Monday, 23 November 2009

Prisoner swap closer as talks continue while Hamas secures rocket ceasefire


Sounds like a prisoner swap is getting closer - and possibly related is the news that Hamas as been able to come to an agreement with other resistance organisations to cease rocket attacks in retaliation for Israeli killings.
JERUSALEM — There were growing indications on Monday that Israel and the Islamist group Hamas were close to a deal to exchange an abducted Israeli soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, a move with far-reaching implications not only for stalled Middle East peace talks but for a range of strategic regional relations.

more

Friday, 20 November 2009

Is Egypting stopping operations against Gaza's tunnels

I haven't come across this story on more mainstream sources but if this is true it is quite significant. Is it linked to Abbas saying the peace process is dead? Is Egypt having second thoughts about its cooperation with the Israelis and Americans? The report goes on to suggest that missiles are now moving freely through the tunnels system - perhaps partially explaining recent Israeli airstrikes on the tunnels.
Tuesday, Nov. 18, Egypt's special forces and engineering units suddenly shut down operation against the smuggling tunnels to Gaza without warning to Washington or Jerusalem, DEBKAfile's military sources report. US and Israeli requests for clarifications from Cairo, which must have ordered the stoppage, were not answered. So the Obama administration signaled Egypt that if it continues to violate the international accords governing the status of the Egyptian-Gazan border, there will be consequences.

Washington is put out particularly because Cairo did not bother to notify the American engineering corps officers and men working with Egyptian troops in Sinai since early 2009 in a concerted effort to eradicate the tunnels that their mission was cut short.

more

Palestinian elections to be postponed

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January will be postponed, confirming that he has accepted advice not to hold the vote.

more

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Channel 4 Dispatches accused of anti-semitism after lobby investigation


The fallout from the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby continues. The programme accused zionists of buying conservative and Labour politicians and claims it was the most powerful lobby at Westminster. There has been much criticism of the investigative programme in Israel but not exactly much in the way of engagement with or rebuttal of the facts as presented.

I haven't taken the time to watch the show but the predictable knee-jerk accusation of anti-semitism levelled at the programme makers sounds familiar and unconvincing.

However, what these sort of programmes usually miss is the fact that the rulers of states such as the UK and US do not act as they do because of lobbyists but because of self-interest. Israel is the watchdog of western imperialism in the Middle East.

Israeli MP attacks Obama for being 'racist' over settlements


As usual the US will do nothing about Israel's flagrant breaches of international law with its latest announcement of the expansion of the Gilo settlement comlex - part of its plan to envelop and then strangle East Jerusalem. But the timidity of the Obama in the face of Israeli colonialism is still too much for the zionists hence the outburst from a member of parliament by the name of Danny Danon, accusing Obama of being 'racist'.

Now where did he get that line from? Probably the right-wing nuts in the US who decided Obama was a racist because he chided a police dept. after one of its police officers wrongly arrested a black professor going into his own house. The rag bag bunch of neocons, racists and anti-semites that make up the so called Tea Party movement in the US are of course right behind the Israeli-sponsored criminality and oppression that is the hallmark of the occupation of Palestine.
MK Danny Danon lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as the lawmaker participated in groundbreaking ceremony for a new housing complex for Jews in east Jerusalem.

"President Obama should not interfere with the rights of the Jewish people to live in Jerusalem," said Danon. "This ... is a racist demand, saying that Jews cannot live in Jerusalem, only Arabs."

