Wednesday, 21 October 2009

CNN exposes Israel's widespread use of detention without trial in Palestine

Taking a leaf out of British imperialism's playbook from its days as Palestinian overlord, Israel has become addicted to using 'administrative detention' - that's to say detention without trial. CNN highlights the appalling case of schoolgirl Salwa Salah who still to this day does not know why she was arrested and imprisoned. We know all about the oppressive conditions under Israel's occupation and the thousands of prisoners it illegally holds, but it's still encouraging to see CNN reporting on the situation for a change.
(CNN) -- Salwa Salah was 16 years old when she was arrested by Israeli forces and jailed for seven months.
Israeli court minutes said Salwa Salah, 16, had been involved in "planning military operations."

Israeli court minutes said Salwa Salah, 16, had been involved in "planning military operations."

To this day she says she does not know her crime and is struggling to get her life back on track.

She was released shortly before her final school exams but was unable to catch up and now has to re-sit before she can go to university.

Salah was held under administrative detention - detention without charge or trial. It is legal under international law which permits its use only in exceptional cases to protect the security of a state.

But human rights groups say Israel abuses this right.

A report released Wednesday by human rights groups B'Tselem and HaMoked has called on Israel to release the detainees or charge them. They say there are currently 335 Palestinians being held under administrative detention, three of them women, one a minor.

When asked about Salah's case, Israeli prosecutors gave CNN the court minutes which read, "It has been shown that the prisoner was involved in planning military operations very close to the time that she was detained."

Salah insists she is a schoolgirl and not a terrorist but no further information was given to her lawyer. Much of the evidence in these cases remains secret.

There is a CNN video about Salah's case here

Amnesty report accuses Israel of wanton destruction in Gaza

Amnesty hits the mark again, this time with a new report on Israel's assault on the people of Gaza, accusing the settler state of "breaching laws of war". Unfortunately, as in the case of the UN Human Rights Council report, this one too makes the mistake of attacking the oppressed for defending themselves by "whatever means necessary", as Malcolm X would have put it.
Amnesty International said on Thursday Israel inflicted "wanton destruction" in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave.

The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of fighting, also criticized the Islamist movement Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called "war crimes."...

...Accusing Israel of "breaching laws of war," Amnesty said: "Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity."


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Goldstone rejects Israel's claim report will harm 'peace process'

Goldstone sticks it to Israel on the question of whether his report is a danger to the peace process as the Israelis laughably try to claim. Goldstone correctly and succinctly rebuts this nonsensical charge with the reply: "what peace process?".
UN human rights investigator Richard Goldstone has rejected Israel's claim that the peace process would be harmed by his report on the offensive in Gaza.

Judge Goldstone said there was no peace process at present and Israel's foreign minister did not want there to be one.

The Goldstone report, which has been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, accuses both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes.
Mr Goldstone's remarks came in a conference call with American rabbis.

"It's a shallow, utterly false allegation," Mr Goldstone said of Israel's attempt to brand his report as an obstacle to peace.

"What peace process are they talking about? There isn't one. The Israeli foreign minister doesn't want one," Mr Goldstone said.

"If the Israeli government set up an appropriate, open investigation, it will really be the end of the matter. That's where the report would end as far as Israel is concerned," he added.


US actress Mia Farrow stands up for the children of Gaza

If only our own governments could show the same humanity.
JERUSALEM — Actress Mia Farrow headed back to the United States on Sunday haunted by the image of a young girl who spoke in a tiny voice of the destruction of her home and the death of her loved ones in the Gaza war.

"There was fear on her face and she spoke in a tiny voice... of the injustice," the 64-year-old actress said in an interview with AFP as she wrapped up a week-long visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as goodwill ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF.)

She said she'll never forget the face of the 12-year-old who told her "about about when her house was destroyed, the people who were killed."
Farrow also recounted visiting a Gaza hospital where "doctors had to make the agonising decision to release babies of only one kilo (2.2 pounds) because there weren't enough viable incubators and they can't get spare parts in."


Monday, 19 October 2009

Poll: support for Abbas at rock bottom after Goldstone

Abbas's days are surely numbered. This poll is probably an understatement of opinion as it didn't include anyone from Gaza in the sample.
RAMALLAH, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) support of delaying vote at a UN report on Gaza war has led to a decline in President Mahmoud Abbas's popularity, a poll suggested on Sunday.

