Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Amnesty International: Human rights defenders working in the Occupied Territories are at risk of attack by Israeli settlers. Amnesty International is concerned at the latest such attack against those who seek through their presence to afford protection
to Palestinians and to bear witness to the abuses perpetrated against them by
Israeli settlers in the area.

Army uproots trees to install a Wall section near Bethlehem: Hamdi Ayish, head of Ertas village council, said that the bulldozing is in Hasanat and Abu Al Jaratheen areas that belong to the residents of the village. “Soldiers are uprooting hundreds of trees, and destroying the lands in order to construct settler roads and install the Wall”, Hasanat told the Palestine News Network, “Efrat settlement is only one kilometer away, and they want to annex more lands to expand it”.

Non-violent Bil’in activist Ayad Burnat, released on bail: Bil'in peace activist Ayad Burnat, who was arrested at a peaceful demonstration in Bil'in last Friday has been released from Ofer military prison on NIS 4,000 bail. He was detained for four days on the trumped-up charges of violating a military order, causing property damage to the apartheid wall and assaulting a military officer. The IOF has yet to issue an indictment...

First person account as a foreigner witnesses a West Bank home demolition: As we approached four Palestinian men ran forward from behind the line of soldiers and entered their house. I was deeply moved by their courage. There were about 30 soldiers and it was impossible for us to pass them. The soldiers grabbed the men out of the house, holding one in a tight neck lock, and handcuffed two of them throughout the demolition. Within an hour the future home was nothing but a pile of rubble.

Principled Dutch ASN Bank ends relations with Veolia:
Since it first announced its intentions to become involved in an Israeli project to build a light rail / tramline system, to be constructed in occupied East Jerusalem , Veolia Transport, a French multi-national corporation, faced a lot of criticism from all over the world. The tramline aims to connect the illegally-constructed settlements in East Jerusalem with towns and cities in Israel.

UN urges end to Israeli settlements:
The United Nations human rights council has called on Israel to dismantle its settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, and to confiscate the arms of Jewish settlers. The council voted 45-1 on Monday in favour of a resolution submitted by a group of Muslim countries. Canada opposed the motion, while Cameroon abstained.

Palestinians “Prohibited” by the Shabak: Many residents of the Occupied Territories – 180,000 by some counts – are defined as “security prohibited” or “Shabak prohibited” [Shabak – General Security Service or GSS]. The restrictions imposed on these residents’ movement are greater than those imposed on any others. Thus, for example, GSS prohibited Palestinians are delayed longer at internal checkpoints on the West Bank. They are not entitled to a magnetic card (tantamount to a “certificate of good character”), and generally they cannot obtain entry permits for Israel or the settlements for work, commerce or personal needs, travel permits for vehicles within the Territories or cross the Jordan bridges to go abroad.

Israel's land-rights problem: "One Third of Jewish Area Is on Private Property," read the front-page headline in The New York Times. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in "settlements" that are in politically disputed territory, but the Israeli government has long insisted that settlements are only created on land that has been legally purchased. But is that so?

Sides work on extending cease-fire to West Bank:
The comments came hours after Olmert, in a speech at David Ben-Gurion's grave in Sde Boker marking the 33rd anniversary of his death, defined the concessions Israel would be willing to make were the Palestinians to end terrorism, give up demands for a right of refugee return

Palestinian force 'to police truce': Israel has agreed in principle for a Jordan-based security force loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to deploy in the Gaza Strip and help police the ceasefire, an Israeli diplomatic source has told Reuters news agency. The request to redeploy the 1,000-strong Badr Brigade came from Abbas, the source said.

International Academy of Art Palestine to Launch Next Week:
Dr. Maria Khoury, the project's director said, "The academy will offer distinctive higher education in the field of art aiming to grant a B.A. in contemporary visual arts." The academy will also work to maintain a collective Palestinian memory, history and identity by promoting real new images of Palestine and the Palestinian people to the world.

Occupied Palestinian Territories: Gaza’s teetering tower of debt Jameela Khalil’s local supermarket has already shut its books. "I sold all my jewels after 22 years of marriage so my family could live in dignity,” said the 45-year-old PNA employee. “That was bad enough. But worse, the owner of the supermarket we have always bought from has stopped giving us goods because our liability has exceeded 4,500 shekels [US$1,000].”

Report: Rice, Abbas to meet in Jericho on Thursday:
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put Washington's heft behind new Mideast peace overtures on Tuesday, scheduling a last-minute meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank later this week.

Haneya leaves Gaza for regional tour:
The sources at Haneya's office said that the premier would visit Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and finally Iran before he comes back to the Gaza Strip.

Syria accuses Israel of building dam: Damascus accused Israel on Monday of building a dam on the Golan Heights to steal water and deprive Syria and Jordan from badly needed resources, Syria's official news agency reported.

Immigrants: We were foolish to come here.
"My oldest son is 25 years-old, my youngest is five. They promised us that if we make aliyah, we will have a place to live, a good life. But instead they tossed us aside and no one cares… my children are mad at me and don't want to speak to me because I convinced them to immigrate to Israel, while the Satmar hassidim wanted us to stay in New York," she said.

One State or Two?: Rashid Khalidi & Ali Abunimah on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Refugees Are The Key: Israel should admit its historical responsibility to the Palestinian people and recognize the rights of the refugees.

Israel: Military probe ordered in 2003 shooting of American in Nablus:
The Military Advocate General, Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, has instructed military police investigators to open a probe into the question of whether Israel Defense Force soldiers bear criminal responsibility in the shooting of a 24-year-old American citizen and leftist activist in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2003.

Pelosi's Price is Right for Jewish Community:
The front of the room is where the action is: Democratic lawmakers are spouting their pro-Israel credentials and their initiatives for health care reform; the Jewish donors, who came to Washington for intimate meetings just like this one, are eating it up word for word.

24 Jewish organizations biggest fundraisers in US: At the head of the Jewish organizations on the list was the United Jewish Communities (UJC) which ranked 34. The organization raised nearly USD 334 million in 2005.

Ties to Israel nothing new for Senate's next majority leader: As a young lawyer struggling to make a living in Las Vegas, Harry Reid never failed to buy Israel bonds to benefit the United Jewish Appeal.

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