Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Islamic aid agencies battle the odds in Gaza because of Israeli and western 'anti-terror' legislation


GAZA CITY - Secours Islamique France is a respected aid agency, part of the global Islamic Relief network based in the UK, but when it comes to helping Palestinians in Gaza, its operations are challenged by both Israeli bureaucracy and its own “no-contact” policy with the Hamas officials who control the territory.

Hamas is branded a “terror” organization by most western countries, despite their victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative council elections. That requires Secours Islamique France, and all other international charities working in Gaza, to tread extremely carefully to avoid falling foul of anti-terror legislation.

US rules, specifically their definition of providing support to terrorism, are the most stringent, according to a paper on Counter-terrorism and Humanitarian Action by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), part of Britain’s Overseas Development Institute. “In the US, no knowledge or intention to support terrorism per se is required [for criminal responsibility] if support is knowingly provided to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” says the report.

In the UK, “having reasonable cause to suspect” that support will contribute to terrorist activity is enough to attract criminal responsibility.

This notion of "support" under US and UK anti-terror legislation means that, for example, when Secours Islamique France distributes milk and fortified biscuits daily to 10,000 pre-school children in Gaza, the INGO must only deal directly with the schools, to avoid any contact with the Education Ministry. more

Israeli Prison Service to use force to break Adnan’s hunger strike


NAZARETH, (PIC)-- The Israeli prison service has decided to break the hunger strike of detained Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Khader Adnan by force, the Hebrew radio said on Tuesday.

Adnan earlier on Sunday announced that he would not break his strike, which started 46 days ago, until his release.

Riyadh Al-Ashqar, a researcher with the Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners, held the Israeli occupation authority fully responsible for the life of Adnan after the decision to break his strike by force. more

Son of Gaza's ministry of interior among detained after raids near Rafah and al-Maghazi


Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at night, the eastern area of the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, and kidnapped two residents east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Local sources reported that several tanks, and two military bulldozers, advanced 200 meters into the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, and bulldozed farmlands while the army fired bursts of live ammunition, and several flares; no injuries were reported.

Furthermore, human rights organizations in Gaza reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Monday two Palestinians east of Rafah.

Undercover forces of the Israeli army infiltrated into the area and kidnapped Ahmad Hussein Aathra, 19, a member of the National Security Forces in Gaza, and the son of the advisor of the Gaza-based Minister of Interior. The undercover forces also kidnapped Hajjaj As-Soufi, 17, who was with Aathra.

Israeli soldiers have kidnapped at least seven Palestinians in the Gaza strip this month. more

Monday, 30 January 2012

Islamic Jihad's Khader Adnan on 43rd day of hunger strike faces serious health issues


Khader Adnan, an imprisoned Palestinian activist and a spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad party, has been on an ongoing hunger strike since December 17. He is facing severe health consequences for his 43-day hunger strike and needs international support and solidarity to publicize his case and that of his nearly 5,000 fellow Palestinian political prisoners inside the jails of the Israeli occupation. He was transferred today to a hospital and is continuing to refuse food, awaiting the arrival of two Palestinian doctors. He is currently in a wheelchair because he cannot walk, due to weakness from his hunger strike.

Addameer details the experience of Khader Adnan with the Israeli occupation. He is currently held under administrative detention (arbitrary detention without charge or trial, based on secret evidence, and renewable indefinitely for repeated periods of up to six months.) Khader Adnan was issued a four-month administrative detention order on January 8, and faces another military court hearing on January 30. This is the eighth time Adnan has been detained, and he has served a total of six years in Israeli prisons - mostly without charge or trial under the administrative detention scheme.

Addameer reports:

Khader was arrested on 17 December 2011, when Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) raided his home outside Jenin at 3:30 am. Before entering his house, soldiers used the driver that takes Khader’s father to the vegetable market, Mohammad Mustafa, as a human shield by forcing him to knock on the door of the house and call out Khader’s name while blindfolded. A huge force of soldiers then entered the house shouting. Recognizing Khader immediately, they grabbed him violently in front of his two young daughters and ailing mother.

The soldiers blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back using plastic shackles before leading him out of his house and taking him to a military jeep. Khader was then thrown on his back and the soldiers began slapping him in the face and kicking his legs. They kept him lying on his back until they reached Dutan settlement, beating him on the head throughout the 10-minute drive. When they reached the settlement, Khader was pushed aggressively out of the jeep. Because of the blindfold, Khader did not see the wall right in front of him and smashed into it, causing injuries to his face. more

Haniyeh leaves Gaza for second international tour, visiting Qatar, Kuwait and Iran


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh left the Gaza Strip on Monday, for his second international tour in weeks.

Departing through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, Haniyeh will first head to Qatar to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani.

The Gaza premier will present the Qatari leadership with a number of projects to reconstruct Gaza, and Qatar has already expressed its willingness to contribute, Haniyeh said.

Gaza government officials had previously indicated his tour would include stops in Iran and Kuwait. more

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Ireland's deputy foreign minister slams Israel's Gaza blockade


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore visited the Gaza Strip on Friday, where he slammed Israel's blockade on the coastal enclave.

Gilmore, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, told reporters: "Ireland is completely opposed to the blockade ... It is clearly having a devastating impact on the local economy."

"The blockade should be ended soon in order to allow the local economy to grow, and ensure that people who live in Gaza can exercise their human rights: freedom of movement and travel."

Gilmore met with officials from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and civil society representatives in the Gaza Strip, in the first leg of a three-day visit to Israel and Palestine. more

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Israeli missile targets home in Ash-Shujaa’eya neighborhood, Abu Mustafa shells Nahal Oz


Palestinian local sources reported that an Israeli missile targeted Saturday at dawn a home in the neighborhood of Ash-Shujaa’eya, east of Gaza. No injuries reported.

Eyewitness told the Maan News Agency that the missile hit Abu Hajjaj family house, leading to serious physical damages. No wounds were reported.

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), claimed responsibility for targeting Nahal Oz zone, east of the Gaza Strip with four Mortars.

They said in a statement that the shelling came as retaliation for an Israeli force storming of the area at 10:50 pm on Friday. more

Friday, 27 January 2012

Reports claim Hamas quietly quits Syria as violence continues


(Reuters) - The leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, has effectively abandoned his headquarters in the Syrian capital, Damascus, diplomatic and intelligence sources said on Friday.

"Meshaal is not staying in Syria as he used to do. He is almost out all the time," said a diplomat in the region who spoke on condition on anonymity.

A regional intelligence source, who also did not wish to be identified, said: "He's not going back to Syria. That's the decision he's made. There's still a Hamas presence there, but it's insignificant."

Damascus is isolated following a bloody, 10-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad and is not secure, the diplomat said, adding that Meshaal was no longer able to receive international visitors there.

