Monday, 30 April 2012

Haniyeh calls for new Intifada for Palestinian prisoners


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on Monday for a new intifada to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who started a mass hunger-strike two weeks ago.

The premier urged Arab and Islamic nations to intervene to support detainees, in remarks at a rally for prisoners in Gaza City.

Haniyeh stressed the unity of the government and the people in support of Palestinian detainees.

Prisoners are our first priority, and all Palestinians are behind them, he said. The prime minister charged human rights groups to "break their silence" to free all Palestinians jailed in Israel.

More than 4,000 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israel, around 320 of them without any charge.

On April 17, marking Palestinian Prisoners Day, at least 1,200 prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike, with prisoner groups estimating that 2,000 people are now refusing food. more

Video: Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity conference, Jerusalem


Over 150 people gathered in Jerusalem in mid-April to show their support and solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. It is estimated that over 4,600 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails. This week, over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners continued an open-ended hunger strike, in protest of their mistreatment and lack of basic rights in Israeli prisons. For more information, visit http://alternativenews.org

Action alert: Support Palestinian hunger strikers - protests at Downing Street, London


Call on the government to act to end Israel's policy of Administrative Detention and to free all Palestinian political prisoners!

6-7pm, starting Monday 30 April - Saturday 5 May

Join us at 6pm opposite Downing Street, London more

Co-op is first major European supermarket to boycott exports from West Bank settlements


The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements.

The UK's fifth biggest food retailer and its largest mutual business, the Co-op took the step as an extension of its existing policy which had been not to source produce from illegal settlements that have been built on Palestinian territories in the West bank.

Now the retail and insurance giant has taken it one step further by "no longer engaging with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements".

The decision will hit four companies and contracts worth some £350,000. But the Co-op stresses this is not an Israeli boycott and that its contracts will go to other companies inside Israel that can guarantee they don't export from illegal settlements.

Welcoming the move, Palestinian human rights campaigners said it was the first time a supermarket anywhere in the west had taken such a position.

The Co-op's decision will immediately affect four suppliers, Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin, Israel's largest agricultural export company. Other companies may be affected by the policy.

Hilary Smith, Co-op member and Boycott Israel Network (BIN) agricultural trade campaign co-ordinator, said the Co-op "has taken the lead internationally in this historic decision to hold corporations to account for complicity in Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights We strongly urge other retailers to take similar action."more

Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat transferred to Ramle prison hospital from isolation in Ramon


Ramon prison management transferred hunger striking Palestinian prisoner and leader, Ahmad Sa’adat to Ramle prison hospital on Sunday, April 29. Sa’adat is General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and has been in isolation for over three years in Ramon prison. He has been on hunger strike since April 17 with now over 2000 Palestinian prisoners.

PFLP prisoners were previously offered that Sa’adat’s isolation would be ended in exchange for them ending their hunger strike, which the prisoners refused, saying they are committed to achieving the full demands of the strike in unity with all prisoners, including ending all isolation, ending administrative detention, and supporting rights to family visits, education and media for prisoners.

Sa’adat has lost 6 kilograms so far on this hunger strike, which comes only short months after his last extended hunger strike, from September 27-October 20, calling for an end to isolation and solitary confinement. Hundreds of prisoners joined this strike, which ended with false Israeli promises to end isolation which were then ignored following the prisoner exchange. Sa’adat lost tens of kilograms during the previous strike.

Sa’adat was abducted in 2006 from the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison, where he had been held with five other prisoners, including four of his comrades under US and British guard since 2002. His imprisonment had been ruled illegal by the Palestinian High Court and he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council while held in Jericho. On March 16, 2006, Israeli occupation forces attacked the prison and abducted Sa’adat and his fellow prisoners. He is now one of 19 Palestinian prisoners in isolation. more

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Palestinian hunger strike case to go to UN: Meshaal


(Former premier Islamil Haniya (R) meets the president of Egypt's leading Salafist Al-Nur party, Emad Abdel Ghafur (L) - AFP/HO/Hamas Press Office/File)

CAIRO — Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Sunday that the case of a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly.

Meshaal told journalists in Cairo that he had agreed on the course of action in talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.

He was in "full coordination" with Abbas on the issue of the hunger striking prisoners, the Hamas chief said.

Some 1,350 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel are currently 13 days into a mass hunger strike to protest against the conditions in which they are being held, with many more expected to join them in the coming days.

Another eight prisoners have been refusing food for longer, with two of them now into the 61st day of their hunger strike, despite increasingly chronic health problems.

A Palestinian MP said on Sunday that a top militant on hunger strike for nearly two weeks has been transferred to the hospital wing of an Israeli prison near Tel Aviv.

Ahmed Saadat, secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, began refusing food on April 17.

The Meshaal-led Hamas delegation visiting the Egyptian capital would stress the need for Arab and international support over the prisoners' cause, Hamas politburo member Izzat al-Rishq wrote on his Facebook page. more

Eighth hunger striking prisoner transferred to hospital; at least 2,000 still on hunger strike


On Saturday, Palestinian prisoner Muhammed Halas was transferred to Ramleh prison medical center after twelve days on hunger strike, joining seven other long-term hunger strikers, including two that have had no food for sixty days.

Poster of hunger striking detainees (image by Electronic Intifada)

1200 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17th, Palestinian Prisoners Day, joining eight prisoners who began hunger strikes in March. In the days since, they have been joined by hundreds more prisoners.

The open-ended hunger strikes are meant to challenge Israel's policy of administrative detention, in which Palestinians can be abducted by Israeli military forces from the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and held without charges or trial for years on end.

Mohammed Halas is the latest prisoner to be transferred to the prison medical facility after his health began to deteriorate from the extended hunger strike. more

Israeli forces detain five Gaza fishermen


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israel's navy detained a group of fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Sunday morning, the army said.

Local official Mahfouth al-Kabareeti told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces detained eight men.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that navy forces fired at the engine of a Palestinian fishing boat after it had deviated from the designated fishing area.