People's confidence in Abbas "decreased to 12.1 percent in this poll compared with a ratio of 17.8 percent last June and 15.5 percent last October," said the survey, conducted by the Ramallah-based Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC).

The consequences of delaying the UN Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) October 2 vote on Gaza war report has also decreased satisfaction in the way Abbas runs the PNA. The level of that satisfactions has gone "down from 48.5 percent last October to 39.4 percent in this poll."

With an error margin of 3 percent, a sample of 1,200 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was surveyed in this study between October 7 to October 11, before the UNHRC held its exceptional session on Friday and adopted a resolution condemning Israel and passing South African Judge Richard Goldstone's report to the UN General Assembly.


Friday, 16 October 2009

UN human rights council passes Goldstone report

A vote to endorse a highly critical report (pdf) on the Gaza war passed at the UN human rights council in Geneva today, despite opposition from the US and Israel.

The council approved a resolution endorsing the report, which was written by the South African judge Richard Goldstone and accused Israel and the Islamist group Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza war.

It said the report should go to the UN general assembly for consideration. The resolution condemned "the recent Israeli violations of human rights in occupied east Jerusalem", referring to recent demolitions of Palestinian houses and excavation work near the Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount.

The vote passed with 25 votes in favour, six against and 11 abstentions. The US voted against.


UK to back Israel by abstaining on Goldstone report

Vote expected today at the UN Human Rights Council and according to the BBC the UK will abstain which if true would be a disgrace
The UN Human Rights Council is due to vote on whether to endorse a report which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes in Gaza.

Israel has campaigned intensively to dissuade countries with voting rights from backing the report by Richard Goldstone, which it says is biased.

It says support for the report will hurt attempts to restart peace talks.

The Palestinian Authority initially backed deferring a vote, but changed its position after domestic criticism.

The report is heavily critical of Israel and urges both sides to investigate their own conduct.

If they fail to do so, it calls on the UN Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court.

The US has dubbed the report "flawed", but has still urged - along with the UK and France - both sides to launch independent investigations.

The UK, which has voting rights on the Council, is thought likely to abstain from the vote.


Thursday, 15 October 2009

Israel protests Turkish TV show depicting IDF in true colours as murderers

Things seem to be going from bad to worse in the Israel/Turkey relationship, which can only be good news for the Palestinian liberation struggle
Israeli officials are seeking a meeting with Turkey's ambassador to protest a show on Turkish television that reportedly depicts Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian children.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the Turkish TV show "is being done with state sponsorship."

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the Turkish TV show "is being done with state sponsorship."

Turkey has been Israel's strongest Muslim ally in the Middle East, and the move comes as relations between the countries have soured in recent days over the latter's decision to exclude Israel from scheduled military exercises.

The Turkish TV show "constitutes the most serious level of incitement, and it is being done with state sponsorship," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Petition calls on UK government to back Goldstone report

The Zionist Federation in England are attempting to lobby Gordon Brown to condemn and help quash the Goldstone report at the UN. The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza have now created a petition today calling on Brown to “support” the report and not to condemn it. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ON ANY AND ALL BLOGS, Please make a post on your blog and then add the link to your sidebar asking people to sign this petition to save the Goldstone Report. Even though your blog may be in another country, your readers come from around the world, many from the UK. So please post this petition and link below:

Submitted by Arafat Madi of The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza – Deadline to sign up by: 12 March 2010

We the undersigned petition call on the British Premier, Gordon Brown, to support the Goldstone Report and to ensure its acceptance in the Human Rights Council in March 2010. The report which was issued by a special committee assigned by the UN proved in a report of 570 pages that Israel perpetrated war crimes against Humanity in Gaza within its offensive in January 2009. Endorsing the report is endorsing humanity and rights of the besieged people of Gaza who are defenseless victims of the Israeli army. Israeli soldiers themselves confessed to have received orders to shot children in Gaza. TV Footages, Photographs and Media materials entirely supports the Goldstone report. The full-scale offensive in Gaza left at least 1,450 Palestinians killed and over 5000 injured. The entire infrastructure in Gaza was destroyed as Israeli attacks targeted schools, hospitals, streets, water wills, sewage system, farms and police stations. Till this moment, Israel is still imposing a harsh and criminal siege on the civilian population Gaza.


Is Turkey dumping Israel for Syria?

The latest setback to what was a warm relationship six or seven years ago, came at the same time as Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was chairing a high-level delegation to Syria. Ankara and Damascus are forging new pacts and agreements to increase cooperation between the neighbors.

