Sunday, 28 February 2010

My name is Rachel Corrie, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Tue-March 20


Earlier this week the Corrie family opened proceeding to sue the Israeli defence ministry for the killing of Rachel.
Rachel Corrie was 23 years old when she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. The young, idealistic American peace activist, who left her home in Olympia, Washington, in 2003 to travel to the Middle East with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was attempting to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes.

The events around her death are disputed to this day. It was reported this week that, seven years after Corrie died, her family is to bring a civil lawsuit over her death against the Israeli defence ministry.

But Corrie left an insight into her character in her diaries, which have been adapted for the stage by the British actor Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, the deputy editor of The Guardian. This one-woman show, performed by Mairi Phillips, the Citizens Theatre actor intern, depicts a shy, skinny, chain-smoking and articulate woman who was committed to non-violent protest against Israeli policy in the disputed territory of the Middle East.

more

Saturday, 27 February 2010

EU court moves against Israeli settlement duty-free import status


Important move by EU court piles pressure on governments to stop agricultural imports from Israel's illegal settlements on the West Bank.
(CN) - Europe's high court ruled that Israeli products manufactured in the West Bank and Gaza Strip might not qualify for duty-free import under two trade agreements.
A special trade treaty governs products from Israel, while another treaty with the Palestinian authority regulates trade from the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Court of Justice explained.
The ruling stems from German company Brita's attempt to secure the duty-free import of drink supplies from a West Bank factory run by Soda-Club, a company based in Israel.

more

UN General Assembly gives Israel five months to come up with credible Gaza war report


As predicted UN General Assembly strings it out on Goldstone and war crimes investigation of Israel...
UN General Assembly one more time called Israel and the Palestinians on Friday to hold credible investigations regarding the war crimes they were accused of committing during Gaza war last winter. The General Assembly gave the two parties a period of 5 months to do their investigations.

more

Friday, 26 February 2010

al-Qassam brigades push back attempted IDF incursion in southern Gaza


al-Qassam fighters have been confronting IDF incursion near Rafah. No injuries reported on Palestinian side.
GAZA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas militants and Israeli soldiers clashed on Friday in east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades and witnesses said.

The armed wing of the group, which controls the Gaza Strip, said in a leaflet faxed to reporters that its militants confronted an Israeli army force in the area with grenades and gunfire.

"We will defend our people and our fighters against any Israeli aggression by all means," said the group's leaflet, adding "our militants will keep guarding the Gaza Strip and protecting its population."

more

Buy Viva Palestina's commemorative t-shirt - all funds raised go towards next convoy


Arabic translates as 'A Lifeline from Britain to Gaza'. Back shows route of convoy, Britain-Gaza. VivaPalestina3

A very special T-shirt in support of the third 'Viva Palestina' convoy which left London for Gaza on Sunday 6 December. Staffed by volunteers, carrying hundreds of thousands pounds worth of vital humanitarian supplies via a route which takes them through Northern Europe, Greece, Turkey, via Jordan and Egypt before finally crossing into Gaza. That crossing will be of huge symbolic importance. A year on from Israel's murderous assault on Gaza the third convoy of vehicles in a year arrives representing all that is best in popular internationalism. And every vehicle, many are fully-equipped ambulances, will be left in Gaza to carry out essential public services which have been devastated by the Israeli army and air force. All profits from the shirt help fund the convoy . Wear it with pride, be part of making history on the road to a free Palestine. Details of the convoy and its progress can be viewed at Viva Palestina. Available in sizes S-XL. GIFT WRAP with exclusive Philosophy Football wrapping paper and gift tag, personalise by writing your tag message in the 'special instructions' box on the payment page. BUY HERE

Thanks to Philosophy Football

Global day of action to boycott Israeli goods - 27 to 30 March


Join the Global BDS Day of Action: 27th to 30th March 2010

Following the call made by the Palestinian BNC for a day of Action on 30 March 2010, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, the PSC encourages all supporters of the Palestinian struggle to respond to this call and begin organising actions from the 27th to the 30th of March.

The BNC asks you to focus actions on:


* 1. Boycotting and divesting from Israeli and international corporations that sustain Israel’s apartheid, colonialism and occupation.
* 2. Taking legal action towards ending Israel’s impunity, including by investigating and prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals in national courts and international tribunals;
* 3. Promoting and applying pressure to implement arms embargoes against Israel as well as a freeze or cancellation of free trade and other preferential agreements with it, as a crucial and urgent step towards full- fledged sanctions against Israel.
* 4. Launching academic, cultural and sports boycott actions against Israel and its complicit institutions.

Email info@palestinecampaign.org and let us know what you have organised so we can publicise via our website and networks. more at PSC

Lobby your MP NOW
(UK only) to stop import of settlement goods

Protest against jailing of Muslim youths for daring to take to streets during Gaza war


15 kids have been jailed so far for throwing placard sticks and the like. The majority of demonstrators were in fact not Muslims but the police have only rounded up young Muslims, in dawn raids as if they were terrorists. This is an outrage, especially given the fact that it was the police that were the ones using violence.
The protest will take place at 9.30am this Friday 26th February 2010 at: Isleworth Crown court, 36 Ridgeway Road, London, TW7 5LP (nearest tube: Osterley, Piccadilly line)

Gaza protestsThe Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative and Stop the War coalition have called a protest outside Isleworth Crown Court this Friday against the shocking sentences given to those who protested against Israel's assault on Gaza last year as a ‘deterrent' for future protesters.

