closer to our boat and one of the soldiers ordered us to take our clothes off and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The other gunboat was behind us. We took our clothes off and swam towards the gunboat.

The soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded us. I saw a soldier leave the other gunboat and go to my boat. He attached a rope to my boat. They then sailed for more than 2 hours. We were transferred to a security center near the shore. We were interviewed by an officer, who questioned us until approximately 10:30. The soldiers gave us clothes to put on and then drove us in a jeep to an unknown place. At around 12:00, we arrived at a place.

I could recognize this place. It was the Erez crossing. The soldiers held us in a room there till 14:00. They asked us what our names were and about our work in fishing. We were released at approximately 15:30. The soldiers refused to give me the fishing boat and tools back.

My son Mahmoud has suffered from bad psychological conditions because of the pressure and panic we experienced.

In a separate incident that took place at 10:50 on Tuesday, 28 August 2012, 2 Israeli gunboats surrounded 6 Palestinian fishing boats sailing nearly 400 meters off al-Sudaniya area in Beit Lahia, in the north of the Gaza Strip. Roussa Sekiano, an Italian activist who was on the shore off the area where the incident took place, stated that she saw 2 Israeli gunboats only a few meters from 6 Palestinian fishing boats.

There were around 25 Palestinian fishermen on board these fishing boats. The Italian activist stated that she saw one of the Israeli gunboats open fire at one of the 6 Palestinian fishing boats. Sekiano reported that the Israeli gunboats chased the Palestinian fishing boats for nearly 15 minutes, forcing the Palestinian fishermen to flee and leave the sea.

Mohammed Mahmoud Hejazi al-Louh (21), who was leading one of the 6 fishing boats, which belongs to Kamel Tawfiq Baker (52), stated that 2 Israeli gunboats with several soldiers suddenly appeared and came close to his boat. There were 3 other fishermen on the boat with Al-Louh.

The Israeli gunboats were only a few meters from his boat. Al-Louh said that, while firing at the front of the fishing boat, a soldier on one of the gunboats ordered him to stop, but he refused.

The other gunboat was surrounding al-Louh's fishing boat. Al-Louh said that he turned his boat around to escape, although the boat was under direct fire, and that the fishermen on board the fishing boat miraculously survived and managed to leave the sea.

He added that he managed to escape, even though the Israeli gunboats were only 400 meters from the shore, and that his boat was hit by 5 bullets in different places. The other 5 fishing boats also managed to escape.

It should be noted that Israeli forces have recently imposed more restrictions on the work of fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Since 2000, fishermen have been denied their right to sail and fish. Israeli forces reduced the area of fishing from 20 nautical miles, which was established upon in the agreements signed between Palestinian and Israel, to 6 nautical miles in 2008.

However, Israeli forces have continued to prevent fishermen from going beyond 3 nautical miles since 2009. As a result, fishermen are prevented from reaching areas beyond that distance where fish are abundant. Sometimes, Israeli forces also chase fishermen within the 3 nautical mile area.

Consequently, Palestinian fishermen have lost 85% of their income, because of limiting the fishing area.

The violations that took place yesterday denied more than 30 fishermen and owners of fishing boats their right to work. More than 50 families lost their source of income, including fishermen who were forced to flee, owners of the fishing boats and fish traders.

The IOF is not expected to return the confiscated fishing boat and tools, at least not quickly. This means that the owner of the boat and his family, compromising 15 members, have lost their source of income.

In light of the above, PCHR condemns the recurrence of the violations recently committed by the Israeli Naval Forces against Palestinian fishermen. PCHR believes that these violations are committed in the context of the escalation of collective punishment policies against civilians, and that they are part of the fight to ensure civilians cannot meet their subsistence needs, which is prohibited under international humanitarian and human rights law. PCHR calls upon the IOF to:

- Immediately stop its policy of chasing and arresting Palestinian fishermen, to allow them to sail and fish freely, and to return confiscated fishing boats and tools.

- Pay compensation to the victims of Israel’s violations for the physical and material damage caused to fishermen and their property.

- Return the confiscated boats to their owners immediately, and compensate them for any damages caused by the confining of these boats for a long time or any other damage that might occur to them.

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For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza , Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893

PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage

Story of Rachel - Letters, Opinion

Story of Rachel - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie
• An Israeli judge ruled on Tuesday that the state bore no responsibility for the death of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American who was run over by a military bulldozer in 2003 as she protested the demolition of a house in Gaza belonging to a family she had come to befriend.
Pictures taken on the day Ms Corrie died show her in an orange, high-visibility jacket carrying a megaphone and blocking the path of the bulldozer and is clearly visible.
Ms Corrie was acting as a human shield to try to stop the Israeli army demolishing Palestinian homes and illegally clearing land around Rafah.
British ISM activist Tom Dale, who was standing yards away, said that it was impossible for the driver of the bulldozer not to have seen her. Photographs on the internet show she was clearly visible when she was crushed.
The Israel justice system seems incapable of behaving justly towards those it considers to be its enemies, even to non-violent protesters.
Israeli courts have submissively accepted the fiction of the government, that anyone impeding government actions is a terrorist or terrorist-enabler who gets what they deserve.
The state believes that the activity of the IDF force was within the framework of "war activity" when the Israeli army were demolishing Palestinian homes around Rafah and this could explain the results of their actions.
This verdict blames the victim based on the distorted facts that could have been written directly by state attorneys. Israel considers itself to be a democratic country, but their justice system is so compromised by their actions.
I note that Israel's far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition, heralded the verdict, calling it "vindication after vilification". This speaks for itself about their justice system.
Ms Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting against the demolitions and the injustice perpetrated by the IDF in Gaza. This is not a reason to be killed.
John Merren
Balrothery, Dublin 24

Israeli Forces Destroy Bedouin Sheds east of Bethlehem

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 

BETHELEHEM, August 30, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday destroyed seven Bedouin residential tents and sheds in the grazing fields, east of Bethlehem, according to a local activist.
Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and settlements in Bethlehem, Hassan Brijieh, told WAFA that a large Israeli military force, accompanied by bulldozers, attacked the Bedouins and destroyed seven residential tents and sheds, leaving their residents without a home.
He called upon human rights organizations and all relevant parties to provide the necessary help in order to strengthen the steadfastness of the local residents, adding that this is the third time the Israeli forces attack them.