"The main slogan of this meeting is common destiny, history and future, and we will build the future together," Turkish Anadolou news agency quoted Davutoglu as saying.

In the past Turkey has tried to broker peace talks between Israel and Syria, but that type of role seems a distant memory now, even though the sides were indirectly talking through Turkish intermediaries just a year ago.


UN Human Rights Council to hold extraordinary session on Goldstone report

Hopefully this provides a second chance to take a vote adopting the report following Abbas's deferral attempts.
GENEVA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The U.N. Human Rights Council will hold an extraordinary meeting this week on the occupied Palestinian territories, providing another chance for Israel's critics to discuss a Gaza war crimes report.

"The holding of the special session is at the request of Palestine," the United Nations said in a statement circulated on Tuesday in Geneva, where the 47-member body is based.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Israeli Nobel prize winner calls for release of Palestinian prisoners

I guess it is inevitable but when I heard that an Israeli scientist, Professor Ada Yonath, had received the Nobel Prize, my heart sank a little. She was head of research in the field of structural biology and biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and was therefore almost certainly involved in some part of the industrial military complex. Now some people will say this is bigoted and prejudiced, but it is a fact that science and military in Israel go together like Hans and Gretel. So what a pleasant surprise that Prof. Yonath is a pacifist who has almost immediately called for the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Below is the report from Haaretz and from the settler Israel News which of course puts the words 'terrorist' into her mouth. Tony Greenstein

more at Tony Greenstein's blog

Leaked Fatah memo gives up on Obama stopping settlements

Fatah has given up on Obama getting the Israelis to stop building settlements. Hopefully the majority inside Fatah has been shocked enough by the Goldstone fallout and that this is a sign the leadership can/will be rolled back from its collusion with the US and Israel. Gosh, wasn't the timing of the peace prize for Obama good - what was the Nobel committee thinking?
(CBS/AP) An internal document circulated among members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' political party says all hopes placed in the Obama administration "have evaporated" because of alleged White House backtracking on key issues to the Palestinians.

The Fatah Party memorandum, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, accuses the United States of backing off from its demands that Israel freeze settlement construction and failing to set a clear agenda for new Mideast peace talks.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Oct. 12 document reflected Abbas' views or was intended to be leaked as Fatah's attempt to pressure President Obama to bear down harder on Israel.

The document said the Palestinians have lost hope in Mr. Obama and accused the American leader of caving in to pressure from pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington.

"All hopes placed in the new U.S. administration and President Obama have evaporated," said the document issued by Fatah's Office of Mobilization and Organization. The department is headed Fatah's No. 2, Mohammed Ghneim.

Mr. Obama, it claimed, "couldn't withstand the pressure of the Zionist lobby, which led to a retreat from his previous positions on halting settlement construction and defining an agenda for the negotiations and peace."

Abbas' aides had no comment on the memorandum, and Ghneim couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The Palestinians were encouraged by Mr. Obama's election and expected his much-publicized outreach to the Muslim world would soften the strongly pro-Israel positions of his predecessors such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Fatah document also restated the group's stance that Israel must freeze settlement construction and agree to a clear agenda for talks before negotiations can resume.


Monday, 12 October 2009

Netanyahu accuses Goldstone of encouraging terror as 88 refuse IDF service

Victory to the resistance!

Netanyahu really is evil. He told his parliament today that the Goldstone report encourages terrorism. Unbelievable. And then, almost in the same breath, he pleads with people in the Arab world not to believe reports that Israel is tunnelling under the al-Aqsa mosque. This man is surely deranged if he thinks anyone, let alone Arabs and Muslims, is going to believe a single word he says. Netanyahu says Israel went to war against the 'war criminals in hamas'. Let us repeat an oft quoted fact: 1,400 palestinian dead, overwhelmingly civilians against 13 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

And the criminality oof the Israeli army has led to 88 high schools graduates signing a letter refusing to serve in the IDF.
"We hereby announce our refusal to take part in the military apparatus," read the letter which was signed by 88 youths. "We do not see a military solution as the proper solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"We are not evading the duty to contribute to society and we are not breaking Israeli law, but rather it is our war for human rights which is an act of preserving Israel's democratic character," the high school seniors wrote.

The four youths who presented the letter to the press said they intend to refuse military conscription and that they are ready to serve time in military prison.