Analysts say Meshaal was also embarrassed by Assad's violent crackdown, with more than 5,000 people reported killed. Many victims of the security forces have been Sunni Muslims allied to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose support Meshaal relies on.

Assad is backed mainly by his minority Alawite sect and other minorities.

The sources said Meshaal would not publicly shut down the political headquarters of Hamas in Syria, where it has long been hosted by Assad and by his father before him.

"In the past month he may have only stayed five days in Syria and the rest he spent in Qatar, Turkey and Egypt," said the diplomat. "But he did not close the headquarters in Syria in full and there are some Hamas officials still there."

"Our belief is that Hamas will not announce a departure from Syria even if it happened," the diplomat added.

The sources said Meshaal was currently in Egypt. But "there was no agreement to open an office in Cairo. Not yet," said the diplomat. "The expected residence for Meshaal is Qatar where he may stay most of the time until the Syria smoke has cleared." more

Israel’s interrogation of Islam Dar Ayyoub Tamimi, age 14: video reveals rights abuses


A year ago on January 23, 14-year-old Islam Dar Ayoub Tamimi was arrested at gunpoint after the Israeli army surrounded his house at around 1:30am. A few days before, on January 17, Islam’s house was one of many in the village of Nabi Saleh that were raided by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), where the soldiers then proceeded to take pictures of all males over the age of 12.

A month later, Islam’s younger brother eleven year old Kareem was chased down and hauled off by the Israeli police where he was illegally interrogated for two hours before getting released.

During his arrest, Islam was taken out of bed at gunpoint and violently taken to a military jeep, handcuffed and blindfolded. His brother Omar (who remains in detention after getting arrested during the West Bank car protest on Israeli only roads earlier this month) was beaten up as he tried to help Islam...

...The Popular Struggle website outlies some of the ways Islam’s rights were violated:

* The boy was arrested at gunpoint in the dead of night, during a violent military raid on his house.
* Despite being a minor, he was denied sleep in the period between his arrest and questioning, which began the following morning and lasted over 5 hours.
* Despite being told he would be allowed to see a lawyer, he was denied legal counsel, although his lawyer appeared at the police station requesting to see him.
* He was denied his right to have a parent present during his questioning. The testimony of one of his interrogators before the court suggests that he believes Palestinian minors do not enjoy this right.
* He was not informed of his right to remain silent, and was even told by his interrogators that he “must tell of everything that happened.”
* Only one of four interrogators who participated in the questioning was a qualified youth interrogator.

more

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Israel’s refusal to present borders of a future Palestinian state means talks end in failure


(Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah - image by Al-Arabiya)

The recent talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have reached a standstill, with the Israeli negotiators refusing to present borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state. With the deadline set for Thursday January 26 by Palestinian negotiators, and no progress having been made, the talks have been declared a failure.

Since the state of Israel was created in 1948, the Israeli government has never declared its borders, and has continually expanded its territory through the use of force. Currently, the Israeli military controls more than 85% of historic Palestine, and Israeli settlements continue to expand further onto Palestinian land in violation of international law.

During the five exploratory meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Amman, Jordan, over the last several weeks, the Palestinian Authority leaders attempted to get a commitment from Israeli officials on firm borders between an Israeli and Palestinian state, but Israel’s representative to the meetings, Isaac Molho, refused to present a position on the issue of borders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the King of Jordan that the talks were unproductive given Israel’s refusal to present any option on the border issue, and plans to meet with other Arab leaders next week to plan the next steps. more

First stage in construction of Indonesian-funded hospital in Gaza almost completed


VIVAnews – The construction of Indonesia Hospital (RSI) in Gaza, Palestine is nearing to be completed. Chairman of MER-C's Presidium, Jose Rizal Jurnalis, said the first work is almost 80% completed.

“The first stage of RSI Gaza construction is almost done,” he told VIVAnews, Thursday, Jan 26.

He said that if no significant hurdles get in the way, then the structural work will be completed in 2 months. Jose Rizal acknowledged that while some sections are complete, the first-stage construction of RSI Gaza should have been worked out by February..

“However, we dealt with many obstacles in the field which had delayed the construction project,” he said. “It is very normal, as doing construction work in a conflicting zone is not easy.”

Since the beginning of the hospital’s construction, problems seemed to have surrounded the project. “The difficulties vary from getting volunteers to enter Gaza to start the construction and to getting the needed materials collected as they must be supplied through tunnels,” he said.

“Moreover, the Gaza is not secure because of the non-stop attacks from the Israelis that caused the construction work to be temporarily halted many times.” more

Israel allows 300 truckloads of commercial and agricultural goods to enter Gaza Strip


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces partially opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza on Thursday in order to allow in 300 truckloads of commercial and agricultural goods.

Israel has also allowed two trucks of flowers and strawberries to be exported from the coastal enclave, Palestinian border crossing official Raed Fattuh told Ma'an. more

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Join World Social Forum Free Palestine in November 2012 in Porto Alegre


E mail for more information: samahd@pngo.net

Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe. The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and freedom and an echo of the World Social Forum’s opposition to neo-liberal hegemony, colonialism, and racism through struggles for social, political and economic alternatives to promote justice, equality, and the sovereignty of peoples.

The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world. It aims to:

1. Show the strength of solidarity with the calls of the Palestinian people and the diversity of initiatives and actions aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region.

2. Create effective actions to ensure Palestinian self-determination, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the fulfillment of human rights and international law, by:

a) Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

b) Ensuring the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

c) Implementing, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

3. Be a space for discussion, exchange of ideas, strategizing, and planning in order to improve the structure of solidarity.

Exactly sixty-five years after Brazil presided over the UN General Assembly session that agreed upon the partition of Palestine, Brazil will host a different type of global forum: an historic opportunity for people from all over the world to stand up where governments have failed. The world’s people will come together to discuss new visions and effective actions to contribute to justice and peace in the region.

We call on all organizations, movements, networks, and unions across the globe to join the WSF Free Palestine in November 2012 in Porto Alegre. We ask you to join the International Committee for the WSF Free Palestine, we will establish as soon as possible. Participation in this forum will structurally strengthen solidarity with Palestine, promote action to implement Palestinian’s legitimate rights, and hold Israel and its allies accountable to international law.

Together we can raise global solidarity with Palestine to a new level.

Palestinian Preparatory Committee for the WSF Free Palestine 2012

Secretariat members:

· PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network

· Stop the Wall – Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign,

· OPGAI – Occupied Palestinian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative

· Alternatives represented by:

Alternative Information Center,

Teacher Creativity Center

· Ittijah

· General Union of Palestinian women

Coordination office:

PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network

Tel: +970 2 2975320/1

Fax: +970 2 2950704

E mail: samahd@pngo.net

more

Gaza economy crushed by Israeli export restrictions

(photo: flickr/J McDowell)

Since June 2007, not a single product from the Gaza Strip has been allowed to be sold in Israel or the West Bank – once Gaza’s traditional markets. These restrictions have paralyzed the manufacturing sector in the Gaza Strip and led to high unemployment rates.

Two days ago one truckload of furniture from six factories left the Gaza Strip for a furniture expo in Jordan taking place on January 24-26th. The truck made its way via Israel and the West Bank after first undergoing rigorous security checks.

Gisha welcomes the security establishment’s decision to allow Gaza furniture makers to develop new markets for their products in Jordan. The shipment of the furniture to Jordan proves that the marketing of these and other kinds of products can also take place in both the West Bank and Israel itself – Gaza’s traditional markets.

Since 2007, there has been a blanket ban on marketing goods from Gaza to the West Bank and Israel, which has led to the near paralysis of Gaza's manufacturing sector. Israel and the West Bank were once the destination for 85% of the goods sold outside of the Strip before the ban was imposed. Some 83% of Gaza’s factories have been either shut down or are operating at 50% capacity or lower. The unemployment rate stands at 28%, as opposed to 15.5% in 2000.

The security establishment has explained that the ban on the marketing of Gaza's goods in the West Bank and Israel is part of the "separation policy" – a term that does not appear in official government or cabinet decisions, and a policy whose components have never been described and whose political and security rationale has not been explained.

Despite the trickle of goods which are permitted to reach Europe, and now also Jordan, the potential for real economic benefit remains blocked to manufacturers in Gaza. For example, Muhammad Yihya Najar, the owner of a furniture factory in Gaza, won a bid to supply desks and tables to schools in the West Bank. His request to transfer the items was rejected. more

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Connect with the Palestinian Students’ Campaign for Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)

A collective of students in Gaza has formed the Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI). These students are seeking to expand their collaboration and participation in events and activities with solidarity activists at international universities.

PSCABI members participate in many activities here in Gaza and are heavily involved in supporting the international student solidarity movements, especially with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns. PSCABI members frequently write letters out of Gaza, some of which we have listed below, encouraging people to participate in the boycott and thanking people who have supported the Palestinian cause.

PSCABI members are available to share ideas, participate via Skype or other technology in remote events, organize and strategize together, hear about your activities and provide information and narratives as Palestinian university students for your distribution, and provide access to voices speaking directly from besieged Gaza.

If you are interested in:
communicating with PSCABI
hosting a Skype conference with a PSCABI member
developing your organization’s relationship with PSCABI
please contact us at pscabi@usacbi.org.
more

Israel orders six months jail without charge for Palestinian Legislative Council speaker


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court on Tuesday ordered the detention of Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik for six months without charge.

Dweik, who was seized by Israeli forces at a Ramallah checkpoint on Thursday, heads the Palestinian Legislative Council. His lawyer Fadi Qawasmi said Ofer military court gave the administrative detention order early Tuesday, after a Sunday hearing was postponed.

The PLC speaker's office denounced the order as an "abusive decision without any charge or legal justification," accusing Israel of trying to stop a parliamentary session scheduled for next month.

"It is an Israeli attempt to thwart Palestinian reconciliation," the statement said. more

ISM reports live ammunition fired at peaceful demonstrators in Gaza buffer zone


LIVE AMMUNITION FIRED AT PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS IN GAZA BUFFER ZONE

In a peaceful demonstration into the Gaza buffer zone that began around 10:30am today, January 24 2012, demonstrators report that at least 50 rounds of live ammunition were fired directly at Palestinian and international solidarity activists.

Contact: Nathan Stuckey, International Solidarity Movement activist
Phone Number: 00970597650864
Email: GazaISM@gmail.com

From approximately a 25 meter distance, live ammunition was fired by Israeli military from watch towers, along with a few rounds of gas canisters also directly targeting demonstrators. No one has been reported injured yet demonstrators have stated that they will not stop their march. At least two Israeli soldiers have been visible on the ground while a large military tank also took position approximately 15 minutes following the initial shooting of live ammunition. With a momentary pause in gunfire that lasted for approximately 15 minutes, shooting of live ammunition has resumed in Gaza's No Go Zone. At least 50 bullets have been shot thus far.

--
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led non-violent resistance movement committed to ending Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land. We call for full compliance with all relevant UN resolutions and international law.

For specific media inquires such as interview requests, photo usage, etc. please email the ISM Media Office at media@palsolidarity.org
more

Israei airstrikes near Beit Lahiya and Khan Younis, no injuries reported


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli warplanes launched three airstrikes in north and south Gaza Strip early Tuesday, with no reports of injuries, witnesses and security officials said.

Israeli F16 fighter jets fired three missiles at fields near al-Shaymaa school in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, two missiles at an open area west of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, and one missile at Bani Suheila east of Khan Younis in the early hours.

Before the air strikes, locals said flare bombs were fired towards the eastern borders of Khan Younis. more

Monday, 23 January 2012

Two more MPs seized as Israeli forces storm International Red Cross HQ in Jerusalem


The State of Israel raided on Monday the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross and detained two Palestinian members of parliament.

Khaled Abu Arfa and Mohammed Totah, both members of the political wing of the Hamas movement and elected MPs, were detained from the IRC headquarters, having spent over 18 months seeking refuge in the building following Israel's revocation of their Jerusalem residency.

Mickey Rosenfeld told Reuters that the men had been detained due to their participation in "Hamas activities".

The IRC building is located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem where Palestinian residents have been subjected to eviction from their homes by Israel, allowing settler families to take the homes in their place. more

Atlanta Jewish Times editor resigns after calling for assasination of US president Obama


(JTA) -- The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times has resigned and is seeking a buyer in the wake of a column he wrote speculating that Israel would consider assassinating President Obama.

Andrew Adler, in an email obtained by JTA, announced Monday that he is "relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately" following the publishing of his opinion piece saying that Obama's assassination was among Israel's options in heading off a nuclear Iran.

Adler named staff writer John McCurdy as interim managing editor until a replacement can be found. Adler said he would publish an apology in his next edition and that reaction from readers had been overwhelmingly negative.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta said earlier Monday that it would suspend its relationship with the Atlanta Jewish Times until Adler removed himself from the newspaper's operations. The federation also called on Adler to sell the weekly.

"While we acknowledge his public apology and remorse, the damage done to the people of Israel, the global Jewish people, and especially the Jewish Community of Atlanta is irreparable," the Atlanta federation said in a statement issued Monday to constituent groups. more

Palestine rights group condemns Israel for detaining patients seeking treatment outside Gaza


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns arresting a Palestinian patient from the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing.  The patient was heading to a hospital in the West Bank for medical treatment.  PCHR is concerned that he may be subjected to torture, especially as he was supposed to undergo a surgery.
 
