Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Activist who disrupted Netanyahu's Congress speech injured by guards, arrested at hospital

During the Joint Session of Congress while Prime Minister Netanyahu was speaking, Rae Abileah stood up from the gallery and shouted “Stop Israeli War Crimes.”

From the peace group CODEPINK, Rae is a 28 yr. old Jewish American of Israeli descent. She has traveled to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and witnessed firsthand the reality of occupation and oppression. “Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the 1967 borders are indefensible. But what is really indefensible is the occupation of land, the starvation of Gaza, the jailing of dissenters and the lack of equal rights in the alleged Israeli democracy. As a Jew and an American taxpayer, I can’t be silent when these crimes are being committed in my name and with my tax money.” more
Police arrested CODEPINK peace activist Rae Abileah at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. Abileah was taken to the hospital after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by AIPAC members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Abileah interrupted Netanyahu with a banner that said “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation, stop Israel war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.” She rose up to speak out just after the Prime Minister talked about the youth around the world rising up for more democracy. more

Malaysian aid ship finally allowed to dock at El Arish - will continue mission by land

EL-ARISH, May 24 (Bernama) -- The mission to send PVC pipes to Gaza is expected to continue by land following the Egyptian authorities' decision to allow the MV Finch carrying humanitarian aid to berth and unload the cargo at El-Arish Port.

Bernama reporter Mohd Faizal Hassan via SMS text to the national news agency's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur texted: "It is understood that the Egyptian foreign minister has given permission (for the ship) to berth and unload the goods today...InsyaAllah (God willing), we will be on land."

The MV Finch has been stranded outside El-Arish Port for a week, waiting for the Egyptian authorities to allow it to berth at the port and now the ship's engine has broke down. more

Money transfer to Gaza stopped by direct action against Brinks truck by supporters of PoW Shalit

From Ynet
Dozens of Free Shalit campaign activists blocked off the road leading to Erez crossing Tuesday, preventing Brink's truck carrying an estimated $13 million in funds from to the Gaza Strip approved by the Israeli government.

The Gilad Shalit activists, led by Yoel Marshak and Orna Shimoni, initially met at Yad Mordechai Intersection and headed towards Erez crossing.

At one point the activists noticed the Brinks vehicle and quickly worked to block off the road using their bodies. They then began to circle the car, calling the Brinks representatives to refuse cooperating with the transfer.

The activists carried signs with the slogans: "Funds for Hamas = Ongoing captivity of Gilad. When will it end?" and "Fischer and Netanyahu, stop funding murder."

Police forces arrived on the scene saying the protest was illegal and demandedthe activists clear the road. After the demonstrators refused, the Brinks representatives consulted with their managers and after a while decided to retreat. more

Israel refuses to allow transfer of infant out of Gaza for life-saving medical treatment

Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)- Palestinian medical sources announced that Israeli authorities banned an infant in Gaza Strip from transfer to a hospital inside Israel for medical treatment. The suffocating siege imposed by Israel for more than five years continues to affect the lives of hundreds of patients in the coastal region.

The 10-month-old infant, named Ismail Salam, suffers from a life threatening disease, and is in desperate need of immediate surgery outside Gaza Strip to save his life. more
[Edited for English grammar and spelling - iGaza]

Spirit of Rachel Corrie back at El Arish waiting area, steering now broken

From Perdana Global Peace Foundation
9:42 am KL (24/5/11) Egypt time 3:42 am (24/5/11):

We are back at the port’s waiting area with a broken steering. The team’s spirit is high and resolute. We have surmounted many difficulties and sabotage and came through. The team, led by the team leader, have upheld their dignity and the justice of their cause by standing up to the futile attempt to humiliate them by unreasonable detention of their ship, crew, and passengers for 7 days. They even forced us to sail towards international waters – away from the shortest route to Gaza – and towards the Israeli naval ships waiting to capture and or shoot us down as we discovered later. By the Grace of God, we were saved from this insidious scheme and remain victorious. more

Defence minister gives settlers permission and IDF protection for Nablus rampage today

[update - the authorities had second thoughts and called off this 'Joseph's Tomb' outrage]
From the International Middle East Media Center
Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Members and and illegal settlers have received approval from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack to invade an area near Nablus known as 'Joseph's Tomb' on Tuesday, accompanied by a garrison of Israeli troops. more

Netanyahu booed and heckled by pro-Palestine activists at AIPAC convention

From Haaretz
Hecklers booed as Netanyahu told the crowd that in Israel more than one million Muslims enjoy "full democratic rights," using this as testimony that Israel "and only Israel" can be trusted to ensure freedom for all faiths in a united capital of Jerusalem.

The hecklers were escorted out as other members of the audience cheered loudly. more

Video: attack on protest at Erez crossing on Nakba Day - all out for June 5 right of return protests!

On June 5, support the Palestinian refugees’ right to return

22 May 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

The right to return is a core goal of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Since 1947-1948, when over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes – and more than 700,000 were ethnically cleansed from their country altogether – they and their descendants have organized to demand the rectification of this historic injustice. The refugees of the Six-Day War in 1967 (after which Israeli forces drove 300,000 Palestinians out of the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank ), the 1967-1994 Israeli administration of the occupied territories (during which Israel stripped 140,000 Palestinians of their residency rights), and the ongoing colonization of Palestine and displacement of its indigenous inhabitants, have added their voices to the growing global movement for return.

