Monday, July 30, 2012

America: from a shining city on a hill to virtual Jewish fiefdom

By Khalid Amayreh

One of the grim signs underscoring the utter corruption of the American political environment is the ongoing tuneful and vapid contest between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney to win the heart of the Zionist state of Israel.
The two are behaving like determined political whores, hell-bent on wining the biggest show on earth, without the slightest concern for or compunction about the moral price of their obscene embrace of the Jewish golem.
Israel is undoubtedly a crime against humanity; this is what it essentially was when the brat was misbegotten 64 years ago, and this is what it has always been ever since, a diabolical entity living and thriving on aggression, bellicosity and war.
Indeed, the fact that almost every American politician, let alone the President of the Republic, feels obliged to grovel at Israel's feet, or else commit political suicide, illustrates the moral degeneration corroding America's collective conscience.
Alas! How could 320 million Americans, considered among the smartest in the world, have allowed a few rich Jews to eviscerate America of its soul and moral values, so much so that the country of Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, and Washington, has effectively succumbed to the harlot, becoming a willing whore eager to serve and appease the rapacious Jewish pimp?
John Winthrop dreamed of a shining city on a hill, must be turning in their graves, seeing their country teetering under the evil Jewish yoke, a yoke that has morphed America from a shining city on a hill, into a Goliath sword, spreading evil, oppression and death everywhere.
This weekend, President Obama signed a new U.S.-Israel pact, granting the Nazi-like Jewish entity a virtual carte blanche to arrogate, free of charge, all the secrets of American technology in order to achieve more territorial expansion and military aggrandizement at the expense of its poor and weak neighbors.
Likewise, Romney, who didn't utter a single word about the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians by fanatical and genocidal Jewish settlers, defecated and urinated from his mouth, telling rapacious, self-absorbed Israeli leaders that he was all the way with Israel soul & heart, whether Israel was right or wrong.
In a brazenly sycophantic speech in West Jerusalem on Sunday, 29 July, he vilified Iran, Hamas, and Hezbullah.
He even criticized the Arab Spring, including the new Islamist president. As expected, he heaped praise on the Zionist entity, lauding its "democratic values and freedom of press. "
"I love this country, I love America, I love the friendship we have," Romney stated as he concluded his speech.
He said the US under his leadership would never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.
He didn't utter a word about Israel's huge nuclear arsenal, which is widely thought to include 250-300 nuclear weapons, including bombs and warheads.
Likewise, he didn't mention a single word about the Palestinian plight, .e.g. Israel's decapitation of the so-called two-state solution.
Earlier, he told an Israeli newspaper, that the US would continue to give Israel a preferential treatment.
"I would treat Israel like the friend and ally it is," he told Israel Hayom, the Hebrew newspaper owned by Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has donated millions of dollars to Republican and Zionist causes.
"I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world," Romney continued. "You don't criticize your allies in public to achieve the applause of your foes."
Adelson may attend a $50,00 a plate fundraiser for Romney in Israel this week.
Needless to say, Romney's obsequious remarks could only come from a thoroughly professional political prostitute, with utterly no concern for honesty and morality, or indeed, truth.
Romney, like Obama, is not ignorant of the facts about Israel, namely that Israel is a brashly racist, murderous entity that has nothing to do with the claimed American ideals of equality and liberty.
In America, every American child learns Patrick Henry's iconic words " Give me freedom, or give me death."
In Israel, however, if you are non-Jew and you demand equality with the Master Race or Chosen People, Jews, you are not only a terrorist who ought to be annihilated, you are actually an insignificant and expendable non-human being.
Didn't Ovadia Yosef, the religious leader of the Shas party, a king's maker in Israel's political arena, who has hundreds of thousands of loyal followers at his beck and call, didn't he declare a few years ago that the Almighty created all non-Jews, presumably including Romney and Obama, solely to serve Jews?
Didn't a Chabad rabbi opine some years ago that according to the Talmud, a Jew may actually murder a non-Jew, e.g. Romney or Obama, or even Jesus, in order to extricate an organ from his body if the Jew needs one?
But this is the political prostitution season in America where the numerous political sluts in the land of Woodrow Wilson are vying for Shylock's purse. Thus, no matter how Shylock is dishonest, morally depraved and evil, he must be glorified and praised non-stop and beyond imagination, regardless of all moral considerations and immoral consequences. After all, according to the rules of the American political environment, the only virtue acceptable in Washington is the virtue of surrendering to Jewish Mammon.!!
The Republican candidate praised Israel, the "start-up nation," for its "cutting-edge technology," thriving economy, democratic values and freedom of press.
"I love this country, I love America, I love the friendship we have," Romney stated as he concluded his speech.
In addition to his shining city on a hill, John Winthrop also gave a warning:
"The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause us to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world."
I have no doubt that the moral callousness and depravity eroding America, mainly as a result of Jewish domination, will boomerang sooner or later. There are many signs the payback process has already begun.
America: from a shining city on a hill to virtual Jewish fiefdom

Europe and US Richly Reward Israel for Pariah Status

| Dissident Voice
NAZARETH — Israel has barely put a foot right with the international community since its attack on Gaza more than three years ago provoked global revulsion.
The right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has serially defied and insulted foreign leaders, including US President Barack Obama; given the settlers virtual free rein; blocked peace talks with the Palestinians; intimidated and marginalised human rights groups, UN agencies and even the Israeli courts; and fuelled a popular wave of Jewish ethnic and religious chauvinism against the country’s Palestinian minority, foreign workers and asylum seekers.
No wonder, then, that in poll after poll Israel ranks as one of the countries with the most negative influence on international affairs.
And yet, the lower Israel sinks in public estimation, the more generous western leaders are in handing out aid and special favours to their wayward ally. The past few days have been particularly shameless.
It was revealed last week that the European Union had approved a massive upgrade in Israel’s special trading status, strengthening economic ties in dozens of different fields. The decision was a reversal of a freeze imposed in the wake of the Gaza attack of winter 2008.
Amnesty International pointed out that the EU was violating its own commitments in the European Neighbourhood Policy, which requires that, as a preferred trading partner, Israel respect international human rights, democratic values and its humanitarian obligations.
Equally troubling, the EU is apparently preparing to upend what had looked like an emerging consensus in favour of banning settlement products — the only meaningful punishment the EU has threatened to inflict on Israel.
With some irony, Europe’s turnabout was revealed the same day that Israel announced it was planning to destroy eight villages in the West Bank, expelling their 1,500 Palestinian inhabitants, to make way for a military firing zone. Four more villages are also under threat.
The villagers’ expulsion was further confirmation that Israel is conducting a “forced transfer” of Palestinians, as recent EU reports have warned, from the nearly two-thirds of the West Bank under its control.
Europe’s only real leverage over Israel is economic: business between the two already accounts for about 60 per cent of Israeli trade, worth nearly 30 billion euros. But rather than penalising Israel for repeatedly stomping over the flimsiest prospects for a two-state solution, the EU is handsomely rewarding it.
It is not alone. The United States is also showering economic benefits and military goodies on Israel, in addition to the billions of dollars in aid it hands over every year.
In the past few days alone, President Obama signed a new law greatly expanding military cooperation with Israel and awarded $70 million – on top of an existing $210 million donation – for it to develop the Iron Dome missile defence system; the Pentagon arm-twisted Lockheed Martin into collaborating with Israeli firms in revamping the new F-35 fighter jet; and Congress approved a four-year extension of US loan guarantees to make it cheaper for Israel to borrow money on the international markets.
Meanwhile, Obama’s rival for the presidency, Mitt Romney, has criticised Obama for being too miserly towards Israel. As he stood shoulder to shoulder with Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday, Romney issued a press release suggesting that his administration would spend even more US taxpayers’ dollars on Israel’s missile defence system.
All this munificence is coming from the two dominant parties to the Quartet — the international group comprising the US, the EU, the United Nations and Russia. The Quartet’s role is to champion the very two-state solution Israel is striving so strenuously to destroy.
In a further irony, the World Bank issued last week its latest report on the state of the Palestinian economy, concluding that its situation was so dire the Palestinian government-in-waiting, the Palestinian Authority, could not be considered ready for independent statehood. The report noted that the Palestinians were heavily reliant on foreign donors and that local private businesses, agriculture and manufacturing were all in decline.
With feigned obtuseness, the World Bank recommended that the PA increase exports to foreign markets, glossing over the biggest impediment to such trade: the severe restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of people and goods into and out of Palestinian territory.
As the Quartet has grown ever more silent in the face of Israeli transgressions, US politicians have stepped in with cynical manoeuvres to shore up Israel’s intransigence and destroy any hopes of a peaceful solution.
Last week, for example, US lawmakers were reported to have put their names to a congressional resolution recognising the recent report of Israel’s controversial Levy Committee. The report concluded that Israel was not occupying the West Bank and that consequently the settlements there are legal.
The topsy-turvy character of international diplomacy was acknowledged this month by a recently retired British ambassador to the Middle East. Tom Philips, who served in Israel and Saudi Arabia, writes in the latest edition of Prospect magazine that Europe and the US need to use “big carrots and big sticks” if there is to be any hope of reviving the peace process.
But Mr Philips believes the US is “genetically indisposed” to forcing change on Israel. He proposes instead choking off donor money to the PA so as “to put the full weight of the occupation on Israel, a burden I do not think they would be able to endure”.
In another of the rich ironies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it now seems even some diplomats are concluding that the Palestinians will be best served by destroying the fledgling government that was supposed to be the harbinger of their independence.
The real obstacles to peace — Israel, its occupation and western complicity — might then be laid bare for all to see.