Israeli Authorities to Evict Palestinians from Agricultural Land

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 


BETHLEHEM, August 30, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Thursday handed a number of Palestinians from the village of Nahhalin, west of Bethlehem, eviction orders to take over 12 dunums of land, according to local sources.
Head of Nahhalin village council, Osama Shakarneh, told WAFA that Israeli soldiers accompanied by civil administration employees handed eviction orders to Palestinians south of Nahhalin.
He pointed out that the soldiers have escalated their attacks against the village and its people by pumping waste water to their agricultural land and contaminating their drinking water spring.
M.H./F.R.

Israeli Navy Chases Fishing Boats, Tries To Sink Them- سفن حربية إسرائيلية تتعمد أغراق زوراق صيد فلسطينية




The video (Click here to watch video) was captured by Mohammad Al-Mash-harawy, of the Media Town News Agency in Gaza, during a field report documenting the ongoing Israeli assaults against Palestinian fishermen in the coastal region.

The Navy boats were sailing at fast speeds, and encircling the Palestinian fishing boats, and flooding them with water, an issue that pushed the fishermen to go back to the shore.

Despite the fact that the fishermen were trying to steer their boats back to the shore, the Navy boats continue to encircle them.

In related news, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that, on Tuesday morning, 28 August 2012, two Palestinian fishermen were kidnapped and a Palestinian fishing boat was heavily damaged in two separate attacks carried out by the Israeli Navy in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Since 2000, fishermen have been denied their right to sail and fish and have been subject to frequent attacks that led to excessive damage and dozens of casualties.
Israel reduced the area of fishing from 20 nautical miles, which was established upon in the agreements signed between Palestinian and Israel, to 6 nautical miles in 2008.

“However, Israeli forces have continued to prevent fishermen from going beyond 3 nautical miles since 2009. As a result, fishermen are prevented from reaching areas beyond that distance where fish are abundant. Sometimes, Israeli forces also chased fishermen within the 3 nautical mile area. Consequently, Palestinian fishermen have lost 85% of their income, because of limiting the fishing area”, the PCHR reported.
http://www.imemc.org/article/64155

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Israeli Warplanes Set Off Sonic Bombs over Gaza

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA
GAZA, August 29, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli military warplanes Wednesday set off a series of sonic bombs over the Gaza Strip spreading terror and panic among local residents, according to WAFA correspondent.
 Human rights groups described the sonic attack as a 'terrifying collective punishment.'
Sonic bombs are extremely loud and cause both physical and mental harm to the population as well as damage to property

Israeli Forces Raze Land near Salfit

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
SALFIT, August 29, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday razed Palestinian-owned land in the town of Bruqin, northwest of Salfit, according to Bruqin mayor A’krima Samara.
Samara said Israeli bulldozers, protected by Israeli soldiers, began razing land in an area northwest of the town.
He added that settlers have recently intensified the razing operations in that area for the benefit of settlement expansion.
Local residents have appealed to an Israeli court in order to stop the razing of their land but the court keeps stalling in an attempt to force the residents to leave their land, thus allowing the opportunity to seize for settlement expansion, he added.
Governor of Salfit Isam Abu Bakr condemned the Israeli measures against Palestinians in Salfit, and called to stop these daily aggressions against them.

Israel to Demolish a House near Bethlehem

Israel to Demolish a House near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM, August 29, 2012 (WAFA) – An Israeli court Wednesday rejected an appeal by a Palestinian family to stop a previous demolition order of their house in Abu Soud, an area west of the town of al-Khader , south near Bethlehem, according to a local activist.
The coordinator of the popular committee against settlements and the Apartheid Wall in al-Khader, Ahmed Salah, told WAFA that Ali Mousa appealed a demolition order of his residence, which houses 17 family members. The appeal was rejected and the court ordered the demolition to be carried out on Thursday.
The house will be demolished under the pretext that it was built without a permit and that it stands in the construction path of the Apartheid Wall, said Salah.
He noted that Mousa’s house was demolished four times before for the same reasons.
Salah urged human rights organizations to immediately intervene in the case and stop the demolition.
R.Q.

Hamas condemns the acquittal of Corrie’s murderers

Hamas condemns the acquittal of Corrie’s murderers
 
(PIC)-- Hamas Movement condemned the Israeli court's decision to acquit the Israeli occupation army of killing American activist Rachel Corrie.
Corrie was crushed to death by an army bulldozer when she was trying to prevent demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah on March 16, 2003.
An official source in the movement said: "We, in Hamas, strongly condemn this Zionist unjust decision acquitting the criminal killers ... we consider this acquittal an offense to be added to the series of racist crimes against the Palestinian people and the supporters of its just cause."
"It (the acquittal) represents a desperate attempt to discourage activists and supporters of the Palestinian people from continuing supporting them against the occupation policies and criminal plans", the source added.
The Islamic resistance movement also denounced the silence of the international community and United States regarding this acquittal, and called on human rights and humanitarian organizations to prosecute the Zionist war criminals for their persistent crimes against the Palestinian land and people.

Clashes erupt in Beit Ummar in al-Khalil

Clashes erupt in Beit Ummar in al-Khalil
 
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Clashes erupted in the early morning hours of Wednesday between Palestinian youths on the one hand and the Israeli occupation troops on the other in the town of Beit Ummar, north of al-Khalil.
Eyewitnesses told PIC that more than seven patrols of Israeli soldiers raided the town of Beit Ummar in the early morning hours, which led to the outbreak of violent clashes, during which Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails on soldiers who responded firing tear gas and stun grenades.
The witnesses added that the Israeli soldiers broke into several houses during the raid.
The Israeli occupation forces had also notified on Tuesday the residents of an area south of al-Khalil city in the occupied West Bank of their intention to demolish "Abu Obeida Jarrah" mosque, said PIC's reporter.
He added that the mosque had opened to worshipers few days before the month of Ramadan, and that it consists of two floors built on an area up to 700 square meters.
The reporter pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities had previously reported the confiscation of nearly two thousand dunums in the same region; because of its proximity to Hagai settlement.

