Monday, 4 May 2009

Take Hamas off western-inspired terror list

GAZA, (PIC)-- Ismail Haneyya, the premier of the PA government in Gaza Strip, has asked the European countries to lift Hamas Movement from the list of "terrorist" organizations, highlighting that Hamas is a national liberation movement.

He affirmed in a videoconference speech to the seventh convention of Palestinians in Europe held in Milan, Italy, that Hamas's main problem was with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and did not seek to open conflicts with any other country.

He also asked the Palestinians in Europe, who hold their conference this year under the slogan "Right of return is nonnegotiable and will not be relinquished", to urge legal institutions in Europe to send fact-finding missions to probe the Israeli war crimes committed against the unarmed civilians, mostly women and children, in the Gaza Strip.

The premier also asked them to file lawsuits before local and international courts in Europe against Israeli war criminals and to establish museums documenting those war crimes and protecting the Palestine cause's history, which the Israeli propaganda machine was strenuously working to wipe it out off the European memory.

Haneyya also encouraged coordinating efforts with human rights groups and peace activists in Europe to organize trips to the occupied Palestinian lands and to send medical and human relief supplies via sea route to break the siege imposed on Gaza Strip.

He urged Palestinians in Europe to convince decision-makers in the West to respect the Palestinian people's democratic choice, underlining that Hamas won a transparent election process observed by the western countries.

Haneyya' speech, which we warmly welcomed by more than 10,000 participants in the convention, mentioned the Israeli judaization process of occupied Jerusalem and urged the conferees to adopt supportive decisions to boost the Palestinian Jerusalemites' steadfastness.

Other speakers at the convention included Adel Abdullah, the secretary general of the convention, who affirmed that the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland was "inevitable".

The same idea was reiterated by Dr. Mohammed Hanun, the coordinator of the convention, who expressed confidence that Palestinian refugees in Europe were now closer than ever to realizing their dream of returning to their country Palestine.

He addressed Palestinian Jerusalemites asking them to be patient and to be sure that occupation is a passing cloud, pledging to prioritize the issue of Jerusalem.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, the prominent Palestinian academic, told the inaugural session that an elected Palestinian national council should form a leadership to lead the Palestinian people away from foreign dictates.

Release Palestinian activists arrested in al-Ma’Sara

After arrests and injuries on Workers Day,

Palestinian workers and activists

call on trade unions around the globe to increase solidarity

On May 1, people from the village of al-Ma'sara and the neighbouring villages in Bethlehem area commemorated Workers Day with a march in protest against the Apartheid Wall. The Wall continues to encroach on their land and isolates their villages. The demonstration and Workers Day festival was organized by the popular committees of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign in al Ma'sara and Bethlehem district, in cooperation with the Bethlehem branch of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU).

Israeli Occupation forces repressed the mobilization and fired on the crowd with tear gas, sound bombs and rubber coated steel bullets. Nine people were injured, among them the head of the PGFTU, Shaher Sa'ad. Soldiers arrested 'Azmi Sheukhi from Hebron, Mustafa Fawagreh from Um Salamoneh and Muhammed Brajiya, Mahmoud Zawahreh, Hasan Brajiya, all members of the popular committee in al Ma'sara. They are still held in prison.

The events of May 1 are the latest of a strategy of escalation implemented over the last months by the Occupation forces and which has lead to increased arrests, injuries and deaths among the coordinators and activists against the Apartheid Wall.

Several weeks ago, Basem Abu Rahmeh was shot and killed in the village of Bil'in while last week, 37 people were injured in similar protests. Ni'lin suffers regular invasions and arrests. This Friday, Occupation forces took over several homes as military bases. In February, Occupation forces staged a full day raid detaining 75 youth and arresting 16. The occupation forces regularly impose curfews and other collective punishment measures.

International trade unions must act in the face of these attacks on trade unionists, workers and villagers.

The popular committee against the Apartheid Wall of al Ma'sara and Bethlehem district, the Bethlehem branch of the PGFTU and the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign call upon trade unions across the globe to:

  • Demand the release of the Palestinian activists arrested on Workers Day.

  • Raise awareness about the land theft and ghettoization of Palestinian communities through the Wall and the grassroots resistance against it.

  • Support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and promote concrete BDS actions to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and force it to respect Palestinian rights.

Popular committee against the Apartheid Wall of al Ma'sara and Bethlehem district

Bethlehem branch of the PGFTU

Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Visit the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign web site.