Saturday, 30 July 2011

Family from al-Wallaja village cut off by separation barrier so Israel to build them a tunnel

From Al Jazeera

A separation barrier being built by Israel in the West Bank, the occupied Palestinian territory, will further isolate the village of al-Wallaja from the outside world, Palestinians say.

The Hajajleh family, whose backyard is already bound by an electronic fence, is among those who will be cut off from relatives in al-Wallaja.

So Israel is building him an $800,000 personal tunnel as the family's only connection to the village.

Palestinians say the move is not out of goodwill - but is part of a grander government plan to squeeze them out of another huge area of the West Bank.

Jad Isaac, a researcher, says al-Wallaja is standing in the way of Israel's long-term plan to complete a ring of Jewish settlements that would surround the neighbouring city of Bethlehem.

The tunnels would eventually become the village's only means of access to the outside world, he says.

Tom Ackerman reports from the West Bank.

Masked settlers attack Palestinian shepherds and internationals using stones and iron bars

Three settlers from the illegal West Bank settlement of Havat Maon harassed three Palestinian shepherds and attacked two internationals observers near Mesheha hill. The masked settlers threw stones at the internationals as well as hitting one of them with an iron bar on the head.

The Palestinian shepherds were tending to their flocks when the settlers came to harass them and attack the internationals at 9:15AM Wednesday July 27, 2011.

The shepherds left the area before being attacked by the settlers but the Internationals were attacked.

One of the internationals was a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team. The settler ruined this international’s camera. After being attacked by the settler, the international was sent to the hospital to receive eight stitches.

The four unidentified settlers chased both of the internationals back to At-Tuwani.

The international organizations, Operation Dove and the Christian Peacemaker Team, have maintained a presence at At-Tawani and the south Hebron hills since 2004.

Operation Dove and the Christian Peacemakers team has captured six occasions where settlers from Havot Maon have attacked Palestinian’s or internationals by Mesheha hill since June 22, 2011, according to Maan News Agency.

All settlements and outposts in the West Bank are illegal under Israeli and international law. more

Protests as Israel continues policy of detaining Palestinian MPs with arrest of Abu Tous

GAZA, (PIC)-- First deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) Dr. Ahmed Bahar has condemned the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) for abducting the council member Khaled Abu Tous.

He affirmed in a press release on Saturday that the policy of kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers had completely failed in absenting them from the political arena and social work in the West Bank.

Bahar said that the detention of Abu Tous reflected the state of confusion prevailing among Israeli decision-makers and their wish to spread tension in the Palestinian arena.

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) failed in curbing the growing role of those MPs in the West Bank despite the plots against them, the deputy speaker said.

Bahar questioned the role of international organizations and human rights groups vis-à-vis such practices, which they condemn in various other world areas but remain dead silent when it comes to Israeli practices.

He urged all parliamentary blocs in the PLC to stand united in face of the Israeli practices, which, he said, would foil the IOA schemes. more

Occupation force move to shutdown West Bank anti-wall protests - 15 injured at Qalqiliya

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Friday fired tear gas and sound grenades to shut down weekly anti-wall protests in villages across the West Bank.

Activists said three women were injured and three foreign nationals were detained in Nabi Saleh. A journalist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida was attacked and briefly detained at the protest.

Meanwhile hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis and international activists played a football match during an anti-wall demonstration in Al-Masara near Bethlehem.

Activists said soldiers attacked popular committee spokesman Muhammad Ahmad Burjieh, 33. He was taken to hospital in Beit Jala with fractured ribs. more

15 injured at Qalqiliya
Fifteen Palestinian protesters were injured on Friday when Israeli forces dispersed a peaceful protest in the village of Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqiliya.

The protesters were demanding that Israeli forces open the village's main entrance, which has been closed for nearly nine years.

Murad Shteiwi, spokesman for the weekly rally, told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers surprised the protesters when they started fired "tear gas canisters" in all directions.

They had been watching a Dutch musical group visiting the village in an act of solidarity, playing Palestinian music to the crowds.

Hundreds of local and foreign nationals started a rally after Friday prayers.

Iskandar Eisthon, 68, Zaki Nayif, 6, Alaa Muath, 7, Muhammad Dawood, 11, Jaafar Bassam, 15, Ibrahim Asaad, 50, Rani Ali, 28 and several others choked on the tear gas. more