Friday, 16 December 2011

Israeli navy fires on Gaza fishing boat for 'deviating from designated fishing area'

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli naval ships opened fire on a Palestinian fishing boat off the Gaza coast on Friday, injuring a 45-year-old fisherman, medics said.

Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya said the man was taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City with moderate injuries to his legs.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the fishing boat "deviated from the designated fishing area and the navy called on it to stop, but when it did not respond they fired warning shots at the boat engine."

In early December, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said Israel has detained 40 fishermen, injured five others and seized nine boats since the start of the year. more

Secret report from European embassies says Israeli mistreatment of Arab citizens is 'core issue'

The European Union should consider Israel's treatment of its Arab population a "core issue, not second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," according to a classified working paper produced by European embassies in Israel, parts of which were obtained by Haaretz.

This is an unprecedented document in that it deals with internal Israeli issues. According to European diplomats and senior Foreign Ministry officials, it was written and sent to EU headquarters in Brussels behind the back of the Israeli government.

Other issues the document deals with include the lack of progress in the peace process, the continued occupation of the territories, Israel's definition of itself as Jewish and democratic, and the influence of the Israeli Arab population.

The original document also included suggestions for action the EU should take, but these were removed from the final version at the insistence of several countries. more

Iceland offically recognises Palestine as a state, ready to establish full diplomatic relations

During a special ceremony at its capital, Reykjavik, Iceland’s Foreign Minister, Ossur Skarphedinsson, officially informed his Palestinian counterpart, Riyadh Al Maliki, that his country officially recognized Palestine as a state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Skarphedinsson stated that his country will be establishing full diplomatic relations with the Palestinian State, with the Icelandic parliament officially recognizing Palestine as a state two weeks ago.

Visiting Iceland, Al Maliki welcomed the decision and stated that it carries great significance to the Palestinians, and that this step will encourage other countries to do the same.

An Icelandic spokesperson said that “it kept it promise, supported the Palestinian cause, and will always support it.”

Skarphedinsson said that Iceland recognize Palestine as a sovereign and an independent state in the Palestinian territories, occupied by Israel during the six-day war in 1967- this includes occupied East Jerusalem.

There are more than 100 countries around the world that have recognized Palestine as a state. more