Hamas slams Abbas speech, says endangers national reconciliation

From Al Bawaba
Hamas and Islamic Jihad said that the speech made by PA ceif Mahmoud Abbas Sunday night was full of "contradictory and incorrect information" and was an attempt by him to evade his direct responsibility for the "crime" he committed against Goldstone’s report. In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC), Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Abbas’ comments do not serve the atmosphere of reconciliation, noting that the Palestinian people were expecting an apology from him for his position against Goldstone’s report on the recent Gaza war.

Settlers set fire to Palestinian fields and olive groves

These settlers, like all colonialists, are the scum of the Earth.
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli settlers on Sunday set Palestinian fields and olive groves on fire after their illegal outpost in the West Bank was dismantled, Israeli military sources told CNN.

Israeli authorities arrested 13 settlers who refused orders to evacuate the Mitzpe Ami outpost near the West Bank settlement of Kedumim, an army spokesman said.

Turkey ending military cooperation with Israel as exercise cancelled

The strategic defeat of Israel following its war on the people of Gaza is underlined this morning with news of Turkey refusing to allow Israel to overfly its airspace to participate in a NATO exercise. The Israeli leadership is very worried that their links with Turkey are being shredded.
Turkey's foreign minister publicly acknowledged for the first time on Monday that his country excluded Israel from a joint military exercise last week because of its criticism of Israel's winter offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

"We hope that the situation in Gaza will be improved, that the situation will be back to the diplomatic track," the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told CNN in response to a question on why Turkey excluded Israel from the drill.

"And that will create a new atmosphere in Turkish-Israeli relations as well," he added. "But in the existing situation, of course, we are criticizing this approach, [the] Israeli approach."

Earlier, the Turkish foreign ministry said "a technical matter," not politics, prompted the delay of the drill, CNN reported.

The international aerial exercise, which was to include the IAF and aircraft and pilots from NATO, was due to be based at an air base in the central Anatolian city of Konya.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry called an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the crisis between Israel and Turkey, marked by the cancellation.

A senior source at the ministry told Haaretz about concerns that strategic ties with Turkey are in jeopardy after Operation Lead Cast in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
Whether Turkey finally ends its military coopeartion with Israel will depend on the pressure mounted by Turkish people on the streets.

According to the Times the exercise involved bombing runs in air space near the Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi borders - a rather obvious attempt to intimidate Iran. Because Israel was barred from the exercise it has now been cancelled at the request of the US. They'll have to go and plan/practise their war someplace else.

Abbas tries to find his backbone after Goldstone debacle

Abbas is doing his best to make amends for his craven support of Israel/US blocking tactics on Goldstone. So now Abbas tells us it was just being delayed to garner more support - which is what was said by his allies when the news first broke. In fact abbas tried to blame 'other countries' on the council for the delay but did not name the countries. Not very convincing performance by Abbas. He has now completed his u-turn by demanding that the UN Human Rights Council bring forward discussion of the report and a vote be taken to back it.

Abbas is now clearly trying to repair the damage by hoping to appear a bit more like a Palestinian leader than the lapdog of Netanyahu. So with this in mind Abbas declares that there can be no peace as long as Jerusalem is occupied. While we can all applaud such sentiment it is hard to take him seriously given that he recently refused to hold a summit of Arab leaders to organise the defence of the al-Aqsa mosque.

Despite Abbas's attempted sabotage the Goldstone the is implications of the report are still reverberating around the world.

The UK ambassador to the UN says the he supports the report, according to Haaretz.
Israeli officials on Sunday criticized the British Ambassador to the United Nations John Sawers for backing a controversial United Nations report into Israel's conflict with Hamas in Gaza last winter, saying that such support could backfire when Britain tries to conduct its own war on terror.
Israel seems to forget that the UK is a member of the security council and will obviously veto any attempt to bring war crimes charges against it. The extent of Israel's isolation is especially evident when countries friendly to the zionist regime, such as the UK, consider adopting a report that clearly accuses it of war crimes.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fifty percent rise in Gaza birth deformities shames Israel

Gaza's health ministry blames white phosphorus but it could also be the massive amounts of depleted uranium used.

From China News
research in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city showed "in July, August and September, the number of infants born deformed or without limbs climbed by 50 percent compared with the same period last year," said deputy Health Minister Hassan Khalaf.