Jordan- 'Welcome to Palestine' activists plan new attempt to enter West Bank

 MENAFN
(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Activists from the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign said on Tuesday they would make another attempt to enter the West Bank this year after Israel's third ban on Sunday.

"We are not going to wait for another year or two. We will try again sometime this year. We will come back more frequently to say lift the Gaza siege, lift the siege on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem," Oilivia Zemor, a campaign organiser, told journalists at a press conference.

Campaign organisers said their fourth attempt would be to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt.

The activists, who were carrying school supplies for Palestinian children in Bethlehem, tried to cross via Jordan after Israeli authorities at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport prevented them from entering in July 2011 and April 2012.

But Israeli border authorities denied them entry to the West Bank on Sunday.

Campaigners plan to demonstrate outside the Israeli embassy in Amman on Thursday to protest against Israel's ban.

"We will be protesting Israel's decision. We will be outside the Israeli embassy to say that Israel is not only an occupier but also a terrorist state," said Zemor.

The activists are also planning another protest outside the French embassy, because it has not "denounced" Israel's decision.

"We will also be protesting outside the French embassy. We are of various nationalities here, but the majority of us are French. France has not said anything against Israel's decision to turn us back. They bear responsibility too," Zemor added.

The campaigners said Israel's ban was an attempt to hide its "reality" from the world.

"They do not want us to go inside Palestine, because they want to continue with their ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians without any witness from outside," said Zemor.

Zemor called on Western governments to stop their support to Israel.

"Supporting the Palestinian people is not limited to sending aid and donations."

"Governments - especially US and European governments - have to say no to trading with Israel and supporting it," the activist stressed.

"Boycotting campaigns worked during the South African anti-apartheid movements. They must stop cooperating with Israel until it ends its apartheid against the Palestinian people."

The activists, who are currently staying with host families in the Baqa Refugee Camp, will distribute the school supplies to Palestinian children in the Gaza Refugee Camp in Jerash.

"We were surprised to learn about the situation of Palestinian refugees in the region. It is shocking how people are living under such conditions and that some of them do not hold any nationalities," Zemor said.

"Palestinians are not only inside Palestine. There are millions who live in Jordan and Lebanon, and we should pay more attention to them," she added.

Dahlan welcomes France decision on Arafat inquiry

Maan News Agency
Published today 14:46
Ousted Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan (MaanImages/File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Ousted Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan on Wednesday welcomed a French court's announcement that it would open an investigation into the 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a statement said.

Dahlan said he hopes the investigation will reveal the mystery surrounding the circumstances of Arafat's death.

Arafat died in a Paris military hospital in November 2004, a month after being airlifted - when his health collapsed - from his battered headquarters in Ramallah, where he had been effectively confined by Israel for more than two and a half years.

Allegations of foul play have long surrounded Arafat's demise after French doctors who treated him in his final days said they could not establish the cause of death.

A former security chief in the Gaza Strip under Fatah, Dahlan fled the West Bank after his ouster from the party last June, after which security forces raided his home.

Witnesses: Israeli aircraft open fire near Gaza City

Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 29/08/2012 14:32
File photo of an F-16 plane.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli aircraft fired at an open area in the south of Gaza City on Wednesday, locals said.

Warplanes opened fire on the neighborhood of Tal al-Hawa, leaving a large crater in an empty area of land, witnesses told Ma'an.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no record of the incident and said that there was no Israeli military activity in the area.

Medical official: Woman shot by Israeli forces in Gaza

Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 29/08/2012 14:32
An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident.

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A woman was injured on Wednesday by Israeli gunfire near Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, medical officials said.

The woman, 42, was seriously wounded by gunfire and transferred to hospital, spokesman for the ministry of health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qudra told Ma'an.

An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to comment on the record.

Earlier locals said Israeli aircraft fired at an open area in the south of Gaza City, causing no injuries.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Video: Israeli navy harassing Palestinian fishermen at 400 mt from Gaza beach -...

by
I took this video this morning while I was in Soudania beach, north Gaza city.
At about 10.50 am the Israeli navy

Report: France opens murder probe in Arafat death

News from The Associated Press
 

PARIS (AP) -- A judicial official has told the Sipa news agency that French prosecutors have opened a murder investigation into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Suha Arafat filed a legal complaint in France after Arab satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera broadcast the results of an investigation into her husband's death. That included tests of objects that Suha said belonged to him.
A Swiss institute detected elevated traces of polonium-210 - a rare and highly lethal substance - on the belongings, but said the findings were inconclusive.
The official said on condition of anonymity because of office rules that a judge will be named to investigate.
Arafat died in a French military hospital in 2004 of what doctors called a stroke.
Longstanding rumors in the Arab world have said he was poisoned.
 

#BDS - Rights Group Urges Divestment Following Corrie’s Verdict #PALESTINE

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA
NEW YORK, August 28, 2012 (WAFA) - The We Divest Campaign Tuesday intensified in a press release its calls for divestment from Caterpillar Inc. after an Israeli court dismissed the case of the killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie made against the state of Israel.
The We Divest Campaign is a national coalition demanding pension fund giant TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.  
The press release said that human rights advocates in cities across the US will protest in front of local TIAA-CREF offices and deliver a letter urging trustees to fully divest from Caterpillar and other companies that profit from Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“Israel’s illegal policy of destroying Palestinian homes in the occupied territories, sometimes extending to entire villages, remains an urgent issue today as it was when Rachel was killed,” said Riham Barghouti, a member of the We Divest National Coordinating Committee.
She added, “If TIAA-CREF trustees want to live up to their motto of investing ‘for the greater good,’ they must stop profiting from companies such as Caterpillar that are enabling Israel to carry out such gross human rights violations.”
The court’s decision followed an Israeli investigation that the US ambassador to Israel recently criticized as lacking credibility.
An Israeli court dismissed Corrie's case and called her death a 'regrettable accident,” stressing that the Israeli soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site; while Corrie did not distance herself from the area “as any thinking person would have done.”