Report: Israeli forces block dirt roads in Salfit

Published today 16:54
Israeli soldiers pictured at a Qalqiliya checkpoint.(MaanImages/file)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Monday blocked off two dirt roads used by farmers in Salfit, officials news agency Wafa reported.

The mayor of Salfit village Deir Istiya told Wafa that soldiers escorted a bulldozer to the roads, which were then blocked with earth and rocks.

Blocking access to the Wadi Abu Nasser and Qattan al-Jami roads will prevent farmers from accessing large areas of fields and pastures in the western part of Deir Istiya village, Nathmi Salman said.

Israeli forces have now closed six roads in Deir Istiya, he added.
Maan News Agency

Israel Opens Fire on Homes in Gaza

  by Kelly Joiner - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group & Agencies Report post
In Gaza today, the Israeli military opened fire on Palestinian homes and farms in Khuza’a, a town east of Khan Younis. According to WAFA News, no injuries were reported.
The areas in Gaza along the border with Israel, east of Khan Younis are regularly targeted by the Israeli army. Previous attacks have killed and wounded several Palestinians and prevented farmers from reaching their land.
International Middle East Media Center

Stop the demolition of the Palestinian village of Susiya and CARE’s health clinic- update | CARE International United Kingdom


Thanks to all supporters who have taken action to stop the demolition of CARE’s health clinic and the Palestinian village of Susiya! CARE supporters from all over the world have signed the petition, helping bring the number from 4,000 to over 10,000.

We are excited to report that advocacy efforts are paying off. The ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ lawyer for Susiya has confirmed that the demolition orders are still frozen by Israeli authorities. Help keep it that way by spreading the word and encouraging your friends and networks to sign the petition.
While we applaud the decision to freeze the demolition orders for Susiya, similar demolition orders have been given for 8 more villages near Susiya, which includes another one of CARE’s health clinics and which will displace 1,500 Palestinians. CARE calls on Israel's Civil Administration to immediately halt the demolition orders in Majaz, Tabban, Sfai, Fakhit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba and Kharuba, which includes an ECHO-funded health clinics run by CARE International in partnership with Union Health Work Committees, and on all humanitarian aid projects in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Save Susiya - sign the petition
See the original article

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Witnesses: Israeli forces arrest 2 in Al-Aqsa compound

 Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 29/07/2012 12:54
Palestinian men pray in front of the dome of the rock in Jerusalem's Old
City on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan July 20, 2012.
REUTERS/Ammar Awad

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces entered the Haram al-Sharif compound overnight Saturday and arrested two worshipers, witnesses said.

Dozens of police officers entered the compound and used physical force to evacuate worshipers, leading to clashes. Two men from Jerusalem were arrested, witnesses told Ma'an.

Hundreds of Muslim worshipers have been attending overnight prayers in the Haram al-Sharif compound, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said.

"Israeli authorities are trying to prevent this rite," it added.

An Israeli police spokesman told Ma'an he had no reports of the incident.

The Al-Aqsa compound, containing the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and abuts the site where Jews believe the ancient Second Temple stood

The flashpoint site is under the custody of the Islamic endowment authorities.

Army Invades Al-Aqsa Mosque, Attack Worshipers

 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies 
Israeli soldiers and policemen invaded, on Saturday night after midnight, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, and attacked several worshipers while trying to forcefully remove them out of the mosque; clashes were reported and two worshipers were kidnapped.
File - Image By The Al-Aqsa Foundation
File - Image By The Al-Aqsa Foundation
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage reported that the two kidnapped worshipers are young men from Jerusalem.

The Foundation added that hundreds of worshipers remained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the third night in a row, and that their stay was facilitated by the Islamic Waqf Department while the Israeli military and police are trying to prevent any worshiper from staying overnight at the mosque or its yards.

In related news, hundreds of Israeli settlers, and fundamentalist members of Knesset, participated in a procession that started in West Jerusalem and headed towards the gates of the Old City, especially Bab Al-Amoud (Damascus) Gate, Bab As-Sahera (Herod’s Gate) and Al-Asbat Gate (Gate of the Tribes) and ending at the Al-Magharba Gate, the Foundation said.

Limited clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli policemen took place near Al-Amoud Gate; no injuries were reported.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation reported that, despite extensive Israeli restrictions and military presence, thousands of worshipers managed to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and its surrounding areas, on Friday, and performed prayers marking the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
International Middle East Media Center

Friday, July 27, 2012

Several wounded in nonviolent anti-wall demonstrations in the W.B.

 International Middle East Media Center
by George Rishmawi - IMEMC & Agencies 
In central West Bank, Palestinians organized anti-wall and settlements protests in the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al-Nabi Saleh. Israeli troops used chemical water in addition to tear gas to suppress protesters.
Protestors avoiding tear gas during the demonstration in Bilin Friday (Photo: Rani Burnat)
Protestors avoiding tear gas during the demonstration in Bilin Friday (Photo: Rani Burnat)
Israeli and international supporters joined villagers after the midday prayers at all three locations. Troops used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to stop the protests. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation and treated by field medic.

