Thursday, 24 February 2011

Gaza students name 15 March as start of 'End the division' campaign

Gaza students aim to launch movement aimed at overcoming the divisions that have split the Palestinian national struggle. It all kicks off on #15march. The facebook page is here
Their movement has no name and no leaders. Just a goal, and a tool.

The goal is to force an end to the political divisions among Palestinians by stirring the youth of Gaza and the West Bank to emulate their brothers and sisters in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Their tool – as elsewhere – is the internet, specifically Facebook. "End The Division", a page in both Arabic and English, calls for protests across the Palestinian territories and refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon on 15 March. It has already got thousands of supporters, and is growing by the day.

The Gaza students behind the Facebook page refuse to give their real names for fear of arrest. They arrange meetings through trusted intermediaries on neutral ground and send emissaries to sound out public figures and politicians.

"This will become a reality," says one of them, who calls himself Abu Yazan. "It's going to happen. We are spreading the word. The first day will be hard, the next day will be better. It will grow." more

Olive groves destroyed near Bethlehem to make way for water pipline for settlers

Mondoweiss reports first-hand on the destruction of Palestinian olive groves to make way for a water pipeline for settlers.
Yesterday, February 22 2011, a number of Palestinian news agencies, including the agency that I work for, published articles on the destruction of olive fields in the West Bank town of Jab’a, found in the greater Bethlehem district.

The details were far from sparse, but cut to heart of the matter. The Israeli military had entered the olive grove of a Palestinian farmer and destroyed between 230 and 250 of his olive trees (reports vary). The military claimed that they were clearing state land, although the land is actually owned by the farmer and he has all legal documents to prove this...

...In the media we are quick to ignore the human side of this de-humanizing occupation. When reporting on destruction of property, on abduction, on injury and even on murder, we tell ourselves we must remain detached to keep a grip on our objectivity.

How can you remain objective when faced with words such as these:

“When I saw them cutting down the trees I felt as if somebody is uprooting my heart from between my lungs.” more

One dead as air strikes hammer Gaza and three children injured in artillery shelling

Israel has been launching air strikes on Gaza in supposed retaliation for a Grad strike on Beersheba in which no one was injured. A Palestinian resistance fighter is thought to have been killed from the Al-Qassam brigades when they engaged an IDF incursion, with mortars being fired in response.The IDF has also been shelling and at least 10 people injured, three of them children. PFLP fighters were also in action.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes on multiple locations in the Gaza Strip overnight, injuring two near Gaza City in the first round of bombings shortly after 11 p.m.

Injuries were reported in the first strike, which hit the Az-Zaytoun neighborhood east of Gaza city, while the Abu Jarad neighborhood to the south was pummeled with four strikes.

Local officials called the series of strikes an "escalation," saying that Israeli forces have operated with increased aggression since a Wednesday morning attack on a patrol which entered Gaza territory in the area where the second strike hit. more