"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." – Nelson Mandela

Archive for December, 2012

ISRAEL DOES NOT WANT PEACE

I have said it before and I will say it again, Israel does NOT want peace.
How does Israel expect peace when they are planning on displacing 1,000 Palestinians?
Better yet, how can anyone BELIEVE that Israel wants peace when they are planning on displacing 1,000 Palestinians?
They are forcing these people out of their homes and leaving them with no place to live in order to undergo military training.
It’s sort of like one big circle.
First, the Israelis kick the Palestinians out of their homes so the Israelis can use the area for military training.
Then, the Israelis will use their new skills in order to attack and kill Palestinians.
Quite ironic, isn’t it?


Israel To Displace 1000 Palestinians Next Wednesday

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IMEMC – Head of the Wadi Al-Maleh area, in the northern plains of the occupied West Bank, Aref Daraghma, stated that the Israeli army intends to displace around 10000 Palestinian Bedouins in the area in order to conduct military training.

Daraghma said that the Israeli army handed written military orders to the residents stating that they should leave as the soldiers will be using live ammunition in military drills in the area, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.

He added that the grazing area, inhabited by the shepherds, includes Wadi Al-Maleh, Ein Al-Hilwa, Al-Faw Valley, Al-Meeta, Al-Borj, and other villages.

The army informed the residents that they have until the morning of this coming Wednesday before the army conducts its trainings in the northern plains.

Israel performed similar military drills in the areas last summer forcing dozens of families to leave their homes seeking shelter in other areas until all drills were concluded.

Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced and repeatedly removed from the area since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Israel also demolished dozens of entire villages inhabited by Bedouins and shepherds.

Source: http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org


Israel criticised by Britain over West Bank university

Foreign Office says upgrade for college in settlement of Ariel will prove an obstacle to peace in the region

Israel plans to found a university in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP

Israel plans to found a university in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP

The British government has warned that the official authorisation of Israel’s first settlement university will create another hurdle in the peace process.

Israel’s defence secretary, Ehud Barak, approved the upgrade of a college in the settlement of Ariel, 11 miles inside the West Bank, earlier this week.

In a statement released on Thursday, the British foreign office minister Alistair Burt said the UK was deeply disappointed by the decision.

“Ariel is beyond the Green Line in a settlement that is illegal according to international law. This decision will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace,” the statement said.

Burt repeated the government’s call for Israel to reverse a recent spate of settlement expansion plans, saying it should “take no further steps aimed at expanding or entrenching settlement activity”.

A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said it was “disappointing to see that a [UK Foreign Office] minister should adopt the contested Palestinian position hook, line and sinker, thus adding controversy where it is already in excess”.

Britain and other European countries have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of Israel’s plans to build thousands of new homes in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They say such expansion threatens the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.

An internal analysis paper prepared by Israel’s foreign ministry has warned that the European Union may press for the establishment of a Palestinian state independent of negotiations in 2013.

According to a report in Haaretz, the paper said: “A growing understanding can be seen in the EU of the ineffectiveness of the current process.

“This understanding is accompanied by repeated calls to find new channels of progress … The emphasis from their perspective is not on actual direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but rather on the essential need to move ahead quickly to a permanent-status solution, because the EU recognises that without a solution, things could go downhill on the ground.”

European diplomats in Jerusalem have warned that 2013 could be the last chance for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Officials at Israel’s foreign ministry are concerned about the country’s growing isolation internationally, but fear there is a gap between their position and the stance taken by Israel’s political leadership.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk


Gaza construction convoy crosses from Egypt

The trucks passed through the Rafah crossing into Gaza

The trucks passed through the Rafah crossing into Gaza

Egypt has allowed a shipment of construction materials to enter the Gaza Strip from its territory for the first time since 2007.

A convoy of trucks carrying thousands of tonnes of supplies donated by the Gulf state of Qatar entered Gaza via the Rafah border crossing on Saturday.

Egypt had previously followed import restrictions imposed by Israel.

However, Israel has eased its blockade as part of last month’s ceasefire deal with the Islamist group Hamas.

Many goods are smuggled from Egypt through a network of underground tunnels into Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.

An Egyptian security official quoted by AP news agency said the shipment had been made in consultation with Israeli officials who were in Cairo on Thursday.

Qatar has pledged more than $400m (£250m) to finance reconstruction in Gaza and improve crumbling housing, schools, a hospital and roads.

A Hamas official said it was a positive step.