In other news, Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest at Al-Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah wounding four people including a 9-year old child.
The villagers marched after the midday prayers towards the confiscated lands, however, Israeli troops stopped them by firing several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets and a number of tear gas canisters. Nine-year old Mohammad Tamimi was hit in his arm with a tear gas canister and was moved to the hospital for treatment.

Three others were wounded with rubber-coated steel bullets however, their wounds were described as minor.

In northern West Bank, at the village of Kufur Qadduom, villagers accompanied by international supporters were attacked with tear gas as soon as they reached the road block isolating the village form the surrounding villages and towns. Local sources said that several residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile on Friday, in southern West Bank, several residents were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers of Al Ma’sara as they organized their weekly anti wall and settlements protest which called this week for boycotting Israeli products.

Residents and international supporters marched near the construction site of the wall and were faced with tear gas fired by Israeli troops operating in the area.

Human rights organizations condemn attack on lecturer Mohammed Ghazal

Human rights organizations condemn attack on lecturer Mohammed Ghazal
RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies  and human rights and Tadamun foundation for human rights denounced the attack on Dr. Mohammed Ghazal, a leading figure and a lecturer at Najah University, during his return from a hearing in the Israeli court of appeal.
Fouad Khuffash, the director of Ahrar center, said in a statement on Thursday that Dr. Ghazal, 55, who is suffering from several diseases most notably high blood pressure, was attacked by the soldiers of the Nahshon unit.
Khuffash revealed that the occupation authorities have been transferring the prisoners from Megiddo prison to Ofer prison under severe conditions in order to exhaust and humiliate the prisoners in such hot weather.
He called on human rights organizations, Palestinian factions and the Palestinian Authority to immediately and urgently intervene in order to expose the practices of the occupation against prisoners in its jails.
Meanwhile, the researcher at Tadamun foundation Ahmed Beitawi stated that the soldiers attacked Dr. Ghazal when he refused, due to his bad health condition, to enter an iron box inside the bus in which the soldiers crammed 11prisoners.
Beitawi noted that Dr. Ghazal asked the soldiers to consider his serious health condition, but they refused and without any regard for his age, his illness and his academic position, they abused him and he fainted. Yet they did not provide him any kind of treatment until the arrival to Megiddo.
For her part, Dr. Ghazal's wife demanded the human rights and international organizations to investigate the recent attack against her husband, emphasizing that it was an unjustified and intentional assault designed to infringe on the dignity of the Palestinian people as Dr. Ghazal is one of the prominent figures and enjoys an important academic status.
She also pointed out that the Israeli occupation does not care about the prisoners' health conditions, calling for putting an end to the suffering of the prisoners, particularly the administrative detainees especially as most of them suffer health problems.
The occupation authorities have been detaining more than 35 university lecturers and academics, mostly held under administrative detention, without charge.

One year after Greece stopped Freedom Flotilla

One year after Greece stopped Freedom Flotilla 

The struggle to end Gaza blockade continues
One year after the Greek government bowed to pressure and enforced he outsourced Israeli blockade of Gaza, the international movement to challenge the blockade is still very much afloat: we may change our tactics, but not our objectives. Our new campaign to challenge the blockade from the inside out emphasizes the fundamental importance of freedom of movement for Palestinians.
On July 4, 2011, the Canadian boat Tahrir left the port of Aghios Nikolaos (in Crete, Greece) bound for Gaza. After days of waiting for official clearance in the face of increasing bureaucratic and political obstacles, we decided to defy a Greek government ban on Freedom Flotilla departures and simply cast off. There were more than 40 people on board the Tahrir: a wide range of delegates from Australia, Belgium, Denmark and Canada as well as journalists from various countries. Our Greek captain and crew had been replaced for the occasion by volunteers — we were lucky to have among us delegates with professional maritime experience, from engineer to ship’s officers.
We didn’t make it more than eight nautical miles out before the Greek coastguard commandos boarded the Tahrir and took control of the vessel. We were towed back to port where a three people from our group had been arrested (they were subsequently tried and given suspended sentences). The Greeks used minimal force in stopping the Tahrir. They did not interfere with communications nor with media reporting — cameras and live phone interviews were rolling throughout the whole process. Some of the coastguard commandos in fact said they were embarrassed by what they saw as their government’s betrayal of Greece’s traditional Mid-East position.
By accepting to play the role of unenthusiastic enforcers for Israel’s outsourced blockade of Gaza, then-Prime Minister Papandreou was indeed betraying his father Andreas’s historical support for Palestinian liberation. All the pandering to powerful international forces could not of course save the younger Papandreou’s job as PM from the pressures of the austerity agenda, and it remains to be seen whether present or future Greek governments will return to a more independent foreign policy. Meanwhile, we remain more buoyant about our international anti-blockade movement than about the Greek political situation.
When the Tahrir sailed again in November, this time from Turkey and with a much reduced delegation (just 12 people on board), we got much further before being captured by the Israeli navy in international waters just 45 nautical miles from Gaza. In stark contract to the Greeks, the Israeli navy began by blocking all communications and throughout did everything possible to prevent journalists on board from doing their work by reporting. By stealing media professionals’ recording equipment, the Israelis showed once again they know their actions are illegal and indefensible.
Despite recognizing that there were no arms or munitions of any kind on the Tahrir and that they would be met with only non-violent resistance, the heavily armed commandos boarded us with overwhelming military force, an act of state-sponsored piracy.
The Tahrir and the Saoirse are still illegally impounded in Israel, along with at least five other boats from different countries which have challenged the blockade since 2009 (after the six successful voyages to Gaza in 2008). We have filed a legal request for the release of our boat and its content but we know the Tahrir faces more delays before we can deliver this gift from Canadian civil society to the Palestinians of Gaza. The U.S. boat to Gaza, the Audacity of Hope has been impounded since last year by the Greek authorities, along with three other vessels.
A few Greek and Turkish boats from the 2010 Freedom Flotilla were finally returned, heavily damaged, from Israeli captivity, and the French campaign Un Bateau français pour Gaza, has filed legally against Israeli authorities for piracy, kidnapping and theft following the illegal capture of their boat Dignité Al-Karama last July. Meanwhile the commercial sailing ship Estelle is making its way from Scandinavia through the ports of Europe to the Mediterranean in order to challenge the blockade. So our international civil society movement against the blockade of Gaza remains very much afloat.
Launched in May 2012, Gaza’s Ark is a new campaign in cooperation with organizations and individuals in Palestine, Canada, Australia and the U.S. which aims to build hope on the ground in Gaza in order to sail from Palestine against the blockade. It is not an “aid” project but rather an affirmation of the ability of the Palestinians of Gaza to rebuild their productive export economy, once they regain their freedom of movement. We are funding a boat to be sailed out of Gaza (the only Mediterranean port closed to shipping) by internationals and Palestinians to transport Palestinian products to complete trade deals with international buyers.
Importantly, outbound export trade from Palestine cannot be portrayed as threatening anyone’s security. But it does affirm a very basic human right systematically denied to Palestinians by the Israeli occupation: the freedom of movement within as well as in and out of their country. It also supports the Palestinian fishery’s right to operate in Palestinian territorial waters off Gaza for their livelihood, also threatened daily by the same blockade we are challenging.
Five independent human rights experts reporting to the U.N. Human Rights Council reiterated in September 2011 that the blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law. Until the governments of the world take up their responsibilities towards Palestinian civilians and demand that Israel comply with international law, civil society movements like ours maintain our sights steadily fixed on freedom of movement for all Palestinians. Our tactics may change but our course remains the conscience of humanity.
Linguistics professor David Heap and IT engineer & poet Ehab Lotayef are steering committee members with the Canadian Boat for Gaza and Gaza’s Ark. They were on the Tahrir when it was attacked and seized last November and spent six days in Israeli prison before being deported back to Canada.