Rachel Corrie: REAL Footage of death

Video: Cindy Corrie speaks to Al Jazeera

Gaza, Palestine activists #RememberRachel and support #BDS

Settlers Injure 3 Palestinians, including two children, aged 9 and 13, causing multiple fractures

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

WEST BANK, August 28, 2012 (WAFA) – A number of Jewish settlers Tuesday attacked a Palestinian house, injuring two children, in Al-Lubban Asharqiya, a village south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to WAFA correspondent.
He said a number of settlers attacked the house of Majed Daraghmeh while they were trying to take over a water spring adjacent to his house, causing two children, 9 and 13, several fractures all over their bodies.
Forces arrested the owner of the house and his son.
In addition, settlers Monday night stabbed an elderly Palestinian from Khirbet Beer Al-'Ad, a locale south of Hebron, injuring him seriously.
Meanwhile, settlers burnt three cars belonging to Palestinians in an area in the town of Seir, east of Hebron.
Cartographer and settlement expert Abdul Hadi Hantash condemned this attack and all the Israeli attacks by forces, settlers and the Israeli civil administration against Palestinians.

Israeli Forces to Demolish 27 Residents near Hebron

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA
HEBRON, August 28, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday handed Palestinians in Zanota, a village south of Hebron, demolition notices of 27 residences, according to a local activist.

Coordinator of the popular committee in Yatta, a town south of Hebron, Rateb Jbour said members of the Israeli civic administration, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, handed families in Zanota notices  to demolish 27 residents that house tens of families.

Israel to Demolish 2 Houses in Jericho

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
JERICHO, August 28, 2012 – Israeli forces Tuesday handed two Palestinians from sbaiha area, in Jericho city, notices to demolish their houses, as well as demolished the stone walls surrounding four other houses in the area, according to WAFA correspondent.
The governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, Majid al-Fityani, said Israeli forces, ten days ago, notified the residents of their plans to raze about 3000 dunums of land planted with palm trees.
He considered these Israeli measures an escalation of the Israeli occupation policy against the residents of the Jordan Valley in an attempt to force the residents to leave their land in order to seize it.

Palestinian woman injured in Israeli air strikes on Gaza

Palestinian woman injured in Israeli air strikes on Gaza


GAZA, (PIC)-- A Palestinian woman was hospitalized with moderate injuries after Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles at a training field for the armed wing of Hamas south of Gaza city on Tuesday night.
Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesman for the health ministry, said that the woman was injured with flying glass when windows of her home shattered as a result of the powerful explosions.
He said that no injuries were reported in the other Israeli air strikes that targeted another position in northern Gaza and an agricultural field in Gaza valley.
The PIC reporter said that many Israeli warplanes were seen on Tuesday night and that they targeted the Badr training ground for the Qassam Brigades.
A spokesman for the Israeli occupation forces said that the raids targeted positions for manufacturing and storing weapons and were in retaliation to the series of mortar and projectile attacks on Israel over the past few days.

Ethics matter, the world tells Israel

Ethics matter, the world tells Israel | BDSmovement.net
by Michael Deas on Daily Star
We may be quietly witnessing these days an important change in Middle Eastern history. The calm, rational human emphasis on ethical behavior and the quest for peace and justice could be triumphing over the attempt to spread victimization and hysteria and to overlook violent and criminal behavior.
This development was clear this week in the United Church of Canada’s vote to boycott products from Israeli settlements. This was in contrast to the exhortations by former U.S. State Department and White House official Dennis Ross – a stalwart of the pro-Israel scene from his post at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy – that the United States should withhold financial aid from Egypt if it violates the Camp David peace treaty with Israel (because Cairo is sending more military assets to the Sinai to combat terrorists attacking both Israel and Egypt).
While world attention in our region focuses on Syria, transformations across North Africa, the situation in Iraq, and Iranian-Israeli tensions, more and more people around the world – including mainline churches, labor unions, academics and some Western government investment funds – are judging Israelis, Palestinians and others in the Middle East according to their actions, and are demanding that all parties abide by a single, universal standard of justice and law.
Here Israel is increasingly portrayed as perpetuating against the Palestinians apartheid-like behavior that the world rallied to defeat in South Africa a few decades ago. Actions to counter Israel’s many unjust policies are coordinated by the growing Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign for “freedom, justice and equality.” BDS advocates in favor of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli or international companies, goods and services “involved in Israeli policies violating Palestinian human rights and international law.”
The two largest Protestant church denominations in North America (the U.S. Presbyterians and the United Church of Canada) have both voted to boycott the sale of products made by Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands. This is a significant breakthrough, because mainstream, ordinary North Americans who used ethical principles to passionately debate the consequences of Israel’s settlements policy ultimately rejected and rebuked these Zionist tactics. The pro-Israel lobbies worked hard to stop this trend, but largely failed in the end, mainly because Israel’s behavior was judged according to universal legal and moral criteria.
I was honored to be invited to attend the Presbyterian Church Congress in Pittsburgh and speak for the successful resolution to boycott products from Israeli settlements. In the process I experienced the fascinating spectacle of the pro-Israel lobby at work in the United States. The lobby usually prefers working in the political shadows, but was forced out into the open air here. The pro-Israel groups, including some Christian zealots, mainly repeated old arguments that seemed less and less convincing. Portraying Israel as a threatened, vulnerable society surrounded by aggressive neighbors contradicted a reality visible to all – namely that Israel is stronger than its neighbors, and continued to steal and colonize their land, and to subjugate and traumatize Palestinians through assassinations, sieges, mass imprisonment, water theft, travel controls and other problematic actions.
The majority of Presbyterians grappled mightily and emotionally with how they could best constructively promote justice and peace for all. They ultimately accepted that the Israeli occupation and colonization of Arab lands were illegal and immoral underlying drivers of tensions, injustices and violence, and needed to be redressed.
In this wider context, Dennis Ross’ call for the U.S. to sanction Egypt for its policies in Sinai is a timely example of how the pro-Israel lobbies seem to place Israel’s interests above those of anyone else, including the Palestinians, everyone else in the Middle East, or perhaps even the United States. Ross wants the U.S. to withhold essential aid to Cairo if Egyptians, among other things, do not “respect their international obligations, including the terms of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.”
Such fervent pro-Zionist bias that makes Israel’s well-being the benchmark of assessing others’ policies – without demanding the Israel respect international legal obligations in an equal way – is routine for American pro-Israel groups. However, millions of people across the world increasingly reject Zionist supremacy and Israel-first rules as the way to deal with the quest for peace and justice for all in the Middle East. Instead, seeking justice and equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians alike, they expect both sides mutually and simultaneously to respect the same body of international law.
The contrast of the ethics-based conduct of leading North American churches with the pro-Israel bias of Dennis Ross’ political universe in Washington marks a potentially major change under way. In the important interaction among universal ethics, narrow lobby group interests, and national policymaking, more and more groups around the world are insisting that justice and ethics matter, and must shape policy.
That humane and activist approach ultimately defeated South African apartheid, and could well temper the excesses of Zionist colonialism and its shrinking band of apologists around the world.
Rami G. Khouri is published twice weekly by THE DAILY STAR. For a roundup of the activities of the BDS campaign, go towww.bdsmovement.net/2012/bds-at-7-9206.
Original link: http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/Aug-22/185286-ethics-matter-the-world-tells-israel.ashx#axzz24UMeG7Xa