He said his ministry does not rule out a connection between Israel's use of white phosphorus during the January-December war and the increase of disfigured newborns.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Sign petition calling for Abbas's immediate resignation

Thanks to

Abbas requests reconvening of Human Rights Council for Goldstone report

Dr. Sa'eb Erekat: President Abbas requests urgent meeting of Human Rights Council to resume discussion of Goldstone report

This is too late for Abbas - he's done the damage already and his days in the Palestinian leadership are surely numbered. We are all still hoping to get sight of the video of Abbas urging on the Israeli state terrorists conducting the Cast Lead war crimes, but no news yet.

Maan news agency says confrontations are spreading beyond Jerusalem. and at Ni'lin the weekly protest at the apartheid wall succeeded in temporarily breaching it.

Dozens in Jeruslaem arrested and over 40 wounded in al-Aqsa protests

Unconfirmed reports that occupation forces are now clearing the way for Jewish extremists to desecrate the mosque.
Jerusalem – Ma’an - A Palestinian and four Israeli police officers were injured, and dozens of Palestinians detained during confrontations spurred by heavy Israeli military presence and restricted access for Palestinians to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The injury brings up to 42 the number of Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces during the past week, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), with 18 from Jerusalem confrontations including two children.

Obama gets peace prize as Jeruslaem boils with anger

Maan reports thousands gathering in Gaza, West Bank and Syria to protest Jerusalem outrages. There is also a protest ongoing at the UN Human Rights Council head office in Switzerland. Clashes also reported in Ramallah. Police attack protesters in East Jerusalem.

Also, on a more surreal note, Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize - for what? Making a speech in Cairo that said some nice things about Islam? Suspect this prize is for NOT being George Bush, and little else.
Gaza, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-Scores of protesters from the Palestinian, Arab and European communities marched in front of the headquarters of UN Human Rights Council in protest against the decision to postpone the vote on Richard Goldstone's report which accuses Israel of perpetrating war crimes against Palestinians. Member of the European Campaign to End Siege on Gaza, Anwar Al Gharbi said in the protest that this move aims at sending a message of objection against what happened.

"We are very upset about the postponement of the report which was about to pave the way for the condemnation of the Israeli occupation by committing crimes against the Palestinians. We are shocked and furious over the decision of Palestinian Authority to postpone the report for Six months. Palestinian Authority saved the occupation from court." Said Al Gharbi.


Iran threatens to 'blow up the heart of Israel' if attacked by targeting Damona

Israel's not-so-secret nuclear facilities at Damona targeted by Iranian missiles.
"Even if one American or Zionist missile hits our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel," the official IRNA news agency quoted Mojtaba Zolnour as saying.

He is a deputy representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the elite Guards force. Iranian officials have also in the past said the country would retaliate in case of any Israeli or U.S attack on it.

Earlier this year, a senior commander said Iranian missiles could reach Israeli nuclear sites. Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed Middle East state.


Fatah's Jerusalem general strike call to deflect anger away from Abbas?

All Gaza crossings have been closed. Israel has bombed the tunnels again and restrictions on Palestinian movements have been imposed around Jerusalem. Israel is also talking about withdrawing its ambassador from Sweden over the country's support for the Goldstone report.

Meanwhile Fatah's general strike call looks more and more like an attempt to defend Abbas than a serious mobilisation against Israel. Hopefully events today will move beyond the control of the so called leadership, with the people themselves taking matters into their own hands to defend al-Aqsa and stop the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.
The Fatah Central Council has called for a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Friday in protest of Israel's "measures against al-Aksa Mosque."

The call comes as the faction and its leader, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, are facing a wave of unprecedented protests over the decision to withdraw support for the UN fact-finding mission's report into Operation Cast Lead.

The council expressed "deep concern" over Israel's security measures in Jerusalem following an outburst of violence over the past week.

It said Israel was "besieging" the mosque, preventing Muslims from reaching the area and "colluding" with Jewish extremists by enabling them to enter the compound.


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Fatah calls general strike over Israel's Jerusalem outrages

Fatah has a called a general strike over Jerusalem. Perhaps Fatah (struggle) is starting to remember what their name means

Ramallah – Ma’an – Fatah’s top leadership called for a general strike throughout the nation on Friday in protest against “fierce and planned Israeli attacks” on Jerusalem holy sites.

The decision follows a week of high tension in Jerusalem after Israeli settlers backed by police were seen entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, setting off demonstrations.

