Thursday, 23 June 2011

Gaza faces severe water shortage because Israeli attacks on infrastructure as temperature rises

(pic: Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu - Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference)

A report issued by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has revealed that the Gaza Strip is currently facing a "severe water crisis which constitutes a cause for concern"; particularly in light of the rising temperatures during the summer months.

According to the report issued on Wednesday, June 22, the water situation in Gaza is significantly deteriorating and volumes of available water are continuously shrinking as a result of the repeated Israeli attacks and destruction of the water networks infrastructure in the beleaguered sector.

The report included a call for the establishment of private desalination plants to take advantage of water from the Mediterranean Sea in an effort to offset the acute shortages as well as to halt the increased drilling of wells which deplete Gaza's underground water reserves. more

Palestinian baby denied Jerusalem ID card is blocked from access to health and other services

(pic: Seven-month-old Nouralden Issa Abbassi’s future is in limbo because Israel won’t issue him Jerusalem residency rights. Jillian Kestler-D’Amours)

From The Electronic Intifada
Jerusalem baby denied rights by Israeli apartheid

by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours

Smiling and wide-eyed, seven-month-old Nouralden Issa Abbassi is happily getting passed between the arms of his mother, grandmother and uncle in the living room of the Abbassi family home in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

But while the family appears carefree, the reality is that Israel’s decision to deny Nouralden a Jerusalem identification card — and by extension block his right to access public health services and education — has left everyone anxious and concerned for the future.

“They refused to give Nouralden an ID [card] because they don’t want him to stay here,” Nouralden’s mother, Riham Abbassi, told The Electronic Intifada. “They don’t want us to live here because of what Issa did.”

Issa Abbassi, Nouralden’s father, was sentenced to ten years in prison in May 2010 for allegedly shooting at Israeli settler security guards near the illegal settlement of Beit Yonathan, which sits in the heart of the Silwan neighborhood of Baten al-Hawa.

Issa was already behind bars at Ashqelon prison — one of four prison facilities run by the Israeli General Security Service (GSS), also known as the Shin Bet or Shabak — when Nouralden was born in East Jerusalem late last year.

As a result, the Israeli Ministry of Interior rejected the family’s application for the baby’s Jerusalem ID card, arguing that Issa himself would have to apply when he is released from prison since he is the only parent with Jerusalem residency rights. Riham — originally from the East Jerusalem village of Kafr Aqab, part of which sits on the West Bank side of Israel’s wall — has a West Bank-only ID card.

“The Bible and the Koran both say that the child should not be punished for what the father did. This is collective punishment. Ten years [in prison] is punishment enough. The family should not be punished too,” Nouralden’s grandfather, Daoud Abbassi, told The Electronic Intifada. more

Home demolitions by Israel shows sharp increase on last year, says rights group

From Israeli human rights group B'Tselem:

Civil Administration demolished more Palestinian homes this year than in all of last year. Last week alone, 33 residential structures were demolished in the Jordan Valley and southern Hebron hills

In the past week, Civil Administration inspectors, accompanied by soldiers and Border Police officers, demolished 33 residential structures in the Palestinian communities Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza, all in the Jordan Valley, and in Khirbet Bir al-‘Id, in the southern Hebron hills. These were home to 238 persons, 129 of them minors. According to B'Tselem’s figures, since the beginning of 2011, the Civil Administration has demolished 103 residential structures in Area C, most of them tents, huts, and tin shacks, in which 706 persons lived (including 341 minors). [These figures include only residential structures that were demolished and not those used for livestock, storage, and baking].

This is a sharp increase in home demolitions in Area C. In 2010, by comparison, the Civil Administration demolished 86 residential structures. In 2009, the figure was 28. more

Settlers attempt to take over Palestinian family's home in four-hour attack

Beit Safafa – PNN – Israeli settlers attempted to take over a Palestinian family’s home in Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

Reports indicate that settlers who live in the Givat Hamatos settlement next door, attacked the home in an apparent move to secure more land for themselves.

The attack, which lasted for four hours and left the residents of the home injured, ended when the police arrived and immediately took the residents to the police station for questioning.