#Palestine -( Defence for Children) Voices from the Occupation: Hammam N

 Defence for Children International - Palestine Section
 

Name: Hammam N.
Date of Incident: 18 June 2012
Age: 16
Location: Shuweika village, West Bank
Nature of Incident: Detention
On 18 June 2012, a 16-year-old boy from the village of Shuweika, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at night.
Sixteen-year-old Hammam woke to a noise outside his house. “My mother came and told me that soldiers had entered the house. I got up and went to the living room where they were,” recalls Hammam. Once he was identified by his ID card, a soldier told Hammam to get dressed. “I entered my bedroom and was surprised to see soldiers standing by the windows pointing their weapons at me. I had to change my clothes in front of them. Then I went out to the living room and soldiers started shouting at me in Hebrew and pushing me towards the front door,” says Hammam. “They took me out and slammed the door.”
Once outside, Hammam recalls that “a soldier tied my hands behind my back with a single plastic tie that was so tight my hands started bleeding. He also blindfolded me. They forced me to walk for about 30 metres during which time one of them kept pushing me from behind, while another kept kicking me on my legs to knock me down. I almost fell. I complained but he shouted at me and ordered me to shut up.” Hammam was then placed on the metal floor of a vehicle for transfer. “The jeep started traveling and the soldiers did not tell me where they were taking me. They never told me why they arrested me in the first place. They were kicking me for no reason. My hands were hurting because of the plastic tie and I asked them to loosen it, but they tightened it even more,” says Hammam. “I shouted and they started laughing. I asked for some water to drink, but all I got was ‘shut the hell up, you dog son of a whore.’”
Hammam was taken to a military base where he was made to sit on the ground. He asked for some water again and was told: “come and drink from my dick,” by a soldier. About an hour later he was placed in the back of another military vehicle and transferred to a second military base. At the second base he was taken to see a military doctor who asked him some medical questions. Hammam asked the doctor for some water but his request was again refused.
Hammam was then put back in the military truck and transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. The transfer and detention of Hammam in a prison inside Israel was in violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits such transfers. Hammam reports that they arrived at Megiddo prison at around 4:00 pm. At no time during this period was Hammam given anything to eat or drink. He was strip searched on arrival at the prison.
The following day, 19 June, Hammam was transferred to Salem interrogation centre, back in the West Bank. His hands and feet remained shackled during interrogation and he was not permitted to see a lawyer, or have a parent present – rights which Israeli children are generally entitled to. “The interrogation lasted five hours,” says Hammam. “He accused me of throwing stones and setting fire to tyres. He shouted at me and pounded on the table to intimidate me.” At the end of the interrogation, Hammam confessed to throwing stones. He was then shown a statement written in Arabic and told to sign it, but was not given an opportunity to read it. When Hammam asked to be able to read the statement he was supposed to sign, the interrogator said: “Stop shitting me and sign.”
26 June 2012
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Court Rules Army “Not AT Fault” In Death Of Rachel Corrie

International Middle East Media Center
by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies 
An Israeli court ruled, Tuesday, that the army “was not at fault” in the murder of American peace activist, Rachel Corrie, who in 2003 was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while peacefully trying to stop the army from demolishing a Palestinian home, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Rachel's Parents, Cindi and Craig - Rachel Corrie Foundation
Rachel's Parents, Cindi and Craig - Rachel Corrie Foundation
The Israeli judge said that the death of Rachel was a regrettable “accident”, and claimed that “the army was at no fault”.

The Judge, Obed Greshon, of the Haifa District Court, claimed that Rachel, 23, “was killed while protecting terrorists in a combat Zone”, the BBC reported.

He maintained the claim of the Israeli military in which the bulldozer driver claimed that “he did not see her”.

The judge went on to the rude claim that “Rachel did not do what any thinking person would have done, as she did not distance herself from the bulldozer, the BBC added.

Rachel’s family brought charges against Israel for intentionally killing their daughter, and also accused Israel of not conducting a credible investigation into the attack.

The ruling of the court comes in coherence with the claim of the Israeli military, as the army allegedly investigated the incident and determined that “the military is not at fault for her death”.

The Court’s verdict was made in the presence of Cindy and Craig, the father and mother of Rachel Corrie, and several friends of activists.

Rachel Corrie is from Olympia, Washington in the United States of America.

Following the ruling, attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, The Corrie’s attorney, issued the following statement;

While not surprising, this verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life. In this regard, the verdict blames the victim based on distorted facts and it could have been written directly by the state attorneys.

We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice, but we are convinced that this verdict distorts the strong evidence presented in court, and contradicts fundamental principles of international law with regard to protection of human rights defenders. In denying justice in Rachel Corrie’s killing, this verdict speaks to the systemic failure to hold the Israeli military accountable for continuing violations of basic human rights.


