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



Israeli Soldiers Arresting Mother and Her 18-Month Old Baby

Reema and her 18 months old baby girl, Quamar were arrested earlier today at Umm Al Arayes, South Hebron hills, upon Reema’s arrival to cultivate her family’s land. As of now, Mother and daughter are still held at the Hebron Police Station and apparently, the station’s policemen insists on them having to spend the night in custody.


Israeli Soldiers Attack, Arrest Palestinian Youths Playing With Snow In Jerusalem

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center, in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, reported that Israeli soldiers violently attacked and arrested several Palestinians playing with snow, which has been blanketing much of Palestine for some time now.

The clashes occured when extremist Israeli settlers began to throw rocks at the local Palestinian youths who were playing in the snow. The settlers were also shouting and cursing at the youths as well as chanting anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim slogans.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the current situation in the area is tensed as dozens of settlers and soldiers are still in the streets, and that the Palestinians were forcibly removed.

The center also added that several members of the Israeli Internal Security were also deployed in the area ordering the local Palestinians to leave; the extremist Israeli settlers were not ordered to leave.

This sort of behavior is nothing new to Silwan, which is frequently directly impacted by Israel’s illegal settlement activites. There has been multiple incidents of Israeli soldiers attacking and kidnapping residents, including children. Extremist settlers are also responsible for dozens of attacks against the residents, their homes and property.

The Wadi Hilweh Center recently reported that Israeli soldiers and policemen kidnapped in the last 6 months more than 350 Palestinians in Jerusalem, including dozens of youth and children, and 13 women.


Al Jazeera World- Gaza: Left in the Dark

Filmmaker: Ashraf Mashharawi

Life in Gaza is not easy amid constant power outages caused by limited electricity supplies and fuel shortages.

Gaza is in the midst of an acute power crisis, with blackouts lasting for up to 12 hours and a shortage of generator fuel.

Abdul Aziz Abu Safiea, who works for the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company, says: “It’s a strange job that only exists in Gaza. I cut the power off and reconnect it according to a set timetable.

“I cut off the power to every home in Gaza for at least eight hours every day. Every second, one-third of Gaza’s population is without electricity.”

The frequent power shortage puts at risk the lives of cardiac and dialysis patients and babies in incubators, and increases the daily hardship among the general population.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are a people under siege. Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank back in 1967. Although Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza in 2005, they have maintained a blockade on the territory.

As a result, over 1.5 million Palestinians suffer to this day from high levels of poverty and dependence on aid.

The blockade has prevented the reconstruction of Gaza’s infrastructure – badly damaged during Israel’s successive military assaults on Gaza in recent years.

Living without dignity

Gaza’s electricity sector remains deficient. Israel refuses to allow in the spare parts needed to rebuild the broken-down infrastructure. Limited amounts of fuel reach Gaza from Israel and Egypt – well below the bare minimum required.

Fathi Barakat, a Palestinian, says: “When it’s hot, we can’t tolerate the heat inside these houses. We stay outside. The fans and fridge broke down because of the heat. We live without dignity.”

His wife Sabah adds: “We always have to check the electricity schedule. To know what time the power cuts [are] and for how long. We live our life around power cuts.”

Power cuts also mean that children experience prolonged periods of darkness at a time when they have to study. Often there is no option but to do their homework by gas lamps or candlelight.

Gaza: Left in the Dark portrays the many obstacles and complications of life in Gaza caused by the shortage of electricity.

Factors such as Israel’s continued sanctions, Egypt’s crackdown on smuggling, and the fallout from the long Fatah-Hamas enmity all contribute to the dire situation in that part of the world.

When the regular blackouts occur, the people of Gaza must find a way to continue life off the grid.


Watch: Banned Balad election ad has Israel’s racist politicians dancing to Arab rhythm

Balad, a party representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, has released an election ad that shows some of Israel’s most notoriously racist politicians, including recently resigned foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, dancing to an Arabic rhythm.

The ad was banned from radio and television broadcast by Israel’s election commission.

