Thursday, 22 July 2010

Palestinian man shot dead by IDF near Barqan settlement as Gaza shelling raises tension

Palestinian shot dead by IDF, one injured. The two were walking near an illegal settlement near Hebron. Islamic Jihad has warned that yesterday's shelling of northern Gaza is a 'serious escalation'.
Nablus – Ma’an – A Palestinian man was killed and a second injured by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank on Thursday morning, Palestinian security officials said.

They told Ma’an that an Israeli force opened fire on the two at 4:30 a.m. at the entrance of the illegal Barqan settlement in the Salfit district, killing one man while the second was injured. more

Pro-Palestine activist numbers swell as International Solidarity Movement action helps isolate Israel and highlight crimes

Excellent write up on the Los Angeles Times site today by AP staffer Diaa Hadid, focusing on the International Solidarity Movement's success in highlighting Israel's crimes. The Free Gaza Movement that has been organising boats to Gaza for over two years is an offshoot of the movement (see Washington Post article also). It's just a shame it takes westerners to die before any of the western democracies take notice of the ongoing crimes of Israel. Abdallah Abu Rahmah from Bil'in village on the West Bank is in prison serving a two-month sentence for organising demonstrations in his village and walking its streets in defiance of an Israeli curfew aimed at preventing such demonstrations. More on his case at the ISM. Clip from LA Times below:
High on success, pro-Palestinian group that organized Gaza flotilla attracts more volunteers

BEIT JALA, West Bank (AP) — The stream of ships heading to Gaza in defiance of Israel's blockade reflects the success of a pro-Palestinian group that's been creatively confronting Israel for years. High on victory, they are flush with new volunteers.

Activists of the International Solidarity Movement first sailed to Gaza in summer 2008 to challenge Israel's blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory. Most recently in May, it organized a Gaza-bound flotilla that led to a botched Israeli raid that killed nine activists, sparked an international outcry and forced Israel to ease its 3-year-old blockade.

In recent weeks, Israel has allowed more goods into Gaza.

"Around the world, we motivated people who were frustrated but didn't know what to do," said Huwaida Arraf, 34, co-founder of the ISM and its naval spinoff, the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the May flotilla. Since the movement's ships began, other groups have joined them or imitated them with their own ships trying to reach Gaza's shores — some of them successfully.

Israel is trying to crack down harder on ISM, and the group has also come under criticism for putting volunteers in danger.

Still, more people are volunteering
. more