We would like to thank everyone who supported the family and the legal team; including activists, NGOs, legal observers, US embassy officials, interpreters, reporters who covered the trial, and we look forward to talking to you at the press conference.

Rachel Just before she was murdered
Rachel Just before she was murdered

Jewish settler stabs Palestinian old man

Jewish settler stabs Palestinian old man
 
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- A Jewish settler stabbed a Palestinian elderly man in Khirbet Msafer in Yatta south of al-Khalil on Monday causing him serious injuries.
Rateb Jabour, coordinator of popular and national committees against the wall and settlements in Yatta, told Quds Press that a settler from "Mitzpe Yair" settlement stabbed Ismael Ibrahim al-Abra, 65, in Khirbet Beer al-Adra near Yatta town.
He pointed out that the settler stabbed Abra in the head and that a Red Crescent ambulance transferred him to a hospital in the territories occupied in 1948 where his injuries were described as serious.
Meanwhile, groups of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian lands in Salfit governorate and bulldozed lands for settlement expansion.
Local sources said that settlers from Brochin settlement, established on the village of Bruqin's lands, bulldozed new lands in the west of the village in preparation for the establishment of new settlement neighborhoods.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) also stormed the village of Deir Estia and issued orders to uproot 176 olive trees in Wadi Qana owned by the village's farmers, at the pretext that they had been planted in an area classified as "a natural reserve".
Deir Estia's mayor, Nadhmi Salman, recalled in a press statement that the IOF soldiers uprooted 1300 olive trees in the same district last year, and destroyed irrigation channels project.

Navy Opens Fire At Fishermen In Gaza

 International Middle East Media Center
by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies 
On Tuesday morning, the Israeli navy opened automatic fire at Palestinian fishermen, in Palestinian territorial waters, north of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and chased several fishing boats to the shore.
File - alquds.com
File - alquds.com
The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that the attack lasted for ten minutes leading to know injuries, but the fishermen had to leave the area in order to avoid further attacks by the navy.

Israel repeatedly attacked and kidnaps Palestinians fishermen in the Gaza Strip despite the fact that they fish in Palestinian waters; dozens of casualties were reported.

In related news, three Palestinians were injured on Tuesday when the army fire six missiles at a building, west of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the shelling led to damages in 11 homes and 4 public facilities, including two schools.

Also, the army bombarded a maintenance workshop that belongs to the Ministry of Interior in Gaza city leading to excessive damage. The bombardment also led to minor damages to the Red Crescent Sports Center.

Israeli navy kidnaps Palestinian fisherman and his son at sea

Israeli navy kidnaps Palestinian fisherman and his son at sea
 
GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli navy gunboats intercepted a small Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning and kidnapped a fisherman and his son while fishing.
Nizar Ayyash, the chairman of the Palestinian fishermen syndicate, told the PIC that the fisherman Kamel Al-Anqah and his son Mahmoud were detained while fishing within the allowed range, about half a nautical mile, to the north of Gaza harbor.
He said that the navy gunboats tugged the small boat to the Ashdod port.
Israeli navy routinely harasses Palestinian fishermen especially during the height of the fishing season.

Army Bombards Several Targets In Gaza

International Middle East Media Center
by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News 
The Israeli Radio reported that the Israeli Air Force carried out, on Monday at night and on Tuesday at dawn, several air strikes targeting different areas in the Gaza Strip, including what the army called “weapons manufacturing facilities” that belong to the Hamas movement.
File - Maan Images
File - Maan Images
The army said that the latest attacks come in retaliation to shells fired from the Gaza Strip into a nearby settlement.

Israeli daily, Maariv, reported that “despite the fact that the shells were fired by Salafist Jihadist groups, not connected to Hamas and does not abide by its rules, the army bombarded Hamas targets as the military considered movement responsible for the security situation in Gaza, and responsible for all attacks stemming from the coastal region”.

At least two Palestinians were injured in the attacks that also targeting Hamas-run facilities in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

On Monday evening, fighters of groups not affiliated with the Hamas movement and its security forces fired several shells at areas in the Western Negev; damages were reported, no injuries.

Updated From

Army Bombards Gaza
Tue, 28 Aug 2012 01:50:20

The Israeli Air Force fired at least five missiles at a Palestinian security building, west of Gaza City; two Palestinians were injured.

Medical sources reported that the two residents suffered mild injuries and received the needed medical treatment.

Also, the Israeli Air Force bombarded another area in the central Gaza Strip; damage was reported no injuries.

Furthermore, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, reported that the Israeli army also bombarded its “Bader” training camp, in the central Gaza Strip.

The Brigades said that the army fired at least three missiles into the camp causing excessive damage; no injuries were reported.

Monday, August 27, 2012

War Voyeurs Israeli tourists watch Syria battles from safe distance

UN: Gaza not 'liveable' by 2020 barring urgent action

 Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 27/08/2012 19:02
Palestinians receive food aid from the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency at the refugee camp of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April
13, 2010. (MaanImages/Hatem Omar)


GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- Gaza will no longer be "liveable" by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to improve water supply, power, health, and schooling, the United Nations' most comprehensive report on the Palestinian enclave said on Monday.

"Action needs to be taken now if Gaza is to be a liveable place in 2020 and it is already difficult now," UN humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard told journalists when the report was released on Monday.

Five years into an Israeli blockade supported by Egypt, and living under one-party rule, Gaza's population of 1.6 million is set to rise by 500,000 over the next eight years, say the authors of the UN's most wide-ranging report on the territory.

Gaza has one the youngest populations in the world, with 51 percent of people under the age of 18.

"Action needs to be taken right now on fundamental aspects of life: water sanitation, electricity, education, health and other aspects," Gaylard said.

Since 2007, Gaza has been under the control of the Islamist Hamas organization, an armed political movement which rejects permanent peace with Israel. They fought a three-week war in January 2009, and Israel is resisting international pressure to lift its blockade, which it says prevents arms reaching Hamas.

