Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Former US president Jimmy Carter backs Palestinian unity government, urges US to get onboard

Former US President Jimmy Carter, writing in an op-ed in the Washington Post, has come out in support of the Palestinian unity accord, urging the West to get behind the unity government.
This is a decisive moment. Under the auspices of the Egyptian government, Palestine’s two major political movements — Fatah and Hamas — are signing a reconciliation agreement on Wednesday that will permit both to contest elections for the presidency and legislature within a year. If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel. If they remain aloof or undermine the agreement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel. Support for the interim government is critical, and the United States needs to take the lead. more

Palestinian prisoners at Nafha jail on hunger strike in protest against inhumane treatment

Thanks to Press TV
Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s Nafha jail have gone on a hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment of detainees by the Israeli prison administration.

Hundreds of Palestinian inmates held in the Israeli military detention center in northern West Bank took part in the one-day event on Tuesday, said Rafat Hamduna, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Study Center.

The hunger strike came after Israeli guards, led by military officer Shimon Martislio, orchestrated humiliating raids and searches at the detention cells last week, the Palestine News Network reported.

Hamduna warned that the hunger strike would spread to more Israeli jails if the inmates’ very basic rights are not met.

The Prisoners Study Center also called on the Red Cross and other local and international human rights groups to help put a stop to the suffering of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails. more

Three children injured in blast from unexploded shell in Rafah

Maan news agency reporting three children injured by remains of an unexploded shells - the hazards that children in Gaza have to contend with on a daily basis when playing.
Three children were injured Tuesday when what investigators calls a "suspicious object" they believe to be the remains of an unexploded shell detonated in the Tel As-Sultan area of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. more

Palestinian unity deal announced in Cairo after delay over snub to Hamas leader

The unity deal has been announced in Cairo - a united front against the occupation has to be good news.
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- In a recorded broadcast which aired one hour after a unity announcement was made in Cairo, leaders of Fatah and Hamas both welcomed a Palestinian reconciliation they said would pave the way toward statehood.

An initial delay in the presentation was said to be on account of Hamas leader-in-exile Mash'al's insistence on delivering a speech, and expressing anger over being seated in the audience of the event, rather than on the central plinth where Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas sat next to Egyptian officials. more

Israeli military admits it tests new weapons in wars against Gaza population

An Israel officer today admitted what we've already known for sometime - that Israel's military uses Gaza as a testing ground for new weapons.
Israel used the war in Gaza in 2008 as a training opportunity for its armed forces to test new weapons, designate Israeli military chief of staff has revealed.

In a speech at the Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Affairs at Bar-Ilan University, Major General Yoav Galant said that Gaza was an “ideal training zone” as it lacks a strong enemy that could inflict serious casualties upon Israel.

Galant was the operation commander of Israel's Cast Lead Operation on Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009 in which more than 1600 Palestinians were killed. Most of the fatalities were among women and children.

Under his command, the Israeli armed forces openly used white phosphorus shells fired from 155mm artillery guns in the crowded Gaza Strip. more

Israeli tanks enter southern Gaza east of Khan Younis

Tanks attack east of Khan Younis - conducting 'levelling' operations - in other words destroying more of Gaza's limited farm land. No casualties reported yet according to the Palestine Telegraph.
A number of Israeli military vehicles invaded Wednesday at morning the town of Al-Fakhari in the east of Khan Younis city, southern Gaza Strip.

According to local sources, Israeli forces accompanied by military vehicles penetrated several meters of Kissufim military site toward empty lands in the east of khan Younis city. more

Abbas pushing for West to drop demand that Hamas recognise Israel

Why should Hamas recognise Israel when Israel doesn't recognise Palestine? In fact Israel is built right on top of Palestine and that, of course, is the crux of the matter.
Nabil Shaath tells Israel Radio that Quartet preconditions calling on Hamas to recognize Israel are 'unworkable and do not make sense', adding all Quartet must know is Hamas would refrain from violence.

An aide to the Western-backed Palestinian president said on Wednesday that international mediators should drop their demand that Gaza's militant Hamas rulers recognize Israel.

Nabil Shaath spoke just hours before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' West Bank Fatah government is to sign a reconciliation deal with Hamas, ending a four-year rift. An interim unity government is to follow. more