Monday, September 4, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Tenders issued for hundreds of homes in West Bank settlements: In the largest wave of new settlement construction activity approved by the Olmert government since it came into office, the Housing Ministry issued tenders Monday morning for the construction of 690 new housing units in the (OCCUPIED) territories. Betar Ilit is located southwest of Jerusalem and is home to a poor Orthodox population of over 25,000. Its growth rate is one of the fastest in Israel. Israel also seeks to connect Ma'aleh Adumim to Jerusalem through the E1 building plan, currently on hold.

Israeli notice to northern West Bank: Land will be confiscated, olive trees will be destroyed: Hundreds of farmers will no longer be able to reach their trees and crops when Israeli forces have completed the confiscation and destruction in the Palestinian town. Coordinator Zayed said that Israeli forces recently distributed leaflets written in Arabic announcing the intention to uproot the olive trees. The decision was made by the Israeli Commander of the Central Region for “security reasons.”

The Silent Expulsion / Palestinian businessmen wonder why Israel wants them out of the territories: Acccording to Khouri, "when a Palestinian state is established alongside Israel, it will not be in Israel's best interest for Silicon Valley to have Mogadishu next to it. If the intention is transfer - that will not happen. If the idea is to leave poverty-ridden neighborhoods here, that will not help Israel. Israel must come back to its senses. The world is afraid to criticize Israel, that is why it gets away with any policy, even if it hurts its own interests."

Israeli Army injures a women and attacks three reporters in Hebron: Medical sources in Hebron said that Mayson Missk, 38, was admitted to the Hebron public hospital today after sustaining cuts and bruises all over her body from an attack by Israeli soldiers, who hit her with clubs and rifle butts while searching her house in Hebron.

Gaza doctors encounter 'unexplained injuries': The World Health Organisation (WHO) is considering whether there is a case for an investigation into the injuries amid suspicions by the medics that the injuries were inflicted by what they claim may have been unidentified "non-conventional" weapons. Beside especially severe burning "down to the bones", the doctors say that, in other cases, internal organs have been ruptured without any obvious sign of shrapnel wounds.

Israeli army leaves Khaza'a village east of Khan Younis with massive losses: Army bulldozers uprooted farmlands and olive orchards that belong to the residents of the village. According to local sources, troops already destroyed scores of Dunams of farming land and uprooted more than 100 olive trees. Army invaded the village in the morning and took one prisoner there.

Father and Son Killed in Cold Blood, 2 Daughters Seriously Injured; 9 Homes Destroyed, 2 Activists Detained, 6 Civilians Injured: In another crime in the ongoing war crimes in the Gaza Strip, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and his son in cold blood in the town of Beit Hanoun in the predawn hours of Saturday, 2 September 2006. In addition, two of the slain man's daughters were seriously injured. The raid by IOF undercover units also resulted in the injury of 6 civilians, including two parents and their 3 children, and the destruction of 9 homes.

Palestinian Health Ministry In Financial Crisis, WHO Warns: The Palestinian Health Ministry is facing a growing financial crisis as well as a humanitarian crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned ahead of the Stockholm donor conference on the humanitarian situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The health component of the revised UN humanitarian appeal for the territory is critically underfunded despite growing humanitarian needs, especially in Gaza.

Stateless Palestinians: Palestinians are the largest stateless community in the world. Statelessness has dominated and shaped the lives of four generations of Palestinian refugees since their exodus in 1948. One of the main objectives of the Zionist scheme in Palestine was eradication of Palestine from the map, both as a political entity and a basis of nationality. Today more than half of the eight million or so Palestinians are considered to be de jure stateless persons.

Court petitioned for more classrooms in east Jerusalem: The battle started in 2001 when, following decades of neglect in classroom building in the eastern part of the city, residents appealed to the High Court of Justice. The court ordered the construction of 245 new classrooms, which the municipality and the Education Ministry said would be completed within four years. By September 2005, with only 13 classes completed and 34 funded but not built

Haifa City Council sacks Arab deputy mayor who opposed war: The Haifa City Council on Monday approved the dismissal of Deputy Mayor Walid Hamis, who represents the Arab sector on the council, for his opposition to the war in Lebanon. Hamis, whose dismissal was approved by a vote of 23 to 3, charged that he was fired due to his vocal opposition to the war and for pointing out the discrimination in Arab neighborhoods.

Israel soldier to be swapped for 1,400 Palestine prisoners: Israel and Palestine have reached an agreement on the exchange of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was seized by Palestinian gunmen near the Gaza Strip border on June 25 for 1,400 Palestinian prisoners, the Qatari newspaper Al Shark reported on Monday referring to informed political sources. According to the newspaper the exchange may take place in the next 48 hours.

Israel, Hamas deny reports of prisoner swap breakthrough: "There will be no proposal before we have received reliable information on Shalit's fate and know whether he is alive. None of the negotiators has seen him to this day. We are far from a breakthrough, even a small one," said one source.

Gerry Adams to meet Hamas leaders: The Israeli government has made it clear it will not receive Mr Adams because of his intention to talk with Hamas. The White House administration reportedly tried to dissuade him from going. "While no two conflicts are identical there are key conflict resolution principles which can be applied in any situation. These include inclusive dialogue, respect for electoral mandates and respect for human rights and international law."

Olmert says West Bank pullback plan on hold: Olmert's chiefs of staff will soon meet with U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and tell them that the plan for the Israeli pullback was no longer on the agenda, Israel's NRG Maariv Web site said.

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