Gaza has no airport and no sea port. The border is tense, with frequent clashes over rocket or mortar fire from Gaza and air strikes by Israel. Gaza rockets hit Israeli land on Sunday, damaging a factory in the town of Sderot, east of the enclave.

Israel partly eased restrictions in mid-2010, and Gaza's crippled economy began to revive from rock bottom. Real GDP is estimated to have risen by 28 percent in the first half of 2011 as unemployment fell to 28 percent in 2011 from 37 percent.

But the report, involving expertise from more UN agencies and making projections further into the future than before, said growth over the next eight years would be slow, since Gaza's current isolation renders its economy essentially non-viable.

Reconstruction but no peace

The people in the narrow coastal strip live mainly on UN aid, foreign funding and a tunnel economy which brings in food, construction materials, electronics and cars from Egypt.

But the smuggling trade is no solution. Robert Turner, director of operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency , said Gaza by 2020 will need 440 more schools, 800 more hospital beds and over a 1,000 additional doctors.

Gaylard called on international donors to increase their aid to a population which is 80 percent aid dependent.

"Despite their best efforts the Palestinians in Gaza still need help," he said. "They are under blockade. They are under occupation and they need our help both politically and practically on the ground."

Israel in fact withdrew from Gaza in 2005, removing troops and settlers after 38 years of occupation.

A lack of clean drinking water is the greatest immediate concern, said Jean Gough of the UNICEF. The report projects a 60 percent increase in the enclave's water needs, while urgent action is already needed to protect existing water resources.

By 2016, Gaza's aquifer may become unusable, she said. Palestinians are already drilling deeper and deeper to reach groundwater and there is a need for more desalination plants. A seawater plant costing about $350 million is planned.

The UN says only a quarter of Gaza waste water is treated. The rest, including raw sewage, goes into the Mediterranean Sea.

Gaylard said Gaza needs peace and security to improve the lives of its people. "It will certainly have to mean the end of blockade, the end of isolation and the end of conflict."

There is as yet no sign of an end to the conflict between Hamas and Israel. The Islamist movement is shunned by the West as a terror organization and there is no prospect of diplomatic contacts leading to peace talks as long as Hamas rejects Israel's right to exist.

Analysts say much may depend on the future of relations with the new Egypt, whose Islamist leaders are sympathetic to Hamas but also committed to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Hamas is also supported by Iran, which is extremely hostile to Israel.

Aside from its tunnel network, Gaza imports via Israel. UN figures show, for example, that 46,500 tonnes of building materials came into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel in September 2011, while 90,000 tonnes came via the tunnels.

It also gets electricity and fuel from Israel.

Rebuilding homes and factories smashed in the winter war of 2009 is Gaza's biggest task, and construction is the source of most of its growth in employment in the past two years.

Abuse #Palestine video: 'Kid or adult - IDF makes no difference in Palestine'

Video: Israeli civil court hears Rachel Corrie case

Settlers attack elderly Palestinian

Maan News Agency

Published today (updated) 27/08/2012 20:15
Israeli soldiers patrol near Avigail outpost south of Hebron.
(MaanImages/Eleonora Vio, File)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli settlers on Monday attacked a Palestinian man from Khirbet Bir Al-Idd village, near Hebron, medics and the Israeli army said.

Eight residents of the illegal Mitzpe Yair attacked Ismail Ibrahim al-Adra, 65, and then fled the scene, locals told Ma'an.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israeli civilians threw rocks at al-Adra. She said Israeli soldiers provided medical treatment at the scene to the 65-year-old, and that soldiers were searching the area for suspects.

Red Crescent official Nasser Qabaja told Ma'an that Palestinian medics took al-Adra to Hebron Hospital, where he is being treated for moderate injuries.

Israeli forces and an Israeli ambulance arrived at the scene at the same time as Red Crescent medics, he added.

On Sunday, Israeli police arrested three Israeli settlers, aged 12 to 13, suspected of firebombing a Palestinian taxi near Hebron.

Four of the passengers wounded in the Aug. 16 attack were members of the same family, including two four-year-old children who suffered first degree burns.

PA official Ghassan Doughlas on Monday warned Palestinians to be cautious of Israeli settler attacks ahead of a court-ordered evacuation of an illegal outpost near Ramallah.

Migron residents have failed to comply with a High Court order to vacate the illegal outpost by Tuesday and may face forced evacuation by the Israeli army.

Extremist settlers have adopted what they call a "price tag" policy in which they attack Palestinians and their property in retaliation for Israeli government policies against settlements.

The evacuation of the Ulpana outpost of Beit El settlement led to a spate of violent "price tag" attacks, including arson attacks on several mosques.

Over 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in Jewish-only communities which Palestinians say threaten the viability of a promised Palestinian state.

Israel assassinates Islamic Jihad member in Egypt


A member of the Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad has been killed in an Israel drone attack inside Egypt, security sources say.


According Egyptian security sources in northern Sinai, Ibrahim Owida Nasser was hit by a missile fired by an Israeli drone on Sunday while riding his motorcycle in the Bedouin area south of the village of Al-Kasia, about 15 kilometers far from the Israeli-Egyptian border.

Nasser had been detained briefly last week as part of a sweeping military crackdown in the Sinai Peninsula. The crackdown came after gunmen killed 16 soldiers and injured many others in an attack on a border outpost on August 5.

Palestinian sources have quoted Egyptian officials as saying that Tel Aviv decided to carry out assassination drone attacks inside Egypt after Cairo failed to counter gunmen in the Sinai region near Egypt’s border with Israel and was forced to agree a deal with them.

Hundreds of Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in Israeli drone attacks in Gaza. But Israel's targeted killings in Egypt are almost rare.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 825 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli drone strikes in the Gaza Strip over the past five years.

The group also said that most of the victims had been targeted mistakenly or caught in the shrapnel shower resulting from the strikes.

On August 5, Eid Hijazi, a member of the Popular Resistance Committees, was killed in an Israeli drone attack in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Another person was also injured in the attack.
PressTV 

"I saw the whole beating, it's a good thing that they beat the Arabs..."

Life in Gaza to worsen without swift action: U.N.