The ceremony kicked off construction of 124 new apartments in a Jewish housing complex called Nof Zion, or View of Zion, near the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.
Much in the same vein, a US zionist politician also present at the ceremony accused Obama of being a segregationist - which to put it mildly is a somewhat insensitive remark to make to the US's first black president. The Israelis certainly know how to lose friends and influence.
At the ceremony, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said Obama's call to stop Jewish settlement amounted to segregation

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Israel kills 32 children in attacks on tunnel lifelines


The Palestinian National Society for Democracy and Law has published a report on the effects of the relentless bombing of the tunnels by Israel and says 32 children have been killed over the past three years. Kids are being forced through poverty to work in the tunnels - a poverty created and maintained by the settler state. And of course the Israeli bombing undermines the structural integrity of the tunnels, leading to ever more frequent collapses.
In its first report about children working in the Gaza-Egypt smuggling tunnels, the research unit National Society for Democracy and Law reported the prime factor in child labor in the tunnels was abject poverty.

The report, released in early November, details the working conditions for children employed in the tunnel industry, and provides analysis on the impact child labor in the tunnels has on Palestinian society in Gaza.

Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis injures three


Israel has launched air strikes on 'manufacturing facilities and smuggling tunnels' today. Three people reported injured. Israel claims the attack is in retaliation for a rocket attack despite the fact that the rockets landed harmlessly in the Negev desert. The rocket attack, which took place last Friday, followed the murder by Israeli soldiers of 18-year-old Muhammad Wadi, shot while bird hunting.

Prisoner swap talks are back on

The off-on and so far fruitless talks on a prisoner swap are apparently back on according to a report on Ma'an. No firm details yet though although the Germans are mediating apparently.
Bethlehem – Ma’an – German mediators are continuing to broker efforts to produce a prisoner swap deal for with the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, senior Hamas leader Usama Al-Muzeini said.

Al-Muzeini, the official in charge of the talks within the Hamas movement, insisted that offering further details could jeopardize the negotiations’ success.

Speaking to Ma’an, Al-Muzeini said talks are "ongoing with German mediation and are overcoming obstacles," adding that, “The movement’s [Hamas'] decision was not to give any details so as not to negatively affect the negotiating process.”


more

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Israel approves 900 settler homes despite world outcry

The land grab carries on relentlessly, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks. And of course Obama/Clinton might make some noises of protest - then again they might not - and the zionist project will continue with the destruction of Palestine and its people.
The Israeli interior ministry has approved planning applications for 900 new housing units at a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. The planning and construction committee authorised the expansion of Gilo, which is built on land captured in 1967 and annexed to the Jerusalem municipality.

more

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Pulling down Israel's Apartheid Wall

Posted on Stop the Wall 9 November 2009

This afternoon, exactly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, popular committees struggling against the Apartheid Wall and the settlements destroyed part of the Wall near Qalandiya. Hundreds of people, with some 30 international supporters, used a truck to pull down part of the Wall in the area east of the Qalandiya refugee camp and beyond the UN Vocational College. They also destroyed iron gates and other pieces of concrete in the same area.

After breaching the Wall, protesters approached the road on the other side where they burned car tires to slow the approach of Occupation forces, who quickly arrived in the area and began firing gas and rubber bullets. Protesters were wearing shirts upon which was written "We are going to Jerusalem", the name of the planned action.

Today [9 Nov] is 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and marks the first day of a week of resistance to the Apartheid Wall in Palestine and around the globe. Several demonstrations and campaigns are planned, including the November 12 launch of Stop the Wall's campaign calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all anti-Wall activists currently imprisoned.

National Week of Supermarket Boycott Actions, November 7-15

Called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Phone-in Day Wednesday November 11

This coincides with a week of action called by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign www.stopthewall.org

It is time to step up the supermarket boycott campaign which calls for consumers to reject Israeli goods for as long as Palestinian rights are denied by the apartheid regime. We must specially oppose the stocking of produce from the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which is stolen land. The excellent motion passed by the TUC Congress gives added impetus. The settlements are illegal under international law and goods originating there should not be on sale in the UK. The label ‘West Bank’ is grossly misleading; some shoppers think they are buying Palestinian produce.

From November 7 to 15, PSC and other organisations across the UK are targeting Waitrose and Morrisons supermarkets in particular, as both refuse to discuss the question of settlement goods.