Balad – also knows as al-tajammu or the National Democratic Assembly, currently has three members in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and was founded by the now exiled Palestinian intellectual Azmi Bishara in the mid-1990s.

Last month Israel’s election commission forbade one of its members, Haneen Zoabi, from running for re-election in the 22 January national election, a ban that was later overturned by the Israeli high court.

Behind the gag a serious message

At the beginning of the ad, an animated Lieberman puts forward one of his notorious loyalty laws, including the requirement that Palestinian citizens sing the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva.”

Palestinian citizens of Israel generally do not identify with “Hatikva” because it is an explicitly Zionist and Jewish supremacist song that contains the words:

As long as in the heart, within,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
An eye still gazes toward Zion …

But, the cartoon Lieberman says, “I have become convinced of the need to change the anthem a bit so that the Arabs can learn it and sing it.”

The gag is that the altered version Lieberman and other right-wing politicians perform is simply the same Zionist lyrics to an Arab beat. The result is quite catchy and hilarious as it is performed to the tune of the dabke “Daq Almani” or “Ti Rash Rash”.

Justifying the ban on broadcasting the ad, election commission chair and high court judge Elyakim Rubinstein said, according to Times of Israel that “the Arab party’s campaign ad ridiculed the national anthem and that insulting national icons is unacceptable in election campaigns.” However the ad does not alter any of the lyrics of the anthem. It only puts them to a typically Arab tune and rhythm. It does however ridicule Israeli politicians.

Rising abstention rates among Palestinian citizens of Israel

At the end of the ad, the narrator says “Are you done laughing?” and makes the argument that for Palestinian citizens of Israel the upcoming election is no joke.

The ad urges Palestinian citizens of Israel to vote so that Balad can act as a defense against racist laws and loyalty oaths of the kind Lieberman and his ilk push. The turnout rate among the 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, which once peaked at over 90 percent, fell to just 53 percent in the 2009 election.

The plummeting turnout perhaps reflects a growing sense that there is no way for Palestinian citizens of Israel to push back the rising tide of racism and incitement within an Israeli political system that is rigged against them.

Source: http://www.electronicintifada.net


Remembering the Gaza Beach Explosion of 2006

The Gaza beach explosion was an incident that took place on June 9th, 2006 in which 8 Palestinians were killed and at least 30 others were injured in an explosion on a beach near Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip.

On June 9th 2006, between 4:31 and 4:50 p.m., Israeli artillery and a navy gunboat fired 8 artillery shells at the beach, with 2 shells landing 200 metres away from the Ghaliya family, leading to a depressing and heartbreaking story. 7 members of the Ghaliya family were killed in the explosion- Ali, 43; Raisa, 36; Alia, 24; Ilham, 15; Sabrin, 7; Hanadi, 2; and Haytham, 8 months. The survivors of the Ghaliya family inlcuded a young girl named Huda, her mother, Hamia, and an elder sister. The aftermath of the incident was captured on video (above) and showed a distressed young girl, Huda Ghaliya, reacting to the killing of her family members.

This video received much media attention, making the young girl a symbol of Palestinian suffering.


Israel’s ‘roof knocking’ in Gaza

Al Jazeera investigates Israeli practice of firing warning shots at homes before blowing them up.

Amid growing criticism of Israel’s targeted air strikes in Gaza, Al Jazeera investigates practice whereby Israel fires warning shots at homes before blowing them up with missiles.

Source: Al Jazeera


Roger Waters Visits UN to Speak in Support of Palestine

Roger Waters was among the guest speakers at the United Nations in New York City on Thursday who were on hand to voice their support of Palestine. The rock legend’s U.N. appearance took place in conjunction with a meeting that’s held each year on November 29, which has been designated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The ex-Pink Floyd singer/bassist serves as a representative of the Russell Tribunal, an international nonprofit group that condemns Israel’s oppressive policies toward Palestinians. In his speech, which lasted about 25 minutes, Waters not only lambasted Israel but criticized the U.N. itself.

Later on Thursday, members of the UN voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to a non-member observer State, which is viewed as a step toward independent statehood.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio