Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Sheffield University Vice Chancellor Keith Burnett refuses to negotiate

The occupiers need your help...
Given university management's intransigence, we are asking all Sheffield students, workers and other supporters of the occupation to send the following model email to Vice Chancellor Keith Burnett at vc@sheffield.ac.uk. CC to email to Rowann Sharples, his personal secretary, at r.sharples@sheffield.ac.uk, and CC us in at sheffieldoccupation@googlemail.com.

You can also ring Rowann Sharples on (0114) 222 1006.

More at the Sheffield University occupation blog

Israel to worsen Hamas prisoners' conditions

In response to the breakdown of the prisoner exchange deal Israel is openly saying that it intends to 'worsen prisoner conditions' as a way of pressuring Hamas. Under the headline: Israel may worsen Hamas prisoners' conditions, ynetnews reports

The government decided to appoint a special ministerial committee headed by Daniel Friedmann, Meir Sheetrit, Haim Ramon, Rafi Eitan and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, which will examine ways to pressure Hamas.

The committee will work to form regulations which would compare the conditions of Hamas prisoners jailed in Israel to the conditions in which kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit is being held. The committee's recommendations will be submitted to the cabinet on Sunday.

Why don't they just call it the special committee for torture and be done with it? Hamas prisoners are already refused all visits from relatives, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, in violation of international agreements.

Flustered Israel to intensify Gaza siege, threatens Iran with ballistic missiles

Israel is going to release a list of the prisoners that Hamas wanted freed as part of the prisoner exchange.

And what exactly is the point the Israelis are trying to make? Oh yes, to show the world that the prisoners have 'blood on their hands'.

Well, indeed some of them might - but that's hard to tell as they are sentenced in Israeli military courts which would not be recognised as real courts of justice in any part of the world, except maybe down at Guantanamo. But most fair-minded people would agree that they have no where near as much blood on their hands as the war criminals of the so called Israeli Defence Force.

In response to their disastrously inept negotiating, the Israelis are now telling the world that they intend to maintain their inhuman blockade of Gaza as collective punishment of the Palestinian people, all for the sake of one prisoner of war. They really do know how to do 'disproportionate'.

Meanwhile Israel has let it be known that have long-range ballistic missiles targeted on Iran. The Jericho missiles carry 750kg conventional warheads but naturally could just as easily carry nuclear ones. So they are willing to create a nuclear holocaust (I think that is a realistic description) because Iran wants to develop and deploy the same nuclear power that western nations have. The Israelis are worried that air strikes would fail to make much of a dent on the sub-mountain sites at Natanz, Esfahan and Arak where Iran has thoughtfully built its most sensitive nuclear installations such as the centrifuge arrays for producing enriched uranium.

Netanyahu's rabble and the west seem to be falling out before his racist government even gets into office. Uzi Arad, likley to be the prime minister in the new extreme right government, has been refused a visa to enter the US because he is 'a security risk'.

Israel needs to be very careful not to bite the hand that feeds it.

Iran denies drone shot down by US

We reported yesterday on the news from the US that they had shot down an Iranian drone over Iraq.

However, today the Iranians denied that any such incident had taken place.
TEHRAN, Iran, March 17, SPA -- Iran says it has no information about an Iranian unmanned surveillance aircraft the U.S. has reported it shot down last month over Iraq.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hasan Qashqavi, says reports of the incident are 'ambiguous'. He spoke Tuesday during his weekly press briefing.

The US military said Monday it shot down the Iranian drone about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad after tracking it for about 70 minutes.

Thanks to the Saudi Press Agency

Israeli incursions near Ramallah - Palestinan seriously wounded, 3 kidnapped

Three Palestinians were wounded during an Israeli incursion into the villages of Beit Reema and Mazra Gharbia near Ramallah in the West Bank.

Palestinian eyewitnesses reported that IOF troops invaded the Reema village and opened intensive gunfire at unarmed Palestinian young men leading to the injury of two of them, one in a serious condition.

Medical sources also said that a Palestinian young man was transferred from the village of Mazra Gharbia to Ramallah hospital after being shot by IOF troops at the entrance to the village.

The occupations forces kidnapped three young men they claim were'suspected of carrying knives'!

Thanks to the Palestine Information Center

Sheffield University occupies for Gaza

From the Sheffiled University Occupation blog
We are writing to you from inside a student occupation which began this evening in the Hicks building. We have peacefully taken control of two lecture theatres (5 and 6) on Floor E and are running them safely as democratic, student-run spaces.

We have done this in protest at the failure of university management to continue a process of negotiation over the university's response to Israel's recent attack on Gaza.
As student activists and members of the University of Sheffield community, we call on the university to:

1. Issue a statement condemning the disproportionate actions of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people.
2. Create a special programme of five Palestinian scholarships and waive all fees for current students from the occupied territories.
3. Enter into an academic partnership with the University of Gaza.
4. Donate old books, computers and other relevant equipment to the University of Gaza, and pay for the transport of these materials.
5. Publicise the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal on Sheffield University notice boards, website and via email.
6. Initiate a programme in partnership with students of divestment and ending links with the arms trade.
7. Allow those studying medicine to carry out their electives in the occupied territories of Palestine.
8. Commemorate the United Nations Palestine Solidarity Day on November 29th.
9. Echo the Occupation's statement of support with Israeli students who have been imprisoned for refusing to serve in the IDF.

We have taken this action because we believe our university should be run democratically from below by students and staff, and not in the interests of corporate profiteering. Because of this belief, we express our solidarity with university workers and demand

10.That they face no cuts in jobs, wages or conditions.

We further demand

11. That participants in, or supporters of, the occupation face no repercussions.

We would like to begin open negotiations with representatives of university management as soon as possible. To this end, we invite you to visit us in our occupied space (Hicks LT6) tomorrow morning after 9am to commence discussions.
Email correspondence with the occupation can be conducted through this address.

Yours -
The Sheffield Occupiers.

Israel's prisoner crisis deepens

The political crisis in Israel surrounding the negotiations for the release of their prisoner-of-war are deepening.

Ever since the parents of Shalit set up camp outside Olmert's office there has been something of a media feeding frenzy in Israel. Now some commentators are wondering whether all this has played into Hamas's hands as the moral pressure on Olmert mounts amid headlines proclaiming 'last ditch' efforts and ultimatums. Indeed Israel now keeps undoing its own ultimatums as Hamas refuse to budge on its demand for the release of 450 prisoners.

It seems that the two echelons, as they say in Israel - the political and military - are split, with ministers willing to 'pay a high price' for the release of their one prisoner while Shin Bet and others in the military/security complex bauk at the prospect of releasing fighters who will return to the resistance struggle.

There will be a special Israeli cabinet meeting today at which Olmert is expected to be forced to announce that no deal has been reached.