Friday, September 29, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Army threatens to close water well in Tamon village near Tubass: Soldiers raided the well area, then told workers that the army is planning to close this well. People in the village said they have the needed documents to do operate this well as the money was donated by the EU and the total cost adds up to 1 million NIS. The well is the only source of drinking water for all villages surrounding Tubass city.

Olive Harvest Campaign 2006 Gets Underway!: The olive harvest of 2006 in Nablus has officially begun! Although not an ideal starting-date, an olive farmer from the Palestinian village of Azmut and his family who own 150 dunums of land partitioned by an Apartheid settler-only road, decided to start harvesting a few days ago. They fear that the Israeli colonists of nearby Elon Moreh will otherwise steal the olives from the trees closest to them. This is an annual occurrence that further decreases the family's harvest, already decimated by the limited amount of harvest-time.

Fallout of shame: "They blamed me for telling him to run," he said. "One of them threw me down and hit me on the head with a club. I tried to get up and they (Jews?) continued to beat me, with rhythmic beatings, cursing me: 'Shaheed, Hezbollah, Hamas.' I got up, I walked on the road, bent over, in pain, and they followed. One of them hit me on my head with a stick, I fainted, I was unconscious for about 10 minutes. After I woke up, I had just opened my eyes, I didn't even understand what was happening to me, I was beaten again and again."

Two Palestinian teenagers killed in Gaza: "Two martyrs arrived to the hospital badly lacerated as a direct result of their injuries from an Israeli missile fired from a plane close to Beit Hanun," Sayid Gouda, deputy director of the Kamal Adwan Hospital, said Friday. They had been walking close to the entrance to the town of Beit Hanun when they were struck with a missile fired from an Israeli drone, witnesses said. A medical source later named them as brothers Anwar, 14 and Hamam Hamdan, 16.

Troops shot and injured a resident in Hebron, took one resident prisoner in Al Fawwar: On Friday morning, soldiers backed by several armored jeeps and vehicles, invaded Khallit Hadour area, shot and injured Mohammad Farid Al Ja'bary, 21, and barred the Red Crescent ambulance from reaching him for 45 minutes. Troops then transferred him by an Israeli ambulance to an unknown destination.

Food poisoning in Al Naqab Prison: One of the prisoners told PNN via mobile phone, “Not even a half hour had passed since we were fed before a number of prisoners experienced severe bouts of vomiting, diarrhea and high temperature associated with severe colic.” Despite reporting the need to treat prisoners, the Israeli administration ignored the request.

Palestinian source: US thwarting PA unity: The US asked Abbas to better prepare Fatah for the next elections, according to the source. The Americans further requested that Abbas not cooperate on the transfer of funds to be used for the payment of salaries to PA officials prior to the Ramadan holiday, as this would be credited to the Hamas-led government. The officials are expected to receive an advance on their salaries over the weekend.

Hamas rally in Gaza draws tens of thousands, denounces Israel: "Those people are demanding us openly to recognize the occupation and that will never happen," Masri said. "The protest aims to stress our rejection to recognize the legitimacy of the occupation," Masri said, referring to what Hamas views as Israel's occupation of all historic Palestine.

Sources: Israel and Hamas at impasse on prisoner exchange: While it is clear to both sides that a prisoner exchange will have to take place as part of the deal, there is no agreement on the number of Palestinians that will be released in return for Shalit. There is also no progress on the timing and the form of such an exchange.

Hamas ministers ''may step down'' to secure power deal: Sameer Abu-Eisheh, the acting Finance Minister and Planning Minister in Ismail Haniyeh''s increasingly beleaguered administration, said that one option was for Mr Haniyeh and his cabinet to step down in favour of a non-aligned ministerial team of independent experts.

OPT: Depression increasing due to conflict and poverty: A survey by a West Bank research company has revealed that the level of “severe depression” in the population of the Palestinian territory had increased by 21 percent over the past year to 77 percent.