Palestinian Rights Groups say EU Betrayed its Principles

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA
RAMALLAH, July 26, 2012 (WAFA) - The Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations (PCHRO), a coalition of 11 Palestinian rights groups, Thursday strongly denounced European Union decision to upgrade its cooperation with Israel, accusing the EU of betraying its own principles.
The EU-Israel Association Council, which met in Brussels on Tuesday, agreed to developed EU cooperation with Israel by offering it 60 new activities in 15 fields and declared that it would continue technical discussions with Israel aimed at identifying areas for future cooperation.
“As organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), we are strongly concerned about the EU’s lack of commitment to human rights in light of what is essentially an intensification of bilateral relations with Israel,” said a statement issued by the groups.
“In recent months, the EU has made progress in recognizing and condemning Israel’s practices and policies in the OPT which constitute systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. We welcomed the 14 May Council Conclusions which expressed “deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible” and waited for words to turn into action from the EU’s side,” it added.
Describing the Association Council meeting as “a step backwards,” the PCHRO said the Association Council statement “comes at a time when Israel is relentless in expanding its illegal settlement enterprise; maintains the continued closure of the Gaza Strip which amounts to collective punishment; continues to revoke residency permits of Palestinians; displaces the Palestinian people, especially those residing in Area C; discriminatorily allocates natural resources, such as land and water; as well as continuing the construction of the Annexation Wall.”
PCHRO said that by agreeing to further develop bilateral relations with Israel, “the EU has failed to adhere to its self-commitment to international law, and appropriately implement the recent EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy which emphasized that the ‘EU is founded on a shared determination to promote peace and stability and to build a world founded on respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law’ and that these principles are to underpin EU’s external policies.”
It said, “The recent intensification of relations is certainly not based on consideration of seeking conformity with these legal obligations.”
The Palestinian groups said that “if adherence to international law is to be a corner stone of the EU then it must make a link between its actions and its verbal and written condemnations. As such, the EU needs to stress to Israel that until it shows tangible progress in its compliance with international law it will not benefit from further cooperation with the EU, on the basis of or outside the current EU-Israeli Action Plan.”
“As Palestinian human rights organizations, we are deeply disappointed with the EU’s decision to sideline human rights and humanitarian law when it suits the EU and Israel, and thus oppose the EU’s decision to effectively upgrade its relations with Israel. The recent agreement amounts to the condoning of Israel’s illegal practices and, by virtue of the acquiescence of the EU, contributes to both their continuation and the deterioration of the human rights situation in the OPT,” concluded the statement.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Several Israeli tanks and bulldozers invade southern of Gaza Strip

 Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades
Several Israeli tanks and bulldozers invade southern of Gaza Strip  
Al Qassam website- Gaza- Israeli military forces have conducted limited incursion in southern Gaza Strip in Al Fakhwri area east of Khan Younis city.
Al Qassam correspondent reported that four Israeli tanks and two bulldozers have moved from the Israeli military site of "Sofa", invading 300 meters into Palestinian citizens' lands conducting the work of razing and demolition to the property of citizens amid intensive shooting.
Witnesses said that Israeli forces have fired a smoke-shell in the same region.
Locals said that groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have retaliated by launching one mortar shell at the invading forces.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Report: Jewish teens rip up Koran in West Bank mosque

Maan News Agency
Published today 17:28
Palestinian Muslims pray inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
(MaanImages/Haytham Othman, File)

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli police have failed to arrest two Jewish teenage girls who tore copies of the Koran in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque, the Israeli news site Ynet reported Tuesday.

In March, the girls were caught on security camera tearing up the Muslim holy books and throwing them at the wall when the West Bank mosque was opened to Jewish worshipers. An Israeli border guard noticed them but did not intervene, and later another officer at approached them and stalled them, Ynet said.

A complaint was filed with the police but the girls have not been summoned, the report added.

Israeli police told Ynet the investigation was "ongoing."

The Ibrahimi Mosque houses the Cave of the Patriarchs, holy to Muslims and Jews. In 1994, US-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslims praying in the mosque, killing 29 and injuring 125.

Israeli Soldiers Arrest 2 Minors in Hebron 13 and 15 yrs old!!!

 Israeli Soldiers Arrest 2 Minors in Hebron
HEBRON, July 24, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Tuesday arrested two Palestinian minors in the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron, according to a statement by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC).
It said a large number of Israeli soldiers arrested Basel Mataryeh, 15, after raiding his house in the city of Hebron under the pretext of throwing rocks at the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba.
In addition, Israeli soldiers arrested Saqer Sweity, 13, after raiding his family house in Beit Awa, a village south of Hebron.
PPC said the soldiers terrorized Sweity’s family members and held his father under gunpoint before ransacking the house.
The club held the Israeli government responsible for Mataryeh and Sweity’s lives, and called for their immediate release.
Israeli soldiers also arrested a Palestinian in al-Tabaqa area, southwest of Hebron, and battered his brother, who was transferred to hospital for treatment.

UN Committee Decries Israeli Treatment of Palestinian Children

 International Middle East Media Center
by Kelly Joiner - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group & Agencies Report post
The United Nations Special Committee on Israeli Practices in the Occupied Territories issued a statement against the arrest, detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military, the Palestine News Network reported on Tuesday.
Ambassador Palitha T.B. Khonoa, of Sri Lanka reported on the plight of Palestinian children who are mistreated by Israel from the moment of arrest saying “Large numbers are routinely detained. Children’s homes are surrounded by Israeli soldiers late at night, sound grenades are fired into the houses, doors are broken down, live shots are often fired; no warrant is presented. Children are tightly bound, blindfolded and forced into the backs of military vehicles.”

Additionally, Kohona noted that families are insulted, intimidated and sometimes physically assaulted during the arrest of their children and are not allowed to accompany them during transport or questioning. Transfers can last for hours and often include stops in Israeli settlements, at checkpoints, or military bases.

While in custody, “Children are not informed of their rights, including their right to legal representation and to not incriminate themselves.” And in 63% of cases Israeli soldiers attempt to pressure Palestinian children into becoming collaborators. This is often accomplished through threats of indefinite detention or threats against the child’s family. “The Committee’s view is that this is an unacceptable practice, one that Israel must end immediately.”

Other violations of international law and basic human rights of children include the fact that “Palestinian children in detention are often denied family visits, denied access to legal representation, held in cells with adults, denied access to education, and even at the age of 12, tried in Israeli military courts.” Court proceedings are always held exclusively in Hebrew, so most children are unable to even understand what is happening in court.

The Committee also reported that children are routinely sentenced to prison or house arrest in homes other than their own families, effectively cutting off contact with their families. They were also shocked to learn that Israel uses solitary confinement with Palestinian children. The Committee added that “This is especially troubling when one considers that Israel arrests about 500 to 700 Palestinian children every year.” There are currently 192 children in detention, many of whom are under the age of 16.