We aim to inundate them with calls to their HQs on Wednesday November 11. Note these numbers:
Morrisons Customer Services – 0845 611 6111
Waitrose Customer Services - 0800 188 884


Branches, groups and individual members can stage a range of actions during the weekends of November 7-8 and November 14-15, and any time in between:
o Write or deliver letters to the manager of your local store
o Write or email their headquarters
o Organise or join a demonstration at your local branch
o Set up a stall or hand out leaflets outside your local branch
o Deluge Morrisons and Waitrose with phone calls on Weds November 11
o Display photos, placards and other visual information making the case against Israeli apartheid
o Contact local media to publicise the campaign

PLEASE SEND US INFO OF YOUR ACTIONS AND EVENTS!!!!!!

If you have no Waitrose or Morrisons in your area, please raise the issue of Israeli and settlement goods in your local stores. In the case of M&S and the Co-op, encourage them to continue their existing policies of not stocking goods from illegal settlements but also not to stock Israeli goods at all.

Useful resources including model letters, videos of demos, pictures and links to background information are available via www.bigcampaign.org

REMEMBER TO CONTACT PSC OFFICE IN GOOD TIME TO REQUEST LEAFLETS & STICKERS!
Email: info@palestinecampaign.org Tel: 02077006192

Relevant contact details:
Waitrose Customer Service (8 am – 10 pm Mon – Fri, 8 am – 9 pm Sat, 9 am – 7 pm Sun)
Freephone: 0800 188 884
Email: customer_service@waitrose.co.uk
Waitrose Customer Service Dept, Waitrose Ltd, Doncaster Rd, Bracknell, Berks RG12 8YA

Morrisons Customer Service: 0845 611 6111
Head Office - 0845 611 5000
Email: Steven.Butts@morrisonsplc.co.uk
Morrisons' Chief Executive Officer (CEO) marc.bolland@morrisonsplc.co.uk
Registered office - Hillmore House, Gain Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 7DL

Ashkenazi threatens Gaza with another 'little holocaust'

By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

There seems to be a perfect conformity between Gabi Ashkenazi and his last name. The Israeli chief of staff is considered one of the main Israeli war criminals responsible for the virtual genocide against the Gaza Strip during the past winter. On his murderous hands, he carries tons of innocent blood, including that of more than 340 children, killed in Israel’s pornographic bombing of civilian neighborhood.

Last week, Ashkenazi was quoted as saying that Israel was likely to wage another quasi holocaust on Gaza, adding that the Israeli occupation army would enter the innermost corners and streets of the coastal territory.

As a nefarious mass murderer, Ashkenazi, like the rest of Israeli war criminals, ought to be in the Hague preparing his defense against charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. After all the crimes he perpetrated put him on equal footing with Nazi war criminals who had stood trial for their own crimes against humanity during the Second World War.

However, because of the serious moral imbalance afflicting our world today, which finds a brazen expression in western complicity with Zio-Nazism, Ashkenazi and ilk are not only free but are even threatening their victims with a fresh holocaust.

In a certain sense, Ashkenazi’s arrogant behavior falls within the normal order of things. The totally inappropriate reaction by the international community to the Nazi-like blitz against the unprotected Gazans must have further emboldened Israeli leaders, convincing them that Israel can always have a free season on the 1.5 million helpless, blockaded and thoroughly starved inhabitants of the coastal enclave without having to worry about any serious ramifications and repercussions.

Hence his repulsive statements.

It is true that many free-minded political and moral leaders, such as the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have strongly condemned Israeli barbarianism in Gaza .

It is also true that the Goldstone report, prepared by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, denounced Israel for perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza blitz, which is a positive development.

However, it is also true that war criminals pay little attention to verbal condemnations even if coming from prominent international bodies and figures.

