Monday, November 27, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Palestinian elderly refugee abducted, killed in Iraq: Last Wednesday, a 70-year old Palestinian refugee in Iraq was abducted by a group that carried repeated attacks against the Palestinian refugees living in Iraq. The man, Tawfiq Abdul-Khaliq, Abu Al Abed, was found dead on Monday with clear marks of torture on his body.

The Right to Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory Issue Statement: An undeclared Israeli policy is currently in effect. It denies entry and/or re-entry to foreign nationals, who want to visit, live, or work in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Israel is arbitrarily turning away foreign nationals at Israeli ports of entry, which are the only way to reach the oPt, causing unjustified hardships: families are being separated, investors are exiting the country, educators are unable to reach their schools and universities, students' education is being disrupted, and elderly are being left without caretakers, to state but some of the ramifications.

First Bank decides to Divest! Dutch Civil Society challenges investments in the Occupation:
Solidarity activists and the Palestinian community in the Netherlands have achieved a major success for the divestment movement as the first Bank decides to divest from Veolia, a company that actively supports Israeli colonization, and “all companies that benefit from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory”. Veolia is a major stakeholder in the tramway built in occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinian homes abandoned in flight across Israel's wall
In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague ruled that the barrier's route, which weaves around the western border of the occupied territory, was illegal under international humanitarian and human rights law because it "gravely" infringes on a number of rights of Palestinians living in the West Bank. "Displacement is the root cause of the conflict. It is taking land and clearing it of people. The wall is just one aspect of a pattern of making life so difficult that people will eventually want to move."

Israel's land-rights problem:
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in "settlements" that are in politically disputed territory, but the Israeli government has long insisted that the private property rights of individual Palestinian owners have been respected. The official line is that settlements are only created on land that has been legally purchased. But is that so?

Carter: Israeli 'domination' over Palestinians is 'atrocious' Carter said that there was "no doubt now that a minority of Israelis are perpetuating apartheid on the people in Palestine, the Palestinian people." Many Democrats are uncomfortable with Carter's use of the term "apartheid" to describe Israeli policies. Even Congressman John Conyers, the incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman known for his more liberal ideology, has criticized the term's usage.

Fighter, woman killed near Jenin: Palestinian sources in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank report on Monday morning that one fighter and one woman were killed in an Israeli invasion to the nearby town of Qabatia. The fighter and the woman were killed after 50 military vehicles invaded Qabatia from several directions while military sharpshooters topped several buildings.

A group of settlers attack and injure one child in Hebron: A group of illegal settlers attacked Palestinian school kids going back home to the Tell Rumeida neighborhood in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday afternoon. Wourod Shabanah, 9, was admitted in the city hospital after sustaining several cuts and broses due the settler attack. Doctors described her wounds as moderate.

Palestine quits men's volleyball event at Doha Asia: The Palestine delegation just informed that there is no chance for its volleyball team to participate in the games as the border in Gaza Strip is still closed and no athletes or team officials can get out of Gaza, said Yim Hyung Bin, AVC's vice president in a press release.

Olmert demands the Palestinians to drop the Right of Return: Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said on Monday that Israel insists on unilaterally drawing its borders, totally rejecting the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees, and that Israel will implement the Road Map plan but with the implementation of “the letter of assurances” Israel received from the American president in April 14, 2004.

Haniyeh calls on Israel to halt W. Bank operations:
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met Monday afternoon and discussed, among other issues, the Palestinian violations of the recently-declared cease-fire, Israel Radio reported. "The Palestinians are one people, and a distinction can't be drawn between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," Haniyeh said.

Erekat: Palestinians want a comprehensive ceasefire including West Bank:
However, Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in West Bank on Monday morning, which enraged militants in Gaza who observe the truce. After the incident, Israeli radio quoted army sources as saying that the ceasefire agreement reached with the Palestinians did not include the West Bank.

Israel and Palestine work to expand truce to West Bank: Saeb Erekat, a confidant of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said he hoped to have an agreement within the next three days. “What we want is a comprehensive cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and all over,” he said. Israeli officials said they would wait to see what happens in Gaza first.

Islamic Jihad members taken prisoner near Jenin: Israeli sources reported on Monday that the army took prisoner several members of the Al Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad in Qabatia town, near the West Bank city of Jenin. The offensive was carried out by under-cover units of the Israeli army, and regular military units.

Livni: Isolate "radical" Palestinians: She said the EU and the United States must lean on Palestinians to recognize Israel, foreswear violence and honor existing peace deals. The Palestinians are trying to form a national unity government that could restore direct international aid only if it meets these three conditions.

