Wednesday, 19 August 2009

UK trade unions strengthen boycott Israel movement

A useful roundup of the boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) motions and positions passed by British trade unions at recent union conferences can be found at Electronic Intifada.

The civil servants union the PCS, the University and Colleges Union and Fire Brigades Union have all passed strong motions.

Unions such as public sector union UNISON, the National Union of Teachers, USDAW and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have this summer passed softer motions calling for elements of BDS. These are usually calls for a boycott of settlement goods, or for the government to suspend arms sales to Israel. The CWU and others have condemned the infamous 13 January 2008 statement of the Israeli trade union federation in support of Israel's invasion of Gaza, which read: "The Histadrut recognizes the urgent need for the State of Israel to operate against the command and control centers of the organizational terror network ..."


Salafist groups vow to resist Gaza clampdown

Following the decimation of the so called warriors of God by Hamas forces last week, the remaining independent Islamist armed groups have vowed to resist attempts to disarm and disband them.
GAZA CITY — A number of radical Islamist groups vowed on Tuesday to defy with force any attempt by the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip to rein them in following last week's deadly clashes.

"The operation against our members by the Hamas government will not affect any of our operations on the ground," Ansar Al-Sunna, which unites a number of radical Islamic movements in the Gaza Strip, said in a statement.

"Our members will not surrender... We ordered our fighters to defend with force against any arrest attempt," the statement said.


47 prisoners die due to medical neglect in Israeli prisons

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Palestinian prisoners' Society (PPS) has said that 1,500 Palestinian sick captives are threatened with death in Israeli jails due to the deliberate medical neglect.

The PPS, in a report on Tuesday, said that 47 prisoners died in the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) jails due to such intentional medical neglect while 70 were tortured to death in IOA dungeons and 73 were executed in cold blood.

The report noted that IOA jails are void of specialized medical teams and some of them do not have a doctor at all or at best a doctor would be present for only two hours.

The Society charged that medical neglect has turned into one of the weapons used by the IOA against those prisoners.

The PPS appealed to all human rights groups to expose the IOA violations against those prisoners and to shed light on their suffering.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian ministry of prisoners in the Gaza Strip said that the IOA released two Palestinians from its jails after nine years in captivity under the so-called detention of "unlawful combatants."

It noted that seven other Palestinians from the Strip are still held under the same pretext in IOA prisons, describing the pretext as an attempt to circumvent the international law.

The ministry explained that those Palestinians are essentially civilians and should be protected by the fourth Geneva Convention, while this pretext was exploited by the IOA to hold those citizens for unlimited periods and without any commitment to indict them.

In the West Bank, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Wednesday rounded up 12 Palestinians in the districts of Ramallah, Qalqilia and Tulkarem for questioning, local sources reported.

The IOF soldiers on Tuesday launched a large-scale search campaign in Al-Khalil district that ended with kidnapping 11 citizens after claiming that a resistance cell was dismantled in the process.

Israel steals more land and launches incursion into eastern Gaza

Israel has seized more Palestinian land (115 dunums), this time n Ya'bad village near Jenin on the same day that its armed forces made an incursion into eastern Gaza, firing indiscriminately. No casualties have been reported

Miliband says some 'terrorism' is justified as UK implicated in death of Gaza civilians

UK arms manufacturers implicated in Israel state terror in Gaza, says parliamentary committee reports. The news follows the admission by the UK's foreign secretary that some 'terrorism' is justified which is why he picked Joe Slovo as one of his heroes in a recent BBC radio show. David Miliband said: 'There are circumstances in which terrorism can be justified.' Miliband is of course absolutely correct that the destruction of Apartheid South Africa - which framed the context for his remarks - was justified by any means necessary. Why should the same not apply in the Middle East, and the liberation of Palestine in particular Mr Miliband? Joe Slovo was a friend of David's father Ralph Miliband who was one of Britain's foremost Marxist intellectuals. Shame his sons never absorbed the meaning of his most famous work which debunked the idea of being able to achieve socilaism through a parliamentary system in a fundamentally undemocratic state.
Israeli weapons used against Palestinian civilians in Gaza contained components made in the UK, as did equipment used by the Sri Lankan army against the Tamil Tigers, according to the Committee on Arms Export Controls.

In its report 'Scrutiny of Arms Export Controls (2009)', the committee – which is made up from members of Business, Defence, Foreign Affairs, and International Development committees – quoted cases where uncontrolled UK-made parts and components for military and security equipment were believed to have been used in various regions of instability, including Land Rover vehicles used by Azeri military and UK traders allegedly involved in the transfer of electronic components for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq.

The committee called on the government to tighten up controls on the export of military equipment, even to countries that may not be at war at the time but are known to be unstable and prone to future conflicts. The committee also called for a register of UK arms brokers to be created.

Red Crescent sending convoy to Gaza, UN launches Ramadan appeal

The Red Crescent Society in Emirates announced on Monday that is planning to send an aid convoy to the Gaza Strip in the coming few days.

It stated that the convoy would be heading to Jordan and would continue driving towards Egypt in an attempt to enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Border Terminal.

The official Emirate News Agency (WAM) reported Monday that 30 trucks filled with 500 tons of essential materials and foodstuffs would be heading to Gaza. The materials were purchased in Egypt.

more at IMEMC

Also,the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has launched an appeal for humanitarian funds in a Ramadan Campaign aimed at raising US$181m.