Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Israel air strike kills PFLP fighter

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced this morning that one of their fighters was killed in an Israeli air strike.
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — A Palestinian fighter was killed and two other people were wounded on Monday in clashes with Israeli forces east of Gaza City, according to Palestinian medics...

...An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces had targeted "a militant who fired an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) at IDF (Israeli military) soldiers" near the border, adding no soldiers were wounded in the incident.

The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a small leftist group, claimed the attack and said one of its fighters had been "martyred."

UK's largest trade union votes to boycott apartheid Israel

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis
One of Britain’s largest trade unions passed a motion at its annual conference in Bournemouth last week accusing Israel of lying over the Gaza flotilla incident and has called for a complete boycott of Israel and for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, it was confirmed on Thursday.

The emergency motion was introduced on the third day of the annual conference of UNISON, the largest public sector union with around 1.4 million members. It said Israel was “brazenly lying” over the flotilla incident, as it “attempted to define it as an attempted lynch mob of its troops by passengers on the boats. “This is a further sign that Israel does not respond to words of condemnation, only action will have any effect,” the motion states.

One attendee said that the few Unison members who spoke against the motion were heckled.

UNISON member Lilach Head, a care worker from Devon, spoke against the motion and was heckled. She said the atmosphere was intimidating and the vote was called before more people could speak against it.

“Only three people were able to speak against the motion, there were six others waiting but then the vote was called. There was no hope,” she said.

The union will now support a full boycott of Israel – economic, cultural and sporting; it has joined the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and will suspend ties with the Histadrut. more

More on the Unison conference can be found here

US and European unions' direct action stops Israeli ships

In a first for European labour unions, a week long boycott of ships carrying Israeli goods continues in Sweden. Above US dockers explain why they refused to unload an Israeli ship following the flotilla massacre. These are massive steps forward for the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement.
The Swedish Dock Workers Union (Hamnarbetarförbundet) on Wednesday launched a blockade of Israeli cargo in protest against the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound freedom flotilla last month, union representatives have confirmed.

The blockade, which also applies to Israeli ships, was launched "because of
the assault on the Ship to Gaza (flotilla), that we supported before they took
off ... and the blockade of the Gaza strip, which affects the civilian population," union spokesman Rolf Axelsson said.

The dock workers' protest is set to take place in all unionised Swedish ports, and is scheduled to and ends at midnight on June 29th.

Union chairman Björn A. Borg added the union called for an international investigation into the May 31st raid that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists. more

And the US labour movement is stirring on the issue also:
ILWU Explains Why they’ve refused to unload Israeli ship
The union workers of the ILWU explain their decision to not unload Israeli goods in the Oakland port, citing past decisions to unload the goods of other countries that violate human rights on a massive scale with U.S tax dollars and heeding the call of Palestinian civil society which has called on the world to apply boycott divestment and sanctions akin to the actions that brought down apartheid south Africa until Israel ends it’s brutal military occupation of the Palestinian people, ends the siege on gaza, and grants equal rights and respects the human rights of all people living under Israeli jurisdiction. more