Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tens of thousands join rallies for national unity in Palestinian liberation struggle

Abbas claims he is ready to travel to Gaza to seal a national unity deal with Hamas, as pressure mounts on leaders.
RAMALLAH: Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in major West Bank cities and in Gaza Strip on Tuesday, calling for unity between the Fatah-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The demonstrators waved the flag of Palestine and shouted with slogans for the restoration of national unity and chanted "People want to end division!"

Hisham Dwaikat, one of the coordinators of the “March 15 Youth Movement” told Arab News that they will set up tents in Ramallah’s Al-Manara square “to pressure Fatah and Hamas to end their internal split.”

Dwaikat added that the organized that rallies in West Bank and Gaza Strip “for the sake of restoring unity on the way towards liberation.”

He added that the campaign to forge Palestinian unity was launched several weeks ago by youth groups on Facebook and other social networking sites. more

Edinburgh students union overwhelmingly passes motion to boycott Israeli goods

From Edinburgh University Students for Justice for Palestine
A motion to boycott Israel was overwhelmingly passed at the Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) General Meeting on Monday 14th March. In what was described as a ‘landslide’, the motion, ‘Boycott Israeli Goods in EUSA shops and supply chains’ received around 270 votes in favour, with only 20 students voting against.

Despite the meeting requiring over 300 students to attend for it to be quorate and for decisions taken to be binding, the huge level of student support for the motion means that EUSA will be under severe student pressure to adopt it as official policy.

Proposed by students from Edinburgh University Students for Justice in Palestine, the motion noted that Israel is an apartheid state and resolved to affiliate EUSA to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, to boycott Israeli goods in EUSA supply chains and shops, and to mandate the EUSA executive to lobby the University to do the same.

After the motion was discussed for around 15 minutes, it was put to a vote and the result was so comprehensive that no count was required. The passing of the motion led to rapturous applause in the George Square Lecture Theatre, where the General Meeting was held, and was by far the most welcomed result of the night.

Similar motions have been passed at SOAS, Manchester, and Sussex Universities in recent years. This latest result seems a clear indication that students in the UK are continuing to play a prominent role in the campaign for a just peace in Palestine. more

Two killed as Israel lashes out with attack on Palestinian fighters

Israel is taking the opportunity to step up its attacks on Palestinians following the death at the weekend of a settler family. Yesterday it intercepted a cargo ship traveling between Turkey and Egypt. Today its air strikes.
Israeli fighter jets pummeled a Hamas facility in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, killing two militants and injuring four, Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli army confirmed the airstrike, saying warplanes bombed the facility after Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel. No Israeli injuries were reported.

The air raid came a day after Israel said its navy intercepted a cargo ship carrying a massive arms shipment sent by Iran and destined for Gaza militants, the latest in a series of Israeli naval raids to confront Iran’s growing influence in the region. Israel maintains that Iran is arming Israel’s enemies with rockets and other arms.

Hamas security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the warplanes struck a Hamas security facility south of Gaza City. They said two members of the Hamas’ militant wing were killed. more