Friday, 5 February 2010

Hamas and Fatah form reconciliation committee

Fatah and Hamas have created a committee to discuss outstanding issues blocking reconciliation, following Nabil Shaath's visit to Gaza earlier in the week.
The rival Fateh and Hamas movements managed to form a committee that would be in charge of discussing field issues that are preventing reconciliation. The committee was formed after Fateh official Nabil Shaath met on Thursday with Ismail Haniyya of Hamas and several Hamas leaders in Gaza.

The meeting is the first of its kind conducted by a Fateh official to the Gaza Strip since June of 2007.

Hamas legislator, Salah Bardaweel, stated that the meeting was constructive and positive, and that it came to revive political talks between the two movements.

He added that the talks focused on reconciliation, the Egyptian document for national unity and the efforts to restore trust between the two movements.

More at the International Middle East Media Center

Protests as occupiers plan to demolish Burin village mosque

Hundreds of Palestinians participated in a crowded demonstration in Burin yesterday [29 January]. The march was organized in protest of the Occupation forces’ decision to demolish the Suleiman al Farsi mosque in the village, along with a group of storage structures close by. This was done on the pretext that the structures fall in Area C, with the full knowledge that the mosque is located inside the residential area of the village, close to nearby homes constructed before 1967.

The protest came after calls from the Burin Popular Committee, the Burin municipality, and the National and Islamic Forces. Hundreds held Friday prayers at the threatened mosque, where Occupation forces fired tear gas at demonstrators in an attempt to disperse them. Demonstrators responded to these attacks with stones.

With settlements to the north, east and southwest, Burin, is one of the villages in the area that suffers from continuous settler attacks.

From the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

Turkish Relief and Free Gaza Movement planning aid flotilla for spring

the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), announce a joint venture, sending 10 boats in the spring of 2010 to the besieged Gaza strip. Organizations from Greece, Ireland and Sweden have also promised to send boats to join the flotilla with the Free Gaza movement and Turkey.

Mr. Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the IHH said, “We sail in the spring to Gaza, and our last port is freedom; freedom for the 1.5 million Palestinians denied the right to rebuild their society. We will never stop sailing until Israel's siege is lifted.”

Two cargo ships will be part of the flotilla, one donated by the Malaysia-based Perdana Foundation and one from IHH. Both will be laden with building supplies, generators and educational materials that Israel prohibits from entering Gaza since their brutal attack on the civilian population a year ago.

more at Free Gaza Movement

IDF veteran speaks out against Gaza war crimes

IDF veteran and Breaking the Silence member speaks out against the conduct of the Gaza war in evidence to Irish committee.
ISRAELI MILITARY policy during last year’s invasion of the Gaza Strip has been heavily criticised at an Oireachtas committee by a former member of that country’s defence forces.

A former sergeant in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Yehuda Shaul (27), told the Joint Committee on European Affairs that there was insufficient regard for the safety of innocent civilians during Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009.

Mr Shaul served in a combat unit in the West Bank city of Hebron during the second Intifada and is a founder-member of Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ organisation which records and publishes the testimony of Israeli soldiers on military actions against Palestinian opponents.

In a press statement, the Israeli embassy criticised the committee for arranging, “yet another one-sided hearing by soliciting only a spokesperson for a negative view of Israel’s policies, making it the fifth such deliberation by an Irish parliamentary body in the last six months”.