Israel Will Not Return Money Seized in Raid To Money Changing Shops Last Week: The Israeli (JUSTICE?) court ruled Friday that Israeli authorities could keep the six million NIS (1,388,888.90USD) they seized from money changing stores in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin and Tulkarem on September 20th, 2006.

MK Tibi to Jews: Ask Arabs for forgiveness: “There are Jews who should ask non-Jews, including Arabs, for forgiveness each day for the continued despair of one-fifth of the population and for the fact that the Arab education system is missing 200 classrooms and that only five percent of the employees of government offices are Arab. Tibi added: “Israeli society is witnessing the growth of fascist weeds such as MKs Effie Eitam and Avigdor Lieberman and others but remains tolerant toward them..."

U.S. congressmen accuse UN agency of sponsoring terrorists: Representatives Steve Rothman (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) lambasted the United Nations Relief Works Agency for allegedly appropriating money to employ members of Hamas and for distributing funds to Palestinian refugees with connections to terrorist groups.

Olmert: I'll meet Abbas soon; Rice arriving Thursday: In Jerusalem, Rice will discuss the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 in Lebanon and ways to bolster the Lebanese government headed by Fouad Siniora. She will also discuss ways to advance Israeli-Palestinian relations, including implementation of the stalled Rafah Crossing Agreement that she brokered in November 2005. Another goal is to build a coalition of moderate Arab states to counter Iran.

PM: Palestinian prisoners won''t be released until Shalit is freed: Hours after announcing plans to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would not discuss releasing Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, even as a goodwill gesture to Abbas, before abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was freed."

A post-Zionist agenda: That same constitutive Zionist document also declares that the State of Israel "will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel." Either Olmert believes that the aforementioned goals have been achieved, or the prime minister has become a post-Zionist.

Officials accuse Israel of laying pipes to steal water from South: Lebanese officials and residents of the South on Thursday accused the Israeli Army of stealing water from the Wazzani River. Mohammad Ghamlush, the engineer heading the Wazzani River pumping systems, told AFP that the Israeli Army sabotaged the water pumps on the river last week and installed a pipe to pump hundreds of cubic meters of water to Israel.

Newly-released papers reveal British concern about 1949 Mideast policy: "Believe in Muslim revival. Can't assume it will be friendly whatever we may do," the notes also record him as saying. Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan commented that Britain's problem was "to extricate ourselves with least damage."

Popularity of Israeli PM party hits low: Some 6.5 percent of Israelis would vote for Kadima should elections be held immediately while the party netted 22 percent of the vote in the March 28 poll. The centre-left Labour party, the main coalition ally, would win six percent of the vote, compared to 15 percent won six months ago. On the other hand, the main right-wing opposition parties, Likud and Yisrael Beitenu would win 8.3 percent and 8.5 percent of the vote respectively.

Jewish state sees ''different momentum'' at work after war: Israel said Thursday the recent war on Lebanon has created new momentum in relations with moderate Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, with the Israeli premier leaving it understood that he had met with a Royal Saudi member. Pushing ahead with efforts to revive the peace process, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will leave Washington on Sunday and plans to visit Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Critics are Too Generous to Israel - Bad Faith and the Destruction of Palestine: Unfortunately, however, B'Tselem loses the plot when it comes to explaining why Israel would choose to inflict such terrible punishment on the people of Gaza. Apparently, it was out of a thirst for revenge: the group's report is even entitled "Act of Vengeance". Israel, it seems, wanted revenge for the capture a few days earlier of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, from a border tank position used to fire artillery into Gaza. The problem with the "revenge" theory is that, however much a rebuke it is, it presupposes a degree of good faith on the part of the vengeance-seeker.

Bad faith and the destruction of Palestine: A mistake too often made by those examining Israel’s behaviour in the occupied territories -- or when analysing its treatment of Arabs in general, or interpreting its view of Iran -- is to assume that Israel is acting in good faith. Even its most trenchant critics can fall into this trap.

UN envoy says Israel guilty of 'collective punishment' in Gaza: Israel is guilty of "collective punishment" of the Palestinian people through its military actions in the Gaza Strip, a United Nations human rights official said Friday.

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