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, IOF arrested Bassam Sha'ban Fu'ad Raihan, 24, from Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on 19 January 2012, as he was traveling to al-Mezan Hospital in Hebron through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to undergo surgery.  In her testimony to PCHR, the patient's aunt and companion, Na'ima Fu'ad Sha'ban Raihan, 49, said that the Israeli officer at Beit Hanoun crossing informed her that Bassam was arrested, gave her Bassam's belongings and ordered her to return to Gaza.  Sha'ban Fo'ad Raihan, 50, the patient's father, said that he received a phone call from IOF informing him that his son is detained in Ashkelon prison.  The patient has been detained so far.
 
PCHR believes that the policy adopted by IOF to arrest patients is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.  Furthermore, it is a form of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, especially as it is part of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip that aggravates the suffering of patients whose treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip hospitals. more

Israeli military systematically imprisoning and mistreating Palestinian children


The Palestinian children – alone and bewildered – in Israel's Al Jalame jail

Special report: Israel's military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.

This is Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.

The only escape is to the interrogation room where children are shackled, by hands and feet, to a chair while being questioned, sometimes for hours.

Most are accused of throwing stones at soldiers or settlers; some, of flinging molotov cocktails; a few, of more serious offences such as links to militant organisations or using weapons. They are also pumped for information about the activities and sympathies of their classmates, relatives and neighbours. more

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Leader of non-violent protest movement arrested and beaten by Israeli army Golani brigade


According to local sources, a squadron of Israeli troops invaded the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, raided a community center, and abducted a leader in the non-violent protest movement.

Issa Amr, an organizer with “Youth Against Settlements”, told reporters with the Ma’an News Agency that he was taken by Israeli troops from the community center, blindfolded and shoved into an army vehicle. He was released Saturday night, after being beaten, spat upon and ridiculed.

Amr told the reporters, “Soldiers took me to a military base in Tel Rumeida [settlement], they handcuffed and blindfolded me, and I was brutally beaten for no reason. They also threatened to kill me, and settlers spat on me several times.”

He also reported that the soldiers who abducted him chanted anti-Palestinian slogans such as, “Every Arab dog will have its day”. They then paraded him, blindfolded, through the streets of Hebron while chanting “The Golani brigade is the best brigade”.

The Golani Brigade is an infamous Israeli military battalion known for its brutality during the war in Lebanon in 2006, and in the invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008, as well as a long history of brutal violence against Palestinians and other Arabs dating back to the 1948 war, when the Brigade was formed.

During their invasion Saturday, the Israeli soldiers ransacked the community center known as the ‘Steadfastness and Challenge Center’ in downtown Hebron, before abducting Amr.

The center has been a focus of Israeli military raids since its formation several years ago. more

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Israeli air force bombards Gaza in response to mortar fire - no injuries reported


The Israeli Air Force bombarded, Saturday, an area in the Gaza Strip leading to no injuries; an Israeli military spokesperson claimed that the attack targeted resistance fighters who fired a Qassam homemade shell into the Negev leading to no damage or injuries.

Israeli Ynet News reported that the army spokesperson stated that the airstrike took place on Saturday morning shortly after a shell was fired into the Negev.

The Ynet added that, earlier on Saturday, three mortars were fired into the Eshkol Regional Council in the Negev; no injuries were reported.

Also, Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli Air Force carried out two failed attempts targeting resistance fighters east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. more

Friday, 20 January 2012

Video: local residents and international activists march into Gaza's deadly No Go Zone


On Tuesday, 17 January 2012, the International Solidarity Movement joined the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative for its weekly march into the deadly No Go Zone in the northern Gaza Strip. For more information see the International Solidarity Movement at http://palsolidarity.org http://facebook.com/ismpalestine http://flickr.com/ismpalestine http://myspace.com/palsolidarity http://twitter.com/ismpalestine http://youtube.com/ismpalestine

Israeli hacker steals 85,000 Facebook logins from Arab users of the social network


By Emil Protanlinski for ZDNet

Summary: An Israeli hacker who goes by the name Hannibal this week stole 85,000 Facebook logins from Arab users of the social network, as part of an online hacker war being fought in the Middle East.


In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock (or were understandably distracted by what Anonymous is up to), you may not know that Israel and Saudi Arabia are currently in the middle of a hacker war. In addition to millions of e-mail accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards, information from Facebook, or more specifically, from the users of the world’s biggest social network, has been stolen.

Earlier this week, an Israeli hacker, who calls himself Hannibal online, managed to obtain the Facebook credentials (e-mail addresses and passwords) of 85,000 “helpless Arabs.” He then proceeded to post them on Pastebin, a simple website that allows anyone to upload text (usually code) for public viewing. He first posted 20,000 logins on Sunday, then 30,000 logins on Monday, then 10,000 logins on Tuesday, and finally 25,000 logins on Wednesday. On Thursday, Hannibal went silent.

I will not be linking directly to the Pastebin posts in question, because they do still have e-mail addresses and passwords that work, but I do believe the headers of Hannibal’s pastes are relevant.

January 15, 2012:

#######################################
20,000 Arabs Facebook Accounts
Hacked By Hannibal
(For more accounts follow me pastebin.com/u/hannibal)
Contact me : hannibal@inbox.com
I have 30 Million Emails&Passwords of Arabs.
( Every day i will post 2000-100,000 Depends on my mood )
Enjoy it And Share

#######################################

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

#######################################
#######################################
#######################################

A warning to the State of Iran and Saudi Arabia *

In addition, I have 10 million bank accounts of the countries of Iran and Saudi Arab. If Iran continues to threaten Israel and already this week I will publish the private bank accounts and thus make them billions of dollars in damages estimated

#######################################
#######################################
#######################################

January 16, 2012:

Hello there
I noticed that poor intelligence of 0x omar and his friends.
State of Israel, not to worry, you’re in the hands of the world’s best hacker that I am.
I will continue to support the government of Israel will continue to attack the Arab countries
In addition, I received thousands of emails helpless Arabs, who are begging me to stop publishing the Facebook accounts because it violates their browsing experience.
I have about 30 million e-mails of Arabs with passwords I’ll post them throughout my life and my personal list is growing every day hundreds of thousands of emails
Also, I received hundreds of emails of senior politicians from France and other countries, who asked me not to publish the list of the 10 million my bank accounts.
So guys, if the state’s chief Benny Gantz, or Prime Minister Netanyahu declare cyber war, I will have to publish the list of 10 million bank accounts. In addition I also have about 4 million credit cards. Just give a command and i will do it !!
Well guys, I will continue the tradition of mine.
Today will publish about 30,000 accounts Facebook & E-mails
Go Work Jews And Israel !
Begin to corrupt!
Your
Hannibal

contact email : hannibal@inbox.com

#############################################
New List Of 30,000 Facebook&Emails Accounts Hacked By Hannibal
Date : 16.1.2012
############################################