No injuries were reported and the boat was transferred to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The fishermen were transferred to the custody of security forces, the spokeswoman added. more

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Gaza armed groups urged to abduct Israelis to free Palestinian prisoners


Islamic leaders in the Gaza Strip called on Friday for armed groups to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips to secure the freedom of thousands of Palestinians prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Human rights groups say up to 2,000 prisoners have joined an open-ended hunger strike to protest against jail conditions and thousands of Palestinians staged a rally in the Gaza Strip to support their cause.

“We should work hard to get (Israeli) prisoners in our hands in order to secure the freedom of our prisoners,” Khaled al-Batsh, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, told the crowd.

“I say to all armed factions, the way to free the prisoners is through swaps ... An arrest for an arrest, and freedom for freedom. This is the way,” he said, according to Reuters. more

Wasseem Al Qaddoumi, 19, Shot in the Head by Israeli Occupying Force


At a demonstration today in Kufr Qaddoum, a 19 year old was shot in the head from 30 meters away with tear gas by the Israeli Occupying Force.

The victim has been revealed as Wasseem Al Qaddoumi, and he is now undergoing surgery, suffering a scull fracture and internal bleeding.

At the demonstration, 10 other non-violent protesters have been injured. more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the OPT (19-25 April)


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

IOF use force to disperse peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
A Palestinian civilian was wounded.
IOF arrested 6 demonstrators, including two photojournalists and two Israeli human rights defenders.
Dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

IOF conducted 81 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the central Gaza Strip.
IOF arrested 15 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a woman.

IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
IOF arrested two fishers, including a child, 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.
IOF arrested 3 Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
IOF razed areas of land in Qalandya village near Jerusalem for the purpose of the construction of the annexation wall.
IOF destroyed a barnyard and two water storage tanks in Hebron.
Israeli settlers attacked a school near Nablus. more

Mass march in Gaza for prisoners as mass hunger strike enters 11th day


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Palestinian prisoners continued their hunger strike for the 11th consecutive day in protest of Israeli policy.

A mass march went out in Gaza City, which was called by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to support the prisoners.

Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh affirmed his government’s support of the prisoners. He added during a speech in Al-Omari mosque that the prisoners are united in their battle inside Israeli jails.

He stressed the demands of the prisoners which include ending solitary confinement, cancelling the so-called Shalit law, and returning to a normal visitation program.

He sent a message to the Palestinian people and their leaders saying that “we are united behind bars and genuine demands for unity and commitment to the principles for which the prisoners were detained, and to stop the security coordination with the occupation and not to go back to negotiations.”

He also called on Egyptian intelligence, who helped execute the Shalit deal, to make Israel commit to what has been agreed on in the deal. more

Friday, 27 April 2012

Palestinian minister resigns over web censorship


The communications minister of the Palestinian Authority has resigned, claiming it was trying to silence its critics and curb freedom of expression.

Mashour Abu Daqa said senior officials had ordered several opposition websites to be blocked over the past six months.

He said the moves were bad for the image of the PA in the modern world.

Security forces have also recently arrested four journalists and an activist who had criticised President Mahmoud Abbas and other officials...

...On Thursday night, Mr Abu Daqa announced he was stepping down and revealed that the PA's attorney general had ordered Palestinian internet service providers to block access to at least eight websites in the past six months.

The blocked websites - Amad, Fatah Voice, Firas Press, In Light Press, Karama Press, Kofia Press, Milad News and Palestine Beituna - were all highly critical of the leadership of Mr Abbas, and are loyal to one of his harshest opponents, Mohammed Dahlan, our correspondent says. more

Gaza's prime minister tops Hamas poll but Meshaal too remain overall leader


Ismail Haniya, the head of the Hamas government in Gaza has emerged in voting as the movement's leader there, but incumbent Khaled Meshaal is expected to retain his position as overall chief.

Voting in the coastal strip, which has been taking place over the past month, placed Haniya at the head of the Palestinian territory's 15-member political bureau ahead of Mahmud Zahar, previously considered the main leader there, party officials said on Friday on condition of anonymity.

Joining them was Imad al-Alami, who served on the movement's political bureau at its headquarters in Syria, before leaving the violence-ridden country and returning to his Gaza home in February after an absence of 23 years.

Ahmad Jaabari and Marwan Issa, two militant leaders from Hamas's armed Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, were also named to the Gaza bureau along with Yehia Sinwar and Rawhi Mushtaha, who were among 1,027 prisoners freed by Israel in October in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Gaza Strip is one of four constituencies taking part in secretive Hamas internal voting which is intended to conclude in mid-May with the naming of a central political bureau for the movement.

Ballots are also being cast in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and among Hamas members held in Israeli jails. Those outside the Palestinian territories are also being polled, officials say, adding that the only realistic prospects for head of the top political body are Meshaal and his deputy, Mussa Abu Marzuk. more

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Wheat farmers under fire in Gaza: 'We must continue to work our land'


Today we went farming with the family of Ahmed Saadat. We arrived in Khuzaa at about 7 AM and met Ahmed. He told us that the Israeli’s had already shot at his family when they went to their land to begin work. We went to the land, which lies 300 meters from the border and directly on the buffer zone. You immediately know the buffer zone, nothing is planted in it, no trees are left, and everything has been destroyed, only weeds grow there.

Ahmed and his family began to work, ten people on their knees harvesting wheat by hand. To harvest the wheat they pull it up by the roots and tie it into sheaves to be taken to a threshing machine. The land is quite large, in the past perhaps they would have hired a combine to harvest the wheat so that they would not have to do it by hand, but now it is dangerous to bring equipment near the buffer zone. Now, they work by hand.