EU meets Israeli, Arab FMs, says cease-fire is opening for peace: He also said peace between Israel and the Palestinians was crucial for stability in Lebanon. "No cease-fire will hold forever unless there is also a political process" that in the long-held view of the international community must lead to a two-state solution, he added.

Haniyeh to visit Egypt, Iran, Syria as part of first foreign trip as PM: Haniyeh's three-week tour, to begin Tuesday in Egypt, will include stops in Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Iran, an official in his office said. Haniyeh has not left the Gaza Strip, where he lives, since taking office in March, when international sanctions imposed on his Hamas-led government sent the Palestinian Authority spiraling toward bankruptcy.

Meretz MK mediating between Barghouti, PM's Office: Sources in the Israeli Left, including Chaim Oron, believe that Barghouti's release from the Israeli jail will bring about a calm and will enable reaching an agreement with the Palestinians. The same sources believe that Barghouti has changed since being jailed in Israel and that he has become more moderate and is ready for a serious and significant dialogue.

Confusion in PA: Who launched Qassam? There has been general confusion in the Palestinian Authority after a Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the western Negev. One of the cells of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military arm, has taken responsibility for the firing.

New Palestinian English daily to go on sale at Israeli news stands: "It will be the first Palestinian newspaper to be sold on Israeli news stands," Othman Haj Mohammed, the paper's editor in chief, told reporters. "We have acquired a licence ... and will begin distribution in Israel at the end of this week."

First Palestinian English language daily launched in the West Bank and Gaza: The 12-page newspaper will cover Palestinian affairs, the conflict with Israel and developments in the Arab community in Israel, said its editor-in-chief, Othman Haj Mohammed. The newspaper is not affiliated with any Palestinian parties, Mohammed said. The op-ed page of Monday's edition included articles by the spokesman from the Hamas government, the spokesman of the rival Fatah Party and an independent analyst.

Palestine's Struggle Can Teach America About the Middle East: Within extraordinary constraints there were some moments when I think the Palestinians did have some choices. In the late 1920s and early 1930s is one point where I think they could have done things differently than they did. Another is in the 1936-1939 great revolt against British rule, when the British issued a white paper in which they revoked some of their commitments to Zionism. It was very disadvantageous to the Palestinians in a variety of ways, but I think they would have been well advised to accept it.

Abbas to visit Jordan for meeting with Bush:
Abbas and Bush are likely to meet in Jordan's port city of Aqaba afte r Bush to hold joint meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Jordanian King Abdullah II, the sources told the independent news agency of Ramattan.

Meshal, en route to victory: What has been the result? Instead of the Hamas government collapsing, the movement's strongman and the head of its political bureau, Khaled Meshal, appeared at the end of the week at a news conference in Cairo and issued an ultimatum to the international community: You have six months to organize an Israeli withdrawal from the territories and to end the conflict, otherwise a third intifada will break out and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will collapse.

Talking Unity / Cease-fire lets Hamas cling to non-recognition: In recent months the Egyptian approach had been one of creating an alternative leadership in the PA, which Israel and the international community could work with, or which would at least result in an agreement to lift the economic boycott.

A cease-fire is not enough: Imposing a cease-fire, lifting the siege on the PA and releasing prisoners are welcome steps whose importance cannot be underestimated. Nonetheless, in the absence of a broader political context, they turn into moves that are a recipe for disaster. They offer the rejectionists breathing room and a time-out to broaden their hold in the territories, without forcing them to alter any fundamental principles.

Use of human shields complicates Israel's approach: On a rooftop in a crowded neighborhood here, about 30 Palestinian women sat on chairs and mattresses on a recent afternoon, serving as human shields against a possible Israeli air strike on the family home of a prominent Hamas militant. As an Israeli drone buzzed overhead, the women were defiant. "Our technology is faith in God," said Itaf al-Masri, 47.

Palestinians shot dead by Israeli Occupation forces in West Bank:
A Palestinian resistance fighter and a woman have been killed in an Israeli military operation near Jenin in the northern West Bank.

Israel launches new propaganda campaign:
Israeli PM Offers Concessions To Palestinians In Exchange For 'Real Peace' : 'You must end the violence and terrorism, and the desire to harm Israeli citizens in the south, north and centre, recognize our right to live in peace alongside you, and give up your demand for the right of refugee return', he added.

Does It Matter What You Call It?: Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians: Having at that point just completed our fifth trip to Palestine since early 2003, we should have had the courage and the insight to call what we have observed Israel doing to the Palestinians by its rightful name: genocide.

Mass protest by anti-zionist Orthodox Jews against the existence of the State of “Israel”: Over ten thousand Orthodox Jews led by dozens of prominent Rabbis gathered outside the “Israeli” Consulate in New York City on Thursday, November 9, 2006, to protest against the existence of the State of “Israel.”

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