January 17, 2012:

Here Hannibal
Currently, I published on 100,000 emails and Facebook accounts of Arabs and Muslims around the world
And I will continue to publish tens of thousands every day, after all I have got about 30 million e-mails of Arabs.
Unfortunately today I received an email from Mohammad Reza Rahimi who threatens that would raise most of his men to find me and kill me
I assure you Mr. Fool, you can keep looking as you want, you will not find me even if you have a staff of 1,000 people who search for and carry out search for information about me.
I post today about 10,000 Facebook and email accounts.
In addition, I give hackers attacking the State of Israel a huge threat from me.
Soon I will reveal another surprise. The most cruel surprise. Be prepared to Arabs!
Follow me to get more updates : pastebin.com/u/hannibal
contact email : hannibal@inbox.com

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New list of 10,000 Emails And Facebook Accounts Of Arabs Hacked By Hannibal
17.1.12
contact email : hannibal@inbox.com

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January 18, 2012:

Hi
I now publish the letter he sent me deputy prime minister of Iran
Funny to me that he had time to go into a mailbox and curse and threaten me ..
Mr. Muhammad, you do not scare anyone! You never find me !!!!!
Say thank you at least who censored you the email ..
Link to the picture :
http://i40.tinypic.com/143mkpk.png
State of Iran, I’m so going to teach you a lesson soon
Today I post about 25 000 e-mail accounts and Facebook accounts of arabs to my new permanent procedure.. On Saturday night I will publish new list of 100,000 emails and Facebook accounts

Hannibal
contact email : hannibal@inbox.com

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New List Of 25,000 Emails And Facebook Accounts Of Arabs Hacked By Hannibal
18.1.12
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Facebook’s automated systems quickly sprang into action this week. Some of the logins don’t work because users have already changed their passwords. Others still do, but Facebook prompts these users and tells them they’re trying putting in an old password (see screenshot above). In other words, while some of the accounts were accessed by other users after Hannibal stole them, Facebook appears to have (automatically) locked all these accounts down so nobody can access them. If you’re the owner of the account, you’ll have to go through the process of resetting your password so that you can access it again.

I have contacted Facebook for more information and will update you if I hear back. more

Ismail Haniyeh: PLO must suspend talks with Israel until all Palestinian MPs freed


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday called on the PLO to suspend talks with Israel until PLC speaker Aziz Dweik is released.

"A Palestinian should not shake the hand of his enemy, the enemy who arrests the symbols of Palestinian legitimacy," Haniyeh said after Friday prayers in Gaza City.

"This is the minimal response to the detention of Dweik and all lawmakers until they're freed."

Israeli forces detained Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, at a checkpoint near Ramallah on Thursday. Witnesses told Ma'an the MP was blindfolded and handcuffed during the arrest.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers detained MP Khaled Ibrahim Tafesh, 50, from his home in Bethlehem and confiscated his computer and mobile phone.

The detentions raise the number of Palestinian parliamentarians in Israeli jails to 25, according to figures from prisoner rights group Addameer. more

Bunker state cemented by new racist Israeli law against African refugees


The wheel is turning full circle.

Last week the Israeli parliament updated a 59-year-old law originally intended to prevent hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from returning to the homes and lands from which they had been expelled as Israel was established. The purpose of the draconian 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law was to lock up any Palestinian who managed to slip past the snipers guarding the new state’s borders. Israel believed only savage punishment and deterrence could ensure it maintained the overwhelming Jewish majority it had recently created through a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Fast forward six decades and Israel is relying on the infiltration law again, this time to prevent a supposedly new threat to its existence: the arrival each year of several thousand desperate African asylum seekers. As it did with the Palestinians many years ago, Israel has criminalized these new refugees — in their case, for fleeing persecution, war or economic collapse.

Whole families can now be locked up, without a trial, for three years while a deportation order is sought and enforced, and Israelis who offer them assistance risk jail sentences of up to 15 years. Israel’s intention is apparently to put as many of these refugees behind bars as possible, and dissuade others from following in their footsteps. more

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Head of Palestinian parliament Aziz Dweik arrested and detained by occupation forces


JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday detained the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik at a checkpoint near Jerusalem, witnesses said.

Israeli soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded Dweik and took him to an unknown destination, witnesses told Ma'an.

An Israeli military spokesman had no immediate comment on the report.

Some 23 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council are currently imprisoned in Israel, according to the prisoner rights group Addameer. more

UN report slams Gaza siege for its collective punishment of civilians


The United Nations has issued its latest annual report on the ongoing Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip, slamming the policy as a form of “collective punishment” of Palestinian civilians and creating serious human rights issues.

In particular, the report warns that Israel’s blockade has destroyed the enclave’s health and education services and is leaving much of the population in a state of constant food insecurity. The Strip’s infrastructure is devastated from the 2008 Israeli bombardment “Operation Cast Lead,” in which up to 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5,500 injured.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor slammed the United Nations for the report, saying that discussing the human rights situation in Gaza was a “waste of time” and that the real humanitarian crisis was in southern Israel, where often homemade rockets occasionally hit empty fields. more

Collective wedding ceremony held for freed prisoners in Gaza


A collective wedding ceremony for 50 of the Palestinian prisoners freed during the recent prisoner exchange deal agreed between Israel and the Hamas Movement has been held in the Gaza Strip.

The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of the government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, who stated that the occasion was one of great joy that would be remembered by the Palestinian people. Haniyeh also asserted that Palestinians would never forget the Palestinian prisoners who continue to languish in Israeli prisons. more

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Israeli open fire on northern Gaza killing one man


[update: two people now reported killed, one a teenager]

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire on the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, witnesses said.

Medics said one person was killed and three others were seriously injured in the attack. The deceased was identified as Muhammad Abu Odeh.

An Israeli military official said the attack targeted a "terrorist squad" planting an explosive device on the border. more

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

UK's Natural History Museum collaborates in reserach with Israel's settlement-based Ahava

The Natural History Museum is today accused by a coalition of prominent academics and cultural figures of helping to break international law by leading a research project which involves an Israeli cosmetics company based in an “illegal” settlement in the occupied West Bank.

In a letter to The Independent, leading scientists and the film directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, condemn the London museum - which is the fourth most visited in Britain - for its research collaboration with Ahava - Dead Sea Laboratories (DSL), which sells beauty products based on minerals extracted from the Dead Sea.

The museum, which has a substantial academic research team, is co-ordinating NANORETOX, a European Union-funded project looking at any risks to human health and the environment posed by so-called nanoparticles - microscopic engineered materials which scientists are developing for multiple uses from cancer treatment to double glazing.