Seventeen people - all Muslim - have already been given extremely harsh and disproportionate custodial sentences to the alleged offence of violent disorder. Last week, a 19 year old aspiring to be a dentist, was sentenced to a year in prison for throwing a water bottle in the direction of the Israeli embassy. Despite the judge's admission that the young man had an excellent character and the bottle thrown did not hurt anyone, wanted ‘to send a message of deterrent to the rest of the community'.


PUBLIC MEETING ON JAILING OF GAZA PROTESTERS
Next Tuesday March 2nd, 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm, Committee room 19, House of Commons (St Stephens entrance, allow plenty of time to get through security).Gaza protest

Confirmed speakers include:

Jeremy Corbyn MP; George Galloway MP; Ben Soffa, PSC; Andrew Murray, Stop the War; British Muslim Initiative and others.

Organised by Stop the War, PSC, BMI and supported by CND and Friends of Al-Aqsa

Two attempts were made to kill al-Mabhouh in recent years says Hamas


Dubai-based National newspaper reports Hamas claim that there were two attempts on Al-Mabhouh's life, one as recently as last year. He was admitted to hospital in May last year in semi-conscious state.
DUBAI // Mahmoud al Mabhouh faced two previous assassination attempts in recent years, Hamas officials said yesterday.

They said the Hamas operative was poisoned last year and, earlier, was the target of a shooting in Lebanon.

Dubai Police released a hospital report yesterday showing that al Mabhouh was treated at Rashid Hospital in May last year.

The report said al Mabhouh was suffering from dizziness and was half-conscious when he was admitted, but had no fever. X-rays showed a lung infection. He was treated with antibiotics and released on May 10.

“We always lived with the possibility that al Mabhouh could be killed at any time due to the sensitivity of his job,” said Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Lebanon and a relative of al Mabhouh. Another senior Hamas official said there had been at least two previous attempts on al Mabhouh’s life, one in Lebanon by shooting, the other in Dubai by poisoning.

more

Mossad station being broken up by Dubai police - undermining future operations


BBC has an interesting article on the Mossad assasination of Mabhouh: Excellent base for operations against Iran - two of the gang has travelled there; Mossad underestimated the thoroughness of the Dubai police; Mossad's entire station in Dubai is now under threat.
Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who is now a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, says Wednesday's revelations did not change his opinion that Israel was behind the assassination in Dubai.

"This most likely was a Mossad operation. All the signatures - European passports, the way the team moved quickly to leave the country - cumulatively paint a pretty convincing case," he told the BBC News website.

Mr Riedel says it would have been highly unusual for the hit squad to have visited Dubai using the stolen identities last year just for reconnaissance, as the police claim, and that this may have been an attempt to eliminate the Hamas leader that had failed.

He also doubted that all of the suspects had been in the Gulf just for one mission.

"What the Dubai authorities are uncovering now is not just the assassination team, but probably the entire Mossad station," he explains. "Dubai would be a perfect place to carry out not just a one-off operation, but a long-term one against Iran."

more

Egypt fortifies Gaza border with bullet proof watch towers


Egypt's dictator regime seems determined to cement its collaboration with the Israeli state by tightening the siege of Gaza. Shame on Egypt!
Egyptian Authorities have begun the installation of bulletproof watchtowers, replacing older wooden towers, along its border with the Gaza Strip.

The decision is attributed to the death of an Egyptian soldier stationed in an older wooden watchtower.

A total of 23 new towers have been prepared for installation; 13 – 16 will be installed along Gaza starting from international border marker #1, at the Mediterranean coast, until border marker #7, near the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem), 4.5 kilometers south of the Rafah Border Terminal.

more

World Medicine acupuncturist heading out for Gaza to help trauma victims


BRIXHAM-based acupuncturist Sarah Horswell is heading into a war zone to help trauma victims, using her skills in alternative medicine.

The 34-year-old, who runs a practice from her home in Dashpers, is flying out to Gaza with the World Medicine charity on March 21.

She will spend two weeks in Gaza City using acupuncture to treat civilians who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, depression, bereavement and shock...

...The charity works across the world where ever people are in need of treatment.

For more information visit www.worldmedicine.org.uk

more

Fatah and Hamas dialogue talks stall as delegation barred from entering Strip


Possibilities of rapproachment following visit by Fatah official two weeks ago doesn't seemed to have lasted. No national reconciliation anytime soon as Fatah delegation apparently prevented from entering Strip.
RAMALLAH: A senior Fatah official on Thursday said that his movement canceled a planned visit of a delegation of seven Fatah leaders to Gaza Strip due to Hamas and Israeli obstacles.

Amin Maqboul, the Secretary General of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, told the Voice of Palestine Radio that the visit to Gaza Strip on Thursday was canceled "after Hamas informed the seven-member delegation that they are not allowed to inter Gaza Strip and after Israel did not the entry permits."

Maqboul said: "We heard positive statements from Hamas officials but the Hamas' internal security officer barred the delegation from interning the Strip." The Fatah official added that the visit aimed at "holding meetings with various Palestinian political factions, including Hamas movement."

more

Man shot by IDF east of Gaza City


Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli forces operating east of the Ash-Shuja'iyeh neighborhood of Gaza City shot and wounded a Palestinian man, medics in the Ash-Shifa Hospital said.

