Sunday, 12 June 2011

Egypt detains Israeli Mossad agent, holding for 15 days pending investigation

From Ahram Online

The High National Security Court has detained an Israeli Mossad officer for 15 days pending investigation, for spying on Egypt and threatening national security.

According to the investigation, Egyptian security forces arrested the suspect, 41, in a famous hotel in downtown Cairo with a laptop and three cell phones containing top-secret information that would have harmed Egypt. more

Video: Police break up BDS protest in Sydney Australia against Israel's Strauss Group

A group of students gathered outside of one of Max Brenner's franchise cafes in Sydney in protest at its support for the Israeli army.

The protest is part of the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS campaign, which was called from a broad cross-section of Palestinian civil society organisations in 2005.

Max Brenner is a chocolate retailer owned by the Strauss Group, which is the second largest Israeli food and beverage company and is largely touted as one of the greatest successes of Israeli industry.

On its website in the section on "Corporate Responsibility," the Strauss Group emphasises its support for the Israeli army, noting: "Our connection with soldiers goes as far back as the country, and even further. We see a mission and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and sweeten their special moments".

Max Brenner has been the target of BDS actions throughout Australia for over two years. Protesters here say that this action is part of their commitment to the global BDS campaign which seeks to pressure companies that either profit from or support the Israeli military occupation until Israel ends the occupation and complies with international law and United Nations resolutions.

Early in the protest the police officers present tightened their control over the students movements. A number of police officers asked our crew to leave on a number of occasions, forcing us to stop filming and physically removing our crew away from the protest.

The students marched on chanting anti-Apartheid messages. The police officers then attempted to disperse the crowd and put an end to the protest. The police then used force to disperse the protesters, beating a number of students. Two students were charged with hindering police and their trials set for July 13.

The students have vowed to continue protesting outside of the ten Max Brenner cafes throughout Sydney, saying it is their legal right. They also criticized the police's role in protecting a company that openly supports an illegal military occupation while at the same time using violence against a peaceful student protest.

Gaza health ministry makes urgent drugs appeal - 400 kidney patients at risk of dying

Palestinian Authority promises of medicine deliveries have failed to materalise. The health ministry is appealing to Arab nations and international humanitarian organisations for urgent assistance. The medicines that are in short supply in Gaza are of course available in both Israel and Egypt.
Gaza,( Palestinian Ministry of Health renewed its warnings of escalating drug crisis in hospitals and centers of primary care in the Gaza Strip.

The ministry stated in a statement that more than 180 medicine items are completely lost, and other 200 varieties are in sharp shortage.

Administration of alo'youn Hospital in Gaza City announced that five surgeries have been postponed due to lack of medical consumables and tools they need in hospital for running rooms of surgery operations. The ministry added that medicines that Nabil Sha'ath announced has not reached Gaza yet and crisis is now expanding to include all health facilities.

Dr. Medhat Muheisen, general director of hospitals in the Gaza Strip, stated they have got promises to receive quantities of medicine from Ramallah, whereas more than 400 kidney patients are under danger of death due to lack of their medicine.

Muheisen stressed that they launched calls at home and abroad in order to get the required varieties of medicine, especially for international and Arab institutions, including Egypt, Turkey and Qatar.
Thanks to Alresalah

Fatah nominates Salam Fayyad to lead new 'government of technocrats' - Hamas says no

RAMALLAH, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party nominated the prime minister of the West Bank- based government to head a unity government that would be formed in agreement with Hamas, which rejected the nomination.

When Fatah's Central Committee met Saturday evening in Ramallah, it decided to nominate Salam Fayyad, the western-backed prime minister, to lead the new technocratic government that is supposed to rule the West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Abbas Zaki, a member of the Central Committee, told Xinhua on Sunday.

However, Mushier Al-Masri, a Hamas official in Gaza, said also on Sunday that his movement "has no possibility to accept Fayyad's nomination because he is an undesirable personality for the Palestinian people."

Fayyad was appointed to lead the West Bank government after Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over Gaza after a brief civil war in June 2007. Fayyad is respected for his transparent financial policies. more

Video: Four Irish rugby stars make appeal for donations to Irish Ship to Gaza Four of Ireland's rugby team score a try for the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza. Civil society has spoken, enough is enough. The illegal blockade of Gaza and the humanitarian crisis it has created must be broken. Convert the try, please donate what you can.