Ahava-DSL, which is one of a dozen institutions and companies involved in the project including two University of London colleges, has its registered headquarters listed in Israel but most of its activities are carried out in Mitzpe Shalem, a Jewish settlement on the edge of the Dead Sea in the West Bank. more

UNRWA launches $300m emergency appeal for Gaza and West Bank reconstruction and aid efforts


GAZA, January 17, 2012 (WAFA) - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has launched an emergency appeal for Gaza and the West Bank worth just over 300 million US dollars, according to an UNRWA press release issued Tuesday.

Speaking at UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza, Deputy Commissioner General, Margo Ellis, said “The effects of the war still persist today and the humanitarian needs of the women, men and children of Gaza remain widespread and acute”. In reference to the continuing Israeli blockade, she said, “despite an easing of access, Gaza remains under a blockade and its population subject to collective punishment, an act illegal under international law”.

Meanwhile, UNRWA has continued its reconstruction efforts; Out of a $667 million reconstruction plan, UNRWA has been able to complete 22 projects worth some $22.5 million and is presently working on implementation of further projects worth some $115 million.

The press release said that this appeal is a sizeable amount and reflects good progress made, but dozens more schools and thousands of homes still need to be built. more

Israel allows flower and strawberry trucks to leave Gaza for export market


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel permitted the export of one truck of flowers and another of strawberries from the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a Palestinian official said.

The produce will leave Gaza through Kerem Shalom, the sole remaining crossing into Israel, while 220 trucks will enter the Gaza Strip, Palestinian crossings liaison Raed Fattouh said.

Under an agreement between the Dutch government and Israeli authorities, limited exports of agricultural produce are permitted to leave the blockaded strip in the growing season.

The Israeli legal rights organization Gisha says the winter export deal allows just 1 percent of the 400 export trucks a day Israel agreed to permit under a 2005 deal with the Palestinian Authority. more

Gaza rights activist stabbed by masked assailants after criticising repression


A Palestinian rights activist in Gaza who criticised the Palestinian government and "resistance" in an article has been stabbed after receiving death threats, his NGO said on Tuesday.

Mahmud Abu Rahma, international relations director at the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, was stabbed multiple times by several masked attackers on Friday evening, the Gaza-based centre said in a statement released on Tuesday.

He was stabbed in the back, leg and shoulders, but used his laptop to prevent the attackers from stabbing him in the chest, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said in a separate statement on the incident.

He sustained injuries to his thigh and left hand that required stitches, PCHR said.

Al Mezan said the attack was the second time Abu Rahma had been targeted since the publication of an article he authored on 2 January.

"Mr. Abu Rahma has received many threats on his mobile and email, including messages threatening his safety and life," the centre said, adding that the threats made reference to an article by Abu Rahma entitled "The Gap between Resistance and Governance."

The article, published in Arabic on several websites and later translated into English, warned that both the Palestinian "resistance" groups and government were failing ordinary citizens.

"Who will protect citizens from the mighty resistance and the powerful government when one, or both, of them harm them?," he wrote in an English-language version of the article published on 5 January by Palestinian news agency Maan. more

IDF prepares for 'major operation' in Gaza to take place within months


The IDF General Staff has ordered the Southern Command to prepare for a possible large Gaza operation that could occur within the next few months, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Preparations include finalizing operational plans and distributing them between the various units that would be deployed inside Gaza.

During Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s anti-Hamas ground incursion launched in late 2008, the IDF established brigade-level units that combined armor, infantry and combat engineer forces.

A similar model would likely be applied in a future operation in Gaza as well.

The Gaza Division, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Yossi Bachar, is spearheading the preparations for such an operation, which senior officers said could be significantly larger than Cast Lead.

“Every officer will need to know where he needs to be with his troops and what his mission will be,” a senior officer explained. “Gaza has changed and the weaponry in Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s hands has significantly grown in quantity and quality.”

Hamas is believed to have a fighting force number over 20,000 armed men who are split into five brigades corresponding with different sections of the Gaza Strip. Each brigade is then split into a number of battalions. In addition, Hamas also has special teams for surveillance, anti-tank missiles, mortar and rocket fire and anti-aircraft shoulder-to-air missiles.


Preparations include finalizing operational plans and distributing them between the various units that would be deployed inside Gaza.

During Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s anti-Hamas ground incursion launched in late 2008, the IDF established brigade-level units that combined armor, infantry and combat engineer forces.

A similar model would likely be applied in a future operation in Gaza as well.

The Gaza Division, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Yossi Bachar, is spearheading the preparations for such an operation, which senior officers said could be significantly larger than Cast Lead.

“Every officer will need to know where he needs to be with his troops and what his mission will be,” a senior officer explained. “Gaza has changed and the weaponry in Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s hands has significantly grown in quantity and quality.”

Hamas is believed to have a fighting force number over 20,000 armed men who are split into five brigades corresponding with different sections of the Gaza Strip. Each brigade is then split into a number of battalions. In addition, Hamas also has special teams for surveillance, anti-tank missiles, mortar and rocket fire and anti-aircraft shoulder-to-air missiles. more

Monday, 16 January 2012

Palestine-Israel cyber war heats up - Israel stock exchange and El Al attacked, forced offline


Hacker informs Ynet in advance of cyber attack by pro-Palestinian activists; Hamas urges supporters to boost ‘electronic war against occupation’

The websites of Israel’s stock exchange and national airline, El Al, were down around 10 am Monday, apparently as result of yet another cyber attack by pro-Palestinian hackers.

The Saudi hacker who initiated the recent wave of online attacks on Israeli sites informed Ynet earlier of the planned attack, which he said was to be carried out by a group of pro-Palestinian hackers referring to themselves as “Nightmare.”

While El Al’s website would not load at all, the stock exchange was only presenting trade figures, without the possibility to perform any other action. Stock market officials said trading is going on as usual, as the computer system that manages it is separate from the website.

Meanwhile, the Israeli-Arab cyber war continues to escalate. Pro-Israeli hacker Hannibal, who claims that he is a “Jew who lives somewhere in the world,” published early Monday the Facebook account details of some 20,000 Arab users. He also claimed to possess information that can be used to breach the bank accounts of some 10 million people in Iran and Saudi Arabia, vowing to cause billions of dollars in damage. more

10 Years in Prison, 10 Years of Struggle: On the Anniversary of the Abduction of Ahmad Sa'adat


January 15, 2012 is the 10th anniversary of the abduction of Palestinian political leader Ahmad Sa'adat by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah at the hands of the PA intelligence services headed by Tawfiq Tirawi. Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been imprisoned for ten years - first by PA security, then under US and British guard in a PA prison in Jericho, and now, for the past six years, inside Israeli jails alongside thousands of other Palestinian political prisoners after a siege on Jericho and the kidnapping of Sa'adat and his comrades in 2006.