Further areas of concern included the practice of demolishing Palestinian homes, the violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers, and the impact of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. All of these were underscored in Ambassador Kohona’s final statement. "These Israeli practices lead the Special Committee to one over-arching and deeply troubling conclusion. The mass imprisonment of Palestinians; the routine demolition of homes and the displacement of Palestinians; the widespread violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians; and the blockade and resultant reliance on illegal smuggling to survive; these practices amount to a strategy to either force the Palestinian people off their land or so severely marginalize them as to establish and maintain a system of permanent oppression."

Issa: Demolition of archaeological sites in Silwan aims at displacing natives

Issa: Demolition of archaeological sites in Silwan aims at displacing natives
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Dr. Hanna Issa, Secretary General of the Islamic-Christian Committee for protecting Jerusalem and holy sites, considered that the Israeli occupation authority’s demolition of a residential facility in Silwan town confirms its attempts to displace natives from their land.
Issa said that the occupation authorities pursue a policy of house demolitions as a collective punishment against Palestinians especially those living in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, noting that the pretexts of IOA for the demolition of the citizens' houses contravene the norms of international humanitarian law.
He added in a press statement on Monday, "It is strange that the IOA has been recently escalating its policy of settlements' building, ignoring the progress of the final status negotiations.”
Issa ended his statement saying, "The IOA confiscation and demolition of citizens’ houses and property in different regions of the occupied Palestinian territories especially in the occupied city of Jerusalem are in flagrant violation of the principles of international humanitarian law."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hamas: Egypt delegation to visit Gaza, West Bank to discuss reconciliation

 Egypt Independent
Egypt intends to send two delegations to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to discuss Palestinian reconciliation, Hamas political bureau member Mahmoud al-Zahar said Sunday.
Zahar told Palestinian news agency Maan News that the move comes in response to a suggestion made by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during his recent meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy.
Zahar said he considers the Gaza Strip independent from Israeli occupation on the military and security level, but denied declaring the enclave as independent from the Palestinian territories that had been occupied in 1967 or severing commercial ties with Israel. He argued that such reports are circulated by Hamas’ enemies to maintain the blockade on Gaza, adding that the issue had not been discussed with the Egyptian leadership.
Zahar said last week’s visit to Egypt had been positive, adding that Hamas agreed with Egyptian officials in principle about lifting the blockade on Gaza, without discussing specific methods for implementing such a measure.
Zahar stressed that the Rafah land crossing between Egypt and Gaza should be opened to facilitate Palestinian movement. He expected the blockade on Gaza, imposed by Israel since the faction took over the strip in 2007, to end this year.
He said Gaza would be supported by the Egyptian gas pipeline and would have its electricity network linked to Egypt’s.

Foundation: Israelis, soldiers tour Al-Aqsa mosque

Published today (updated) 23/07/2012 20:04
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Jewish worshipers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque guarded by Israeli soldiers on Monday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said.

Around 58 Jewish worshipers and 28 Israeli soldiers toured the mosque, the foundation said in a statement. Such visits are provocative, particularly in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the group added.

The Al-Aqsa compound, containing the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and abuts the site where Jews believe the ancient Second Temple stood. Some in the far right in Israel propose building a Jewish temple on the sanctuary.

The flashpoint site is under the custody of the Islamic endowment authorities, and visits by Israeli extremists have been roundly condemned by Palestinian officials.Maan News Agency

#Gaza Palestinians say Egypt eases Rafah restrictions

Palestinians say Egypt eases Rafah restrictions

Cairo has eased the visa requirements for Gazans under 40 who want to travel to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, Palestinian officials said on Monday.

“We were officially informed by the Egyptian side about a decision to allow any Palestinian under the age of 40 to travel through Rafah with his family without a visa, starting today,” said Maher Abu Sabha, director of borders within Gaza’s Hamas-run government.
Until now, Palestinians within that age bracket have been unable to travel without a visa, but the new regulations lift that requirement if they are travelling with family.

Earlier this month, Egypt’s newly elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi raised the number of people allowed to cross daily out of Gaza to 1,000 from 1,000 in a bid to ease conditions in the coastal territory which has been languishing under an Israeli blockade.

In May 2011, Egypt agreed to permanently reopen Rafah, ending its cooperation with the Israeli blockade which was imposed in 2006 after Gaza-based militants captured an Israeli soldier.

Israeli Settler Activity Continues

 International Middle East Media Center
by Kelly Joiner - IMEMC & Agencies 
Israeli settlers seized Palestinian land in several areas around the West Bank on Sunday and Monday according to WAFA news.
Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Source:  File
Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Source: File
On Sunday, near the village of Yatta south of Hebron, Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Susiya seized Palestinian land and placed a power generator there in advance of plans to expand the settlement in the area.

This was followed by additional land confiscation in the Jordan Valley and the area south of Bethlehem on Monday.

The head of the village council, Aref Daraghmeh, in al-Maleh near Tubas in the Jordan Valley told WAFA news that Israeli settlers confiscated over 12 acres of Palestinian land and began to farm it on Monday.

And in al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the popular committee against settlements said that Israeli settlers dug a nearly 100-foot long escarpment, destroyed about 50 grape trees and opened an unpaved road to another illegally seized plot of land. Salah explained that all of this is in preparation for settlement expansion and that infrastructure construction has already begun.

Israeli settlements are all illegal under international law, but the Israeli government continues to support them.

Israel Issues Demolition Orders for 8 Palestinian Villages

International Middle East Media Center
by Kelly Joiner - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group & Agencies Report post
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday ordered the demolition of 8 Palestinian villages in the hills south of Hebron because the Israeli military needs the land for training exercises, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported.
Demolition orders issued.  Source:  Operation Dove/Christian Peacemaker Teams/File.
Demolition orders issued. Source: Operation Dove/Christian Peacemaker Teams/File.
A total of 1500 residents will be evicted from their homes and have their lands confiscated in the villages of Majaz, Tabban, Sfai, Fakheit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba and Kharuba. The villages of Tuba, Mufaqara, Sarura and Megheir al-Abeid, which are also nearby, appear to have been spared.

Evacuation orders were first issued in 1999, but were frozen by an injunction from the Israeli High Court of Justice. The Israeli military views the land as theirs however, and the Palestinians living there as illegal squatters according to Ha’aretz.

All of the villages in question have existed since at least the 1830s. However, all are in Area C, which is under complete Israeli control.

This control means that Palestinians living in these villages are also not allowed to build on or improve their property in any way, as this is seen as “illegal construction” and evidence that residents are not longtime citizens but new migrants to the area. In practice this means that Palestinians do not have any way to provide for a naturally expanding population through adding cisterns, restrooms, or rooms to existing property or the addition of schools or other new buildings.

Ha’aretz also reports that the state plans to move residents to the town of Yatta as collaborators have informed them that they are actually residents there.

The Israeli military intends to use the land to train soldiers and must be allowed to conduct live fire exercises which it cannot do with residents so nearby. The article says that this is not because residents may be injured or killed by live fire, but because they may spy on the exercises or steal weapons to use for “terror purposes.”

Mass forcible transfer of protected people in occupied territory by an occupying force is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and in contravention of all established international law. The only exception that is made is when there are hostilities in the area and transfer is necessary for the safety of the people in question.