At about 7:45 AM an Israeli Occupation Forces Humvee pulled up onto a hill north of us. Soon shots began to ring out, these were not directed at us, they were directed at farmers harvesting wheat to our northwest. At about 8 AM soldiers in a tower next to the Humvee launched either tear gas or a smoke grenade, it landed extremely close to the tower, which was about 400 meters from us. This was soon followed by shooting at us. more

Secret Gaza ballot starts Hamas leadership vote


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip—Hamas has secretly chosen new leaders for Gaza, starting movement-wide elections that could determine if the Islamic militants will moderate or maintain an alliance with longtime patron Iran instead, Hamas officials said Thursday.

The secretive Hamas did not announce the Gaza election results, but several members said that among those chosen were previously sidelined pragmatists, younger activists and a pair of prisoners recently released by Israel.

"Hamas (in Gaza) will be more realistic, more moderate after the election," said a senior Hamas member, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid censure from his colleagues. Others said the new faces don't necessarily mean a change in direction.

Hamas traditionally keeps much of its leadership structure secret to avoid exposing it to attacks by Israel, which killed several top Hamas officials in the past.

The Gaza elections are the first of a series of secret ballots the movement is holding in coming weeks to choose a supreme leader.

That position has been held since the 1990s by Khaled Mashaal, who in recent months has tried to steer Hamas away from Iran and closer to the movement's ideological roots in the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood, a Sunni Muslim movement, has risen to power in several parts of the region as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings of the past year. The Brotherhood has urged Hamas to moderate and turn away from Shiite Muslim Iran, which backed Hamas at the height of the movement's international isolation following its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007. more

Indonesian-funded hospital in Gaza will be ready for patients in 2013


The construction of a hospital, fully funded by the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C), in the Gaza Strip is nearing completion, chairman of the humanitarian outfit, Sarbini Abdul Murrad, said on Wednesday.

“We will start furnishing the new building in May before installing the German-made medical equipment. Hopefully, we will be able to complete the process by the end of this year and the hospital will begin operations in 2013,” he said.

Sarbini added that the hospital was aimed at treating and rehabilitating trauma patients, as well as providing first aid and care for those living in the Gaza strip.

Gaza regularly sees outbreaks of violence, the result of a stand-off between the Israeli government and Hamas, the local Palestinian authority in the territory.

The hospital, which began construction last year on 9,000 square-meters of land donated by the Palestinian Authority, is located only three kilometers from the Israeli border. more

58 Days on hunger-strike, ailing detainee Tha’er Halahla determined to continue


Palestinian political prisoner, Tha’er Halahla, entered his 58th days of hunger-strike at the Ramla Prison Hospital, and is still determined to continue his strike while prison doctors warned that his body is losing its immunity system and his organs might be failing.

Lawyer of the Mandela Institute, Anwar Abu Lafy, visited Halahla and stated that a recent CT-Scan for his liver and kidneys revealed that his body is unable to function and that his life is in grave danger.

Abu Lafy stated that Halahla, 34, is unable to walk or stand, suffering from sharp chest pain, stomach ache, and can barely see with his right eye.

Halahla also lost 24 kilograms and is suffering from law blood pressure, very law sugar levels, escalating heart beats, hair loss, bleeding from his mouth and gums, and weakening muscles.

Despite his deteriorating health condition, Halahla told his lawyer that he is determined to continue his strike until Israeli voids the administrative detention order against him, and called on human rights groups to pay attention to the miserable conditions sick detainees are subject to at the Ramla Prison Hospital. more

Repression increases against Palestinian strikers - belongings confiscated, isolation cells used


OCCUPIED PALESTINE, (PIC)-- The Palestinian prisoners confirmed, on Tuesday, that they will continue their hunger strike despite the Israeli escalating series of punitive measures against the strikers.

The Palestinian strikers had told the lawyer Fouad Sultani that they are determined to continue the strike until they achieve their demands aimed at ending administrative detention, isolation, collective punishment, night raids and other basic rights.

The strikers added that the prison administration has increased its repressive measures in order to undermine their will and stop the strike. Thus, It confiscated the captives' personal belongings including all electric appliances; radio, television, and stopped their families' visits and anything that may connect them with the outside world.

In addition, the prison service units had raided several times the prisoners' rooms in Nafha prison at night and took them to isolation cells, holding a "disciplinary" trial and imposed INS 250 fines against each of them in addition to solitary confinement for a number of days and denying them stroll times. more

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Viva Palestina convoy to reach Turkey by Thursday en route to Gaza


An aid convoy to Gaza carrying medical supplies and clothes, which left Bradford at the weekend, was making its way through France yesterday.

The convoy, arranged by Viva Palestina Arabia, set off from Chambers Solicitors, in Grattan Road, Bradford, on Sunday. Campaigner Kevin Ovenden, who was due to join the convoy as it travels through Turkey in a week or so, said it was making its way through France towards Germany.

He said: “We hope it’s going to be in Turkey by Thursday and it’s picking up extra support, extra aid and vehicles en-route.” more

British-Danish company G4S defends providing security to Israeli prisons


On Tuesday, the British Danish Corporation G4S issued a statement to PNN in which they condoned their decision in providing services to Israeli Prisons which hold administrative detainees, alongside providing security and equipment to military checkpoints and police stations in the West Bank, Palestine.

Last week 12 Palestinian campaign groups signed a statement asking the international community to apply pressure by boycotting G4S and furthermore demanded accountability of all companies who continue to profit from the mistreatment and abuse of Palestinian political prisoners by the Israeli Prison Service.

In the statement issued by the BDS and Addameer Lawyers Association, they held G4S accountable after they had signed a contract with the Israeli Prison Authority in 2007 and specified which prisons G4S have provided services

"G4S provided systems for the Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel in contravention of international law. The company also provided equipment for Ofer prison, located in the occupied West Bank, and for Kishon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities, at which human rights organisations have documented systematic torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners.[5] G4S continues to provide equipment to Israeli prisons."