Muawiya Hassanein, head of emergency and ambulance services in Gaza, said the unidentified man was moderately injured.

more

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Irish foreign minister Martin in Gaza visit calls on Israel to lift siege


The Irish, who know a thing or two about colonialism and occupation have sent their Foreign Minister to Gaza. It is the first trip by any European state for a year. Martin was refused entry to Gaza by Israel last year.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Micháel Martin has said the current humanitarian situation in Gaza is "extremely depressing".

Mr Martin is visiting the area for the first time today after being refused entry by Israel late last year.

His tour is the first by an EU foreign minister for a year.

Speaking in Gaza city, he said Israel's defence that it tried to avoid women and children during last year's offensive was "not credible".

He is also appealing to the Israeli Government to lift its three-year blockade on the people of Gaza.

more

US slams Israel's heritage site move as provocation but will take no action


US slams heritage provocation but will they actually do anything about it and the allied ethnic cleansing being brought about through settlement construction and demolition of Palestinian homes?
...the State Department on Wednesday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for adding two shrines in the West Bank to Israel's list of national heritage sites. The move, announced Sunday, sparked Palestinian protests and has drawn criticism from other quarters, including the United Nations.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration viewed the move as provocative and unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the table.

Toner said US displeasure with the designations of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the flash point town of Hebron and the traditional tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had been conveyed to senior Israeli officials by American diplomats.

more

UN's Ban ki-moon complains about Israel's heritage site provocation and demolitions at Barak meeting


The general assembly meets tomorrow to discuss the Goldstone Report and the responses from the Israeli and Palestinian side. Expect the UN to end up postponing any decision - give the parties more time to come up with better reports, as if both sides were somehow equally guilty of war crimes!
UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon raised concern at a meeting Wednesday with Israel's defense chief that Israel's recent designation of holy sites in the West Bank as heritage sites and demolitions in East Jerusalem could hinder a resumption of stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, a U.N. spokesman said.

The U.N. chief discussed prospects for reviving peace negotiations and broader Mideast issues with defense chief Ehud Barak for about an hour, including a 15-minute tete-a-tete, officials said.

more

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

26 suspects now being sought by Dubai authorities over Mabhouh assassination


Total of 26 people suspected of being in the al-Mabhouh muder plot. Ynet News also reports Dubai police claiming some of those involved fled to Iran.
Dubai police today identified 15 more suspects wanted over the murder of a senior Hamas official in the Gulf emirate last month, including a further six who used British passports.

The announcement brings to 26 the total number of people suspected of involvement in Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's assassination, which is widely believed to have been the work of Israel's secret service, the Mossad.

The six new British names are Mark Daniel Sklar, Roy Allan Cannon, Daniel Marc Schnur, Philip Carr, Stephen Keith Drake and Gabriella Barney. A Foreign Office spokesman said the government believed their passport details had been used fraudulently.

more

Bil'in's peaceful protesters attacked, again, by occupation forces


It's been five years since the protests against the apartheid wall on the West Bank began and Bil'in has been at the eye of the storm. Jamal Juma, the coordinator of Stop the Wall, is still being held in an Israeli prison, detained without charge as the attempt to use violence and repression to stop the protests continues. Video courstesy of the International Solidarity Movement
Publish Post

Syria arrests Mohammad Nassar on suspicion of working with Mossad in Mabhouh assassination


Nassar was meant to have been a good friend of Mabhouh and worked with him on securing weapons supplies for the resistance. According to an Israeli website he was with Mabhouh a few days before the assassination.
The Syrian security forces apprehended Mohammad Nassar, a close associate of the assassinated Hamas leader Mohmoud Al Madbouh, on suspicion that he worked for the Israeli Mossad and provided them with vital information that led to his assassination in Dubai.

The Central Issues Israeli Website reported Wednesday that Nassar is considered that closest person to Al Madbouh, as the two participated in the abduction and the killing of two Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip in the late eighties.

The two worked on providing the Hamas movement in Gaza with the needed munitions, and Nassar was with Al Madbouh at the Bandar Iranian Port to supervise weapon shipments bound to Gaza.

more

UK academics call on Elton John to pull out of Israel gig


Elton John is meant to playing a gig in Israel in June.British academicsare calling on him to drop the plan and boycott Israel.
Anti-Zionist British academics have urged Elton John to pull out of a performance in Israel, in an open letter to the singer.

Tickets go on sale today for the June concert, which will be the Candle In The Windsinger’s first performance in Israel for 17 years.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, who recently tried to persuade botanist David Bellamy to cancel an appearance for the Zionist Federation, called Israel a “racist state” in its letter.

The letter said: "Political or not political, when you stand up on that stage in Tel Aviv, you line yourself up with a racist state.”

more

British MP speaks out against being refused entry to Gaza, asks 'what's Israel trying to cover-up'?


Labour MP from the north of England - that I went to university with - has spoken out after being barred from entering the Gaza Strip.
HYNDBURN MP Greg Pope has spoken of his fury after part of a fact-finding trip to the Middle East was blocked by the Israeli government.

Mr Pope was due to visit the Gaza Strip as part a Foreign Affairs Committee visit to the region last week.

The MP, who has visited the region several times in the last few years, said: “I want to know what are the Israelis trying to cover up.

more

Irish foreign affairs minister set for Gaza visit


Last year Martin was refused permission to enter Gaza by Israel
Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin has stressed Ireland is not anti-Israel in its stance on the Middle East but insisted the Gaza crisis was hindering attempts to broker peace.