'Jerusalem a tinderbox' but still no action from Arab and Muslim leaders over al-Aqsa

More talk from Arab leaders but no sign of action as the Israeli takeover of Jerusalem moves ahead. Friday will be a day of massive resistance. Access to al-Aqsa compound is restricted for the fifth day. Meanwhile Jewish extremists have their 'right' to desecrate protected, although there are signs that the settler state is getting cold feet about provoking 1.2 billion Muslims. Yesterday the foundation were laid for another settlement in East Jerusalem.
Jordan's King Abdullah II has asked Haaretz to relay a message to the Israeli public that it disavow the illusion that the status quo can be perpetuated, because as a result of the diplomatic impasse, "We are sliding back into the darkness.

"Is Israel going to be fortress Israel or is it going to be part of the neighborhood? Because if there is no two-state solution, what future do we all have together?" he asked in an exclusive interview on Tuesday at his palace in Amman at the height of the disturbances in East Jerusalem.

"Show me the future of Israel 10 years from now. Where do you want Israel to be vis-a-vis its relationship with Jordan and other Arab countries? I understand that you tend to live in the here and now. You are worried about the next threat. It is difficult for an Israeli to look into the future because of the security aspect. But if there is peace and stability, then people can look into the future."

Jerusalem is "a tinderbox that will have a major flashpoint throughout the Islamic world," he added.


Abbas Gaza treachery caught on videotape Shahab news agency confirms

More on the Abbas video. This man has to be out on trial for treason, along with the rest of the 'leadership'.
A videotape is behind the decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to delay the vote on a UN report accusing Israel of war crimes during its offensive on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian news agency has reported.

Quoting what it called reliable sources, Shahab news agency said on Tuesday that PA representatives at a meeting in Washington had initially rejected Israel's request not to endorse the report and were determined to stick to this position.

But, the agency added, Brigadier Eli Avraham played a videotape showing a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister.

The meeting was also attended by Tzipi Livni, Israel's former foreign minister.

The video reportedly showed Abbas trying to convince Barak to continue the war on Gaza, while Barak looked hesitant, although Livni appeared to be in support of the plan, Shahab quoted its sources as saying.


Security council refuses to hold special session on Goldstone report

[update 12:43 GMT 8 Oct] - the report will be discussed by the UNSC on 14 October.

No surprises from the UN security council - what a joke this body is
The UN Security Council has rejected Libya's request to hold a special session on the Goldstone report but agreed to advance a periodical meeting to address the issues it raises.


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Abbas faces calls for removal as Israel prepares ground for Jerusalem takeover

A perfect storm is brewing in Palestine. Abbas caves in to US and Israeli pressure on Goldstone, then he claims he didn't know about the delegation decision at the UNHRC, then there was talk from his fellow collaborators that the report was in fact to be taken to the UN security council. Indeed, Abbas has now launched an 'inquiry' into how the decision was arrived at, which is laughable. In a further twist Jonathan Cook reports today on the threat by Israel to prevent the launch of a second mobile network, Wataniya, on the West Bank unless the Goldstone report was dropped.

How to explain all these contortions by Abbas? His deferral has turned into a disaster for the credibility of both Abbas and the Palestinian Authority under his tutelage. But the machinations of Abbas trying to explain his criminal behaviour aside, Libya has stepped up to the plate and requested that the UN security council discuss the report. The request has been accepted. Naturally it will likely only be a discussion as the US will veto any statement or proposal for action against Israel.

Now we can only but guess at exactly what pressure/motivations were driving Abbas, beyond the maintenance of his alliance with the tormenters of the Palestinians - the US and Israel. In fact last night's news has filled in some of the blanks for us it would seem.

The first and most damaging claim against Abbas involves the alleged possession by Israel of a video in which Abbas is sitting with the architects of the Cast Lead war crime urging them on in their destruction and slaughter. The Israelis apparently threatened to release the video to the world unless Abbas moved to sideline the Goldstone report.

Then there is the case of the fabulously wealthy son of Abbas, Yasser Mahmoud. Educated in the US and a Canadian citizen, Yasser Abbas moved to the West Bank in 1997 and sits at the heart of the corruption and greed that is the Palestinian Authority. He hates Hamas, and perhaps all the more so since his monopoly over the import of US cigarettes into the West Bank and Gaza was undermined with the election of Hamas and the subsequent siege. He is estimated to make $35m a year from his tobacco monopoly. Abbas the Younger is very close to the western powers and is known to act as the main conduit between Canada and the PA. He is being groomed by Abbas senior to inherit the throne. Yasser Abbas is undoutedly one of the 'senior advisers' that urged the dropping of the report.
The younger Abbas attracted uncustomary attention to himself this month when he granted a rare interview in Dubai to a reporter from, a Saudi-owned business website.