The police have released the residents on bail, while the brother of the owner of the home remains in the hospital for the severe injuries he sustained during the attack.

According to the owner of the home, the police remain in his residence, while they review the incident.

Beit Safafa lies outside of the 1949 armistice line, but was annexed by Israel in the 1980s as part of the Jerusalem municipality. more

Israel to allow 300 trucks with commercial goods and humanitarian aid to enter Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli crossings officials said they would permit 300 truckloads of commercial goods, humanitarian aid and limited construction materials into the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Palestinian crossings coordinator Raed Fattouh said the goods permitted to enter included 30 motor vehicles and an unknown number of loads of construction materials for projects sponsored by UN Development Programme and the German Development Agency. more

Third Intifada app removed from App Store after complaint by Israeli government

From the NY Times
Apple removed an application from its App Store on Wednesday after a Jewish human rights group and a top Israeli official said it contained anti-Semitic content and promoted violence against Israel.

The app, “The Third Intifada,” notified people of upcoming protests against Israel and also highlighted anti-Israel news and opinion from around the Web.

“We removed this app from the App Store because it violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people,” an Apple spokesman said Wednesday evening. more

Activists undergo non-violence training and take anti-sabotage measures as boats moor at secret locations

By Mya Guarnieri

ATHENS, Greece (Ma'an) -- Non-violence training and anti-sabotage measures are in place for the volunteers, activists and media arriving in Athens as the Freedom Flotilla II prepares to sail to Gaza.

In hopes of preventing sabotage which organizers said docked two boats from the 2010 flotilla, the ships for the June voyage have been moored in undisclosed locations, and press members have been asked not to release photographs of the vessels.

Upon arrival, those registered to sail to Gaza and attempt to break the Israeli blockade will participate in seminars designed by flotilla organizers on how to handle expected confrontations with Israeli forces when the boats approach the Gaza shore. more

New York Times, CNN and CBS journalists and camera crews sailing with Gaza flotilla

If Israel is planning another massacre the eyes of the world - as well as the mainstream media of the US - will be watching. The opinion piece by Simon Plosker on Ynet shows how worried the pro-Israel crowd is.
We should all be extremely concerned by the announcement that among those sailing on the imminent flotilla to Gaza are journalists representing mainstream media, including the New York Times and camera crews from CNN and CBS.

This is a clear example of the symbiotic relationship between the media and anti-Israel agitators such as those behind the flotilla. After all, it wasn’t the violent actions of the passengers on board the Mavi Marmara that caused Israel so much damage – it was the diplomatic and public relations fallout from an incident that occupied the international press for days after the event.

The “martyrdom” of nine Turkish passengers constituted a PR success for the IHH organization and its cohorts. Clearly then the only reason the mainstream media would jump on board the next flotilla would be the prospect of capturing a repeat performance. Likewise, the flotilla’s organizers are counting on the media to publish a story whose narrative has already been written - namely that of some plucky “peace activists” attempting to break a brutish and illegal naval blockade of the poor Palestinians in their open-air prison. more

US warns of dangers facing flotilla but fails to provide protection for its citizens

Incredibly, instead of protecting its citizens attempting to break Israel's illegal blockade, the US is instead warning that the humanitarian mission is going to a 'dangerous and volatile' coast', parroting the words of Israel's UN ambassador who warns of 'dangerous consequences', or, to put it another way - Israel is willing to commit another Mavi Marmara massacre (see pictures of the dead from last year above).

From Voice of America
The United States has warned Americans against participating in an international aid flotilla aimed at breaking Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

A new State Department travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, issued Wednesday, said U.S. citizens could face arrest, prosecution and deportation by Israel if they join the flotilla.

It said the Gaza coast is "dangerous and volatile" and notes the Israeli navy has stopped previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea, resulting in deaths, injuries and arrests.

Organizers say a U.S.-flagged vessel carrying a group of Americans is among at least nine ships expected to attempt the Mediterranean voyage later this month, despite Israeli warnings.

Israel calls the flotilla a provocation and has stepped up diplomatic efforts to block it. Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, warned the international body the planned flotilla is a provocation that could have "dangerous consequences." more