They continued by stating that G4S have provided further services to the Israeli apartheid regime by providing equipment to checkpoints and terminals isolating the occupied territory of Gaza, which is in direct contravention and violation of international law. more

Gaza fishermen detained while working inside area designated by Israel


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday detained fishermen working off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Local official Mahfouth al-Kabareeti told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces detained Nader Yousef Abu Simaan, 22, and his brother Hasan at sea and confiscated their equipment. The brothers, from al-Shati refugee camp, were fishing within the area designated by Israel, he added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces detained fishermen from Gaza because they deviated from the designated fishing area.

They were transferred to the custody of security forces, she said. She could not immediately specify how many fishermen were detained. more

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Israel authorises three West Bank settlement outposts in blow to future peace hopes


Israel has decided to make legal under Israeli law three settlement outposts in the West Bank, the prime minister's office has said in a statement.

It said that a ministerial committee had decided to "formalise the status" of Bruchin and Rechelim, in the north, and Sansana, near Hebron in the south.

The Palestinian Authority strongly condemned the decision.

"Every single settlement built on Palestinian land is illegal", Chief Negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told the BBC.

The Israeli government had told the Supreme Court that it would regulate the status of the three outposts, which have a total of about 830 residents.

On Sunday, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, formed a new committee, made up of four ministers, to look into the sites.

The statement said the "three communities... were established in the 1990s following the decisions of past governments".

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, an Israeli official disputed the use of the word "outposts" to describe Bruchin, Rechelim and Sansana. He said a process was under way to formalise the changes in their legal status.

"The decision does not make any changes on the ground. It does not mean any expansion of existing settlements or establishment of new ones," he added.

Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal or unauthorised.

Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Saeb Erekat and meets other Palestinian officials at his Jerusalem residence The Israeli Prime Minister met Palestinian officials last week

About 500,000 Jews live in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in what the Israeli government considers legal settlements.

The international community considers all settlements in the occupied West Bank to be illegal under international law. more

Reports claim Israel is planning to build wall along border with Lebanon


Israeli TV, Channel 10, reported Monday that Israel will start the construction of a separation Wall along part of the border with Lebanon, north of the country. The construction will commence next week, and the Wall will be built around the border town of Al-Motella.

The Wall will be more than 2 kilometers (1.24 Miles) long and 10 meters (32.8 Feet) high. Israel claims that the wall also aims at preventing armed clashes between Israeli soldiers and Lebanese soldiers as their posts and towers are often a few meters away from each other.

Channel 10 reported that Israel had officially informed the Lebanese government of its intentions, and that the construction will be conducted through the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). more

Monday, 23 April 2012

One boy’s story: Palestinian-Cuban teen kidnapped in night raid, abused by Israeli army


By Ali Abunimah The Electronic Intifada 

On April 18, during the night, about 200 Israeli occupation soldiers descended on the village of Burin, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, arresting 10 teenage boys. One of them is a 17 year-old Palestinian-Cuban high school senior called Qais Bilal Muhammad Omran... ...Qais, his mother told me, is a studious boy who has never been in trouble. He is musical and plays the organ – so well that he earns extra money performing at weddings and parties. He plans to study music after graduating from high school.


Seized in the middle of the night

Ms. Portocarrero told me that at about 2.30 AM dozens of soldiers came to the house, demanding Qais. At first, the family thought they meant an older relative, who is also called Qais. In any case, Qais Bilal Muhammad Omran wasn’t home. “He was sleeping at his grandfather’s house,” his mother said, “He and his cousin are both studying for their high school exams, and when they study late, sometimes they sleep here and sometimes they sleep there.” The soldiers demanded to be taken over to the grandfather’s house, and when they found Qais, they handcuffed him and took him away.

Cuffed, blindfolded, abused and threatened with guns 

This is what happened next, according to an account Qais gave to Addameer’s lawyer, who visited the teen in detention: The Israeli forces made him walk to the nearest settlement [about 2 kms] with his hands shackled, and also forced him to run. There were about 15 soldiers and another detainee from the same village walking with him. He reported that they tried to scare him multiple times by yelling at him and continuously insulting him. They also tightened the shackles and played with their guns around him and near his head.

One of the soldiers was yelling in Arabic: “Shoot, shoot”. After spending half an hour in the settlement, they transferred him to Howara in a military jeep, where they made him sit in a painful manner. They put him in a room and didn’t allow him to go to the bathroom, drink water or eat. He was sent to interrogation in Salem. The interrogator tried to pressure him into confessing that he was throwing rocks but he denied it. In Salem, they kept him in a room with 14 other prisoners from 8am till 2pm (water, food and bathroom were not allowed). He’s now being held in Megiddo and in interrogation in Salem. more

Israeli court rejects hunger-strikers detention appeal


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court refused an appeal by long-term hunger-strikers Thaer Halahla and Bilal Diyab to end their detention without charge, prisoners groups said Monday.

Muhjat al-Quds society for the defense of prisoners said Ofer military court rejected the appeal against the prisoners administrative detention, on the 56th day of their hunger-strike.

Lawyer Jamil Khatib will now take their petitions to Israel's Supreme Court, Addameer Director Sahar Francis told Ma'an. The Sunday rulings show the negotiations to end the prisoners' hunger strike have failed, as they refused Israel's suggestion to deport them to Gaza, she added. more

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Egypt announces cancellation of Gas deal in blow to Israel


Egypt's national gas company EGAS announced Sunday that it will be cancelling its natural gas supply deal with Israel.

Egypt on Sunday notified EMG, the exporter that supplied Israel with natural gas, that the deal will be canceled.

Thegdeal was reached in 2005 between the Israeli and Egyptian governments as part of a political agreement according to which Cairo undertook to allocate 7 billion cubic meters (BCM) of Egyptian gas to the Israeli market for 20 years, with an option to double the supply. more

Political factions protest against UNRWA in Gaza City over 'political questioning' of employees

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions on Sunday organized a protest at UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City to coincide with a strike by the agency's employees.

 At a press conference, Palestinian Peoples' Party official Walid al-Awad said national and Islamist factions had held an emergency meeting "after UNRWA's presidency sent a commission to question a number of the organizations' employees in Gaza City."