Prisoner Jadallah on hunger strike in protest at arbitrary detention

Prisoner Jadallah on hunger strike in protest at arbitrary detention
RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Political prisoner Anas Jadallah started open hunger strike in the PA Juneid jail in protest at his detention without any guilt.
Jadallah was kidnapped among others in Nablus city in the last arrest campaign that took place on Thursday and Friday. All those arrested during this campaign were released except for him.
The Palestinian Authority apparatuses also kidnapped during the last two days two Palestinians affiliated with Hamas Movement in Tubas and Salfit cities and summoned another for interrogation in Al-Khalil city.
In a separate incident, the de facto ministry of interior in Ramallah city on Sunday pledged in writing to stop the arrest of university students from the Islamic bloc in the West Bank.
Spokesman for the protesting students of Al-Khalil university Rami Rajoub said that the families of students and member of the freedoms committee Khalil Assaf handed the striking students a written pledge signed by PA interior minister Sa'eed Abu Ali in which he promised not to arrest or detain them because of their political affiliation and student activities.

Akram Rikhawi ends 102-day hunger strike as Israel agrees to early release

 The Electronic Intifada
by Ali Abunimah
Ismael Mohamad / United Press International

Akram Rikhawi ends 102-day hunger strike as Israel agrees to early release

Akram Rikhawi, who had been on hunger strike for more than 100 days, has ended his fast in exchange for an agreement by Israel for his early release.
Prisoner’s rights group Addameer issued the following statement today:
Ramallah, 23 July 2012 - Following a visit today by Addameer lawyer Mona Nadaf, Addameer can confirm that Palestinian hunger striker Akram Rikhawi has ended his hunger strike after reaching an agreement with the Israeli Prison Service. Akram ended his hunger strike yesterday evening after 102 days.
As part of the agreement Akram will be released on 25th January 2013, which is six months prior to his original release date. Addameer’s lawyer visited Akram in Ramleh prison, where he remains in critical condition. It was agreed that upon his release he will return to his home in the Gaza Strip.
Addameer’s lawyer also visited Hassan Safadi, who is on his 33rd day of hunger strike. Hassan’s health continues to deteriorate with recent tests indicating that he has developed kidney stones as a result of his hunger strike. He remains extremely weak and is currently taking only water and vitamins.

Relief for his family

The news will likely come as a relief Rikhawi’s family, especially his wife Najah who has not been allowed to visit her husband since 2006. The couple has 8 children of their own, and 5 from Najah’s earlier marriage to Akram’s brother who was killed by Israeli occupation forces.
Rikhawi has suffered from multiple chronic illnesses during his years of incarceration.
Shahd Abusalama profiled the family a few days ago and spoke to the eldest daughter Yasmin, who like other family members has been desperately worried about Akram’s grave health situation:
What are the human rights organizations, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority waiting for before they move?” his daughter Yasmin asked severely, “Are they waiting for him to return to us in a coffin? Would they be happy for eight children to become fatherless, and five others to be orphaned for a second time? If dad dies, we’ll never forgive those who could have done something, but chose to look away.”

Lieberman: Israel Ready to discuss apology issue as part of package

Lieberman: Israel Ready to discuss apology issue as part of package

Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said Israel is ready to discuss the issue of an “apology” for the Mavi Marmara incident in a package with Turkey, maintaining that given the developments in the region, there are more reasons, especially today, for Turkey and Israel to return to normal diplomatic relations.
Although Lieberman has made clear that he “sees no reason why Israel must apologize” for the tragic incident in which eight Turks and a Turkish-American, all civilians, were killed by Israeli soldiers who raided, in international waters in 2010, the Mavi Marmara headed for the Gaza Strip carrying humanitarian aid, “We are ready to discuss the issue at the table,” he announced, speaking to a group of Turkish journalists in Jerusalem on Sunday evening.
But the Israeli side is only willing to take up the issue of an “apology” in a package together with “many [other] issues such as the Iranian problem, the Gaza Strip, support for Hamas.” Noting that they want to keep relations at all levels, in addition to just the political level, going with Turkey, he claimed the present state of affairs does not offer Turkey any advantages, either. “I think we have much more common interests between the two countries than contradictions. Maybe today that is more clear considering the Syrian issue. But it is not our choice,” he commented, also adding that Israel’s relations with Turkey stand, at present, at a “very interesting point.”
Describing the present political situation in the Middle East, popularly called the Arab Spring, as “very interesting”, Lieberman stated, “[This is] the biggest political, dramatic event in the last 20 years since the collapse of the USSR,” adding that Israel stood apart in the region with its stable democracy as well as its economy and technology.
Lieberman, who claimed that the Mavi Marmara carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza was a “clear provocation,” and that Turkey’s Humanitarian Aid Association (İHH), one of the main organizers of the Gaza flotilla which the Israeli military raided on May 31 two years ago, was actually a terrorist organization, maintained that an apology on the part of Israel regarding the Mavi Marmara incident would not improve relations between Turkey and Israel, saying: “An apology will change nothing. There is a long list of conditions [demanded by Turkey] such as the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, with Israel drawing back to the borders before 1967.”
Israel hopes to resolve the Mavi Marmara issue and is willing to improve its overall relations with Turkey. But at present, the political relations between the two countries remain in a deadlock. Lieberman finds the statements made by leading Turkish politicians in recent years regarding Israel not only provocative but also insulting, and he made a point of noting that Israel still chose to remain silent not to “create unnecessary tension.” “If I would take only the last four months, there were a lot of accusations [regarding Israel] in the speeches of your prime minister and minister of foreign affairs,” he said, adding that the Israeli side is trying to keep its silence despite the verbal attacks.
For Lieberman, who is known to be hawkish in his political views, it is a one-sided approach as prejudiced views actually block the way to a solution in most cases. Surprisingly enough, as regards finding a solution to the tragic Mavi Marmara incident, for which he used the term “accident”, he seemed to preach the middle path. “I don’t think we are absolutely right. [And] I don’t think we are absolutely wrong. [The] truth is in the middle,” he said, adding that it would not be a realistic approach to put all the blame on Israel.
The Israeli minister claimed that Turkey decided to confront Israel in an effort to be perceived by the man on the street in Arab countries as the leader of the Islamic world. “It was a strategic decision of Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs, and of [Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish premier,” he maintained, saying that “for Turkey to become the leader of the Islamic world, the best way is to confront Israel; and it’s the same regarding the Gaza Strip blockade.”
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lieberman sees no connection between the Arab Spring and the situation of the Palestinians. “I don’t see any link between our dispute with the Palestinians and the uprising in the Middle East,” he said. For him, the answer to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians lies with economic development. “Our biggest problem with the Palestinians is the big difference between the GDPs [gross domestic product],” he admitted, also adding: “It is not only enough to topple a dictator, like was done in Iraq. You must think how to create more jobs, how to establish a proper democracy,” referring to the Arab countries where mass uprisings toppled the ruling governments.
Deterioration in relations between Turkey and Israel, which previously enjoyed rather good relations at all levels, started at the end of 2008 when, Israel, which was on the point of concluding a peace agreement with Syria, with Turkey acting as mediator, suddenly bombarded the Gaza Strip, eliminating all hopes for peace with Syria. Turkey felt deceived at the time and had the impression that its efforts for peace were not given due respect by Israel. Then came the Davos summit in Switzerland in January 2009, where Erdoğan strongly protested Israeli President Shimon Peres for bombarding Gaza and walked out of the forum. Then in May 2010 came the raid by Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara, which was headed for Gaza, where nine civilians, all of Turkish origin, were killed in international waters.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

8 injured in riots at Syrian refugee camp in Turkey

Maan News Agency
Published today 22:27
KILIS, Turkey (Reuters) -- Four Syrian refugees and four members of the Turkish security forces were hurt on Sunday when riots broke out at a refugee camp in Turkey near the Syrian border, the Dogan News Agency said.

