Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Israel Air Force air strikes on a house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Wednesday: 14-year-old girl killed and wounded seven other people

Relentless Israeli attacks leave occupied Gaza reeling : In a village in southern Gaza, an old Palestinian woman stood surveying the wreckage of her life, and her home - bulldozed by the Israeli occupation army.

Displaced by the Wall: Forced displacement as a Result of the West Bank Wall and its Associated Regime
Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to leave their homes as a direct result of the Wall built by Israel in the occupied West Bank, according to a study published today by the Norwegian Refugee Council's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. In East Jerusalem alone, tens of thousands of people have been forced to change their place of residence as a direct result of the construction of the Wall, concludes the study which for the first time comprehensively documents displacement caused by the West Bank Wall in the Jerusalem area.

UN human rights envoy says Gaza a prison for Palestinians: Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into a prison for Palestinians where life is "intolerable, appalling, tragic" and the Jewish state appears to have thrown away the key, a UN human rights envoy said on Tuesday. "If ... the international community cannot ... take some action, [it] must not be surprised if the people of the planet disbelieve that they are seriously committed to the promotion of human rights," he said in a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Dugrad: Israel has admitted "Wall" has political purpose to draw boundaries: The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) John Dugard said Tuesday that the Israeli government has confirmed that its separation wall under construction has a political purpose and that is drawing the new boundaries of the Israeli state to include very fertile Palestinian agricultural land and 76 percent of the settler population.

Introduction to the Struggle Continues! Oct 6-8 Conference: In fact the global campaign to boycott Israeli Apartheid has a firm basis in international law. Apartheid is defined in Article II of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (UN General Assembly Resolution 3068 of 1976), which calls upon all states to "adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime" (Article IV-a).

UK company supplying arms to Israel blockaded: EDO MBM manufactures weapons components for the Israeli army, who slaughtered over a thousand Lebanese civilians this summer and who are engaged in a murderous assault on the people of Gaza . Andrew Beckett, press spokesperson for the campaign said ‘we have shut down this factory so that it cannot go on producing armaments to be used against the people of Gaza. We will keep on causing disruption to the factory until it closes down permanently'.

The law as roadkill on Highway 443: Few are aware that for six years now, ever since the outbreak of the intifada, the highway has been serving Israelis only. Palestinians are forbidden to travel even along the segment that is nine and a half kilometers long and passes through West Bank territory, including lands that have been confiscated and where trees have been cut down "for public needs." Israel Defense Forces soldiers ensure that only lucky people who have been granted a temporary permit can enjoy the shortcut.

Resident injured in Nablus invasion: For the third consecutive day, Israeli troops continued their military invasion to the Old City of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, broke into dozens of homes, shot and injured one resident, local sources reported. The resident was identified as Amjad Anabtawi, 22. He was shot in his chest and was transferred to a local hospital.

Hamas and Fatah call off talks: Hamas has refused to recognise Israel and Fatah have said that such ideological differences impede the formation of a unity government. Fatah, under the late Yasser Arafat, recognised Israel and conducted several rounds of peace talks, resulting in partial agreements. However, a full peace treaty eluded the two sides.

Zahhar: “Hamas will not recognize Israel, meeting with Abbas was delayed not canceled”: Palestinian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Zahhar, from the Hamas party, said that Hamas will not recognize Israel since it is an occupying country, and will not stop resisting the occupation. Referring to the meeting between Abbas and the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, Zahhar said that the meeting was delayed and not cancelled.

Hamas legislators to remain behind bars: One of the detainees, Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Duaik, called the decision a political one. He and 20 of his colleagues living in the southern West Bank were arrested and charged with belonging to Hamas following the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Official: Palestinian employees to get partial salary: Acting Minister of Finance Abu Aisha told reporters that public and military servants who earn less than 450 U.S. dollars would be able to get complete salary for one month. This group is estimated at 61,000 employees out of 165,000.

Gaza is hungry - and not because of Ramadan: Only last week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh promised that by Ramadan some of the PA employees' salaries would be paid. But on Sunday came the announcement that this month, too, the PA did not have the money to pay its workers. The despair is visible in the people's eyes, as irritable drivers get into fights with each other at every traffic jam.

Christian Politicians Show Solidarity With Israel: Christian politicians from different countries will meet with Israeli Members of Knesset Wednesday to show their support for Israel. The Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus will host 50 Christian politicians from Europe, South America, Asia and Africa in the Knesset Members' Lunchroom as part of their program to develop ties with the international Christian community.

Poll: 67% of Israelis want talks with PA gov't including Hamas: A majority of Israelis would support holding negotiations with a Palestinian unity government that includes the Islamic Hamas movement, according to the results of a joint Palestinian-Israeli poll released on Tuesday. The survey, which polled some 1,270 Palestinians, 500 Israeli Jews and 401 Israeli Arabs, was conducted as a coordinated effort between the Truman Institute of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Khalil Shikaki, of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.

Rights group: Israel abducting civilians: The Khiam Rehabilitation Center for the Victims of Torture said Monday that Israel continues to abduct Lebanese citizens from Lebanese territories in a "clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 1701." The center said in a statement that "the convention prohibits the taking of hostages who have no active role in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those put out of action by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause."

Israeli, Palestinian officials meet to discuss Rafah crossing: The meeting was attended by high ranking officials on both sides, including Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, Defense Ministry officials Barch Spiegel and Hagai Alon and U.S. representatives Dick Jones and Keith Dayton.

Poll: Most Palestinians back Hizbullah: According to the survey, which was carried out after the end of fighting in Lebanon, a solid 65 percent majority of the Palestinian public believes terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank should adopt Hizbullah’s tactics and shell Israeli towns with rockets. Only 35 percent were opposed to such a move. The survey noted that these numbers were parallel to Hizbullah support measured in June 2000, after the IDF’s withdrawal from south Lebanon.

Straw: U.K. should push U.S. to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian deal: Straw, who spoke at a forum held on the sidelines of Labor's annual conference, said Britain must work with Washington on the Mideast, not pull away from it. London should "push the Americans to put pressure on the Israelis," he said. "We have to have the Americans."

12 Israeli firms exporting to Saudi Arabia: The direct Israeli exports to Arab countries totaled USD 57 million in the first quarter of 2006, a sharp rise of 34.5 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The data do not include Israeli exports to the Palestinian Authority, which is Israel's second largest trade partner, after the United States, and purchases from Israel goods worth billions of US dollars.

Israelis, Palestinians team up to make fatter fish: As part of a project with Hebrew University and Germany's University of Hohenheim, Qutob and his colleagues will inject compounds from plants found in the occupied West Bank and often used as seasonings into food fed to newborn Nile Tilapia fish. "This will have an effect on the fish's metabolic (structure) -- it may shift from female to male," said Qutob, a chemist at al-Quds University in East Jerusalem.

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