 Al-Awad urged UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, "to operate in line with its jurisdiction authorized by the UN, which is to offer services to Palestinian refugees until they return to their homeland they were displaced from in 1948." more

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Egypt Salafist leader visits Gaza Strip


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The head of Egypt's top Salafist party arrived in Gaza City on Saturday for a three-day visit, and was welcomed by top Gaza officials.

Hamas leader Ismail Radwan and Islamic Jihad leader Khader Habib greeted al-Nour party chairman Emad Addin Abdul Ghafour, who is leading a delegation of eleven representatives to the coastal strip. 

Hardline al-Nour won 29 percent of seats in Egypt's recent parliamentary elections, just behind Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood party. more

Hundreds more Palestinian prisoners set to join the hunger strike


RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails of Megiddo and Hadarim are expected on Sunday to join the hunger strike that started in other jails five days ago, the Tadamun foundation for human rights said on Saturday.

 Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher with the foundation, told Quds Press that Palestinian prisoners in Negev jail would also join the strike within the few coming days. He underlined that the Israeli prison service in a bid to weaken the massive strike made a number of transfers within the prisons.

 Meanwhile, prisoners expressed dismay at the Fatah leaders for statements against the strike and told Quds Press that they were pressuring Fatah prisoners not to join the strike. For his part, Sheikh Ra’fat Nassif, a member of Hamas political leadership, called on the Palestinian people in a statement from his Israeli prison cell to support the prisoners in their hunger strike. more

Israeli forces assault 5 non-violent anti-Wall demonstrations, 1 demonstrator critically injured


In five separate demonstrations on Friday, Palestinians in the northern, central and southern West Bank marched and rallied in opposition to the Israeli Annexation Wall being built on their land. Each of the demonstrations was assaulted by Israeli forces, who fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the demonstrators.

 In the village of al Nabi Saleh, in central West Bank, villagers and international and Israeli supporters tried to march towards land owned by local farmers which has been taken by Israel for building of a settlement.

Israeli soldiers stopped them at the village entrance and forced them back using tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. 3 people were abducted: 2 internationals and one Palestinian journalist named as Bilal Tamimi. One person was injured in the abdomen when a high velocity tear gas canister was fired at him. He was moved to the hospital in Ramallah for treatment, and he remains in critical condition.

Troops later stormed the village and fired tear gas and chemical water into resident’s homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. more

Friday, 20 April 2012

Video - Danish protester: 'No one would care if a Palestinian was hit with a rifle'

Update: (This is the latest footage of the attack, and it shows that it was totally unprovoked)


Without the video, all Andreas Ias would have to show for his weekend bicycle ride in the Jordan valley would be two stitches and a slightly swollen lower lip – plus a hardening anger about the treatment by Israeli soldiers of Palestinians.

But a few seconds of footage uploaded to YouTube catapulted the 20-year-old Danish activist into the media spotlight, drew statements from the Israeli prime minister, president and chief of staff, led to the disciplining of an Israeli army officer, and prompted debate over the use of video cameras as a weapon of modern warfare.

Nevertheless, Ias – not his real name – is dismayed that in the aftermath of him being struck in the face with a soldier's rifle, so little attention has focused on what he describes as the routine aggression, harassment and displacement suffered by Palestinian villagers in the area.

"It has been framed in the media as the 'Danish incident', as though this is not how the IDF normally act," he said, swathed in a red keffiyeh in a Ramallah cafe. "But what happened to me is nothing compared to the systematic violence carried out on Palestinians. This is not a single incident, it's what we see every day. But it's very difficult to move the focus from me to the issues of the Palestinian struggle in the West Bank."

While volunteering for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the West Bank over the past six weeks, Ias says he has witnessed "a process of ethnic cleansing that has been going on since the start of the occupation".

"I've seen people whose homes have been demolished in the middle of the night by dozens of soldiers, people who are left with nothing. I've seen Bedouin villages without running water or electricity next to Israeli settlements with total control over water resources. I've seen people denied their basic human rights and any hope for the future. You can't experience that without it changing you." more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the OPT (12–18 April)


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

IOF use force to disperse peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
15 demonstrators, including two children and two Israeli human rights defenders, were wounded.
Dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Two Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded by IOF in the Gaza Strip.

IOF conducted 56 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the central Gaza Strip.

IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
IOF arrested 3 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.
IOF arrested 7 Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
IOF destroyed 4 rooms, 3 water wells and 6 barnyards in Kufor al-Dik village, west of Salfit.
IOF destroyed 3 water wells and two dunums of agricultural land in Dur village near Hebron.
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and shepherds.
Israeli settlers destroyed 250 olive trees in Bitillu village near Ramallah. more

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Israeli undercover unit’s murder of Palestinian civilian was part of "training exercise"


By Charlotte Silver The Electronic Intifada

At the beginning of this month, I blogged about the shooting of three brothers in the West Bank village of Rammoun on 27 March that resulted in the death of one and was conducted by undercover Israeli agents, an act tantamount to perfidy and thus a violation of international humanitarian law.

Yesterday, Ynet reported that these undercover agents were actually performing a military training exercise and that the soldier responsible for killing Rashad Shawakha, 28, had been dismissed.

As Yossi Gurvitz points out, “The officers who planned the exercise… will remain in their posts.”

But the operation seems to go beyond just the purview of the commanding officers. Conducting the operation was the Duvdevan Unit, a division of the Israeli military that is characterized chiefly by impersonating Palestinians and carrying out undercover operations and trainings. It appears that the training exercise on 27 March, which incorporated a grave breach of international law, is an integral and systematic element of training this elite group. more

Israeli celebrity says she enjoyed video of IDF attacking Danish activist


Author and talk-show celebrity Irit Linur explained how pleased she was to see the Israeli officer slam the butt of his rifle into the face of the (unarmed, nonviolent) Danish peace activist. She said his golden hair made him look like a member of the Hitlerjugend, and said about him and other activists: "they were born anti-Semites and will die anti-Semites" - a shameful slander, especially considering what the Danes, whose underground was granted a blanket designation as Righteous Among the Nations for their efforts during World War II to rescue the Danish Jews.