This is why Askenazi’s remarks ought to be taken with utmost seriousness for two main reasons: First because the Israeli army, or Zionist Wehrmacht, is capable of committing the unthinkable, including the carpet bombing of civilian areas, using cluster bombs, as happened over Lebanon in the summer of 2006, or white phosphorus as happened in Gaza last winter. And second, because Israel is essentially a rebellious state which has never taken international law seriously. What is even more scandalous is that western countries, especially the United States, have always treated the Judeo-Nazi entity as above international law.

Hence, it is imperative that the Palestinian people play their cards very carefully and smartly. After all, when wrestling with a huge bull, one has to rely on his brain, not his muscles, otherwise one may end up getting crushed by the mighty beast.

Palestinians ought to be always mindful of this fact because their very survival as a people depends to a large extent on the good will of the international community, not their own military or political strength. After all, most Palestinians are effectively prisoners of the enduring Israeli military occupation.

Hence, the Palestinian must seek to recruit the best minds and most gifted spokespersons to raise the awareness of the peoples of the world about the creeping holocaust Israel is trying to wreak on our helpless people.

We must not flinch from invoking the holocaust lest we be accused of making hyperboles. Indeed, if even one tenth of what happened in Gaza earlier this year had happened to Israeli Jews, Israel would have invoked the holocaust nonstop, and urgent calls from around the world would have been made for saving the Jews and preventing the Arabs from completing what Adolph had started nearly seventy years ago.

More to the point, the idea of Israel carrying out a sort of a holocaust is not unthinkable at all.

Last year, the Israeli deputy defense minister Mattan Vilna’ai warned that Israel would launch a holocaust against the Palestinians if that was what the Palestinians wanted. And during the blitzkrieg on Gaza, the psychotic Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was quoted by the Israeli media as saying that a nuclear bomb ought to be dropped on Gaza.

Hence, Palestinian fears are not and shouldn’t be viewed as phobic and irrational. After all, we are dealing with an irrational state and a morbid society that are overwhelmed with a unique type of collective psychosis.

Never the less, raising our voices is not sufficient. We must also seek to enlist the attention and support of international human rights organizations as much as possible. These are credible witnesses whose testimonies might be proven crucial for safeguarding the rights of our people, the dead as well as the living.

We must also gather and meticulously document every conceivable piece of information pertaining to Zionist crimes and criminals, from the ordinary soldier in the field to the highest-ranking commander. This shouldn’t be a difficult job as there is already a huge amount of information pertaining to Israeli war criminals available, even through the internet.

Furthermore, Palestinians and their supporters should always confront states all over the world with information indicting Israeli military and political leaders. We should seek to narrow their horizons, make the capitals of the world off-limit to them, we should pursue them wherever they go. These people are war criminals and child killers must not be allowed to have any shred of peace of mind . Their murderous crimes must condemn them to a life of existential anxiety, stress and depression.

Of course, the Zio-Nazis will not surrender and allow themselves to be easily defeated by our efforts. Moreover, manifestly immoral governments such as those of the US and Germany, to name just a few, will hasten to support Israel and shield it from any proactive measures that would make the Zionist regime feel the heat and understand that the occupation has a cost that must be paid in full.

But we and our allies could counter this true axis of evil by building a worldwide front comprising millions of free and honest men and women who would chase the war criminals wherever they go and expose their evil deeds.

Luckily, we already have such a movement in place. But we need to get more organized, and be more effective. These goals are not difficult to realize as the world is already fed up with Israel, a state that we must never stop comparing with Nazi Germany because in the final analysis when Zionist Jews think, behave and act like the Nazis of the past century, they become Nazis.

We must never be apologetic about this.

Thanks to the Palestinian Information Center

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Palestinian Authority faces collapse

Israel and the US have overplayed their hand with the Palestinian leadership, leaving themselves in the position of having no partner to deal with in the non-existent peace process, assuming Abbas goes through with his threat to resign.
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The collapse of the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s negotiating partner, was raised as a possibility on Monday, as several aides to its president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that he intended to resign and forecast that others would follow.

