Saturday, 4 June 2011

Private security guard opens fire at protesters against land confiscations for illegal quarry

From the International Solidarity Movement
A private Israeli guard opened live fire on protesters marching on an illegal quarry near the West Bank village of Shuqba.

The march was organized by the Ni’lin and Budrus popular committees and commenced at noon. Dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists marched toward the illegal quarry to stop the further confiscation of Palestinian lands from the nearby villages of Ni’lin, Qibya, Shuqba and Shebteen.

As demonstrators were marching towards the quarry, an Israeli security guard opened fire. more

Lebanese army bans all demonstrations south of the Latini river in bid to stop border protests

TYRE, Lebanon (AFP) - Lebanon has banned all demonstrations near the Israeli border as the Palestinians gear up to mark 44 years since the seizure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six Day War, a security official told AFP on Friday.

"The army has taken the decision to ban any demonstration south of the Litani [river] and particularly at the border," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The army will not allow anyone to approach the border." more

Turkey says it's Israel that should be warned over flotilla, international community 'lacks courage'

From Turkey's Zaman
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has pointed to Israel as the party that should be receiving warnings over a second flotilla while responding to international calls on Turkey to prevent the flotilla from sailing to the Gaza Strip in breach of an Israeli naval blockade.

“Sometimes the international community has no courage to warn Israel and it chooses different ways,” Davutoğlu, speaking on Thursday, told Turkey’s Habertürk network in Konya, where he is campaigning for a parliamentary seat he hopes to win in general elections that are less than two weeks away...

...Davutoğlu criticized the international community for warning Turkey instead of Israel, saying the international community sometimes lacks the courage to confront Israel. “This is not the correct position,” Davutoğlu said. more

Six injured at weekly anti-apartheid wall protest - villages invaded, tear gas fired into homes

Ramallah, (Pal Telegraph) - PNN - Six civilians were injured on Friday and many more were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protests in a number of West Bank communities.

This week, protests were reported in the villages of al-Nabi Salleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara in the south.

One man was injured in the leg and two dozen were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as troops attacked the weekly protest in the village of al-Nabi Salleh, central West Bank. On Friday morning, villagers and their international and Israeli supporters gathered near land where Israel plans to build a new settlement. Troops attacked villages as soon as they left, and later invaded the village and fired tear gas into people homes. more

Today's Rafah 'closure' was for renovation works according to Egyptian security sources

UPDATE ON RAFAH CLOSURE - Egypt, after closing the crossing for several hours, has now reopened it. A number of independent figures have come together to hold talks with Egypt about continued delays and obstructions to travel at Rafah.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egypt opened its Rafah border with Gaza several hours later than scheduled on Saturday, causing tension as hundreds of Palestinians waited to cross.

Several buses queued at the Egyptian gate, and dozens of Palestinians tried to break through the crossing into Egypt, witnesses said.

Egyptian security officers lined up carrying clubs preparing to stop any border breach, onlookers told Ma'an...

...According to a security source in Egypt, the crossing remained closed for works which were to have been completed on Friday. more

'Fly-in' to Ben Gurion airport by refugees and supporters planned to increase pressure on Israel

From the Jerusalem Post
In the wake of “Nakba Day,” “Naksa Day” and an anticipated Gaza-bound flotilla later this month, pro-Palestinian activists are planning to send hundreds of Palestinians living abroad on commercial flights to Ben-Gurion Airport next month in a dramatic display of solidarity.

According to a report released this week by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli NGO, organizers believe the planned Gaza flotilla is too limited in scope, and broader action is needed to “remove the blockade from the entire land of Palestine.”

Organizers said the “fly-in” would occur July 8, the date in 2004 that the UN’s International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion that Israel’s West Bank security fence is illegal by international law.

After holding a protest rally at the airport, the arrivals plan to travel to the West Bank to “express solidarity” with Palestinians.

Organizers said 500 people have already scheduled flights to Israel, including Palestinian families from Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. Germany will be one of the participants’ main departure points.

Fifteen organizations are involved in the initiative, including the influential International Solidarity Movement. more

Palestinians try to break through Rafah crossing as Egypt closes border with Gaza

Just in from AP
GAZA, Ibrahim Barzak, The Associated Press Palestinian Territories — Palestinian travellers say dozens of angry Gazans attempted to storm a crossing at the Egyptian border but were pushed back.

The commotion came just a week after Egypt permanently reopened the crossing and lifted travel restrictions on the Gaza Strip.

Several travellers at the Rafah crossing say about 200 people waited to cross into Egypt on Saturday but were denied entry.

Dozens then pushed up against a terminal fence, until Hamas forces cordoned off the area. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safe passage.

It wasn't immediately clear why the Gazans were prevented from crossing into Egypt.

Gaza's Hamas rulers have complained that despite Egypt's ending of its four-year blockade, there are still limitations on Palestinian travel. AP

More at Maan