On the eve of his historic first visit to the war-ravaged territory, Mr Martin said Ireland's view of the situation was fair, objective and should not be perceived as a threat.

Israel shells north Gaza from land and sea


Israeli forces continue to target civilians on Gaza's borders, creating defacto 'no-go zones'.
Gaza – Ma'an – Palestinians collecting small stones and concrete rubble in the As-Saifa area, part of the northern 'no-go zone' at the western tip of the Strip, were targeted by Israeli fire from a military patrol and warships on Wednesday morning, sources said.

The workers, reportedly collecting fragments for construction projects in Gaza City, were able to escape the fire unharmed, local sources said.

Israeli gunboats were also reported to have opened fire on the northern Gaza Strip in the early morning, fishermen in the Al-Waha area of the coast reported. The zone, north of Beit Lahiya, is adjacent to the area where workers were collecting construction materials.

more

Corrie family to sue Israeli defence ministry over IDF killing of Rachel


The Corrie family are bringing a civil law suit against the Israeli defence minister. The case opens on 10 March. Under pressure from the US Israel has relented to allow key witnesses to attend proceedings. The Palestinian doctor who attended Rachel when she died has not been allowed to leave Gaza.
The family of the American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago, is to bring a civil suit over her death against the Israeli defence ministry.

The case, which begins on 10 March in Haifa, northern Israel, is seen by her parents as an opportunity to put on public record the events that led to their daughter's death in March 2003. Four key witnesses – three Britons and an American – who were at the scene in Rafah when Corrie was killed will give evidence, according the family lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein...

... Tom Dale, a British activist who was 10m away when Corrie was killed, wrote an account of the incident two days later.

He described how she first knelt in the path of an approaching bulldozer and then stood as it reached her. She climbed on a mound of earth and the crowd nearby shouted at the bulldozer to stop. He said the bulldozer pushed her down and drove over her.

"They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit," Dale wrote.

"They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did."


more

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Haniya calls for new intifada after Israeli 'heritage site' provocation


Gaza – Ma'an – De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians in the West Bank to launch an uprising against Israeli forces on Tuesday, in response to the inclusion of the Ibrahimi Mosque and Rachel's Tomb on a list of Israeli heritage sites.

more

Israel tries to grab 'heritage sites' as ploy to eradicate Islamic and Palestinian history


Ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, and Hebron, gathers pace.
Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya on Tuesday called on Palestinians in the West Bank to "rise up" against Israel over a plan to restore two contested holy sites in the territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked outrage on Sunday when he said he hoped to include Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs [Ibrahimi Mosque sits above it] in Hebron in a national heritage plan.

"The decision requires a real response in the West Bank and for the people to rise up in the face of the Israeli occupation and to break every shackle in confronting it," Haniya told reporters.

"(The project) aims to erase our identity, alter our Islamic monuments and steal our history," he added.

more

Tanks shell northern Gaza border, five injured


Four injured, two seriously as IDF shells northern Gaza. It is basically becoming impossible for Palestinians to venture anywhere near the border without risking their lives. This makes even less land available to Gazans.
Israeli shelling wounded five Palestinian day labourers along the northern border of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian medics said.
Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services, said two of the wounded were in serious condition.
An Israeli military spokesman said troops fired on on an individual approaching the border in a suspicious manner, without giving further details.

more

Four more deaths from power generator explosions as power crisis continues


Four people have been killed, including three children, after a small electricity generator blew up. According to medics six have been killed over the past two months alone as those that can afford it are forced to buy generators as the power blackouts become more frequent.
GAZA, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Four Palestinians, including three children were killed on Monday night in two separate incidents in southern Gaza Strip ruled by Islamic Hamas movement, medics in Gaza said.

They said that three children, all are brothers, were killed at their home in the village of Abbassan, east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, when an electric generator exploded, adding that five family members were injured.

Medical sources at Nasser Hospital in the city said that the three children were killed and five wounded, three of them are in critical conditions, when a small electric generator full of fuel had suddenly exploded.

more

What did UK know about Mossad's Mabhouh killing as two more passports linked?


Two more UK passports now linked. The BBC helps to corroborate accusations at the time of the killing, but little reported in the West, that Mabhouh had been tortured to death.
Another two British passports have been linked to the assassination of a Hamas militant in Dubai.
Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant insisted the government had had no prior knowledge of the killing or use of the passports.
It was already known six fake UK passports were among those used by the alleged killers of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged Israel to co-operate with a UK investigation.
The Israeli secret service Mossad has been widely accused of carrying out last month's killing but Israel has repeatedly asserted there was no proof its agents were involved.
Mr Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, was found dead in a Dubai hotel room on 20 January and an autopsy report said he had been electrocuted and then suffocated.

more

Monday, 22 February 2010

Dubai police chief claims Hamas security penetrated


Dubai is pointing to weaknesses in Hamas security which led to the leaking of information on al-Mabhouh to Mossad. Hamas naturally rejects the accusation, according to Chinese news wire Xinhua.
GAZA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday what it called "allegations" by Dubai police chief that a Hamas member had leaked information which led to the killing of a senior Hamas commander in Dubai last month.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the "allegations" of Dahi Khalfan Tamim of Dubai police were "mere speculations that lack accuracy."