The kidnapping of Ahmad Sa'adat on January 15, 2002, was emblematic of the deep damage of the crime of "security cooperation" to the Palestinian people and their national cause. "Security cooperation" has meant nothing but attacks on the Palestinian resistance at the behest of Israel, committed by Palestinian Authority hands. The abduction of Ahmad Sa'adat, and his imprisonment - and that of his comrades - in the PA prison in Jericho, under U.S. and British guard, was a clear example of the PA's status as fundamentally beholden to the interests of Israel, the U.S. and other international powers, at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance.

The abduction of Ahmad Sa'adat has come to symbolize the thousands of Palestinians who have gone through the jails of the PA because of their loyalty to the Palestinian people, cause and resistance, and the impunity of PA officials - like Tawfiq Tirawi - who continue to find lucrative and influential positions within the Authority despite their shameless acts of betrayal, imprisoning, and abducting Palestinian leaders and activists.

This complicity with Israeli demands for the subjugation and suppression of the Palestinian people led directly to the Israeli assault on Jericho prison in 2006, where Ahmad Sa'adat and his comrades were immobilized in the face of Israeli occupation aggression. Sa'adat had never been charged with a crime throughout his four years in PA prison; his release had been ordered by the PA's highest court. Yet the PA refused to release Sa'adat, respecting the dictates of Israel, the US and Britain above Palestinian legitimacy; it claimed that it "could not guarantee his safety" outside the prison. Yet it simultaneously guaranteed that he and his comrades could not be safe from Israeli aggression, their locations known at all times by Israel and under the watchful eyes of U.S. and British guards, directly in collusion with Israel. (It should be noted that, forewarned of the attack, the U.S. and British guards absented Jericho prison at the request of the Israeli occupation army.) more

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Miles of Smiles 8 aid convoy arrives in Gaza with medical equipment and vehicles for the disabled

Miles of Smiles 8 enters Gaza (image by Al Resalah)

The eighth in a series of vehicle convoys from European and Arab countries to the Gaza Strip reached Gaza on Saturday, bringing medical equipment and vehicles for the disabled.

According to organizers, 48 European and Arab activists participated in the convoy, which consisted of a number of vehicles driving caravan-style from Europe through Arab countries and then entering Gaza from Egypt. The convoy is bringing two tons of medical supplies worth approximately $500,000 USD.

In addition, the convoy includes ambulances, vehicles modified for use by the disabled, and electric scooters. Previous convoys organized by ‘Miles of Smiles’ have brought infant formula, medicine, medical supplies and ambulances into Gaza.

Due to the Israeli blockade imposed in 2007, many of these items have been lacking in the Gaza Strip, leading to the preventable deaths of over 500 patients in the last five years. In addition, patients in Gaza are prevented from leaving the Strip by Israeli authorities, who require a special permit for medical treatment abroad which is rarely granted. more

A call from Gaza's fishermen to lift Israel's naval blockade


(Photo: Rosa Schiano, Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA)

Do not forget Palestinian fishermen who are prevented from fishing beyond the unilaterally imposed Israeli limit of 3 nautical miles and whose life is constantly under threat from the Israeli Naval Forces.

We are waiting for you to lift the naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and its seawaters and to force Israel to respect international legal obligations.

We the Palestinian fishermen of the Besieged Gaza Strip, the CPSGaza, the Union of Fishermen in Gaza City, the Palestinian Association for Fishing and Marine Sports and Al Tawofeek Society are calling on the world to force Israel to lift the naval blockade which restricts the Palestinian fishing area to 3 nautical miles and to support the Oliva and similar peaceful civil missions aimed at monitoring Israeli violations and at ensuring Palestinian fishermen the possibility of fishing in safe conditions.

As it has been the case with the buffer zone on land, since the beginning of the second Intifada Israel has been progressively implementing restrictions on Palestinian fishermen’s access to the sea. The 20 nautical mile permissible fishing area, agreed under the 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), was reduced to 12 miles under the never implemented 2002 Bertini Commitment. In 2006, the fishing zone was reduced to 6 miles off the coast. Following the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip ‘Operation Cast Lead’, Israel banned Palestinian fishermen from sailing beyond a distance of 3 nautical miles, preventing them to access 85 per cent of the maritime areas they are entitled to according to the 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement.

Despite pledges by the Government of Israel in June and December 2010 to ease the ongoing blockade, the restrictions at the sea continue to paralyze the Palestinian fishing industry, forcing thousands of fishermen to abandon their work because the area within 3 nautical miles is markedly over-fished. Restricting the work of the Palestinian Fishermen by limiting the permissible fishing area to only 3 nautical miles denies them access to the sole source of income available for them and their families. This is inconsistent with Israel’s international legal obligations.

Recently, the Israeli Naval Forces have place large buoys to serve as limit markers for the 3 nautical mile allowed area and have warned Palestinian fishermen not to sail beyond such limit markers; otherwise, they will be subject to shooting, detention and confiscation of boats and fishing equipment. Palestinian fishermen expose themselves to high risk every day at sea, they are frequently harassed and arrested by the Israeli Naval Forces under the pretext of sailing beyond the 3 nautical miles. This has been documented and denounced by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Israeli violations in Gaza’s water have been also documented by the Oliva, the boat sponsored by dozens of local and international organizations, which accompanies fishermen in their activities since June 2011. While trying to document the Israeli violations in Gaza’s seawater, the Oliva herself has been also attacked several times by the Israeli Naval Forces.

We call on the International Community to condemn the continuous attacks by the Israeli Navy against Palestinian fishing boats and to exert pressure on Israel to open the fishing area up to 20 nautical miles. We also call on the International community to support peaceful civil missions with the presence of international observers and entirely legal tools, such as the Oliva, to continue monitoring the violations of human rights in Gaza’s seawaters and allow Palestinian fishermen to work in safe conditions.

Signed:

Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA)
The Union of Fishermen, Gaza
The Palestinian Association for Fishing and Marine Sports, Gaza
Al Tawofeek Society, Gaza

source: International Solidarity Movement

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Man killed and 4 injured in explosion at home of popular resistance committee leader


RAFAH, (PIC)-- A Palestinian man was killed and four were injured in an explosion that ripped through the house of Sheikh Zuhair Al-Qaisi, the secretary general of the popular resistance committees, in Rafah to the south of the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

Adham Abu Salmiya, the spokesman for the higher committee for ambulance and emergency in Gaza, told the PIC reporter that one of the injured was in a very serious condition.

Local sources earlier told the PIC that Sheikh Zuhair was not in his house at time of the explosion. more

Money transfer stoppage 'tightening Gaza siege'


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have told Ma'an that the recent restrictions on Western Union money transfer services are tightening the siege on the coastal strip.

