Monday, 6 February 2012

Settlers and Israeli military move forward with plan to steal land in Kufr Qaddoum

As of 2:00 PM today it was reported that two army jeeps were still on site in Kufr Qaddoum, in addition to one police jeep, while illegal settlers had left the scene of today’s violent incursion.

Abu Ashraf, pictured above being dragged by Israeli military, is now in a local hospital with injuries sustained to the head and wrists. It is reported he was hit by military on the left side of his forehead leaving an open wound and bruising. His hands were also tightly handcuffed in plastic, leaving bruising to the wrists.

Abu Ashraf was defending his family’s land as it was being invaded by settlers from nearby illegal settlements and was met with violence. Settlers plowed this land under the protection of Israeli military.

Another 60 year old woman was also wounded by Israel’s violent intrusion into Kufr Qaddoum, after Israeli forces twisted her arm. She was treated on the scene by paramedics.

Abu Ashraf is in a local hospital, recovering.

Updated From:

On February 5 the residents of Kufr Qaddoum noticed several soldiers and illegal settlers on their lands who were plotting how to illegally seize land from the village. Upon arrival, International Solidarity Movement received word that indeed the colonizers were planning an action to seize land today.

Abu Ashraf, a local of Kufr Qaddoum, being dragged away by Israeli Zionist military

Early this morning over 20 Israeli soldiers and Zionist settlers descended up on Kufr Qaddoum’s lands, arresting local villager Abu Ashraf, and dragging him off. Settlers were seen plowing through the land with bulldozers and military present.

In a collaboration between military and illegal settlers, the main road that Kufr Qaddoum has been advocating to open through its weekly peaceful demonstrations has also been reportedly seized, while illegal, Zionist settlers are currently planting trees in the newly plowed land under the protection of the Israeli military.

Palestinians urge international community to join Global March to Jerusalem

From the International Solidarity Movement

The recent Arab uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa have proven that the Arab people are no longer willing to tolerate oppression and tyranny. They send a strong message to Western hegemonic powers and their oppressive regional allies that a new wave of nonviolent civil resistance will ultimately prevail over injustice and occupation. In addition, the Arab uprisings also send an important message to all people of the world that armed resistance is no longer the only option for pursuing change.

One must acknowledge that the recent successes of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions are a reminder that this inspirational movement for nonviolent civil resistance was actually born in Palestine. As American University of Beirut Professor Rami Zurayk notes, “The Arab uprisings have of course taken their inspiration from the Palestinian Intifada.” But as he further clarifies, the reverse is also true: there is “a constant feeding in from the Arab uprisings to Palestine and from Palestine to the Arab uprisings.”

Professor Zurayk is one of the Lebanese delegates for the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), a groundbreaking nonviolent civil resistance initiative scheduled for March 30, 2012 in Palestine and the four neighboring countries: Egypt, Lebanon Jordan and Syria. The GMJ is comprised of a diverse coalition of Palestinian, Arab and international activists who are united in the struggle to liberate the holy city of Jerusalem from illegal Zionist occupation. While the GMJ is made up of grassroots movements in each participating country, the march is also internationalized through a central coordinating committee with elected delegates from each region. More than thirty of these delegates met in Amman last December and in Beirut in January to discuss plans for hundreds of thousands of people to peacefully march to the holy city of Jerusalem, or to the nearest point possible according to the circumstances of each neighboring country, for not only Palestinian rights, but the rights of all humans. more

BBC Trust rules in favour of censoring the name Palestine

From the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

The BBC has admitted it was ‘overcautious’ in editing the word ‘Palestine’ from an artist’s performance on Radio 1Xtra and has said it is ‘looking to learn’ from the way it handled the situation.

However, in a ruling released today (31/01/12), the BBC Trust said the final content that was broadcast on the Charlie Sloth Hip Hop M1X – a music programme – was not biased and therefore did not breach its editorial guidelines.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has spent eight months trying to find out why the decision was made to censor the lyrics of a freestyle performance by the rapper, Mic Righteous. Appearing on the Charlie Sloth show in February 2011 he sang: ‘I can scream Free Palestine for my beliefs’ (the edit comes about 3 minutes in).

BBC producers replaced the word ‘Palestine’ with the sound of breaking glass, and the censored performance was repeated in April on the same show.

Amena Saleem, of PSC, said: ‘In its correspondence with us, the BBC said the word Palestine isn’t offensive, but ‘implying that it is not free is the contentious issue’, and this is why the edit was made.

‘Putting aside the BBC’s ignorance of international law, which states unambiguously that Palestine is under occupation, we have argued that this decision clearly shows the BBC’s bias against Palestine. Unable to counter this point, the BBC Trust has moved the goalposts and decided to look at the censored content that was broadcast in February and April 2011.

‘And the Trustees have decided that the content from which the word ‘Palestine’ had been edited was not biased against Palestine. This level of manipulation and duplicity would not be out of place in Catch 22.’

Ms Saleem added: ‘It’s a great shame that, in the year of the Arab Spring when the BBC was covering the struggle of millions of people for freedom, it remained wedded to its institutionalised bias against the Palestinians and refused to even recognise the fact of their occupation.’

In May 2011, 19 artists, MPs, academics and lawyers signed a letter to the Guardian protesting at the edit as ‘an attack on the principles of free speech’. Signatories included the director Ken Loach, and comedians Mark Thomas, Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel and Alexei Sayle. more

Fatah and Hamas agree to Abbas heading new unity Palestinian government of technocrats

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed at a meeting in Qatar on Monday to form a unified Palestinian government for the West Bank and Gaza headed by Palestinian President and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas, a senior Palestinian official said.

Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, head of the Islamist Hamas, said they were serious about implementing the accord almost a year after the two sides signed a reconciliation deal that languished for months and was reaffirmed only in November.

"We are serious, both Fatah and Hamas, in healing the wounds and ending the chapter of division and reinforcing and accomplishing reconciliation," Meshaal said in remarks televised live by Al Jazeera from Qatar.

He said the Palestinians wanted to accomplish unity and move forward "to resist the enemy (Israel) and achieve our national goals."

Abbas, head of the secular Fatah organization, promised that "this effort will be implemented in the shortest time possible."

Fatah and Hamas have been bitter rivals since the Islamist movement seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a brief war and kicked out Abbas's Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

The senior Palestinian official said that under Monday's agreement, Abbas would assume the role of prime minister, replacing Western-backed economist Salam Fayyad. It was not immediately clear if Fayyad would be a member of the new government or when it would be formed.

The deal provided for a government of independent technocrats to oversee preparations for elections later this year. A vote had been mooted in May but the Palestinian election commission says more time will be needed.

The last presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2006. Hamas won the parliamentary vote. more