If the Palestinian leader steps down, does this mean the peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians are over?

“I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said in an interview. “So he really doesn’t think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?”

more at the New York Times

Monday, 9 November 2009

Sussex University students vote to boycott Israeli goods

LONDON, (PIC)-- The students union in the British University of Sussex has decided to boycott Israeli products within the varsity campus, sources in the University said.

They added that the decision was adopted with a majority of 65% of votes, and that it was taken in support for the Palestinian people.

The decision also reflected the students' denunciation of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and the continued siege on the Strip, the sources said.

They noted that the university campus had witnessed during the war and until now solidarity and media campaigns and seminars in condemnation of the war.

Friday, 6 November 2009

UN General Assembly backs Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes

Israel's isolation was underlined at the UN yesterday when the General Assembly endorsed the Goldstone Report
JERUSALEM (AP) Israel said on Friday that a U.N. General Assembly decision to endorse a report accusing the Jewish state of war crimes lacked the support of the world's "moral majority."

In a vote Thursday, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an Arab-drafted resolution calling on Israel and the Palestinians to conduct "credible" investigations into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the fighting in Gaza early this year. The motion, drafted by Arab countries, raised the possibility of Security Council action if the sides do not comply.

more

Abbas caves in to critics and stands down from presidency

Rejoice - Abbas is standing down from the presidency of the Palestinian Authority next year and will not be standing for reelection. He is trying to restore his battered reputation following his attempt to sideline the Goldstone report at the behest of Israel and the US. So, by way of covering his tracks Abbas rails against the US and Israel for wanting to open negotiations while settlement building continues and of course to blame Hamas for his own failings.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A protest vigil will be held in Sheikh Jarrah following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home

Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 7pm: A protest vigil will be held outside the al-Kurd home in Sheikh Jarrah.

Following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the al-Kurd family and international and Israeli solidarity groups will hold a vigil.

International Solidarity Movement

Video: the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem by the settler state



Egypt recently called on the so called international community to do something to stop the blatant colonialism and racism at the heart of Israel's campaign to takeover the whole of Jerusalem

Israel claims capture of anti-tank and rocket arms shipment from Iran

Israel Navy claims it has captured an arms shipment from Iran destined for Hezbollah. Israel says it seized anti-tank weapons and Katyusha rockets. Let's hope more shipments are getting through than are being intercepted by the settler state.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli naval commandos seized an arms ship Wednesday near Cyprus that was carrying missiles and anti-tank weapons from Iran to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, defense officials said.

The pre-dawn seizure highlighted Israel's accusations that Iran is arming its enemies. Israel offered no evidence to back up its claim that the weapons were meant for Hezbollah.

The arms cache, including anti-tank missiles and Katyusha rockets, was stashed aboard a commercial vessel operating under the guise of an aid boat, captained by a Pole and flying an Antiguan flag, Israeli defense officials said.

more

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Don't let them jail Gaza protesters

 
by Siân Ruddick (socialist worker)

Mass arrests of protesters on a scale not seen since the Poll Tax Riot of 1990 have been used against people demonstrating in London for Palestinian rights.

Now 69 people arrested during and after the marches against the Israeli assault on Gaza that began at the end of last year face jail terms of up to five years.

The Stop the War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Muslim Council of Britain were among the groups organising the demonstrations held on 28 December last year and 3, 10 and 24 January this year.

The protests exploded onto the streets of London after people saw images of the horror and devastation that Israel inflicted on some of the poorest people in the world.

Defendants appeared before West London Magistrates Court on Thursday and Friday of last week for plea entry hearings.

Charges

Some 61 of the defendants, mostly Muslim men aged between 17 and 20, are accused of violent disorder.

The remaining eight are facing a range of charges. One is accused of actual bodily harm, one of failing to appear at bail, one of common assault, and another of two counts of obstructing a person assisting the police.

