Saturday, September 16, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Occupation confiscates more Land in West Bank and announces Apartheid Road: The Occupation is to isolate over 7000 dunums of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem and Hebron areas in preparation for the continuation of the Wall and the construction of an apartheid road which will carve through the south of West Bank. The new 'Jews-only' road will run virtually parallel to the existing road, linking the Gush Etzion settlement block Karmel settlement in the South and 1948 land. Israel has been seeking international funding since 2004 for 52 apartheid roads totalling 500 kilometers.

Christian presence in Holy Land small and getting smaller: The exodus of Christians from the Holy Land troubles the faithful worldwide. With tensions rising the past five years and economic conditions worsening, some have begun to whisper about a day when the native Christian population disappears entirely. Since 1948, when Christians were estimated at 20 percent of all Palestinians in the region, their numbers have dropped to roughly 2 percent, according to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, a group based in Bethesda, Md.

NAM Rejects Israeli Annexation in Jerusalem: The support to the UN resolutions confirming Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel was Saturday included in the Final Declaration of the 14th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit. The document terms null measures to change character, political and demographic condition of that sacred city, whose eastern segment was occupied militarily by Tel Aviv in the 1967 war. Four resolutions by the UN Security Council and one of the General Assembly allude the issue, and they are ignored by the Israeli government.

U.S.-born Palestinian fights for resident status; Thousands face deportation under Israeli policy: Bahour pushed on, somehow managing to do the near impossible — planning, building and opening the Plaza Shopping Centre in Ramallah during the height of an Israeli military siege. At a time when Palestinian youths were tempted by violence, Bahour instead did his all to tempt them with jobs. All of which makes the 40-something Bahour's latest project sadder still. Bahour is leading a campaign to save himself and an estimated 12,000 other foreign-born Palestinians from a new Israeli policy designed to sweep them out of the territories.

It takes a village: This was the discordant opening note of the last operation to capture the "Little Triangle," consisting of three Palestinian villages located about 20 kilometers south of Haifa, which held out until the second truce of the War of Independence on July 19, 1948, and continued to block the coastal road between Zichron Yaakov and Haifa. Thanks to the truce, the fledgling Israel Defense Forces was able to throw itself into the battle against the recalcitrant villages with the unprecedented support of armored vehicles, artillery and the air force

Palestinian area churches attacked: Palestinians wielding guns and firebombs attacked five churches in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, following remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that angered many Muslims. Relations between Palestinian Muslims and Christians are generally peaceful, and the attacks on the churches sparked concern that tensions would heighten.

Muslim Leader in Palestine reject attacks against Christians: The supreme judge of Palestine Sheikh Tayseer At-Tamimi called Saturday on the Palestinian people not to be provoked by the Pope's words which have irritated Muslims' religious feelings.

ISM Responds to Internet Photos, Reaffirms Commitment to Non-violence: Possibly the most outrageous claim is that two of the foreigners in the photos are now in Israeli custody, which is totally untrue. This article is part of a long standing campaign to slander ISM and destroy non-violent Palestinian resistance by spreading false information. See previous statements on the ISM site. None of the individuals photographed ever took part in any violent activity. As non-violence is one of the three basic principles of ISM.

Soldiers attack a vehicle that belongs to the Red Crescent Society: Local sources in Tubas reported that soldiers surrounded the building of the Society, broke the front window of the vehicle while it was parked in front of the building. Also, soldiers fired at residents who were in the area and bared them from entering the building.

Irish academics call on EU to stop funding Israeli academic institutions: In a letter published in the Irish Times today (text below), 61 Irish academics from a wide variety of disciplines called for a moratorium on EU support of Israeli academic institutions until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories.

US to spoil Arab plan for peace meeting: The US is trying to block attempts by Arab countries to turn the UN Security Council into a key player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the upcoming General Assembly opening next week.

Haneya: new gov't not to recognize deals with Israel: "There are no deals with the Israeli occupation," Haneya told reporters in front of his office in Gaza City. But he showed flexibility in dealing with those agreements by saying that "they would be handled in a way that serves the higher interest of the Palestinian people."

Police apologize for using derogatory term for Arabs: The National Police Control Center transmitted a message Friday to police officers saying that “15 thousand Arbushim (derogatory term for Arabs) have arrived so far at a rally in Umm al-Fahm.” The message was transmitted to beepers, as was reported by the IDF radio.

Islamic Movement head: J'lem destined capital of caliphate: Israeli Arab Muslim cleric Sheik Ra'ad Salah declared that Jerusalem will soon become the capital of an Islamic nation at a rally in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm, Israel Radio reported on Friday. The leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement Salah, told a crowd of 50,000 gatherers that Israel's occupation of the Temple Mount was nearing its end.

Hamas turns to hearts not minds with wedding party: Among the excited and besuited celebrants on the platform was Saher Jarbouah, a designer-stubbled, hair-gelled 24-year-old accountancy student who admitted that only 30 of the 84 grooms were religious, and that he was not among them. But the ceremony had saved him about £1,200, he estimated. “It saves people money, it brings joy and happiness and it brings people together. It unites the families of 84 people, so that rich and poor can celebrate, not just the wealthy.”

Power Play: Lieberman is critical of the style, but identified with the substance. As far as he is concerned, "There is no argument about the facts and the conduct of Israeli Arabs" - that is, about the fact that, to quote Eitam, they are "a fifth column, a bunch of traitors of the first degree," who must be expelled from the political system. The problem is that Eitam made a tactical error. He chose a fiery formulation, which damages the public relations of the expulsion.

Kuwaiti company wins license for Palestine''s second mobile communications: Kuwait's Wataniya Telecommunications announced on Saturday winning of the license for the second GSM in Palestine bidding 251 million Jordanian dinars as the first batch for license.

A suggestion for Judge Winograd: Looking back more than 30 years, it appears that the Agranat Commission, which investigated the Yom Kippur War, was a failure. Not only did it not resolve questions, it actually intensified the national dispute. It's important that the 2006 commission, headed by retired judge Eliyahu Winograd, learn from its mistakes.

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