Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Seven homes demolished as Israel restarts ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem

Israeli authorities have demolished at least seven homes in different Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

The homes are the first to be torn down since October 2009 and have provoked strong criticism from the Palestinians who say it proves Israel is not committed to peace.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports.

Is Israel is at it again - destroying Palestinian families' homes in Jerusalem.
Also excellent article by Ahmed Moor at the Huffington Post on the tall tales being spun about an economic revival taking place on the West Bank.

Jordanian aid convoy heads for Gaza as global solidarity spreads

From the Jordan Times - Land convoy left Jordan en route to Gaza, planning to enter through Rafah, although no assurances have yet been given by the Egyptian government.
A Gaza-bound humanitarian aid convoy left Amman on Tuesday heading to the port city of Aqaba, as part of efforts by professional association activists to highlight the impact of the Israeli siege on the coastal enclave.

Around 150 activists travelled with the convoy, which includes 25 trucks laden with basic humanitarian aid including food and medicine, as well as an ambulance donated by Jordan Medical Association members, according to association officials.

The convoy is set to travel by boat from Aqaba to the Egyptian port of Nuweibeh and then enter the strip through the Rafah border crossing.

Association officials said they had contacted the Foreign Ministry to make diplomatic contacts to facilitate the convoy’s mission while in Egypt.

Several Islamist leaders are among the delegates, including former Islamic Action Front (IAF) MP Azzam Huneidi and senior IAF veteran Abdul Fatah Kilani.

Huneidi said the convoy will deliver a “strong message” regarding the ongoing global solidarity for Gaza.

“We need solidarity with Gaza from activists all around the Kingdom. This is a very important cause, not only for Gazans, but for Jordan as well,” he told The Jordan Times. more

Hope aid ship heads for Egyptian port after Israeli Navy interception

Egypt approved a request by Gaza- bound Libyan aid ship Al-Amal (Hope) to dock in its Arish port instead after failing to reach Gaza port due to Israeli interception, a security source said Wednesday.

The ship's engine broke down Wednesday morning 130 miles (about 209 km) from al-Arish port which is ready to receive it later on the day, the source told Xinhua.

The ship with 21 persons on board is carrying 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, to the Gazans. more
Libyan aid ship forced to dock at El-Arish. Following the sabotage in Cyprus of vessels involved in the Freedom Flotilla we have to be suspicious about the engine breakdown.

UK police admit beating Gaza protesters

pic: Guy Smallman

Seven Gaza protesters have had their draconian sentences reduced after. Outrageously, three others failed to have their jail terms reduced. Despite the proven poice violence as shown below by the £25,000 to the two persons below.
The Metropolitan Police is to pay £25,000 in compensation to two protesters who were beaten by police during a demonstration in London.

Ashley Inglis and his brother Russell went to the Israeli embassy on 3 January last year to protest against the war crimes being committed against the people of Gaza.

They saw police violence being committed against protesters, and were on the receiving end of it themselves.

The news of the police’s payout to the Inglis brothers came as ten Gaza protesters appealed on Tuesday against their sentences for violent disorder on the demonstrations.

Seven of them had their sentences reduced, meaning that two were released as they had already served their time.

Protesters believe that the police were responsible for the violence at the Gaza demonstrations last year.

Ashley told Socialist Worker, “We were standing at the back of the demonstration and people were coming from the front with bloody head injuries. It was clear the police had decided to be violent.”

The police had earlier trapped and beaten protesters in the Hyde Park underpass. Ashley said, “It was clear that people were being very restrained.

“When you look at the footage you can see that there was a few feet distance between the police and the protesters. It was the crowd being attacked.”

There are deep concerns about the way that the police gather evidence to use in court—and what they leave out.

Ashley said, “The footage we saw in the process of disclosure shows that police camera operators systematically panned away from the actions of the police.

“They would focus on the protesters, then on something innocuous, and then come back.

“There are also breaks in the films, when the cameras were switched off. If you were filming a whole protest why would you turn the camera off?

“The police were lashing out and hitting people. They cracked me over the head.

“The force of the blow made me fall to the ground. Russell rushed over to help me and get the number of the police officer who had hit me.

“He was immediately struck by the police and was soon bleeding from the head.”

Police had covered their numbers with what Ashley describes as “perfectly fitting pieces of white material”.

Ashley wanted an apology from the police and complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the Met.

The Met ruled that there was nothing to answer as officers couldn’t be identifed and the incident had not been filmed by the police.

A CCTV camera on the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington did capture it though.


Ashley told Socialist Worker, “The IPCC complaints system is not fit for purpose—it’s impossible to put the police in the dock.

“If I had injured a police officer like they injured me I would be in the dock on charges of assault or bodily harm.

“Protesters who did much less than that are in prison now.

“So we decided to bring a civil claim against the police—and last week the Met sent us a letter apologising for the injury caused.

“But the police were violent from the beginning.

“They corralled us like cattle and were lashing out with batons.

“They started pushing us back with shields and attacked the crowd again. My brother turned his back and walked away from them.

“An officer lunged behind him and pushed him with a shield and he fell to the ground. Only a few months later that same kind of action contributed to the death of Ian Tomlinson.”

Eighteen months on, many Gaza protesters are still fighting for justice. Some people are still on bail and awaiting trial.

“The most upsetting thing was finding out about all the people in prison.

“The criminalisation of protesters and the harassment of the Muslim community are distressing.

“We want to use a chunk of the money to help the protesters.

“I won’t go on a protest without a camera again—it can be the difference between the conviction of a police officer or a protester.”

Around 30 people, including Russell and Ashley, joined a protest outside the High Court on Tuesday as the Gaza protesters had their appeal.

Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.