Earlier, Tamim said that information regarding Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's arrival to Dubai was leaked to Israeli intelligence service Mossad through one of Hamas members.

more

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for three days


Rafah crossing opening for three days.
CAIRO, February 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing on the border with Gaza for Palestinian, Egyptian and other countries' citizens for three days starting from February 29, the Egyptian Mena news agency said on Monday.

Palestinian students studying at universities in Egypt and other countries, patients who have been receiving medical treatment in Egypt and abroad, and residents of the enclave working in Egypt and other countries will be able to cross the border.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Defense minister Barak heads for US to try and head off Goldstone


Barak visiting US next week to try and hurry up war on Iran and head off Goldstone report
Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel Tuesday to the United States for meetings with high-ranking U.S. and UN officials.

Barak is due to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other Pentagon officials.

On Barak's agenda are the Iranian nuclear threat and prospects of renewing negotiations with the PA.

At UN headquarters he is expected to discuss the Goldstone report on the Gaza war.

more

Mossad used real British passports not fakes as credit cards incriminate say reports


Acording to Robert Fisk's sources the passports were not fakes but the real deal,including biometircs. Raisesthe question did the UK collaborate with the Istraeli murder plot? Judging by the controlled 'anger' of the British it might appear so.
In the last few days Robert Fisk reported from the Middle East for The Independent newspaper that, in Dubai there is not much doubt about Britain being involved in the Israeli blunder. "The British passports are real", says one of Fisk's sources in Dubai. "They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?" The truth better be exposed here. As if this is not enough, the Israeli Ynet reports (quoting the Daily Mail) that Israel informed the British government that its agents were going to carry out an "overseas operation" using forged British passports. "It wasn't a request for permission, but rather a courtesy call".

If Britain was collaborating with Israel at any level, we better know it all, we better find out whether it was a person or a body within the government or the intelligence, or just an ordinary sayan in the Home Office or any other government office (sayan is a unique and important part of the Mossad's operation. The sayan or assistant must be 100 percent Jewish. The sayan supports the Israeli cause and assists the Mossad operation. A veteran Mossad agent says,"There are thousands of sayanim around the world. In London alone, there are about 2,000 who are active, and another 5,000 on the list"). If there was British collaboration, we better identify what it was exactly, who decided to serve Israeli murderous interests in our midst. We also better find out who in Britain decided to put British interests and British security in the Arab world at enormous risk.

more

Also the credit cards used are alleged to provide a trail back to Mossad:
New evidence incriminating Israel's spy agency in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai includes credit card payments and phone calls made by suspects, an Arabic-language daily reported on Saturday.

Police have already said the 11 suspects used forged passports in the names of innocent individuals of several European nationalities.

"Dubai police have information confirming that the suspects purchased travel tickets from companies in other countries with credit cards carrying the same names we have publicized (in the passports)," Al Bayan daily on Saturday quoted Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim as saying.

more

Shelling near Beit Lahiya as Kerem Shalom crossing temporarily opened for fuel


maan reports shelling in Gaza : Israeli artillery shelling in Beit Lahiya, injuries reported.

Kerem Shalom crossing has been temporarily opened:
Between 77 and 87 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods are schedelued for transfer into Gaza through Kerem Shalom, as well as limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial fuel, he said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, despite an increase in the import of cooking gas into the coastal enclave, this represents only 49 percent of the weekly needs of gas (1,400 tones), as estimated by the Gas Station Owners Association. "Since November 2009, quantities of gas available at the Palestinian General Petroleum Cooperation (PPC) are being distributed to bakeries and hospitals first, as a priority, due to ongoing shortfalls."

more

Eight injured in fighting east of Khan Younis


Palestinian and Israeli security sources said Saturday that Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers traded fire near Gaza Strip-Israel borders east of the southern town of Khan Younis, wounding eight Palestinians, including two militants and six civilians.

Palestinian security sources told Xinhua that fierce armed clashes erupted east of Khan Younis between Palestinian fighters and an Israeli army force which was stationed at the borderline area, after Israeli troops fired several artillery shells at the area.

The armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, said in a joint statement sent to reporters that their militants clashed with Israeli soldiers in the area.

"Our fighters targeted four Israeli army jeeps and clashed with the Israeli army force using automatic machine guns and R.B.J. missiles," said the statement, adding that the Israeli forces fired artillery shells and helicopters opened fire at them, wounding two.

more

Friday, 19 February 2010

UAE calls for arrest of Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Netanyahu over al-Mabhouh murder


Dubai police chief calls for arrest of Meir Dagan (pictured above), the head of Mossad. In addition to the UK, France and Ireland, the US is now investigating Mossad's activities because US credit cards were used to pay for flights. Israel's UK ambassador Proser was "unable to add information" on the identity theft. Passports not stolen but 'sophisticated clones'. Photos and signatures on passports don't match any of the six British Israelis. The Guardian newspaper speculates that UK is threatening to go back on an understanding to change the 'universal jurisdiction' law so that Israel's war criminals could not face arrest or charges on future visits to the UK.

The Dubai police also suggested yesterday that Netanyahu should face justice:
Earlier Gen Tamim had said if it is proven that Mossad is responsible for the killing of al Mabhouh “Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, will be the first to be wanted for justice as he would have been the one who signed the decision to kill [Mahmoud] al Mabhouh in Dubai’ and that an arrest warrant will be issued against him.