A fifth is accused of using racially aggravated language, a sixth of assaulting a police officer, a seventh of burglary and criminal damage, along with violent disorder, and an eighth of criminal damage.

Matt Foot is a solicitor representing four of the defendants. He told Socialist Worker, “These scale of the charges have not been seen since the poll tax demonstrations.

“There seems to be a policy of imposing stringent bail conditions on everyone, just on the basis that this was a demonstration about an international issue.”

Bail conditions include some defendants having to turn their passports in to their local police stations, and having to live and sleep every night at the same address.

Some are not allowed to leave Britain or apply for international travel documents.

While in court, the public gallery had to be vacated several times due to the young age of a number of the defendants.

Of the defendants entering a not guilty plea, only three did not have their passports confiscated. One is on jobseekers’ allowance and needs to provide his passport for applications.

Another is an academic who needs to travel abroad for a conference next month.

And the other is an Israeli citizen who was arrested on a counter‑protest. He has been allowed to return to Israel until his committal hearing in December.

Many of the accused were arrested months after the demonstration, some as late as July.

One defendant had his house raided at 4.30am. His father accompanied him to court and spoke to Socialist Worker.

He said, “I’ve been in this country for 47 years and I’ve never seen anything like that – 25 officers to come and get a boy. The police are treating people like they’re nothing.

Protest

“I’ve been on all the demonstrations against the ‘war on terror’ since day one. I don’t take sides between Muslim and non‑

Muslim countries, we are all the same. I just don’t like war.

“We have seen disaster in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – where next? Iran, Bangladesh? You cannot send armies into other countries and claim the land as your own.

“It is right to protest, to say this has to stop.”

The Stop the War Coalition is organising a defence campaign for defendants who have pled not guilty or who have so far not entered a plea – the majority of the accused.

Several appeared before youth court hearings, where details of the cases are not released.

One case, a charge of criminal damage, was resolved on Thursday of last week. The accused had been found with unopened bottles of red food dye in his bag as he was stopped and searched during the 10 January demonstration.

He pled guilty and was given 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.

The adult cases are to be sent to Isleworth Crown Court in the new year, but first they are due to go to committal hearings at West London Magistrates Court on the 10, 17 and 21 December.


© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

Settlers steal Palestinian family's home in Jerusalem


Today settlers in Jerusalem stole a palestinian family's home and threw them out on the streets along with their furniture. The police looked on, nodding with satisfaction as their ethnic cleansing of the city proceeds apace.
Ma'an - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli settlers arrogated the home of the Al-Kurd family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday, residents of the area said.

About 30 settlers were seen entering the house and throwing the family's furniture into the street. The settlers have refused to leave the building and Israeli police blocked members of the Al-Kurd family from entering the area. Witnesses also reported heated arguments between police and Palestinian residents.

Residents said the settlers moved into the house in violation of an Israeli court order issued nine years ago when Jewish organizations put forward a claim that they in fact owned the property. Two other buildings belonging to the Al-Kurd and Al-Ghawi families were also targeted in the claim.

Locals also said the court had ordered no one to enter one section of the multi-unit building because it was built without a construction permit.

In early August Israeli police forced more than 50 members of two Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, allowing settlers to move in. The evictions went forward despite near-universal condemnation from the international community, including Israel’s closest ally, the US.
Print
Two Palestinian homes were demolished by the occupiers on Monday.

Israel claims missiles of Gaza resistance forces can now hit Tel Aviv


Israel's Gaza war was not just a strategic defeat, daily confirmed by the growing isolation of the country internationally, it was also a military defeat. None of the objectives were achieved - be it stopping rocket fire or 'liquidating' Hamas. Now Israel's military intelligence chief says Palestinian resistance groups now have longer ranger missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv.
JERUSALEM (AP)— Hamas militants in Gaza have successfully test-fired in recent days an Iranian rocket able to reach metropolitan Tel Aviv, the country's military intelligence chief said Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee that the rocket could fly 37 miles (60 kilometers), which would put Israel's largest urban center at risk, Israeli media reported.