Irish Ship to Gaza Response to Israeli Embassy Letter

Dr Fintan Lane National Coordinator of the Irish Ship to Gaza responds to letter from Ruth Zakh, deputy ambassador at the embassy of Israel in Dublin

Madam – Imagine it is still and dark and you are on a small motor cruiser with 16 other people somewhere in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. You are part of a six-ship unarmed humanitarian aid flotilla that has repeatedly stressed its peaceful intent. Suddenly, from the darkness of early morning and without warning, fast black assault boats appear on all sides and begin to speed towards the ships in the flotilla.

A helicopter appears over the largest ship – the Mavi Marmara – which is close by on the starboard side. You see explosions and flashes as the big ship is attacked and muffled sounds like gunfire are heard.

Imagine that when they eventually catch up with your boat, the attackers hurl a stun grenade directly at you as you move to close a rear door, shoot a fellow passenger in the face with a plastic bullet and taser an Australian photojournalist, before putting even a boot on the boat.

Imagine your boat is then rapidly stormed by up to 20 masked and heavily armed commandos, using extreme violence to assert control. You are stomped on as they enter the saloon area and a rifle is pointed directly into your face by an agitated commando who screams that he will shoot you unless you move a few inches.

Imagine that following the armed takeover of the boat, you are all held at gunpoint, threatened with violence and allowed very restricted access to toilet facilities for many hours (causing one 80-year-old passenger to soil himself), as your hijacked vessel is brought, against your expressed will, to a state – Israel – that you never intended visiting. Imagine that on being dragged ashore in Israel, you are charged with “entering the country illegally” and then driven to a prison many kilometres away where you are denied contact with the outside world.

These were some of my experiences on 31 May last year after the Freedom Flotilla came under sudden attack from Israeli forces. Four Irish citizens – including a journalist – were on Challenger 1 at the time of the raid.

Try to imagine these scenes and then consider what it must feel like to read the recent article in the Irish Times (1 June) by the Israeli deputy ambassador to Ireland, Ruth Zakh, in which she baldly states that “no violence of any kind ensued” on five of the six ships during the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla last year.

This is not the first time that this lie – and it is an egregious lie – has been uttered by Israeli spokespeople, who have been at pains to claim a spurious distinction between the Mavi Marmara and its passengers and those of us on the other ships. According to Ms Zakh, our nine colleagues, who were murdered in international waters during an unprovoked raid by Israeli forces, were associated with IHH, “an Istanbul-based terrorist organisation.”

First of all, let us be clear: IHH is a perfectly legal Islamic humanitarian organisation based in Turkey and not a ‘terrorist’ body. Secondly, our colleagues who died – and all of those on the Turkish ship – had signed up to the ethos of the flotilla, which aimed to break the siege of Gaza with non-violent methods. They were human rights activists not ‘terrorists’ and it is an outrage that their good names should blackened in this way.

In addition, no weapons were found on any of our six ships. The only guns and grenades were those brought on board by Israeli solidiers, the only shots fired were fired by Israeli troops, the only people who died were those who fell to Israeli bullets during their unprovoked attack. And yet Israeli spokespeople have the temerity to accuse the flotilla of violence and provocation.

We sail again at the end of June and our objectives remain the same – to non-violently break the siege of Gaza and to deliver much-needed materials that are banned or heavily restricted by Israel to the ordinary people there.

I urge Israel to pause and reflect on the outcome of its violent intervention last year. Nine human beings are dead and Israel achieved nothing. Let us hope that this time common sense and humanity prevail.

Yours, etc.

Fintan Lane
National Coordinator,
Irish Ship to Gaza,
Dublin 8.

Internationals detained at unknown location after anti-Wall demo - troops kidnap woman near Jenin

(pic: Palestine News Network)

From the International Middle East Media Center
Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Saturday afternoon three international peace activists participating in the weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli Annexation Wall and settlements in Beit Ummar town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Yousef Abu Maria, media spokesperson of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Beit Ummar, reported that the soldiers prevented dozens of locals and internationals from reaching Palestinian orchards Israel intends to annex.

The orchards are close to the Karmie Tzur illegal settlement, south of Beit Ummar.

Troops kidnapped three international peace activists and took them to an unknown destination.

Abu Maria said that the army installed a roadblock at the main entrance of the town preventing dozens of international supporters from entering it to participate in the nonviolent protest. More on this at the International Solidarity Movement.

The pass laws at work - South African Apartheid-style - in occupied Palestine.
Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Sunday morning a Palestinian woman at the Um Al Reehan roadblock, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and claimed that she was carrying an ID card and a permit that do not belong to her.

The Maan News Agency reported that Kifah Imad Sami was with her father when the soldiers stopped them at the roadblock.

The soldiers checked her ID card and her entry permit to Israel, and claimed that the documents she carried are not hers. more