Abbas, former chair of the Canadian-Palestinian Business Council, provided intriguing details about his considerable wealth, denied exploiting family connections to acquire it, railed against the Islamist group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip and freely owned up to being a collaborator with Israel.

He said Palestinians have no choice but to collaborate with Israel, assuming they want to get ahead in the world.

"We have massive amounts of products being exported or imported via Israeli ports," Abbas explained. "They all need the approval of the Israeli customs officer before reaching the Palestinian one.

"Saying that Yasser Abbas deals with the Israeli side is not a scoop. Most Palestinians deal with Israel. As for the rest, they live out in the rain."

All of this comes as tension in Jerusalem, and at the al-Aqsa mosque in particular, shows no signs of dissipating, as Israel bans the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, from Jerusalem for 30 days as it floods the city with thousands of armed police and soldiers.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Abbas losing support as rage over Goldstone report grows

Abbas in his desperation to get into bed with the Israelis and Americans is now in danger of seeing his base of support narrow sharply - which of course is somewhat counter-productive on his part because no one wants to negotiate with someone who has neither the respect nor the support of the majority of Palestinians. Abbas own up - how much are the Zionists and their US backers paying you?
RAMALLAH, West Bank — A controversial decision not to press a vote on a UN report on the Gaza war has angered many Palestinians and weakened president Mahmud Abbas amid US-backed peace efforts, observers say.

The Palestinians agreed to delay a vote on the damning report at the UN Human Rights Council on Friday after reportedly coming under pressure to do so by the United States and Israel, who said it would sink efforts to relaunch peace talks.

But the decision to support delaying consideration of the report -- which accused Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes -- has unleashed a tide of anger that will ramp up pressure on Abbas ahead of any talks, observers say.

"Ironically, (Abbas) is probably in a much better position to deal with the Israelis and the United States because of what he did," Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab, a former Princeton University professor, told AFP.

"The problem is that he is losing his standing in front of his own people... He will be under extreme pressure now to produce tangible results in the negotiations."


Monday, 5 October 2009

Fatah-led PA security tortures prisoners to death

The crimes of the Palestinian Authority against Palestinians are mounting as this Guardian article on the torturing to death of nurse Haitham Amr shows.
Palestinian authorities have begun a rare military trial of security officers accused of torturing a Hamas suspect to death at a time of an intensifying crackdown in the West Bank against the Islamist movement.

Haitham Amr, 33, a nurse, was arrested by the Palestinian intelligence services, led by the Fatah political faction, at his home near Hebron, in the occupied West Bank in June. Four days later he was dead, his body showing extensive bruising and swelling, including near the kidneys. He had been suspected of membership of the armed wing of Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction.

He was the fourth prisoner to die in Palestinian custody in the West Bank this year. All were suspected of involvement with Hamas, none was ever charged and, apart from Amr's case, there have been no official investigations. In another high-profile case last year a Hamas preacher, Majd Barghouti, was also tortured to death.


One girl and 40 women still imprisoned by Israel despite releases

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said that there are still 40 Palestinian women imprisoned in Israeli jails after the release of 19 prisoners on Friday and the intention to release another one on Sunday.

“The joy of liberating female prisoners should not make us forget that their sisters still languish behind prison bars suffering a lot from the occupation’s repressive practices and being denied the simplest means of dignified life", Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the information director in the ministry, noted.

Ashqar pointed out that most of the minor female prisoners were released in the deal except one girl child called Samah Samadah from Ramallah who was kidnapped in December 2008 and sentenced to one year in prison.

Occupation bans Muslims from al-Aqsa mosque as tension builds

In a fine piece of newspeak the Israeli occupiers, in the shape of the chief of police in Jeruslaem, say Muslim are 'ungrateful'. Is this man serious? Today all Muslims have been banned from their mosque to facilitate an invasions by thousands of Israelis. In another act of provocation Muslims have also been banned from attending the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. Israel doesn't want peace - it wants more land and subservience from the Palestinians, and on the latter point they would seem to be succeeding going by the actions of Abbas, but thankfully he isn't the Palestinian nation.
Jerusalem's Muslim residents are "ungrateful," the city's police chief, Cmdr. Aharon Franco said Monday, in the wake of recent clashes between police and Palestinian rioters in the Old City.