The clashes erupted when a group of 1,500 or so ethnic Turkmen refugees from Syria arrived at the camp, near the town of Islahiye, witnesses told Dogan.

Television footage showed armored personnel carriers entering the camp and police firing weapons into the air to disperse groups of men fighting each other with fists and clubs.

CNN Turk television reported that some Turkish police had briefly been taken hostage.

Tensions are running high at the camps for refugees from the Syrian conflict as temperatures in southeastern Turkey climb to over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

More than 43,000 Syrian refugees are registered in neighboring Turkey. Some refugees have complained about conditions at the camps, including a lack of food.

At a container camp further south in Kilis, police used tear gas to disperse a group of refugees angry about food and water shortages who were throwing stones at police, a Turkish official said. No serious injuries were reported at the camp.

Jewish settlers establish outpost of five houses near Bethlehem

Jewish settlers establish outpost of five houses near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM, (PIC)-- A number of Jewish settlers set up on Saturday evening five prefabricated houses in Umm Hamdeen Hill near Khader town in Bethlehem province.
Head of the land defense committee in Khader town Ahmed Salah said about 20 Jewish settlers inhabited the houses in an attempt to establish a new settlement outpost on this Hill, which is located a few meters away from the Palestinian homes in Al-Rukba neighborhood.
Salah added that the settlers provided the houses with utilities under intensive military guard.
He noted the Hill land that was seized by those settlers is owned by Palestinian citizens from the families of Mousa and Salah in Artas village and it is cultivated with vine, olive and almond trees.
The owners of this land declared their determination to defend their property and not to allow the settlers to annex it to Efrat settlement, which extends from the far southern part of Bethlehem to its far east.

Urgent action needed to save Palestinian hunger strikers

Joint Statement, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Jaffa-Ramallah, 19 July 2012 – Addameer, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) reiterate their utmost concern for the lives of the Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prison, especially for gravely-ill prisoner Akram Rikhawi who is on his 99th day of hunger strike today.
According to Akram’s wife after speaking to lawyers who visited him, his health continues to deteriorate. Akram is now unable to move his left leg and left hand and can only move with a wheelchair. Two days ago, Akram attempted to stand and immediately fell to the ground and struck his head. He was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital and then returned to Ramleh prison medical clinic. He is currently consuming water, salt and vitamins. Akram, who suffers from diabetes, asthma and osteoporosis, remains on hunger strike, demanding his immediate release due to his medical condition.
Administrative detainee Samer Al-Barq is on his 59th day of renewed hunger strike today, following a prior 30-day hunger strike. Israel continues to refuse to release him to his home in the West Bank. PHR-IL lawyer Mohammad Mahagni visited Samer in Ramleh prison medical clinic this morning. Samer reported that his health has severely deteriorated. He noted that three weeks ago, his heart rate had dropped to 35 beats per minute, which is an alarming and life-threatening state. He was then transferred to Assaf Harofeh Hospital for one night, during which he was shackled by three limbs to the hospital bed. Samer also reported that the Israeli Prison Service is threatening him with force-treatment or force-feeding if he does not break his hunger strike. Samer currently suffers from vertigo, drastic weight loss and involuntary shivering and coldness in his legs, symptoms that may indicate peripheral nerve damage.
Hassan Safadi is on his 29th day of renewed hunger strike today, following his 71-day hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention. According to Hassan’s family, last week he stopped drinking water for two days and was subsequently taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital due to rapid deterioration in his health. He is now back in Ramleh prison in solitary confinement, where he awaits a hearing on 25 July. This hearing may determine whether or not his new administrative detention order is upheld, given that he was included in the agreement to end Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike and should have been released on 21 June.
While administrative detention is allowed under international humanitarian law, it must be used only under exceptional circumstances as it infringes upon basic human rights, including the right to a fair trial. Indeed, the denial of a fair trial constitutes a 'grave breach’ of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Furthermore, the European Parliament called on Israel in a September 2008 resolution to “guarantee that minimum standards on detention be respected, to bring to trial all detainees, [and] to put an end to the use of 'administrative detention orders’.” The United Nations Human Rights Committee has stated several times that prolonged administrative detention is likely to result in the exposure of detainees to “torture, ill-treatment and other violations of human rights.”
A fourth hunger striker, Ayman Sharawna, is on his 19th day of hunger strike today. Ayman was released in the prisoner exchange deal last October, only to be re-arrested on 31 January. No charges have been filed against him. Ayman is currently being held in solitary confinement in Rimon prison.
An Addameer lawyer submitted a request to visit the hunger strikers in Ramleh prison medical clinic and was not given permission until Monday, 23 July. All current hunger strikers are still denied access to independent doctors. Two appeals will be submitted tomorrow by PHR-IL to the District Court regarding entry of doctors to Akram and Samer.
In light of the further deterioration of the conditions of the remaining Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL urge the international community to immediately intervene on their behalf and demand:
  • unrestricted access for independent physicians to all hunger strikers;
  • the immediate transfer of Akram Rikhawi and Samer Al-Barq to a public hospital, and the transfer of all prisoners on hunger strike for more than 40 days to public hospitals;
  • that no hunger striker be shackled while hospitalized;
  • that all hunger strikers—especially those in advanced stages of hunger strike—be allowed family visits, while they are still lucid;
  • that all information be given to families as to the medical condition of their loved ones, which is the responsibility of hospitals and medical staff in accordance with standards of medical ethics;
  • that Akram Rikhawi be granted release on humanitarian grounds;
  • that Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq, along with all other administrative detainees, be immediately and unconditionally released;
  • that the European Parliament immediately dispatch a parliamentary fact-finding mission that includes members of its Subcommittee on Human Rights to investigate the conditions of detention of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Palestinian officials say the Arab League backs their plan to ask the U.N.

News from The Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Palestinian officials say the Arab League backs their plan to ask the U.N. General Assembly to recognize a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says no date for such a step was set in Sunday's Arab League meeting in Doha. Instead, a committee is to prepare a U.N. appeal and report back to the Arab League on Sept. 5.
Timing is crucial, with a U.N. bid before November potentially disrupting the U.S. presidential race.
The U.S. opposes the quest for unilateral recognition. It says a Palestinian state must be set up in negotiations with Israel. Talks broke off in 2008, and the two sides disagree on how to restart them.
The General Assembly can only give "Palestine" non-member observer state status.

Israel: Assad still in Damascus and retains army's loyalty

Maan News Agency

Published today 19:06
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- President Bashar Assad is still in the Syrian capital Damascus and retains the loyalty of his armed forces in the face of an advancing rebellion, the Israeli military said Sunday.

There have been doubts about Assad's location since a bomb on Wednesday killed four members of his high command in Damascus. Assad has not spoken in public since and state TV has shown only footage of him swearing in a new defense minister.

"The (Syrian) military is still loyal to Assad, despite a very big wave of defections, and he and his family are still in Damascus," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, chief spokesman for Israel's armed forces, said in an Israeli television interview.

UN voices concern over 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria

UN voices concern over 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria
22 July 2012 –
The United Nations today expressed grave concern over the implications of the violence in Syria for the 500,000 Palestinian refugees across the country.
“The current situation in the Damascus neighbourhood of Yarmouk and in rural Damascus, home to both Syrian and Palestinian communities, is especially worrying,” said the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in a statement.