However, today Gen Tamim declined to comment on whether the UAE authorities is to issue an arrest warrant for Mr Netanyahu.

more

Meanwhile in Syria a Hamas security official has been arrested on suspicion of collaboration with Mossad. Two Palestinians made up the hit squad of at least 11, and were arrested a week ago in Dubai after being extradited back from Jordan where they fled after the assassination. Hamas and Fatah are trading insults.

IDF soldier injured in Gaza fence explosion


IDF soldier injured on eastern side of border fence yesterday.
A Golani soldier was lightly wounded Thursday morning when an explosive device was detonated by the Gaza Strip security fence near Kibbutz Kisufim. The soldier received medical assistance at the site and then taken to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba.

The incident occurred as IDF forces patrolled the eastern side of the fence. The device was apparently detonated by remote control. After the explosion, soldiers scoured the area and found another device which had not exploded.

more

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Israel worries that Mossad has overstepped the mark this time


Haaretz carries an editorial asking what it describes as troubling questions:

Did the goal justify carrying out a hit in a moderate Arab country?
Should Israel really be goading its enemy, Iran, at this time?
Why are we embarrassing the United Arab Emirates who also fear Iran?
Were risks to future operations taken into account?
Was it worth damaging relations with friendly European powers by stealing passports?
Is it proper to put in harms way clueless Israeli citizens?
Should all Jews coming to Israel from the west be concerned about identity theft?

Israel starting to get worried.

UK calls in Israeli ambassador over Mossad murder of Mabhouh


The Israeli government has got so used to operating with impunity that it thinks nothing of stealing the identities of recent immigrants to the country from Britain. And of course the UK ambassador will say don't do it again, or if you do don't leave so many clues behind. I guess if you can wantonly kill women and children in their hundreds and no one does anything about it, then killing an Al-Qassam leader in Dubai is easy. Yet another argument has come to pass as to why Israel is a terrorist, gangster state.
The British and Irish governments have called in their Israeli ambassadors over the use of fake passports by the alleged killers of a Hamas commander.
Dubai police believe 11 "agents with European passports" killed Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January. Six British passports were fraudulent.
The Dubai police chief has said he is 99% sure Israel is involved in the killing, according to a UAE newspaper.

more

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

US congressman calls for US to break Gaza siege


US congressman Brain Baird calls for US to break Gaza siege
The United States should break Israel's blockade of Gaza and deliver badly needed supplies by sea, a U.S. congressman told Gaza students.

Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, also urged President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy to visit the Hamas-ruled territory to get a firsthand look at the destruction caused by Israeli's military offensive last year.

The Obama administration, like its predecessor, shuns Hamas because the Islamic militant group refuses to recognize Israel or renounce violence.

more

Rafah crossing may resume normal operations soon


Story by the Turkish Weekly cites Maan report that negotiations ar recontinuing with the PA in Ramallah for the reopening of the Rafah crossing.
Gaza – Ma'an – The de facto government in the Gaza Strip is holding contacts with the Ramallah-based government and others to reopen the Rafah crossing, an official said on Tuesday.

Ghazi Hamad, head of crossings authority in Gaza, said Egypt, the Red Cross, and the UN were involved in ongoing talks to return the crossing to normal operations.

At a news conference in Gaza City, Hamad said an agreement could be reached between the Gaza government and Ramallah.

According to Hamad, 70 to 100 patients leave Gaza through the Erez crossing with Israel every day, while the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings allow limited amounts of goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza weekly.

more

Zionists call for boycott of University of California at Irvine over Gaza activism

Zionist Organization Calls for Jewish Boycott of UC Irvine
Salem-News.com

Muslim students spoke up about the criminal slaughter of civilians in Gaza and now they're in trouble.

(LOS ANGELES) - In a press release today, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) urged Jews to not make monetary contributions to the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and for Jewish students not to apply there.

The Zionists are angry that the university administration has not clamped down hard enough on Palestinian and Muslim students who criticized what they see as the criminal policies of the "illegitimate state of Israel".

The ZOA had particularly harsh words against UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. Dr. Drake, who is Afro-American, has a demonstrated history of fairness towards all students but the ZOA is demanding he treat Palestinians and Muslim students in a manner tantamount to “crucifixion.”

The ZOA particularly hates UCI’s Muslim Student Union (MSU) because the student organization has sponsored a series of events on campus that have exposed the war crimes committed by the Israeli Zionist regime against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

The ZOA is also angry at the MSU because they helped Viva Palestina USA last year by sponsoring Member of the British Parliament George Galloway as a speaker on campus. MP George Galloway was in the USA rallying for support of Viva Palestina which provides humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

more

Yossi Melman fingers Mossad for Mabhouh murder


Israel's Mossad secret service, more formally known as the Institute for Espionage and Special Tasks, has a long history of carrying out clandestine operations, including several spectacular assassinations. Much remains secret but cases that are documented have involved large teams of agents using false or stolen passports to disguise their Israeli origins.

The Mossad's assassination unit has been known at different times as Caesarea and Kidon (Bayonet). Women agents have often been involved – there was reportedly one in the Dubai killing.

Israel's official silence does not mean that it cannot be heard trumpeting its success. "The intelligence [about Dubai] was reliable and accurate," ­commented the respected national security specialist Yossi Melman in the newspaper Haaretz earlier this month. "Even though Mabhouh knew Israeli ­intelligence had him in its sights and took stringent precautions they still managed to get him."