The shouts "anti-Semite!", which appear to be a recurring Israeli response to any and all opposition, are becoming comical - but slandering Danes like that is no joke. more

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gaza horse riders have to jump unusual hurdles


GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Horse riding has become a popular hobby in the Gaza Strip but local Palestinians face constant hurdles -- from a conservative society to Israel's blockade on the territory -- to practise the sport on their home turf.

The Al-Faisal equestrian club, on the seafront in Gaza City, attracts around 50 riders a day, according to Samir Salama Saad, director of the "Beautiful Life" society which bought the club several months ago.

Founded in 2003, the club now attracts both male and female equestrians ranging in age from eight to 40 years, Saad said.

But the club, which occupies some 10 dunams of land -- around 100 hectares (247 acres) -- has had to resort to unusual methods to obtain the 60 horses it owns, smuggling them in through tunnels from Egypt.

"We don't have medicine because of the blockade, and this affects the horses we have locally, so their numbers are constantly diminishing because of deaths," Saad told AFP.

To make up the numbers, horses are brought in through the tunnels dug under Gaza's border with Egypt, but the process is dangerous and often leaves the animals with injuries and psychological problems. more

Israeli authorities release former hunger-striking administrative detainee Khader Adnan


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities released former hunger-striking administrative detainee Khader Adnan late Tuesday, a Ma'an correspondent reported.

Adnan arrived at his home in Araba in the northern West Bank to meet his family before returning to a tent reception where he spoke to well-wishers and officials in the village.

Hundreds of Palestinians chanted slogans in solidarity with prisoners as they welcomed the former detainee, whose 66-day hunger strike inspired others to protest administrative detention.

Under the provision, Israel can imprison suspects indefinitely, without ever informing them of the charges they face or presenting their lawyers with any evidence. Over 300 Palestinians are held without charge in Israel.

Inspired by Adnan's protest, a female prisoner, Hana Shalabi, refused food for 43 days before the Israelis decided to deport her to Gaza, barring her from returning to her native West Bank for at least three years.

On Tuesday, at least 1,200 prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike. more

Woman injured by army fire in Gaza as Israeli soldiers open fire on farmers


Palestinian medical sources reported that a woman was shot and wounded, on Wednesday morning, after Israeli soldiers opened fire at farmers working in their lands in Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The woman was identified as Renad Salem Qdeih, 33, she was shot in her head; her injury was described as moderate-to-severe.

Her land is at least 1 kilometer away from the Israeli “security fence” that separates Gaza from Israel.

On Monday soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian farmer in the same area; the army claims that the resident approach the “security fence”. more

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Palestinian Prisoners Day: inmates launch 'battle of empty stomachs'


RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- At least 1,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday, upping the stakes in a protest movement that has put Israel under pressure.

Israel has already struck deals with two Palestinian detainees this year after they staged prolonged hunger strikes and 10 other inmates have been refusing to take food in an ad-hoc campaign that has gathered unexpected momentum.

Hundreds more joined the so-called "battle of empty stomachs" on Tuesday to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners' Day, when both the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip stage mass rallies in support of some 4,800 prisoners who are held in Israeli prisons.

"I am afraid for the life of my son. I am afraid for all their lives. All the prisoners are as dear to me as my son is," said Gaza resident Zbaida Al-Masri, adding that her son, Yusri, was serving a 20-year-term for fighting against Israel.

The Israeli prisons' authority said 2,300 prisoners had announced they would reject their daily meal on Tuesday, while 1,200 indicated they were launching a formal hunger strike. more

'Flytilla' activists on hunger strike for Palestinian Prisoners Day


Detained activists from 'Welcome to Palestine' flytilla campaign, have begun a hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike for Palestinian Prisoners Day.

Organisers of the 'Welcome to Palestine'flytilla, which is currently in it's third year, stated on Monday that the activists were hunger striking "in solidarity with the April 17 Palestinian Prisoners' Day on one hand and to renew the demand for their basic right to move freely in the occupied West Bank, especially to Bethlehem." more

Monday, 16 April 2012

West Bank activists remember the life of ISM justice Activist Vittorio Arrigoni


Palestinians and International activists celebrated with the spirit of Vittorio Arrigoni this week across Palestine. Memorial events were held to mark the one year anniversary of his murder: two in Al-Khalil (Hebron) with members of the Hebron Defense Committee and Youth Against Settlements and a week of events including a mural creation, video conference with Italy, and a demonstration concluded yesterday in Gaza.

The International Solidarity Movement continues to mourn the loss of such an amazing colleague and was a grateful participant in these memorial events.

Arriogoni was a close friend to ISM coordinator Hisham Jamjoun. Hisham’s stories about Vik’s dedication to the Palestinian struggle for human rights brought many to tears at the Hebron Defense Committee memorial. The work of the International Solidarity Movement in Al Khalil where ISM maintains a full-time presence was honored as well. Members of the Beit Ummar dabke troupe performed traditional Palestinian dance, and the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, one of Vik’s favorite authors, was recited. ISM participated in the memorial by creating a slideshow of Vik’s work in Palestine and speaking to the mission of ISM and how the life and work of Vik lives on with us each day. more

Two young Israelis declare refusal to enlist in army of occupation


Noam Gur and Alon Gurman will arrive, on Monday 16/4, to the enlistment office in Tel Hashomer military base, where they will declare thier refusal to serve in the Israeli Army as it is an occupying power, and will be imprisoned time and time again for this refusal.

In his refusal declaration Alon wrote:

"My refusal to serve in the Israeli military, in addition to being a refusal to take part in occupation and apartheid, is an act of solidarity with our Palestinian friends living under Israeli regime, and struggle for liberty, justice and equality."

In her refusal declaration Noam wrote:

"I refuse to join an army that has, since it was established, been engaged in dominating another nation, in plundering and terrorizing a civilian population that is under its control."

