Monday, 11 July 2011

Bulldozers demolish home and workshops near Jerusalem and olive trees in Nablus area

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) escorted bulldozers in a demolition raid in Jib village to the northwest of occupied Jerusalem on Monday, local sources said.

They said that the bulldozers razed a house and carpentry workshop of one of the citizens, a mini market, fences and other installations in Khalaila suburb before heading to another area.

The sources noted that the Israeli occupation authority had served demolition notices to 30 Palestinian families in the suburb a while ago on the pretext their homes were built without permit.

They pointed out that the soldiers assaulted owners of the homes and shops and fired tear gas at the citizens who tried to intervene and stop the demolition and arrested a number of them.

Meanwhile, IOF soldiers sealed off the southern Nablus area of Wadi Qana after declaring it a closed military zone on Monday.

Local sources said that military bulldozers then destroyed tens of olive trees in the area. PIC
A further 450 olive trees were uprooted in Salif province by Israeli soldiers.

Israel's parliament passes law making it illegal to call for boycott against any part of the country

(pic: Palestinians hold banners during a rally calling for a boycott of Israeli products in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on December 30, 2010 - MaanImages/Khaleel Reash)

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's parliament Monday approved a law effectively banning Israelis from calling for boycotts of any part of the country or its settlements on occupied Palestinian land, a parliamentary source said.

The vote was passed by 47-36 out of 120 members of parliament.

Activists and intellectuals had criticized the controversial bill, accusing the lawmakers behind it of stifling free speech and compromising Israel's democracy.

The vote came in the wake of several calls within Israeli society for the boycott of institutions or individuals linked to West Bank settlements. more

Jewish psychiatrist's work helps Gaza's traumatized children overcome Israeli army terror

by Fares Akram

GAZA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The 10-year-old Nariman al-Attar had suffered from nightmares and a low learning level since the end of Israel's three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip nearly two and a half years ago.

But this semester, Nariman has done better in school while the nightmares and fear she used to feel have almost gone.

That was only when Nariman started attending sessions to treat the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in her neighborhood in northern Gaza Strip.

The treatment uses techniques involving mind and body without any drugs. The training is sponsored and overseen by the Washington-based Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), run by the U.S. psychiatrist James S. Gordon.

Gordon, who is a Jew, came to Gaza the first time in 2002, amid violent fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups a year after the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising).

But after the Gaza war, which ended in January 2009 and left some 1,400 Palestinians dead and thousands of houses demolished, there have been more traumatized children.

"Before the war, there had been some children affected, but after the war, you can find some areas where all children are suffering traumas," Gordon said.

Nariman's area, Al-Atatra, was the scene of ground military incursion and their house was partially damaged. Her mother recalls that the Israeli soldiers held the family at their house for nine days before letting them walk out of the area waving a white flag.


Video: detained travellers to occupied Palestine not allowed access to lawyers

Israel's claim to be the 'only democracy in the Middle East' becomes more and more laughable by the day. When the activists eventually get home they should be looking to sue the Israeli government for violation of their human rights. There are many individuals and organisations with the necessary funds in the Middle East and beyond who will come forward to allow legal action to be taken. Israel stares yet another PR disaster in the face.

Israeli military fail to handover crucial video evidence in flawed Rachel Corrie trial

From the Los Angeles Times

Upon the conclusion of a 16-month-long trial over the 2003 death of their daughter, the parents of American activist Rachel Corrie accused Israel’s military of failing to turn over key surveillance video footage taken at the Gaza Strip field where Corrie was run over by an Israeli military bulldozer.

At a press conference Monday in Jerusalem, the Corrie family -- which has filed a civil lawsuit against Israel -- said the military has only provided the court with one black-and-white video, depicting events before and after Corrie was killed.

But the family says other video footage exists, including color film that was released by an Israel Defense Forces official and used in an Israeli television documentary. The family also obtained a third video.

“There’s more video out there that needs to be turned over,’’ said Sarah Corrie Simpson, Rachel’s sister.
Israeli officials have argued in court that they have provided all the footage they have.

The judge’s ruling is expected next April, following the submission of final written arguments by both sides. The suit was filed in 2005.

The Corries say soldiers either intentionally ran over their daughter or are “grossly negligent” in her death by failing to halt the bulldozing work until Corrie and other civilian activists had been removed from the scene. The Internaiontional Solidarity Movement members were attempting to prevent Israeli bulldozers from demolishing Palestinian homes.

Israeli officials say they have no responsibility for the death because the activists put themselves in danger by protesting during a period of hostilities.

Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father, said the family filed the lawsuit because they did not believe Israel conducted a thorough investigation in his daughter’s death and to uncover more information about what happened that day.

“We came here seeking accountability,’’ he said. “We demand justice.”

-- Edmund Sanders in Jerusalem - LA Times

Forty international pro-Palestine activists denied access to lawyer, 38 deported Sunday night


Forty pro-Palestinian activists detained in Israel for trying to reach Gaza are being denied access to a lawyer.

