Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Israeli artillery kills four civilians in Gaza including two children

More civilians killed in Gaza, another useless IDF inquiry set up. Several mortars and a rocket have been fired from the Strip today resulting in no casualties.
Palestinian sources said four people were killed Tuesday afternoon from Israeli artillery fire towards Gaza City's Tufah neighborhood. Two youths, aged 11 and 16, were among the victims, according to the sources.

Eyewitnesses said one of the IDF shells landed at the entrance of a home in Tufah, killing four people and injuring five others. Among those killed were three members of the same family. more

Jerusalem-born bookshop owner loses residency rights in city of his birth

Sign the petition in support of Munther Fahmy's (pictured right) fight to live in his own country. He is now only allowed to enter Jerusalem as a tourist. Munther has been a leading light behind the Palestine Festival of Literature for some years. This, from Mondoweiss:
a year ago we took the Interior Ministry to court to reinstate my residency status and I lost because they invoked a racist law they have on the books which strips any resident of Jerusalem (all residents of Jerusalem who holds ID cards are Arabs, Jews in Jerusalem and everywhere in Israel are citizens) who left Jerusalem for 7 years or more and holds a foreign passport of his or her blue Israeli residency ID card and right to live there...

...On that day, my request was rejected in the first minute of the session! To add insult to injury, I was told to consider myself lucky that I was allowed to come and go as a tourist that long and even dare to start a business while I am a tourist, and then finally saying that "if this happens in YOUR country the USA, you would be deported on the first plane" . Unfortunately, the session was in Hebrew and I was not privy to this remark by the judge until the end of the session. I would have loved to remind the judges that people born in the USA don’t have to go to the Supreme Court to ask it to intervene with the Immigration authorities to let them live in their country of birth!

The last insult was that I should write a letter within 30 days from Feb 17 2011 "begging" the Interior Ministry (the one I am suing!) to please reinstate my residency! more

95 per cent of water supply in Gaza unfit for human consumption as Israel blocks repairs

Israeli human rights group B'Tseselem draws attention to a UN report on the dire state of the water system in Gaza. Israel refuses to allow the importation of the necessary equipment and machinery to fix Gaza's water problems.
Almost 95 percent of the water pumped in the Gaza Strip is polluted and unfit for drinking. This warning was recently issued by the UN Environment Programme, the Palestinian Water Authority, the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, and international aid organizations. They estimate it will take at least 20 years to rehabilitate Gaza's underground water system... more

Israeli settlements are ethnic cleansing says US representative on UN rights council

The ethnic cleansing campaign against the Arab population of Jerusalem continues apace, with not a murmur from the West, although a US representative on the UN Human Rights Council, Richard Falk, has spoken out. Falk is accused of being biased by ISrael and is not allowed into the country. He has also called for Israel to be refereed to the International Court.
Israel's expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and eviction of Palestinians from their homes there is a form of ethnic cleansing, a United Nations investigator said on Monday.

United States academic Richard Falk was speaking to the UN Human Rights Council as it prepared to pass resolutions condemning settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The "continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with the forcible eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation" in the part of the city previously controlled by Jordan, he said.

This situation "can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing," Falk declared. ..

...In his speech, Falk said he would like the Human Rights Council to ask the International Court of Justice to look at Israeli behavior in the occupied territories.more

Israel foreign ministry in campaign against Freedom Flotilla II bid to break Gaza siege

From the Alternative Information Center
Israel launched a public campaign Tuesday (22 March) against the international organizations planning the Freedom Flotilla II aid convoy, set to sail to Gaza in May of this year.

Mavi Marmara, part of the original Freedom Flotilla to the Gaza Strip in May 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon plans to meet with foreign ambassadors at the ministry on Tuesday to seek their help in stopping this year's flotilla, reported the Israeli news daily Haaretz.

The Foreign Ministry has also been asking foreign governments, including Spain, Britain, Ireland and Sweden, to publish travel advisories warning their citizens against sailing to Gaza. Britain and Ireland have in fact done so, according to Haaretz.

The Freedom Flotilla II will sail for Gaza sometime between May 15, in commemoration of the "Nakba" ("catastrophe"), and May 31, the first anniversary of the deadly 2010 flotilla mission, which left nine activists dead. more

Seven children among 19 injured in airstrikes on Gaza

One person has so far been injured today, in an eastern district of Gaza City, on top of Monday's total.
At least 19 Palestinians were said to have been wounded in the Gaza strip as a result of air strikes launched by Israel on Monday after militants launched mortars and rockets into Israeli territory.

Among the wounded were seven children, two women and four militants, according to officials from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza. more