Information released by Dubai shows the professionalism of the suspected assassins and their methods, Melman commented today, citing a novel written by a former Mossad officer, Mishka Ben-David, the plot of which bears a close similarity to the abortive poison attack on the Hamas leader Khaled Misha'al in Jordan in 1997. That case caused huge political embarrassment when two agents using false Canadian passports fled to the Israeli embassy in Amman.

more

Heavy sentences against Muslim students aims to criminalise UK's Gaza protests


Severe sentences are being handed down to Gaza protesters, some accused of doing nothing more than throwing a placard stick. And the British state wonders why British Muslims are becoming radicalised.
by Siân Ruddick

Seven people who took part in the protests against the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2009 were jailed last week.

Some were as long as two and a half years.

The judge said that the aim of his sentencing was to create a “deterrent effect”.

The length of the sentences went against the recommendations of the pre-sentence reports by the probation service.

The charges related to the demonstration on 10 January last year when police clashed with protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, London.

The accused all pled guilty to violent disorder – they were accused of throwing placard sticks and pushing or kicking police.

Only one of the defendants has a previous conviction, and most are in full time education.

Mohammed El-Araj, aged 20, was sentenced to two years, despite a pre-sentence report which suggested that he recieve a community order.

more

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

25 Arab MPs make solidarity visit to Gaza


Press TV reports on the visit of 25 Arab Parliamentarians to the Gaza strip.
A group of Arab MPs have embarked on a tour of the Gaza Strip to show solidarity with its people and help end the rift between rival Palestinian factions.

The delegation from the Arab Parliamentary Union is comprised of 22 deputies from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Sudan, Kuwait, and Oman.

"We came to represent the Arab parliaments and the Arab nation. We came, 22 deputies who represent the Arab nation from the Atlantic Ocean to the [Persian] Gulf as a united nation," the group said in a declaration upon arriving via the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing on Monday.

more

Dubai says 11-member al-Mabhouh hit squad included two Palestinians



Dubai cops name two Palestinian suspects.
Dubai police said Tuesday it is questioning two Palestinians suspected of involvement in the murder of a top Hamas militant, after having named an 11-member hit team travelling on European passports.

The two men, both residents of the United Arab Emirates, had "fled to Jordan" after Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was found dead in a Dubai hotel room on Jan. 20, police chief Dahi Khalfan told AFP.

He said they were extradited from Jordan "three days ago," pointing to a "strong suspicion" against one of the two who had met a member of the suspected hit team before the assassination.

more

al-Mabhouh killers used British passports says Dubai - Video


Link to video

Dubai authorities and Daily Telegraph point the finger at Mossad. Claims killers were Mossad agents using European passports, not necessarily citizens of those countries.
Six British passport holders dressed in tennis clothes and wearing false beards and wigs were involved in the assassination of a senior Hamas commander in Dubai, police in the Gulf state have claimed.

Officers said the group, who may have used either stolen or forged documents, were allegedly part of an 11-man hit squad that murdered Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

Mr Mabhouh, a senior figure in the military wing of Hamas, was found dead in a hotel room on Jan 20. According to one report he was killed by a female assassin who entered his room by posing as a member of hotel staff, injected him with a drug that induced a heart attack and hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

more

Monday, 15 February 2010

Dubai issues 10 arrest warrants for 'foreign agents' over al-Mabhouh assassination


Al-Arabiya reports below on 10 arrest warrants issued by Dubai concerning the assassination of Mabhouh
Dubai will issue arrest warrants for Ten foreign agents suspected of involvement in the the assassination of a top Hamas military commander in his hotel room in Dubai on Jan. 20, the police chief said on Monday.

"We do not rule out Mossad, but when we arrest those suspects we will know who masterminded it. (We have not) issued arrest warrants yet, but will do soon,” police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim told reporters.

" We do not rule out Mossad, but when we arrest those suspects we will know who masterminded it. We have not issued arrest warrants yet, but will do soon "
Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan

He said Jordan handed over to UAE two Palestinians suspected of involvement in the killing of Mabhouh who was staying in Dubai prior to heading for Sudan and China.

The group was also made up of two Irish citizens, including a woman, two British, One German and one French passport holder, Tamim said.

more

US Congressmen arrive for Gaza visit


PIC - Two American congressmen Brian Bird and Nick Bilono, both Democrats, arrived in Gaza Strip on Sunday, the crossings and border authority said in a statement.

It added that a delegation of the UN in Gaza received the congressmen at the Rafah border terminal.

Bird said in a terse statement that his visit to Gaza is the third of its kind, noting that on the two previous occasions he entered through the Beit Hanun (Erez) crossing in northern Gaza.

He added that the visit's itinerary includes touring hospitals, schools and other areas destroyed in the Israeli war on Gaza in a bid to have a close look on conditions of the Palestinian people in the Strip.

Campaign against Egypt's steel wall launches in Cairo and Beirut


By Lina Attalah

Coordinated opposition to the underground wall currently being built in the Egyptian border town of Rafah along Egypt's 14-kilometer border with the Gaza Strip--with the ostensible aim of curbing smuggling activities--has begun to take shape in the streets of Cairo and Beirut.

Yesterday in Cairo, about 300 activists--from a multiplicity of political trends--convened at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate to protest construction of the underground wall, which began last December.

