Monday, 20 June 2011

Video: call to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to support boycott movement by cancelling tour dates

The Freedom Flotilla 2, with 12+ boats carrying humanitarian aid and 1000+ peace activists, is sailing to Gaza in late June. Alice Walker, who's sailing with us, calls this the Freedom Ride of our generation. We want to help open this Palestinian port and end the illegal Israeli blockade, which has caused so much suffering. Meanwhile, the global BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement is calling on Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson and Kiri Te Kanawa to cancel their 2011 Israel concerts and get on the boat!

Six bulldozers make incursion near al-Maghazi camp in central Gaza destroying farmland

Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli occupation forces invaded Monday morning limited areas in the east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. No causalities were reported.

According to witnesses, six Israeli bulldozers accompanied by four vehicles penetrated several meters of Abu Safia military site amidst massive gunfire at civilians’ houses.

Many farmers who were working in that area escaped in order not to be hurt by Israeli fire. more

Young Palestinian refugee from Nahr el-Bared camp in Lebanon wins UN film competition

20 June 2011 – UN News Centre A short film based on the story of a Palestinian refugee family returning to their ruined home in a conflict-ravaged camp in Lebanon was today declared the winner of a film competition organized by the United Nations to mark World Refugee Day.

The film by 25-year-old Tahani Awad from Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon impressed the panel of judges with its powerful, yet understated portrayal of the experience of the family, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which organized the competition.

The theme of the contest, which was open to young Palestinian filmmakers across the Middle East, was ‘My World.’

“We invited young Palestinian refugees to show their talents, and to tell us about their world and their lives because the refugees, and in particular, our young students deserve a chance to speak to the world,” said Filippo Grandi, the UNRWA Commissioner-General, at a screening of the winning entries.

“What we received was an incredible glimpse into the reality, creativity and potential of people who have so often been marginalized and ignored but who are increasingly making their voices heard,” he said.

Over the next few weeks UNRWA will feature a selection of entries on its website and YouTube channel, starting with Ms. Tahani’s film. more

Israeli navy demands international powers conspire to stop flotilla breaking its illegal Gaza blockade

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's navy chief called Sunday for international powers to halt the progress of the Freedom Flotilla II, a sea convoy of at least 10 ships setting sail for the Gaza Port.

Israel's Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, told naval cadets at a training graduation session, that it was the flotilla's "clear intent to come to a confrontation with [Israeli] troops. This is a flagrant attempt to delegitimize Israel and create a PR stunt."

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz confirmed that the navy was moving forward with plans to block the ships, which are supported by peace and activist groups from 20 nations.

According to Marom, the flotilla - which aims to break Israel's five year siege on the Gaza Strip - is "driven by hate," and said that supplies being loaded onto participating ships could be delivered into the coastal enclave "via the land crossings in a coordinated manner."

The official also claimed that "a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is nonexistent." more

Irish TD Boyd Barret and actress Sinead Cusack call for support for Irish Ship to Gaza

From The Journal - ACTRESS SINEAD CUSACK and TD Richard Boyd Barret are among the high profile figures joining the call for support for the MV Saoirse, the Irish ship which will set sail for Gaza in the next few days.

The boat is part of an aid flotilla hoping to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Twenty-five Irish activists and politicians will be on board the ship.

The Irish Anti-War Movement has called on the Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore to ask the Israeli Government to allow free passage of the MV Saoirse to Gaza, where the movement says people are “being slowly starved and deprived of their human rights to live in dignity”. more
Freedom Flotilla 2 Facebook page is here

Hamas denies press reports of European proposal for Shalit prisoner swap deal

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Hamas has denied receiving any new proposal in a Shalit deal by European officials.

“Hamas has not received any new official proposal relating to the prisoner deal,” said senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil, confirming that Hamas was willing to agree to a deal as long as its conditions are met.

Israeli Channel Two said Saturday evening that Germany and France boosted calls for a move forward in a prisoner deal involving Gilad Shalit, who Gaza resistance forces managed to capture on Palestinian occupied land exactly five years back. When urging Hamas in a joint statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said their countries offered to ease recognition of Hamas’s legitimacy in return for ending the Shalit issue. more