Life in Gaza to worsen without swift action: U.N.
By AFP

Life in the poor and crowded Gaza Strip is going to get harsher still unless action is taken now, according to a new United Nations report released on Monday.

“The population of the Gaza Strip will increase from 1.6 million people today to 2.1 million people in 2020, resulting in a density of more than 5,800 people per square kilometers,” a U.N. statement quoted the report as saying.

Infrastructure across a number of sectors -- electricity, water and sanitation, and municipal and social services -- is “not keeping pace with the needs of the growing population,” it said.
Even now the coastal strip, under an Israeli blockade of varying intensity since 2006, is suffering from its worst-ever fuel shortage and resultant power cuts, as well as from unemployment levels of around 45 percent.

The U.N. said that demand for drinking water was projected to increase by 60 percent over the next eight years, “while damage to the aquifer, the major water source, would become irreversible without remedial action now.”

It added that more than 440 additional schools, 800 hospital beds and more than 1,000 doctors would be needed by 2020.

Israel first imposed a blockade on Gaza in June 2006 after militants there snatched one of its soldiers, who was only freed last October in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

It was tightened a year later after the Hamas movement seized power, ousting forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The blockade has been eased somewhat but severe restrictions on movement remain in place.

The report was jointly put together by the offices of the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the Palestinian territories, the UN children's fund (UNICEF), the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and UNSCO, the special coordinator for the peace process.

Israeli PM: Bethlehem settlements will always be part of Israel

Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 27/08/2012 15:14
A Jewish settler carries a rifle as he walks with his daughters in the
unauthorized outpost of Migron, near the West Bank city of Ramallah,
August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Bethlehem-area settlement of Efrat on Monday, and insisted it and a nearby bloc of other settlements would forever remain part of the Israeli state, according to media reports.

"Efrat and Gush Etzion are integral parts of greater Jerusalem," Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu saying.

"They are the southern gates of Jerusalem and will always be part of the State of Israel. We are building Efrat and Gush Etzion with enthusiasm, faith and responsibility."

The Palestinian villages surrounding Efrat and Gush Etzion fear plans to renew construction of Israel's separation wall around the settlements will result in their displacement, or encirclement by the barrier.

Palestinian leaders insist that Israel must halt all settlement expansion before they can return to peace talks. Negotiations have stalled since September 2010 when Israel refused to renew a partial freeze on Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The international community has repeatedly stated that Israeli settlements threaten a two state solution with the Palestinians.

Turkey condemns Israel's settlement activities in Palestine

Turkey condemns Israel's settlement activities in Palestine

27 August 2012 / TODAY'S ZAMAN, ISTANBUL
Turkey has strongly criticized the growth of Israel's ongoing settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“We strongly condemn Israel's decision to build an additional 130 settlements in the West Bank's Har Homa to be added to the ongoing settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories,” said the Foreign Ministry in a written statement released on Monday.
The statement said Israel is capitalizing on the fact that the international community's attention is more focused on the developments in Syria in order to persistently carry out its settlement activities in East Jerusalem and its West Bank suburbs, acts that stand in the way to strengthening the peace process and a fatal blemish for a two-state solution.
“Israel should take responsibility and put an end to its activities that destroy the peace process in the Middle East,” the statement said.

Israel to Remove Source of Electricity south of Hebron

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
HEBRON, August 27, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday notified the residents of Khirbet al-Taban, a locale east of the town of Yatta south of Hebron, of their plans to remove the solar cells in the area; the only source of electricity there, according to a local activist.
Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in southern Hebron, said Israeli forces, along with officers from the civil administration, handed the residents a military order to remove the solar cells in the area.
Al-Jabour said these Israeli measures aim to force the residents to leave the area in order to seize land.
He called upon human rights organizations to intervene to stop the removal of the solar cells in that area and to protect its residents from the Judization policy pursued by the Israeli authorities.

Setters Raze Land west of Salfit

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
SALFIT, August 27, 2012 (WAFA) – Tens of settlers Monday razed land belonging to Palestinians from the town of Bruqin, in the Salfit governorate, in preparation for building a new settlement.
Bruqin mayor, Akrama Samara, said that settlers from Brukhin settlement razed land west of the town in preparation for building new settlement neighborhoods after Israel legalized the settlement of Brukhin.
On the other hand, Israeli authorities issued new eviction orders in the Wadi Qana area, leading to uprooting 176 Olive trees that belong to Palestinian farmers from the town of Deir Istiya.
Deir Istiya mayor, Nazmi Suleiman, said that Israeli soldiers continue their violations against farmers and their land to displace them and allow settlers to take over land.
Israeli forces have uprooted over 1300 Olive trees and destroyed irrigation canals project in 2011.

IOF soldiers storm houses, arrest 3 citizens in Nablus

IOF soldiers storm houses, arrest 3 citizens in Nablus
 
NABLUS, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed houses in the eastern suburbs of Nablus and in Balata refugee camp and rounded up three citizens including two teenagers at dawn Monday.
Local sources told Quds Press that the soldiers mounting a number of armored vehicles launched a search campaign in a number of houses while firing stun grenades to terrorize civilians.
They said that the soldiers took away the three citizens from the refugee camp after storming and ransacking their homes.
Meanwhile, IOF soldiers installed a roadblock at the entrance to Zababde village, east of Jenin, on Sunday afternoon, and questioned young Palestinians.
Local sources said that the soldiers stopped cars and searched IDs as an intelligence officer interrogated citizens focusing on young men, adding that ten youths were questioned at the barrier.

New Israeli excavations under the Aqsa Mosque

New Israeli excavations under the Aqsa Mosque
 
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- A Jerusalemite center has revealed that the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) started on Sunday new excavations in the historical Umayyad Palaces near the south-western corner of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center confirmed, in a statement issued on Sunday accompanied by photos, that the IAA workers have pitched tents in the middle of the Umayyad Palaces in preparation for new excavations in the region.
The Center noted that the Israeli occupation authorities had started judaizing the Ummayad Palaces in June last year.
The statement pointed out that IAA had installed several banners along the path within the Ummayad Palaces defining the alleged temple’s story.