Saturday, 18 June 2011

Malaysia to ask UN to guarantee safety of flotilla and appoint inspector to verify peaceful intent

From Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR June 19 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will ask the United Nations to ensure the safety of the humanitarian flotilla leaving for Gaza next week, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Prime Minister said that he would write to UN secretary general Ban Kim Moon to ask him to appoint a representative to inspect the flotilla with more than 600 members of non-governmental organisations from 20 carries to verify that it carried only humanitarian aid and no arms.

Malaysia will also ask the UN to make certain of the safety of the flotilla in international waters, he said when sending off the Malaysian Lifeline4Gaza team taking part in International Freedom Flotilla II Saturday.

Ten Malaysians, including two media representatives, join this second humanitarian flotilla to Gaza. more

French organisers annouce two ships will now be joining Freedom Flotilla 2

From Ynet News
Two French ships will join the Gaza-bound flotilla that aims to break Israel's maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip, the organizers of the initiative announced Saturday.

One of the ships is to leave from Greece and the other from France.

French organizer Claude Leostic said in a press conference in Marseille that the ship leaving from the Greek port will carry 25 passengers, including radical left-wing French politicians, as well entertainment and sports personalities.

Leostic added that he hopes to officially confirm the participation of the second ship as soon as tomorrow. A dozen passengers are expected to board the ship, which would depart from a French port next weekend.

Only last week the organizers cancelled the departure of a French ship slated to join the 15-vessel Gaza-bound convoy. Following a letter-writing campaign initiated by the Jewish community in Marseille the organizers of the flotilla urged the dozens of activists who signed up to board the ship to seek alternative transportation.

Now, it appears that the participation of the ship, which was set to leave from Marseille, has been reinstated. more

Abbas calls on European Union to recognise Palestinian state at UN September vote

RAMALLAH (AFP) -- President Mahmoud Abbas urged European Union nations on Friday to separately or collectively recognize the state of Palestine.

During a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Abbas "affirmed that the Palestinian position was to resume the peace process" with Israel, expecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept to talk of two states and to halt illegal Jewish-only settlements, especially in Jerusalem, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. more

Homeless Gazans shutdown UNRWA summer camps to protest lack of rebuilding work

GAZA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of angry homeless Palestinians closed on Saturday morning several summer camps sponsored and supervised by United Nations Relief and Work Agency in the Far East, witnesses said.

The witnesses said that Palestinians, who have their homes destroyed by Israel since 2000, had closed early on Saturday morning several UNRWA summer camps in the towns of Rafah and Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip.

The protestors, most of whom are Palestinian refugees, chanted anti-UNRWA slogans for not hurrying up to build up their destroyed houses. They called on the organization to fulfill its pledge to build their houses.

"UNRWA should build up our destroyed houses instead of sparing its budget on summer camps for fun," said Ateya Radwan, one of the protestors, adding "UNRWA should immediately rebuild our houses and stop postponement." more