Wednesday, 24 June 2009

PA parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik released from prison

pic: Bernat Armangue

Reporting from Jerusalem - Israel freed the most senior Hamas leader in its prisons Tuesday after prosecutors failed to persuade a military court to prolong his three-year sentence.

The release of Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian Authority parliament, fed speculation that Israel was on the verge of a deal to secure the return of a captured soldier in exchange for hundreds of Hamas prisoners. Such a swap has been the aim of sporadic negotiations mediated by Egypt, but Israeli and Hamas officials said they had no information about a breakthrough. more

ADL tries to stop Viva Palestina US aid mission

The Anti-Defamation League is trying to sabotage the Viva Palestina US aid convoy for Gaza. They have petitioned the US Justice Department to investigate whether the convoy would constitute aiding a terrorist organisation, namely Hamas.
WASHINGTON (JTA) --The Anti-Defamation League is urging the Justice Department to investigate whether a U.S.-based group is raising money for Hamas.

Viva Palestina U.S. is a campaign modeled after a similar European initiative, led by British Parliament member George Galloway, that delivered money and a convoy of vehicles to Hamas representatives in Gaza in March. Galloway plans to lead a similar Viva Palestina U.S.-sponsored convoy next month, and he has been visiting the United States recently to publicize and raise funds for it.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, ADL said “it is not verifiable that this ‘committee’ will function independently of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, and Galloway -- who plans to lead the American convoy -- has already demonstrated his willingness to directly support Hamas.”

Viva Palestina U.S. organizers say they intend to adhere to U.S. law and will deliver the money raised to a reception committee of nongovernmental organizations in Gaza. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.

From the JTA