The currency wire service enabled residents to avoid lengthy bank transfer procedures, and the monitoring of transactions by Israel and the US, experts said on Saturday.

Western Union has stopped its services to many currency exchange stores in the coastal enclave over concerns about money laundering, Palestinian Monetary Authority Governor Jihad al-Wazir said last week. more

Artist's vision turns Gaza’s smuggling tunnels into an underground metro


Palestinian artist Mohamed Abusal envisions converting Gaza’s smuggling tunnels into an underground metro system.

A small handful of Bedouin families living in the Gaza Strip ran thousands of smuggling tunnels beneath the Egypt-Gaza Strip separation barrier. In part to transport weapons between Rafah in Egypt and the Rafah Palestinian refugee camp and in part to import every day goods, some of the tunnels are well built and include decent infrastructure, while others are at risk of deadly sewage leaks. The inspired work of Palestinian artist Mohamed Abusal, a photo exhibit at the French Cultural Center depicts what Gaza City would look like if these subterranean spaces were converted into an underground metro facility .

Going Green dreams in Gaza
Dubai has a fairly sophisticated metro system and Jordan is on track with its planned rail system, but public transportation of this variety is a still a distant dream in Gaza. Yet for Abusal, it’s a dream that Palestinians really need.

While visiting France and using the metro system there last year, the 35 year old visionary got the idea that Gaza could also have an underground public transportation system. By converting the existing tunnel system into a portal for new subway trains, Abusal is convinced that the densely-populated city’s crowded roads and polluted skies would clear.

But Abusal is not an engineer, so he has turned to his art to create a “visual solution” by mapping out what a real metro system might look like. He also designed a giant Metro sign, which he then photographed in 70 different locations throughout the city, according to Mashallah News. more

Friday, 13 January 2012

Video: Israelis in Jerusalem answer the question "Where ya from?"


Video by Deppen Webber

Gaza hackers target Israeli fire and rescue services


OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Hackers claiming to be from the Gaza Strip defaced the website of the Israel Fire and Rescue services, posting a message saying "Death to Israel," a spokesman told AFP on Friday.

Fire service spokesman Yoram Levy said that attackers who identified themselves as the "Gaza Hackers Team" struck its website late on Thursday and posted a picture of Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon with footprints over his face.

"There was some writing in Arabic and a picture of Danny Ayalon," Levy said, adding that by Friday morning the site was largely back to normal."

Last week, Ayalon said Israel would respond to cyber-attacks in the same way it responds to violent "terrorist" acts, by striking back with force against hackers who threaten the Jewish state.

His remarks came after hackers claiming to be from Saudi Arabia published details of tens of thousands of Israeli-owned credit cards online.

Earlier this week, Ayalon said "Muslim extremists" had hacked his website putting it briefly offline.

Cyber activists have been locked in tit-for-tat hacking attacks since January 3 when a Saudi hacker called 0xOmar said he had posted details of 400,000 Israeli-owned cards online. more

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the OPT (05- 11 January 2012)


Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

A Palestinian woman was wounded by IOF in the Gaza Strip.

IOF have continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.

3 Palestinian civilian were wounded.

IOF arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a woman.

IOF conducted 68 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the Gaza Strip.

IOF arrested 20 Palestinians, including two children and a university professor.

IOF have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

IOF arrested 4 fishermen and confiscated their boat.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

Israeli soldiers arrested 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

Israel has continued efforts to create a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.

IOF demolished some civilian facilities in al-‘Eizariya village.

IOF demolished some civilian facilities in al-‘Eissawiya village to establish a biblical garden.


IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.


IOF demolished 3 houses in al-Dyouk village, northwest of Jericho.

Israeli settlers burnt 3 cars in Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit. more

Medics: Israeli fire injures 2 in Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces fired on the central Gaza Strip early Friday, injuring two people, medics said.

Medical services' spokesman in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma'an that two people were moderately injured after forces shelled east of al-Bureij refugee camp shortly after midnight.

The injured were transferred to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, he said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said forces opened fire after they "saw a number of suspects approach the security fence and tamper with the ground suspiciously." more

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Palestinian graffiti artists hit West Jerusalem streets with resistance, poetry and art


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian graffiti artists took to the streets of West Jerusalem overnight Wednesday, spraying symbols of resistance in the city center.

Activists told Ma'an the artwork was the start of a campaign which will target other locations in the city and may spread across Israel.

Most Israelis will not have seen the messages of resistance, poetry and art sprayed along one side of the concrete wall Israel has been building since 2002, which runs deep inside the West Bank and confiscates Palestinian land.

But Palestinian images can now be seen in around 20 places in West Jerusalem. The street art includes an image of a woman wearing a keffiyeh, a traditional Palestinian scarf, with the word "Intifada" or uprising. Another image shows a map of Palestine with "ana" - meaning "I" or "me" -- on it.

It is a message "to both our occupiers and our people here in Palestine and around the world, we are still here and our voice is still loud," one activist said on condition of anonymity. more

Gaza hospitals receive urgent medical supplies for dialysis treatment


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday received medical supplies from the Palestinian Authority for dialysis treatment, a spokesman said.

The supplies were delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross after intense efforts by the Gaza ministry together with international organizations, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

The supplies included 49 products for dialysis treatment. more

Haniyeh to visit Qatar, Iran and other Muslim countries at end of January


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An adviser to Hamas' prime minister says the leader will visit Iran, Qatar and other Muslim countries at the end of the month.

Yusef Rizka said Thursday the militant group's Ismail Haniyeh will embark on his second official international trip outside the Gaza Strip. He returned this week from a tour of Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia.

It was the first time Haniyeh had left Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory from the rival Fatah movement in 2007.

Hamas says the visits indicate the movement's increased international recognition, and the growing influence of Islamic groups in the region.

The internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by Fatah, has been concerned by the warm welcome Haniyeh has received. It says his visits should be coordinated through Palestinian embassies. more

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hundreds protest against Israeli defence minister Barak's visit to Greece


Greek, Palestinian and other Arab protesters behind a huge Palestinian flag (photo: INTIFADA Association & Palestinian Workers Union)

Hundreds of Greeks, Palestinian and Arabs held a protest in front of the Greek Parliament to protest the visiting Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and demanding his arrest for war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Several leftist political groups and coalitions also participated in the protest that was held in front of the parliament despite the cold weather conditions.

The protest was organized by several antiwar groups and solidarity movements including the Al-Awda Committee (The Right To Return), the Antiwar Internationalist Movement, the Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Deport Racism Movement, Inclusive Democracy, the Strop the War Coalition, Palestinian Workers Union, and Solidarity Network to the Palestinian Resistance. more