On 25 January, President Hosni Mubarak declared the barrier was not meant to "appease anyone," but rather "to protect our nation from terrorist plots like the ones that took place in Taba, Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab and Cairo.” Between 2004 and 2006, all four of these locations witnessed bombings of varying lethality.

Besides protesting Egypt's official border policy, demonstrations in Cairo and Beirut also targeted prominent Egyptian construction company Arab Contractors, the name of which has been linked to construction of the border barrier. Spokespeople for the company, however, have denied any involvement with the unpopular project.

“A journalist met with the company's legal team, which confirmed that the company isn't involved at all in construction of the wall--neither as the main contractor nor as an affiliate,” said Mohamed Waked, researcher with the Cairo-based Center for Socialist Studies. “We want to confirm all our information before launching a defamation campaign.”

Sources on the ground, however, tell a different story, saying that Arab Contractors is in fact involved in the wall's construction.

“Two months ago, an engineer hired me to drive engineers, technicians and workers everyday from Al-Arish city [in the northern Sinai Peninsula] to the town of Rafah,” said one local driver, speaking on condition of anonymity given the issues' sensitivity. The workers in question were employees of Arab Contractors, he added, going on to note that he drove about 14 people daily from chalets in Al-Arish to Rafah, where they participated in construction work.

One worker at the construction site told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he had been "temporarily employed" by Arab Contractors. “A second company will be responsible for finalizing construction to make sure the wall has been reinforced," he said, also insisting on anonymity. "And a third company is working on illuminating the borderline.”

According to this worker, the wall's iron panels have been molded together with steel connections and are now in the process of being sunk into the ground. Dug to a depth of 18 to 25 meters, these iron panels are meant to thwart the digging of smuggling tunnels, which are generally no more than 30 meters deep.

The tunnels have been a vital means of channeling commodities into the embattled Gaza Strip, which has remained under an internationally-sanctioned siege--in which Egypt has played a major role--since 2007.

The state-owned Arab Contractors was established in 1953. Ever since, the company has specialized in housing, sanitary drainage, public buildings and bridge and tunnel projects. Its scope of operations currently extends into more than 29 countries.

The Cairo protest transcended the issue of the border wall and soon became a venue for criticizing Egypt-Israel rapprochement, which has been manifested in recent gas trade deals and security arrangements, along with other steps towards normalized diplomatic relations.

At the protest, socialist activist Kamal Khalil chanted slogans against the Oslo Accords and the Camp David Peace Treaty, describing both agreements as tools for a “submissive peace." Protestors also chanted: “You sell gas to Israel but can’t provide us with butane,” in reference to an ongoing shortage of butane gas cylinders that has led to violent rioting in some areas of the country.

Demonstrators held banners aloft, reading: “The wall of shame must come down”; “No to sponsoring Israeli crimes”; “Down with Mubarak, Netanyahu's dog”; and “We want a president with dignity.”

In Beirut, a concurrent march from the Shatila refugee camp to the Egyptian Embassy was similarly staged to protest construction of the border wall. The march was organized by "Filasteen Hurra," or "Free Palestine," a group of left-leaning students that are coordinating their actions with Egyptian counterparts.

Another Lebanon-based group is the "Campaign to Stop the Wall of Shame," which, according to journalist and group member Ahmad Moore, plays more of a "lobbying" role. “Our campaign spoke to the Sidon Municipality because we know Arab Contractors have a presence there," said Moore.

Egyptian critics, meanwhile, condemn the government's tendency to justify the wall's construction by citing Egypt's "national security."

“The ruling regime doesn't have the right to invent its own national security, which should be decided by the people,” said Ashraf Hefni, secretary-general of the leftist Tagammu Party in North Sinai. “Egypt is strong when Sinai is strong and weak when Sinai is weak and dependent. We call for Sinai to become a real part of Egypt.”

Further actions are currently being planned in Cairo to protest the wall's construction, including both lectures and film screenings. One lecture scheduled for next Tuesday will discuss a lawsuit raised by former diplomat Ibrahim Yousry against the state's building of the border barrier. Another lecture, slated for next Wednesday, will brief listeners on all findings regarding the ongoing construction process more

British journalist arrested in Gaza


Speed of reaction from the British consulate is in stark contrast to the sluggish response when British citizens were attacked, beaten and detained in Egypt as part of the recent Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy. Having said that, the freelance journalist should be released immediately.
British officials met Monday with a detained journalist in Gaza amid calls for Hamas to release the Briton, the first foreigner the Islamists have arrested since seizing power in Gaza in 2007.

Paul Martin was arrested on Sunday in a Gaza Strip courtroom while testifying for a Palestinian friend accused of "collaborating with Israel," Hamas and British officials said.

"We are very concerned about the situation and we are attempting to provide consular assistance," a spokesman for the British consulate in Jerusalem said, adding that the British authorities were in touch with Martin's family.

A statement on the Hamas interior ministry website said Martin was ordered held for two weeks for "violating Palestinian law and security in the Gaza Strip," but did not elaborate.

"A representative from the British consulate entered (Gaza) yesterday and has met with the British journalist," it said, adding that Martin had entered Gaza on Sunday.

The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which groups journalists in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said it was "deeply concerned" over the arrest and called on Hamas to free the reporter.

"We expect the Hamas, as we do all parties, to respect the rights of every journalist on assignment, to work without fear of being arrested," it said in a statement.

"The Foreign Press Association hereby requests the Palestinian authorities in Gaza to immediately release Paul Martin," it said.

more