Large forces of police and border police were patrolling the city on Monday, as thousands of Jewish worshipers flocked to the Western Wall Plaza for the twice-yearly Priestly Blessing, which went ahead without incident.

more (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli minister cancels UK visit fearing arrest for war crimes

As we have been suggesting on this blog for a few months now - Israel's politicians and military personnel need to be very careful where they travel. Yaalon's no-show in London is a victory for the Palestinian liberation movement and the friends and relations of the dead, although it has to be said it is unlikely anything would have happened to him given that defence minister Ehud Barak wasn't arrested last week on his little trip to the Labour Party conference.
Israeli minister and former military chief Moshe Yaalon cancelled a UK visit because of fears of arrest for alleged war crimes, his office says.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Britain want him to face trial over the 2002 killing of a Gaza militant, in which 14 others died, at least eight of them children.

Mr Yaalon took legal advice and wanted "to avoid playing into the hands of anti-Israel propaganda", an aide said.


PLO decision to defer vote on Goldstone enrages Palestinians

The PLO's decision to call for a deferral of the vote at the HRC on the Goldstone report is creating huge divisions, as this report on Jordan shows. The majority of the Jordanian population is Palestinian. It's hard to see how Abbas is going to hold Fatah together with this sort of brazen collaboration with the US that can only be aimed at giving the war criminals in Israel more time to shore up their defences. One Hamas official has called for Abbas to be stripped of his nationality. Syria refused to let Abbas into the country on Sunday. Indeed as I write this a march is taking place in Ramallah against Abbas. How much is Abbas being paid for his treachery?
AMMAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Jordan's associations of 14 professions on Sunday criticized a request by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to the UN to defer a vote on the Goldstone report that condemned Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

"The associations condemn this stance that serves the Zionist occupation and encourages the enemy to continue its crimes and siege against the Palestinians," the Jordanian syndicates said in a statement.

A PLO delegation in Geneva requested the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday to delay the vote on the report of a UN war crimes investigation led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, according to media reports.

In protest of the request, Palestinian Economy Minister Bassem Khuri, an independent, submitted his resignation Saturday.

The UN report, released on Sept. 15, highlights Israeli war crimes during a 22-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, which started on Dec. 27, 2008 and resulted in the death of about 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Palestinians pressured to delay UN vote on Goldstone report

The BBC is reporting that Palestinians have 'dropped the Gaza report' when no such thing has happened. However, it is clear that a move to a vote at the Human Rights Council on endorsing the Goldstone report has been delayed, probably at the behest of the US - supposedly with the intention of reaching a wider consensus next year. The PLO is controlled by Fatah.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has supported a decision to defer a vote on the UN-sanctioned report on the Gaza war until next March, Al Jazeera has learned.

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna, reporting from Geneva where the UN Human Rights Council is to meet on Friday, said that the Palestinians have not withdrawn support for the report but prefer deferring a final resolution to next year as they wait for a consensus.

Imad Zuhairi, the Palestinian deputy permanent observer at the Human Rights Council, has told Al Jazeera that because of the "historic importance" of the resolution it was important to get fullest possible consensus to pass a resolution to have the 47-member forum adopt the report.

Adopting the report would mean that its is referred to the UN Security Council for further action.

Zamir Akhram, the Pakistan representative to the council, said that it had been decided by the resolution's sponsors - Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Tunisia - to withhold the vote and re-introduce the resolution at the the next sitting of the forum in March 2010.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Israel bombs as it waits for Hamas's Shalit video

Just in case we thought Israel was going soft with the promised release of 20 Palestinian women from it dungeons, they launch more air raids on the lifeline provided by the tunnels. The video proving that Israeli prisoner-of-war Shalit is being released on Friday.
GAZA CITY — Israeli warplanes bombed smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza overnight after a rocket was fired from the Hamas-run territory, but neither attack caused injuries, officials and medics said on Thursday.

The air raid struck two tunnels on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, the Israeli army said. Palestinian medics reported no casualties.

Late on Wednesday, militants in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel, with the projectile causing no injuries or damage.

And near the Kissufim crossing in the south, Palestinian gunmen fired mortars into Israel and the army responded with tank fire, again with no casualties, medics said.

It marked the latest violence along Gaza's border, which has been mostly quiet since a war that Israel launched on Hamas in Gaza on December 27 in response to rocket fire ended with mutual ceasefires on January 18.

The ceasefire has largely held despite violations by both sides, but the past few weeks have seen an increase in both rocket fire and Israeli strikes.