Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Abbas bans Al-Jazzera from West Bank following Arafat killing charge

The Palestinian Authority said today it was suspending the West Bank operations of al-Jazeera, alleging incitement and unbalanced reporting by the Arab news station from the Palestinian territories.

A Palestinian official says the decision was taken by President Mahmoud Abbas who was outraged by an al-Jazeera talkshow, broadcast yesterday, that dealt with harsh accusations against PA leader by a long-time rival in his Fatah movement. The rival, Farouk Kaddoumi, claimed – without presenting evidence – that Abbas had a role in the 2004 death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

More at the Guardian

Viva Palestina US receive permit for rafah crossing

The Viva Palestina US caravan has received a permit to allow the group passage through the Rafah gate and into Gaza after spending 10 days in Cairo trying to overcome a series of bureaucratic delays.

The American convoy is mobilizing to carry busloads of supplies to the people of Gaza on Wednesday, July 15, and expects no further delays to their humanitarian mission because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already confirmed that all 200 delegates have satisfied all technical requirements required for travel.

Weeks ago, the Viva Palestina US convoy received assurances from Egyptian diplomats that they would expedite the delivery of a convoy of trucks, medical and relief supplies and American human rights volunteers into Gaza, but restrictions were then imposed on the initial Viva Palestina plan.

“We are now on our way to complete our humanitarian mission, more determined than ever and stronger in heart than when we entered Egypt,” says George Galloway, British Member of Parliament. “We now look forward to seeing in a matter of hours the faces of the besieged people of Gaza.”

This is a victory for the people of Gaza. We were determined not to be denied in bringing humanitarian aid to the children of Gaza. The silence of the world is deafening as the people of Gaza suffer, but the two hundred Americans and over one million dollars worth of aide that is going through confirms our commitment to a free Palestine. Long live the people of Palestine.

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In Arabic بالعربية

بيان صادر عن قافلة تحيا فلسطين

14 تموز 2009، الساعة 11 بتوقيت القاهرة

لقد أستلمت قافلةViva Palestina (تحيا فلسطين) تصريحا يسمح لأعضائها بالتحرك باتجاه معبر رفح و السماح لهم دخول غزة، بعد 10 أيام من التأخير و الانتظار في القاهرة لاتمام بعض الروتين الحكومي.

القافلة الامريكية ستتحرك يوم الاربعاء الموافق 15 من تموز في باصات محملة بمواد طبية. ولا تتوقع القافلة أن يتم تأخير هذه المهمة الانسانية البحتة بعد الان لأن وزير الخارجية قد صرح أن اعضاء القافلة المئتين قد أكملوا جميع المتطلبات التقنية للسماح لهم للسفر الى غزة.

لقد تلقت القافلة في الاسابيع السابقة تطمينات من دبلوماسين مصريين بتسريع دخول القافلة بما تملكه من شاحنات و مواد طيبية و اغاثية الى غزة و السماح للمتطوعين الامريكين بالدخول الى غزة، و لكن تم وضع الكثير من القيود على القافلة عند قدومها لمصر.

حيث قال جورج جالوي “اننا الأن في طريقنا لاكمال مهمتنا الانسانية، و عزيمتنا الان اقوى مما كانت عليه عند دخولنا لمصر”، و اضاف العضو في البرلمان البريطاني “اننا الان ننتظر الساعات القادمة لنرى وجوه اهل غزة المحاصرين”.

هذا انتصار لأهل غزة. و نحن كلنا عزيمة لنوصل المساعدات الانسانية لاطفال غزة. و في الوقت الذي يسكت العالم بأسره على هذا الحصار الظالم لغزة الا ان اعضاء القافلة الامريكية و ما يحملوه من مساعدات انسانية مقدرة بمليون دولار تثبت حرصها على تحرير فلسطين. تحيا فلسطين و شعب فلسطين

Israeli soldiers admit to using Palestinian civilians as human shields

The first eye-witness accounts of the war by serving Israeli reservists and conscripts describes the Israeli use of Palestinian civilians as "human shields". They detail the killing of at least two civilians, the vandalism, looting and wholesale destruction of Palestinian houses, the use of deadly white phosphorus, bellicose religious advice from army rabbis and what another battalion commander described to his troops as "insane firepower with artillery and air force". The reports amount to the most formidable challenge by Israelis since the Gaza war to the military's own considered view that it conducted the operation according to international law..
more at the Independent