Monday, 2 May 2011

Daniel Barenboim to take orchestra to play in Gaza in boost to anti-siege campaign

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that renowned Israeli conductor and peace activist Daniel Barenboim is taking an Orchestra to play in Gaza this week. The WSJ correspondent describes the visit as 'likely to enhance the already raised expectations for the end of Gaza's years of isolation'.
Tel Aviv—Daniel Barenboim, a renowned Israeli conductor and Palestinian rights activist, will bring an orchestra of European musicians for a performance in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The concert, coordinated in secret with the United Nations until invitations were distributed Sunday and Monday, would mark a rare solidarity visit from a major international cultural figure to the blockaded Palestinian territory since Hamas' takeover in 2007.

The performance comes on the eve of the signing of a reconciliation accord in Cairo between Hamas and Fatah, the other leading Palestinian faction in the West Bank.

Mr. Barenboim's visit is likely to enhance the already raised expectations for the end of Gaza's years of isolation, a possibility that has stirred Israeli worries about a threat to its security. more

Israel blocks PFLP leader from travelling to Cairo for unity annoucement

Israeli authorities banned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Abdul Rahim Malouh from attending reconciliation meetings in Cairo, officials said Monday. more

Palestinian prisoners to start hunger strikes to highlight use of isolation cells

Hunger strikes are planned for this month to protest against the isolation cells used by Israel to try to break the spirit of those imprisoned by the illegal occupiers. The first of the hunger strikes begins on Tuesday 3 May. Thanks to Maan News Agency
Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails will stage a series of hunger strikes to protest against Israeli detention policies, the Gaza-based prisoners' ministry said Monday.

The strikes will focus on the practice of holding detainees in isolation cells, and will begin Tuesday at Israeli prisons Ishel, Ramon, Ashkelon and Nafha, the statement said.

Hunger strikes will also be held on May 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25 and 28, the ministry said, adding that it condemns the use of solitary confinement and other violations of Palestinian detainees' rights.

Palestinian Authority envoy prevented from entering Gaza to prepare for unity accord

Israel is doing it best to scupper the reconciliation moves by Fatah and Hamas, although Hamas has not exactly done itself any favours in this regard with its praise of 'Islamic Warrior' Osama Bin Laden, following his apparent death at the hands of US executioners.
His political advisor confirms Abbas is to go to Gaza before month's end, but Israel puts a wrench, blocking Fatah’s envoy from crossing into Gaza three days before the reconciliation agreement is to be signed in Egypt.

Abbas's personal envoy for national reconciliation has been prevented from entering Gaza strip from Ramallah Sunday morning through the Erez crossing. This is, in fact, a second for Mohamed Abou Tir, Abbas's envoy.

As an alternative, Abou Tir is considering entering through the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian Gaza border.

Abou Tir's visit was expected to precede the signing of the national reconciliation agreement to be signed in Egypt on Wednesday 4 May to put the Palestinian house in order.

Meanwhile, Palestinian presidential political advisor, Nemr Hamad, confirmed Abbas's intention to go on with his planned visit to the Strip before the end of this month. more