In recent years, the right to return has also emerged as a key demand of international solidarity activists supporting Palestinian aspirations for freedom. On July 9, 2005, for example, the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) – the founding document of a Palestinian-led global movement for justice in Palestine – stated that “non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by … respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.”

Today the seven million Palestinian refugees are the world’s largest group of refugees, comprising one-third of the total refugee population. Their right to return to their homes, and to receive compensation for the damages inflicted on them, are enshrined in international law. Resolution 194, which the United Nations General Assembly adopted on 11 December 1948 and Israel agreed to implement as a condition of its subsequent admission to the United Nations,

resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

Additionally, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948, states that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” And Resolution 3236, which the General Assembly adopted on November 22, 1974, “reaffirms … the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to the homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.”

Despite its clear obligations under international law, Israel continues to resist demands by Palestinian refugees that they are allowed to return to their homes. Most recently, on Sunday, May 15, the 63rd commemoration of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” of the 1947-1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israeli troops responded to demonstrations by unarmed refugees marching towards their homes with lethal force.

Israeli forces killed at least 15 demonstrators on three borders (with occupied Gaza, Lebanon, and between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights), wounded hundreds more with live gunfire, artillery shells, and tear gas, and unleashed a wave of arrests and repression in the occupied West Bank. This massive violence could only have been planned as a show of brute force, intended, along with Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated assertions that “it’s not going to happen,” to dissuade Palestinian refugees from asserting their historic rights and the global consensus for the right of return.

Yet the most enduring story from May 15 may be that of Hassan Hijazi. A 28-year old Palestinian refugee living in Syria, he braved the gunfire that killed four others along the border with the occupied Golan Heights, then hitchhiked, and finally took a bus, to his family’s home in Jaffa. Before turning himself in to Tel Aviv police, he told Israeli reporters, “I wasn’t afraid and I’m not afraid. On the bus to Jaffa, I sat next to Israeli soldiers. I realized that they were more afraid than I was.”

Millions more are resolved to follow Hijazi’s path. On Sunday, June 5, the 44th commemoration of the Naksa, or setback, Israel’s 1967 expulsion of 300,000 Palestinians following the Six-Day War, Palestinian refugees will return en masse to the borders. Announcing the mobilization on May 18, the Third Intifada Youth Coalition said, “The last few days proved that the liberation of Palestine is possible and very achievable even with an unarmed massive march if the nation decides it is ready to pay all at once for the liberation of Palestine.”

The Preparatory Commission for the Right to Return, a nonpartisan coordinating body, has requested that supporters of the Palestinian liberation struggle also take action on June 5, by staging rallies, marches, and protests throughout the world demanding Palestinian refugees’ right to return. Appropriate venues could include Israeli embassies, consulates, and missions, BDS campaign targets, and foreign governments and international organizations that enable Israeli crimes.

”The May 15 marches were not an isolated incident, but were rather a declaration of the foundation of a new stage of struggle in the history of the Palestinian cause, entitled: ‘The refugees’ right to return to their homes,’” a statement by the Commission says.

For the first time ever, the Palestinians have switched from commemorating their displacement with statements, festivals, and speeches, to actual attempts to return to their homes.

The scene of refugees marching from all directions towards their homeland of Palestine sent a powerful message to the entire world that the refugees are determined to return to their homes however long it may take; and that 63 years were not enough to kill their dream of return; and that the new generations born in forced exile who have never seen their homeland are no less attached than their grandparents and fathers who witnessed the Nakba.

What happened on May 15 was only a microcosm of the larger march soon to come, a march that will be made by Palestinian refugees and those who support them. They will pass the barbed wire and return to their occupied villages and cities.

The crowds will head out from everywhere there are Palestinian refugees toward the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and occupied Palestine’s borders with Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, in peaceful marches raising the Palestinian flag and the names of their villages and towns, the keys to their homes, and certification papers.

The Arab Spring’s “winds of change” are blowing through the refugee camps, no less than the Arab capitals, toward Palestine. And they show no signs of stopping.

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Palestinian minor gets six months in prison after taking part in weekly Bil'in anti-wall protests

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Ofer military court has sentenced Palestinian boy Amjad Ayid Abu Rahma, 15, from Bil'in village near Ramallah to six months prison.

He was arrested four months ago while taking part in the weekly anti-wall protest which takes place at the village.

There are about 300 Palestinian minors detained in Israeli occupation jails.

Meanwhile, families of Palestinians held in Israeli occupation jails called for the release of their loved ones during a protest they held near the Red Cross in Nablus city.

The protest was organized by the Palestinian Prisoner Society and Prisoner family association in Nablus and was aimed at protesting conditions in Israeli jails.

They demanded that the prisoners be allowed family visits and a stop to the policy of regular raids and the use of prisoner isolation. more

Audio: Ilan Pappe Speech: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

The Palestine Review: Audio Presentations, found at palestinereview.com/audiopresentations, provides MP3 audio presentations and MP3 lectures on Palestine. Download and listen to an MP3 lecture or speech on Palestine and Gaza now.

Ilan Pappe Speech: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (MP3)