Monday, 18 July 2011

Sheikh Raed Salah released from UK jail and will fight to show he entered country legally

The leader of the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch, Sheikh Raed Salah, was released from a British jail Monday. Salah had been detained for three weeks on suspicion he tried to enter the country despite being banned.

One of Salah's attorneys told Ynet police had escorted his client to his place of residence in Britain. "He can wander freely but must notify police of any change in residence," the attorney said.

He added that Salah had yet to decide whether to return to Israel or remain in Britain until he could prove that he had entered legally.

Salah arrived in London last month and nearly succeeded in speaking before the British parliament despite a ban imposed by Home Secretary Theresa May.

It was decided that Salah would be deported from the country immediately, after police said they suspect he succeeded in entering by altering a letter in his name.

Salah refused to leave and appealed the orders. "I entered Britain legally and I will leave it without being expelled," he said.

Sheikh Kamal Khatib, the deputy head of the Islamic Movement, said the decision was a victory for his organization. "All of these arrests will not affect our path, we will continue to carry out our plans as usual," he added. more

Video: 19 Palestinian children aged 12 and 13 imprisoned, only one acquitted of 800 seized for throwing stones

(video from B'Tselem)

From the Guardian

One out of more than 800 Palestinian children charged with throwing stones in the West Bank over a six-year period was acquitted, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

Ninety-three percent of the 834 under-18s who were convicted were given prison sentences by the Israeli military courts, including 19 children aged 12 and 13. The sentences ranged from a few days to 20 months. The imprisonment of Israeli children under the age of 14 is not allowed. B'Tselem said it based its figures on data provided by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and relating to the years 2005-10. Most of the minors were aged 16 and 17, but 255 were 14 or 15, with 34 under 14.

Only five cases were brought to a full trial compared to 624 which ended with a plea bargain. "Judges order the vast majority of minors to be held in custody until the end of the criminal proceedings, forcing plea bargains. This is because even if the minor is eventually acquitted, he will spend a longer period of time in custody during the course of a full trial than the length of punishment if he pleads guilty in a plea bargain," said B'Tselem.

B'Tselem interviewed 50 Palestinian minors for the report. Many described being arrested in the middle of the night, denied access to their families or lawyers and mistreatment. Only two of the children interviewed for the report, No Minor Matter, had an adult present during questioning. more

Swedish Ship to Gaza website hit by advanced cyber attack - site down since Friday

(pic: Swedish author Henning Mankell took part in Freedom Flotilla 2 and has vowed to join the next effort)

From Swedish English-language site The Local
The website of Swedish Ship to Gaza [the site was still down at time of posting] has been subjected to a cyber attack, in the latest setback to befall the aid and protest convoy the Freedom Flotilla II.

The group were forced to shut down their website on Friday after a so-called overload attack which forced their server company to pull the plug.

"Since Friday morning our server supplier has been under attack, which means that our website is down. We can't say for sure if it is directed against us, but it is obviously an advanced attack," Ship to Gaza wrote in a statement.

The organisation shifted their information feed to a temporary blog and are considering whether to report the matter to the police, while they sought to play down the impact of the attack.

"The effects of the attack were not those desired," Ship to Gaza press spokesperson Mikael Löfgren told the TT news agency. more

More illegal settlements approved as Israel ignores Palestinian rights and international opinion

From the Egyptian Gazette

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - Israel is to issue tenders for 336 new homes in two West Bank settlements, a spokesman for the Israeli ministry of construction and housing told AFP on Monday.

"We will very shortly issue tenders for the construction of 336 houses for Jews in Judea and Samaria" Ariel Rosenberg said, using the biblical term for the West Bank.

"In total, 294 homes are planned for Beitar-Illit, and 42 others in Karnei Shomron," said Rosenberg. Beitar Illit is south of Jerusalem, while Karnei Shomron lies 15 kilometres (nine miles) west of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Rosenberg did not specify when the tenders would be issued.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak had approved the construction of the 294 Beitar Ilit homes in May, but the project was subject to various stages of review and additional approvals before tenders could be issued. more

Palestinian Knesset member Hanin Zoabi suspended for daring to support Freedom Flotilla 1

(pic: Hanin Zoabi being attacked in Israel's 'democratic' parliament)

(Reuters) - Israel's parliament suspended an Arab lawmaker on Monday for sailing with a flotilla that challenged the Israeli blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip last year and was intercepted in a deadly raid.

