Friday, 29 April 2011

Left-wing Norwegian parliamentarians to join 'Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human' Gaza voyage

Norwegian parliamentarians to join Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human. ShiptoNorway website is here (Norwegian)
A convey of ships, known as the “Freedom Flotilla 2 – Stay Human,” will attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza with as many as 20 Norwegian participants, including parliamentarians, either at the end of May or June.

The Norwegian activists, calling themselves “Ship to Gaza Norway,” aim to break the blockade along with representatives from 10 other countries and deliver aid to local and international relief organizations, and have rejected claims that the aid will end up with Hamas...

...A number of politicians have expressed an interest in joining the convoy, something which participant Gerd von der Lippe told Aftenposten would make the Israeli soldiers “become less crazy” and give the flotilla “a large degree of legitimacy.” Jette F Christensen and Stine Renate Håheim of the Labour Party, and Akhtar Chaudhry of the Socialist Left Party, have all promised to attend if the eventual dates fit with their previous engagements. Two further Labour Party parliamentarians, Hadia Tajik and Anette Trettebergstuen, have yet to make up their minds on whether or not to go. more

Turkey calls on Israel to look positively on Palestinian reconciliation

The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who spoke with Sec State Hillary Clinton on Thursday about developments in Palestine, has called on Israel to take the opportunity of Palestinian reconciliation to renew the peace process, as they now no longer have the excuse of not having a counterpart to negotiate with on the Palestinian side. The signs are not good from Israel though with Lieberman continuing with the 'Hamas are terrorists' mantra.
The international community should not repeat yet another mistake by not lending sufficient support to an agreement reached on Wednesday by rival Palestinian groups on reuniting their governments in the West Bank and Gaza after years of bitter infighting, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned on Friday, while calling the agreement “a key window of opportunity” for the entire region, which has been experiencing “an earthquake.”

“I contacted both sides yesterday [Thursday],” Davutoğlu noted, referring to his talks with leaders of the rival Fatah and Hamas movements, as he responded to questions from reporters in Karapınar, Konya, where he kicked off his campaigning activities for the upcoming parliamentary elections on June 12.

“God willing, the process will come to the point of signing of a comprehensive agreement next week,” he said, underlining: “This is a significant development. This is the most important and positive development in our region in the last few months.”

On Wednesday night, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initiated a telephone conversation with Davutoğlu as the two focused on the Palestinian reconciliation in their talks....

...“Israel should also see the Palestine reconciliation as a positive development. Up until this very moment, the Israeli side has always complained that they haven't been able to find a counterpart on the Palestinian side; they have complained about the split. Now given that the Palestinians have this unity, everybody should feel happy about it. This [reconciliation] should not be hindered,” Davutoğlu said. “Those who hinder this [reconciliation] will have to bear the responsibility of negative developments.” more