“We hope that Egypt will open this crossing permanently for goods so our people can meet their needs,” said Ehab al-Ghsain, head of the Hamas government’s media office.

Some 170 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed in an eight-day conflict between Hamas and Israel in November.

Earlier this month, Hamas celebrated its 25th anniversary in Gaza with a rally attended by exiled political leader Khaled Meshaal.

Hamas won elections in Gaza in 2006 and came to power a year later after ejecting the rival Fatah faction.

http://www.bbc.co.uk


“Israel is only defending itself,” the ignorant say

On November 17, 2012, four days into Israel’s 8 day assault and massacre on the Gaza Strip, deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai publicy called for the Israeli army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.”

The following day, Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon, called for Israel to “flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing,” adding, “there is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip”

One does not “defend” itself by blowing a city back to the “Middle Ages” and “destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.”

One does not “defend” itself by flattening entire neighborhoods and attempting to get rid of all electricity, gasoline, and moving vehicles in a city.

One does not “defend” itself by killing innocent children and civilians.

Israel is a terrorist state and is clearly not “defending” itself.

Israel has one goal:

To make the lives of those living in Palestine a living hell.


Israel demands 52,500 shekels to delay home demolitions

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Ma’an News – Israel’s high court on Wednesday ordered 21 Palestinians to pay 52,500 shekels to delay the demolition of their homes in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity, told Ma’an the homeowners, from Yatma, were ordered to pay 2,500 shekels to the court by Friday to delay demolition while the court considers their case.

Hamid Sunuber, head of Fatah in the village, said Israel ordered the demolitions because the homes are in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control.

Sunuber questioned the timing of the demolition orders. “Is this a response to the recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in the UN General Assembly?” he asked.

http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org

*52,000 shekels= 13927.94 US Dollar
*2,500 shekels= 669.61 US Dollar
*1 shekel= 0.27 US Dollar


PCHR Weekly Report: 12 Palestinians wounded by Israeli troops, including 3 children

Har Homa settlement in Bethlehem, sit of planned expansionPCHR photo

Har Homa settlement in Bethlehem, sit of planned expansionPCHR photo

IMEMC – In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 20- 26 Dec 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 12 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces this week, including 3 children. In addition, at least 48 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were abducted in the West Bank.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

In the Gaza Strip, on 21 December 2012, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli forces inside watchtowers and infantry units positioned along the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a group of persons and farmers, who were about 30 meters away from the border fence.

On the same day, 2 other Palestinians, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli forces inside watchtowers and infantry units positioned along the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a group of persons and farmers, who were about 150 meters away from the border fence. The four Palestinians were wounded when dozens of Palestinian civilians headed to the two abovementioned areas to challenge the Israeli decision to impose a 300-meter buffer zone along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces conducted at least 71 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, they abducted at least 44 Palestinians, including 6 children.

In the West Bank, on 20 December 2012, the Israeli forces wounded and abducted 2 Palestinian civilians from Rumanna village, northwest of Jenin. The 2 wounded civilians were transported by military ambulances to al-Khdeira hospital in Israel. The aforementioned persons were wounded when the Israeli Forces moved into the said village and fired at a group of persons in the center of the village.

Families of the two wounded persons said that the Israeli forces abducted both of them and transported them by a military ambulance to al-Khdeira Hospital in Israel to receive medical treatment. Ambulances of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) were denied access to the scene. The Israeli forces then raided a house and detained the residents of the house for hours and questioned them.

On 22 December 2012, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of Palestinians, who went out for the funeral of a dead person to the cemetery near the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. 2 of the victims were wounded by live bullets, while the other 4 were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. The wounded were transported by the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) ambulances to hospitals in Hebron. Wounds of 2 of them were serious.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 13:00, dozens of Palestinian civilians from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, went out in a funeral procession to the cemetery near the eastern entrance of the village. Israeli soldiers surrounded the Palestinians in a provocative way. Some boys gathered in response and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded; 2 of whom were wounded by live bullets, while the other 4 ones were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. The wounded were transported by PRCS to hospitals in Hebron, where wounds of 2 of whom were described as serious:

In the same context, the Israeli forces continued to systematically use excessive force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinians and Israeli and international activists protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises. They were all treated on the spot.

The Israeli Forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.

Israeli settlement activities:

Israeli Forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

On 20 December 2012, a group of Israeli settlers from “Ma’ale Ephraim” settlement, southeast of Nablus, set fire to 2 vehicles belonging to 2 brothers from Othman family.