Friends and supporters will join Alon and Noam to the base, and remind the young Israelis about to join the army, that the occupation still continues, that there are those who appose it, and that we must all act like Noam and Alon and refuse to take part in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.

For more information please contact Neta: neta.frie@gmail.com or at 0546691221 more

Witnesses: Missile fired at Gaza City - hits empty ground


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli warplanes fired a missile at an open area of Gaza City on Monday, witnesses said.

Locals said a huge blast rattled the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, with no injuries reported.

In a separate incident, medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said that Israeli soldiers opened fire at two security guards at a factory east of Gaza City. more

Israeli official: 40% of names on Shin Bet fly-in blacklist were not activists - tourism damaged


Security service had no evidence that 470 of the 1,200 people whom Israel labeled as 'pro-Palestinian activists' intended to do anything illegal, source says; French diplomat and his wife among those whose tickets to Israel were canceled.

Forty percent of the non-Israeli citizens whose names appeared on a Shin Bet blacklist ahead of Sunday's so-called "fly-in" protest by pro-Palestinian activists were added to the list despite the fact that the security service had no concrete information showing they were connected with the protest in any way.

This information comes from a high-ranking Israeli source with knowledge of the blacklist, who added that the Shin Bet also had no solid grounds for believing that 470 of the 1,200 people whom Israel labeled as "pro-Palestinian activists" intended to do anything illegal.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Follow Haaretz.com on Facebook and share your views.

"We put people on the list who are as far removed from anti-Israel political activity as east is from west," one Foreign Ministry official said. "We have insulted hundreds of foreign citizens because of suspicions, and have given the other side a victory on a silver platter."

"Direct damage has been done to tourism and to Israel's good name," the official said. more

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activist: Israel and Europe treated us like terrorists


Two pro-Palestinian activists that took part in the fly-in protest to Israel succeeded in making it past security at Ben-Gurion Airport and arrived in Bethlehem on Sunday, saying they were "treated like terrorists."

Israeli police escort a pro-Palestinian Israeli activist at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, April 15, 2012.

The two female protesters, who hold French and Italian citizenship, held a press conference upon arrival in Bethlehem and recounted their experience.

Israel Police said Sunday that 43 activists were denied entry at Ben-Gurion Airport – 31 were transferred to Givon detention center and 12 were deported to their country of origin. Nine leftist activists who protested at the airport were also held for investigation.

One of the two activists who arrived in Bethlehem, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, told Haaretz that she arrived at the Lyon airport in France with a group of 50 activists. Half of them were unable to board the plane after being blocked by French police, and the others, who succeeded in landing in Israel, were held and are expected to be deported. more

Video: Palestinians and internationals attacked during biking trip in Jordan Valley


Palestinian and international cyclists were brutally attacked by the Israeli occupation forces on Saturday as they attempted to bike up Route 90, the main North-South highway running through the Jordan Valley. The cyclists were demonstrating against Israeli apartheid policies in the Jordan Valley, which limit Palestinian access to roadways as part of an ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Bedouin communities of the Valley. more

Aman Palestin aid mission enters Gaza Strip after 30 hour trip from Kuala Lumpur


GAZA: The Aman Palestin (AP) VIII humanitarian mission has finally entered the Gaza Strip after a 30-hour trip from Kuala Lumpur.

AP chief excutive officer Awang Suffian Awang Piut said even though the trip was a long journey, was worth the wait as the team was received by Gaza's influential leader Dr Abdul Rahman Jamal, who is also the chairman of the Darul Quran and Sunnah.

“We feel honoured that our visit was received by such an influential man here. We are all humbled by his presence,” he said in a short ceremony held after entering the border here.

The 21-strong Malaysian delegation includes businessmen, officials and media members with the youngest volunteer, Muhammad Razique, just two years of age.

The AP VIII Humanitarian Mission is in Gaza to deliver medical supplies, generator sets, a water desalination station and meet 500 AP sponsored orphans. more

Welcome to Palestine visitors arrive - 60 per cent may have had flights cancelled


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Visitors on a tour of Palestine began to arrive in Israel on Sunday, as demonstrations were held in European airports to protest the barring of dozens of tourists as part of the 'Welcome to Palestine' initiative.

Organizer Mazin Qumsiyeh said several passengers had arrived, and Israeli news site Ynet reported three passengers from Paris had been allowed to enter after questioning in Ben Gurion airport.

Spokesman to the Israeli Prime Minister Ofir Gendelman said on Twitter that 27 "provocateurs" had been denied entry at the airport.

Israeli supporters gathered at the arrivals hall to welcome the passengers, and Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said two were detained by police for "causing a disturbance."

Earlier, organizers told Israeli daily Haaretz that more than 60 percent of the expected 1,500 had flights canceled by airlines, after Israel circulated a blacklist of passengers and warned it would fine carriers.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said the Immigration Authority had on Wednesday given airlines the names of some 1,200 activists whose entrance to Israel has been barred.

On Saturday, Micky Rosenfeld said that hundreds of police officers had been deployed in and around Ben Gurion airport.

Meanwhile, protests were held in Brussels, Paris, Geneva and Rome airports to support the initiative, Qumsiyeh said. more

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Official: 1,600 Palestinian prisoners to go on hunger strike on April 17th


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Over 1,600 detainees in Israeli jails are due to begin a hunger-strike on April 17, a Palestinian Authority official said Saturday.

Issa Qaraqe, the PA prisoners affairs minister, added that factional division among the strikers is dangerous and called on detainees with different political allegiances to unite.

There was reportedly a disagreement between imprisoned Fatah and Hamas members as to which date would be best to carry out the strike action. more

Gaza family awaits new home, 9 years after demolition by Israel


By Rami Almeghari The Electronic Intifada

Raed Abu al-Zomar, now a 32-year-old father of four, was uprooted from his home when Israel demolished it in 2003. Located in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, the two-story home was where Abu al-Zomar, his parents and his eight siblings lived.