UNRWA called on all parties to take steps to ensure the protection of Palestinian refugees and requested all parties to the conflict to “take measures, as required by international law, to preserve human life, to avoid forced displacement and to exercise the utmost restraint.”

The agency emphasized that all parties must respect the neutrality of UN installations and of areas where refugees and other civilians reside, stating it is also concerned about the safety of UNRWA's staff, the security of its facilities, and the access that refugees have to humanitarian assistance.

UNRWA appealed to the Syrian authorities to safeguard the security of Palestine refugees wherever they reside in the country and stressed that it will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.

Brutal attack by Havat Maon's rioters Haruba vally Tuwani 21.7.2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Israeli army attack demonstrators in Bil’in

 International Middle East Media Center
by Jack Muir - IMEMC 
About 60 demonstrators gathered in the small village of Bil’in in the northern part of the West Bank. The gathering was part of the weekly demonstrations which take place all over the West Bank on Fridays to protest the separation barrier and the illegal Israeli occupation. Today also marked the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.
Skunk water used by Israeli army
Skunk water used by Israeli army
Palestinians were joined by internationals from more than ten countries and Israeli citizens who included trade unionists and members of Anarchists Against the Wall.

The group marched from Bil’in up to the wall which has rows of barbed wire in front of it. The olive groves have mainly been burnt down from previous Israeli army attacks on the demonstrators.

As the demonstrators proclaimed their peaceful nature and sang songs denouncing the illegal occupation, the Israeli army responded by repeatedly spraying the people, mainly youth with ‘skunk water’ a noxious liquid. They also fired dozens of rounds of military grade tear gas into the crowd. Such actions are illegal under international law. As the army continued to attack the demonstrators, gangs of settlers watched from the other side.

The wall was erected to cut Palestinians off from their land and to enable illegal settlers to move in, who are then protected by the Israeli army of occupation.

Several people suffered from tear gas inhalation and the effects of the skunk water, but nobody was seriously hurt.
category west bank | non-violent action | news report author email news at imemc dot org
Demonstrators march to the separation wall
Demonstrators march to the separation wall
Internationals in solidarity with Palestinians
Internationals in solidarity with Palestinians
Ilegal Israeli settlers watch the army attack
Ilegal Israeli settlers watch the army attack
Israeli occupation army on the illegal wall
Israeli occupation army on the illegal wall

Despite all odds, the Palestinian cause is gaining

Despite all odds, the Palestinian cause is gaining
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

For many decades, secular and quasi-atheistic regimes in the Arab world used the Palestinian cause to consolidate their tyrannical stranglehold on their countries and people. The net result was a gigantic fiasco for the entire Umma in every conceivable field. The indescribably corrupt regimes tormented and terrorized their own citizens, so much so, that the crème de le crème of their societies were forced to emigrate to the West or other countries, fleeing police state terror and repression.
A few years ago, a citizen of a key Arab capital in the Mashriq (the Asian part of the Arab world) intimated to this writer that his countrymen would even welcome the Israeli army as liberators in light of the reign of tyranny and terror they were facing at the hands of their regime.
"The terror, repression, corruption permeating through the country defies linguistic description," he told me.
I didn't publish his remarks then, fearing the Israeli hasbara machine would hasten to exploit the unusual temerity of the remarks for propaganda purposes.
Well, we can't conceal the truth forever. In the final analysis, these manifestly criminal regimes have decidedly more harm than Israel. Yes, Israel is a racist and criminal enemy, no doubt about this. However, the ignorant and evil regimes which in the name of Arabism and Palestine were effectively repressing, murdering and humiliating their own people were actually a greater and harsher enemy to the people in comparison to Israel.
An enemy is an enemy and one knows what to expect from one's enemy. However "national" regimes and governments are supposed to serve and protect the people, create prosperity and welfare as well as maintain citizens' dignity and human rights and civil liberties.
But far from doing their minimal duties in this regard, the regimes smashed human rights, decapitated civil liberties, and terrorized ordinary citizens in ways indescribable. Even the most nefarious enemy imagined wouldn't have caused that much dilapidation in society.
Therefore, the disintegration of the erstwhile Arab regimes is not and must not be viewed as a negative development for the Palestinian cause. The opposite is true. Yes, maybe the Palestinian cause is losing some media concentration these days as TV viewers are preoccupied with more dramatic events elsewhere. But this is a temporary phenomenon that will disappear soon.
The important thing is that Palestinians should never bid on police-state juntas, even if their rhetoric filled the ether, to liberate Palestine and defeat Israel. These are intrinsically terrorist and bankrupt regimes that nothing good may come from. In the Holy Quran, it is stated that (إن الله لا يصلح عمل المفسدين) meaning "Allah will not make the deeds of evil people prosper."
Interestingly, some of these evil people are now murdering Palestinians, while having the Chutzpah to claim that they are doing the killing for the sake of Palestine!!!
In the early sixties, Ibrahim Machos, one of the leaders of the Baath party in Syria wrote "that Allah, religion, and morality are mummies in the museum of history." We saw how his words manifested themselves on the 5th of June, 1967.
Today, we are witnessing the deepening of the Arab Spring. And, yes, the pangs of labor could be heard from many quarters. But that is quite natural as no one in his or her right mind had expected the stagnation and degeneration that hovered over the Arab world since before the downfall of the Ottoman state to disappear in a few months or even a few years.
But the train of freedom has already left the station and is traveling on the right track and will reach the correct destination sooner or later.
We will hear and actually we are hearing all kinds of rumors, disinformation, and lies intended to confuse us and derail the train of freedom. After all, the enemies from inside and outside will not just give up and raise the white flag so prematurely. We will be called names, we will be condemned and vilified. We will even be lumped with the Zionists, the Americans, and what have you, so that our image would be tarnished and besmirched.
But we shouldn't pay too much attention to these barking dogs and the caravan must keep going.
One of the most crippling handicaps that caused the Palestinian cause an irreparable damage was that the very people who were supposed to lend the Palestinians a helping hand against Israeli criminality needed help themselves to deliver them from the clutches of their terrorist regimes.
Hence, the Palestinian cause was betrayed twice, first, knowingly by the tyrannical regimes, and second unknowingly by the thoroughly tormented and repressed masses for which Palestine became the 100th item on their agenda, thanks to unrelenting repression and persecution meted out to them by the regimes.
Hence we shouldn't be dithering about the looming demise of some Arab regimes which excelled in making loud but mendacious voices about Palestine, Zionism and imperialism while in truth they were harboring dubious if not criminal agendas against the entire Umma.
In the final analysis, only free people can liberate Palestine from the claws of Zionism. Dictators, who are so repressive of their own people, will not help the Palestinians in any strategic manner. The opposite is true.
Charity, after all, begins at home and if a certain regime behaves criminally towards its own citizens, it shouldn't be expected to behave charitably towards others.
I have no doubt that the Palestinian cause is on the right historical track. The emancipation of Arabs and Muslims from the forces of dictatorship, tyranny and fascism is the first and indispensable step toward the creation of a genuine Arab Islamist force that would champion the ultimate task of liberating Palestine and defeating Zionism.
This is not going to be an easy task. But at the very least, for the first time in recent history, the Umma is putting its feet on the right track.