Until now, rockets fired from Gaza have reached up to 25 miles (40 kilometers), putting one-eighth of Israel's population within rocket range.

No further details were immediately available from Yadlin's testimony before the closed session.
Defense officials say Palestinian militants in Gaza generally test-fire rockets into the Mediterranean Sea.
It was not clear whether the rocket actually flew 37 miles (60 kilometers), or why Yadlin described the rocket as being of Iranian origin.

Israeli ballistics experts have said paint, tool work and Latin lettering on other rocket fragments point to Iranian origins. But the military has not publicly released clear evidence proving Iranian involvement.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, had no comment on Yadlin's testimony.
Haaretz quotes the general remarking on the growing strength of Hamas and Hezbollah - and of course blaming Iran and Syria for this.
"Underneath the surface, our enemies, led by Iran, are continuing to gain strength," Yadlin said. "Iran is financing these activities, training forces, and arming Hamas and Hezbollah."

The MI chief said Hamas is currently not interested in confrontation with Israel. Rather, it is devoting its energies to solidifying its rule in the Gaza Strip while continuing its weapons smuggling operations.
more

Monday, 2 November 2009

Israel arrests one settler killer but what about the rest?


Unusually for Israel, the land that's whole reason for existence is to terrorise Palestinians has for the first time ever arrested an American settler terrorist. no charges yet though...
Israeli security services were today re-questioning an American-Israeli settler who they say has confessed to attacks including the killing of two Palestinians and wounding a professor with a pipe bomb.

Yaakov "Jack" Teitel, an American who emigrated to Israel a decade ago, was arrested by police and undercover agents for Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, as he handed out leaflets condemning homosexuals last month.

Police said Teitel has a hardline rightwing ideology based on hatred of Palestinians, leftwingers, homosexuals and even the Israeli police.

"He is a determined man with very deeply-rooted ideology," Eki Makmel, the deputy commander of an Israeli police Swat team, was quoted as saying.

Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, described Teitel as a "Jewish terrorist", adding: "He was deeply involved in terrorism in all different levels."

It is rare for Israeli police to make such an arrest, even though human rights groups have documented repeated incidents of settler violence against Palestinians.

more

Most water in Gaza unfit for consumption


A lot has happened over the past week or so. Abbas calls an election but Hamas says you must be joking. Israel tries to dissipate some of the Goldstone heat by making known its intention of reviewing the internal military inquiry into its Gaza war crimes. This Wednesday the UN General Assembly is due to to deliberate on the Goldstone report.

In the real world beyond the make believe bubble of Abbas and his Israeli 'partner', the outrages at the al-Aqsa mosque continue as Clinton declares she sees no problem with peace talks going ahead in tandem with the continued building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land; what further evidence is need that the peace process is dead. Echoing this sentiment Jordanian trade unionists recently marched in Amman, Jordan, demanding the ending of the peace treaty with Israel.

Meanwhile, in Gaza the situation for residents deteriorates by the day. What passes for a sewage system is near collapse and the number of Gazans out of reach of clean drinking water is growing dangerously, as raw sewage seeps into the groundwater. And just as the water crisis intensifies the Israelis, in an attempt at some kind of sick joke, allow tea through their blockade for the first time. Most of the water in gaza is now unfit for drinking according to the Palestinian Water Authority. On the West Bank Amnesty International reports that the 450,000 illegal settlers get more water than the 2.3 million Palestinians
“The 450,000 Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in violation of international law, use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3m,” the report states.

Amnesty concludes: ”Israel must uphold its obligations as the occupying power by putting an immediate end to the current policies and practices which arbitrarily restrict the Palestinians’ access to and availability of water in the [occupied Palestinian territories].”
And the struggle for life has seen two more die in tunnel collapses and a further 16 injured over the past week alone.