On 22 December 2012, a group of settlers from “Nokdim” settlement, south of Bethlehem, escorted by Israeli forces, attacked Abed Ali Mohammed Khamis, 28, and his daughter Ayat, 11, from Beit Ta’mar in the city. The father and his daughter were grazing their sheep in al-Freidis area, when the Israeli settlers used dogs in their attack. As a result, 2 sheep died and 8 others were wounded. Moreover, the father and his daughter were terrified and transported to a medical center.

On 22 December 2012, the Israeli infantry units moved into the Palestinian lands near “Susia” settlement, south of Hebron. They denied the Palestinian farmers access to their farmlands and dismissed them from their lands. The farmers rejected the Israeli decision and quarreled with the Israeli soldiers, who used force and attacked the farmers in response. As a result, a farmer sustained bruises and minor wounds. Moreover, the Israeli soldiers abducted 3 farmers from the same family and transported them to “Susia” settlement camp.

On 23 December 2012, the Israeli forces moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They submitted notices of house demolition to Taha Hammad Salah, 45, and Ali Salim Mousa, 60. The 2-story house belonging to Salah is in the finishing stage while the other house belonging to Mousa consists of the foundations and a water well.

On 24 December 2012, a group of settlers from “Susia” settlement, south of Hebron, intercepted the Palestinian farmers and denied them access to their lands between “Susia” and “Havat Maon” settlements. Quarrels erupted between the farmers and settlers, as a result, the Israeli Forces moved into the area, attacked the settlers and denied them access to their lands.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians, a 16 year-old boy sustained a gunshot to the right hand and an 18 year-old boy sustained a gunshot to his back in Bil’ein village; and Hamza Ahmed Abu-Hashem, 14, sustained bruises after being pushed by an Israeli soldier off a high wall; and Ahmed Abu-Hashem, 46 in Beit Ummar. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Following the Friday Prayer on 14 December 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall, titled: “Against the Israeli willful killing policy; and Israeli leaders’ orders to fire live bullets at demonstrators.” Administrative Detention and In Solidarity with Prisoners on Hunger Strike.” The demonstrators gathered in the streets of the village, chanting slogans calling for national unity. The protesters aimed to stress the need to adhere to national principles and the right of return, to resist the occupation and to call for the release of all Palestinian prisoners. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and made their way towards the wall. They called through megaphones for Israeli settlers in “Mitityahu” settlement to leave Palestinian land. Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, two civilians sustained gunshot wounds, a 16-year-old boy sustained a gunshot to the right hand and an 18-year-old boy sustained a gunshot to his back. Also dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Also following the Friday Prayer on 14 December 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators moved towards areas of the annexation wall. Immediately, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, some demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Around the same time on Friday, 14 December 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the Martyrs Square in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to hold a weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities, titled: “Commemoration of Our Martyrs and the Commencement of Popular Resistance in Nabi Saleh.” The protesters walked towards the gate erected by Israeli forces near the entrance of the village, which leads to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby “Halmish” settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem, in protest at the ongoing construction of the annexation wall, titled: “In Solidarity with the Prisoners on Hunger Strike.” As the protestors moved towards the gate of the village, the Israeli forces closed it to prevent the demonstration from gaining access to the confiscated land and attacked the participants; as a result, Mahmoud Zawahra, 25, coordinator of the Popular Resistance against the Wall and the Settlement Activity, sustained bruises.

At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 15 December 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians, farmers and international activists gathered in Sho’ab al-Batama area, east of Yatta village in Hebron, in protest to the Israeli forces’ policy of confiscating farmlands, denying civilians’ access to their lands and the destruction policy. The Israeli soldiers raided the area, and declared it a closed military zone to keep the demonstrators away.

At approximately 11:00 Saturday, 15 December 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders, gathered in the center of Bait Ummar village, north of Hebron, for the weekly peaceful demonstration organized against the settlement expansion policy, the wall and the arrest of children. The demonstrators headed towards Thaher Jalis area near “Kermi Tsour” settlement north of the village. A group of Israeli soldiers surrounded the demonstrators and started a hand fight with them, bruising a number of them. They were identified as: Hamza Ahmed Abu-Hashem, 14, who sustained bruises after being pushed by an Israeli soldier off a high wall; and Ahmed Abu-Hashem, 46.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

The PCHR calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Source: http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org