The Knesset's Ethics Committee voted to suspend Hanin Zoabi from most parliamentary debates until the summer recess early next month, while allowing her to take part in any votes held in the current session.

Zoabi was punished after three lawmakers filed complaints against her for traveling aboard the Mavi Marmara, a converted cruise ship stormed by the Israeli navy as it led a six-vessel pro-Palestinian flotilla toward Gaza in May 2010. Nine Turkish activists on the ship were killed in fighting with marines.

The ethics committee said in a statement that Zoabi had "participated in an action destined to threaten state security."

It accused her of cooperating with the Turkish charity IHH, which provided funds and volunteers for the Mavi Marmara mission and is outlawed in Israel because of its links to Hamas, an Islamist group hostile to the Jewish state.

Zoabi, who has denied wrongdoing in the flotilla incident and says she tried to mediate between the activists and Israeli forces, cried foul at Monday's decision.

"An automatic right-wing majority should not be permitted to punish me for my political views," she told Israel's Army Radio. more

Videos: action against 'ethical' investment fund TIAA-CREF profiting from Israeli occupation ‬‏

Posted on Palestine Video: "SouthBayJVP on Jul 16, 2011

Ask TIAA-CREF ['ethical' investment fund managers - iGaza, ed] to divest from companies profiting from Israel's illegal settlements and Occupation.

Although, TIAA-CREF provides socially responsible investment funds and has as its motto 'Financial services for the greater good,' it invests in companies that profit from Israel's illegal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank including the building of Jewish-only settlements, the diverting of 80% of the West Bank's water to Israeli-only uses, the uprooting of ancient olive groves and the attendant violence employed to impose these actions upon the indigenous population. Sign the petition:

We Divest From Israel's Occupation performed flash mobs around the country to call on TiAA-CREF to stop profiting from Occupation. This video features performances in New York, the Bay Area, Boston, and Denver. The flash mobs came after TIAA-CREF refused to allow a shareholder resolution holding companies accountable in TIAA-CREF's portfolio. such as Caterpillar, Elbit, Motorola, Northrup Grumman, and Veolia for doing business with Israel's Occupation. For more info or to sign the petition, visit

Some background on TIAFF-CREF below:

Dignité al-Karama is in international waters and aims to reach Gaza after daybreak on Tuesday

PARIS—Pro-Palestinian activists say a protest ship trying to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip expects to reach the territory Tuesday.

Activist Thomas Sommer says the Dignity al-Karama ship is traveling slowly in international waters and aims to reach Gaza after daybreak Tuesday.

The Dignity left a Greek port late Saturday. It is the only ship to set sail so far from a larger protest flotilla that had hoped to break the blockade weeks ago but was thwarted by Greece.

Sommer spoke by telephone Monday from aboard the Dignity al-Karama. He is a spokesman for the 16 activists and journalists on the French-based ship.

The Israeli military has said it will stop any attempt to break the sea blockade of Gaza.

Boston Globe

Two fighters injured in Monday dawn airstrike east of Khan Younis in continuing daily attacks

(Video: damage after airstrike on 14 July - Al Arabiya)

Palestinian medical sources reported that two fighters were wounded when the Israeli Air Force fired, on Monday at dawn, a number of missiles into an area, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Adham Abu Salmiyya, spokesperson of the Higher Committee of Medical Services in Gaza, reported that the army bombarded Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis, targeting fighters of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, inflicting two injuries; one seriously.

Local sources reported that the bombarded area is a training zone for the Al Qassam Brigades; damage to nearby buildings was reported.

Furthermore, local sources reported that Israeli jets dropped leaflets warning the residents to stay at least 300 meters away from the border fence between Gaza and Israel. more