According to pro-Palestinian activist Ronnie Barkan, Israel’s reaction is nothing less than sheer hysteria.

“What we just saw at the airport a couple of days ago is not out of the ordinary,” said Barkan. “It is amazing that peace activists who clearly just want to show their solidarity and insist on basic values of universally recognized human rights are considered such a big threat by Israel.” more

And from the Jerusalem Post
Thirty-eight foreign pro-Palestinian activists were deported on Sunday evening.

They had been held in prison since they arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday planning to participate in a mass fly-in in support of Palestinian statehood.

Thirty-five of the activists were put on a Lufthansa flight to Germany and one was placed on a Alitalia flight on their way to Spain.

Another two activists were sent to Belgium late on Saturday night and four were released after they signed papers promising not to participate in provocative actions against Israel while in the country.

As of Sunday night, 82 activists were still in Israeli prisons awaiting deportation. more

Help stop settler harassment: sign up for olive picking in Palestine from October 15 for 9 nights

Invitation, Olive picking, Palestine, 15th October 2011

E mail for registration form:

To learn more about previous seasons please go to the video and watch a 10 minutes film about the event here:

Invitation to olive picking [Palestine, October, 2011]
( Starting Saturday 15th October 2011 for 9 nights )

2011 will be the 8th year the annual JAI / ATG Olive Picking Program in Palestine from October 15th to 24th 2011. This event is of special significance to the Palestinian economy when all energies and efforts are mobilised.

Since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, the olive harvest has been overshadowed by the Israeli policies of repression, closure, blockage of streets, confiscation of agricultural lands, as well as repeated attacks against Palestinian farmers by Israeli settlers. Now with the construction the Apartheid Wall and the continuous expansion of Israeli settlements at the expense of agricultural land in the occupied Palestine , many farmers are separated from their trees, and help is most needed.

The objective of this program is to mobilise as many people as possible for olive picking, especially in areas that are situated in proximity to Israeli settlements and bypass roads, in order to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive trees which they might be unable to do without international support. Also, the event has brought up awareness to hundreds of people from many countries around the world about real life under the Israeli Military Occupation, and the experience itself was referred to by several participants as a life changing one. You too are invited to join us for this event.

Besides picking olives, the program will feature introductory presentations about the organising institutions, the current situation in Palestine and the effect of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem , a tour of Hebron , cultural evenings and social gatherings.
There will be opportunities to visit the dead sea prior to and after the program and on the day off as well as visiting holy places of interest including historical sites such as the Al Aqsa and Ibrahimi mosques and Nativity.

Olive picking Palestine October 2008

Olive Picking 2011: 15th - 24th October

Olive Picking 2011 - Proposed schedule
Day One – Saturday 15/10/2011: Arrival. Meeting representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program.
Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour (near Bethlehem)

Day Two – Sunday 16/10/2011: Half day picking olives at a selected field.
After lunch, political tour and sightseeing in Bethlehem, including the visit of a refugee camp. Dinner, followed by screening of a documentary at Jadal / Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Three - Monday 17/10/2011: Half day picking olives at a selected field, followed by lunch.
Meeting at The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) for a presentation on the Apartheid Wall and land confiscation. Visiting an olive press
Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Four - Tuesday 18/10/2011: Tour in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Lunch, followed by a settlement tour around Jerusalem with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Five - Wednesday 19/10/2011: free day

Day Six - Thursday: 20/10/2011: A tour in the old city of Hebron. Visiting the Ibrahimi Mosque. Meeting with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) for a presentation about the situation in Hebron.
Lunch. Visiting a glass factory. Free time
Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Seven - Friday 21/10/2011: a full day of picking olives at a selected field, lunch included.
Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Eight - Saturday 22/10/2011: Half day picking olives at a selected field.
Dinner followed by a presentation on the refugee questions with BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees' Rights
Dinner and overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Nine - Sunday 23/10/2011: Half day picking olives at a field.
Evaluation meeting followed by a musical evening.
Overnight in Beit Sahour

Day Ten - Monday 24/10/2011: departure.

To learn more about previous seasons where you can find reports, reflections and pictures of how the programs were carried out.

Also, you can see short films about the Olive Tree Campaign

More Information:

The cost of the program including accommodation in a double room, meals, guides, local transportation and other relevant expenses is $650 or the equivalent in your local currency. - please check the currency converter -

Accommodation can be arranged at a hotel or with a local family.

A tour guide will be present with the group at all times for facilitation purposes.

Travel from and to the airport is not included in the cost but can be arranged for groups.

For any other information, questions, concerns, or to request a registration form, please contact:

For Britain, and Ireland contact, please e mail
to arrange group travela nd to register.

Note: If from outside Britain, and Ireland you may still contact

To learn more about previous seasons please go to the video and watch a 10 minutes film about the event here:

Kind regards from the staff of Visit Palestine!