At that time, the Israeli military had already knocked down and bulldozed the houses of approximately 1,500 other families along the Gaza-Egypt border during the second intifada.

For many years, the Abu al-Zomar family rented several homes in different parts of the southern Gaza Strip. More recently, Abu al-Zomar, his parents and his unmarried siblings have been allocated two small apartments, close to a Saudi-funded housing project, run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA). They have been promised a house from that project, once it is ready.

“So far, my children, who are now in school, have not lived in their own home. The Saudi project means stability to me, it means I will now have neighbors,” Abu al-Zomar told The Electronic Intifada, standing on his apartment balcony overlooking the housing project in the Tal al-Sultan area of Rafah.

“For some time, I have been moving from one place to another, which means you cannot develop normal relationships with neighbors. I can say that my dream is about to come true.” more

Video: High hopes in Gaza - Kids release balloons for prisoners


'The children of prisoners held in Israeli jails gathered outside the International Red Cross to draw pictures and write messages to their fathers. After speeches by the Minister of Detainee Affairs Dr Attallah Abu Sebah, the young daughters of two prisoners, and the mother of another, the drawings and messages were attached to balloons and released into the evening sky, along with the hopes of the children that they would float to Israel, and be received by their fathers.' -- Julie Webb-Pullman

Thanks to scoopedindependentnews

Israel forces airline to cancel tickets of British 'flytilla' activists


Israel has forced low-cost airline Jet2.com to cancel the tickets of three women from Manchester intending to travel to Bethlehem via Tel Aviv this weekend for a gathering of pro-Palestinian activists.

Jet2.com informed the women by email that the airline would refuse to carry them and no refund would be paid. The move follows pressure on airlines from Israel to ban known activists.

One of the women, retired nurse Norma Turner, said Jet2.com had caved in to pressure. "It never crossed my mind that Israel could stop people with British passports leaving British airports," she told the Guardian.

Israel has promised to deny entry to hundreds of activists due to arrive at Tel Aviv airport on Sunday en route to the West Bank for a week of educational and cultural activities.

Up to 2,000 mainly European sympathisers plan to board planes in what has been dubbed a "flytilla" in reference to previous attempts to breach the blockade of Gaza by flotillas of boats.

Jet2.com's decision followed a similar move by the German carrier Lufthansa, which cancelled the tickets of dozens of activists on Thursday, saying it was complying with Israel's demand not to fly certain passengers to Tel Aviv. Other airlines are expected to follow suit. more

Friday, 13 April 2012

Italian International Solidarity Movement activist fights deportation: your support needed!


Marco Mohamed Abdelaal, a 32 year old International Solidarity Movement activist was arrested April 11, 2012 at the 7th Annual International Bil’in Conference on the Palestinian Popular Struggle held in the old city of Occupied Hebron. Marco was arrested with 11 other conference attendees: four Internationals and eight Palestinians, including multiple conference organizers. Marco is being held in immigration detention as he begins the appeal process for deportation on the charges of assaulting a soldier. Two of the arrested Internationals were released without charge and the third cooperated with the deportation proceedings. Two of the eight Palestinians arrested remain in jail and will face trial early next week.

Appealing Marco’s deportation costs 15,000NIS (€3,041)

Donate here to this important legal case.

more

Flytilla: Lufthansa violates international law by preventing passengers boarding flight to Tel Aviv


Dozens of passengers who bought a plane ticket to travel to Tel Aviv Sunday on April 15 were notified Thursday by the airline Lufthansa that their reservation was canceled, ” by order of Israel.”

“Israel has produced a list of names of persons to whom this country denies entry. Yours is on it, which brings us to cancel your ticket and we immediately after will refund to your credit card. ” as have said employees of Lufthansa to the passengers.

Having failed to discern in the lists of passengers previously sent to Israel by the airlines, those who intended to participate in the mission Welcome to Palestine and those who were not involved, the Israeli government, greatly accustomed to large “collateral damage” has apparently decided to put them in bulk on its blacklist. At least two people not involved in the mission and had planned to stay in Israel, we have been reported on the evening of Thursday. more

Israel opens fire at fishing boat off Gaza coast


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Friday opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the northwestern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses said the gunfire caused the boat to sink, with no injuries reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the vessel "deviated from the designated fishing area" and that naval forces fired warning shots at the boat's engine after it failed to respond to calls to turn back.

After shots were fired, the boat returned to the designated fishing area and did not sink, she said.

Under Israel's maritime blockade, Palestinians are forbidden from fishing more than three nautical miles from the coast. more

Video: Conference participants attacked by Israeli border police in Hebron


Israeli Border Police officers attacked and arrested Palestinian and international participants in the 7th International Bil'in Conference on the Palestinian Popular Struggle during a tour of the Old City of Hebron.

On April 10-13, 2012, Palestinians, Israelis and activists from around the world will converge in the village of Bil'in to discuss the Palestinian popular struggle, vision, tactics, strategies and international support under the auspices of the 7th Bil'in Conference on Popular Struggle.

More on the conference here

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Occupation forces impose total siege on Ram in northern occupied Jerusalem


OCCUPIED JERUSALEM,(PIC)-- The Zionist occupation imposed a total siege on Ram neighborhood north-east occupied Jerusalem after closing its principal entrance this week using big cement blocks to prevent residents' movements.

The occupation army claimed that the reason behind this closure was the rise of hostile attacks against "Israel" including throwing Molotov cocktails and stones on the soldiers during their routine patrols in this neighborhood.

The occupation said that the neighborhood residents, around 60,000, will be allowed to enter and exit the neighborhood by a bypass.

The residents explained that they have to walk on foot 4 km on a bumpy and dirt road to reach the principal entrance of the neighborhood, because they cannot use vehicles on such a road.

Sarhan Salima, the neighborhood council President, said that this is a collective punishment to the whole neighborhood resident, confirming that these attacks were made by few minors who did not mean anything than playing, according to Haaretz newspaper. more