Tuesday, 10 April 2012

1,200 international activists heading for Ben Gurion airport in 'Welcome to Palestine' fly-in

(Press Conference at the Bethlehem Peace Center - Photo: IMEMC)

Over 1,200 international visitors are expected to arrive to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to participate in the Welcome to Palestine 2012 campaign on Sunday April 15, said Dr. Abdelfattah Abu Srour, a spokesperson of the campaign stated on Monday.

Abu Srour told a press conference held at the Bethlehem Peace Center that more than 1,200 persons have already purchased tickets and are planning to come to the Palestinian areas to join a week of voluntary work and activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Abu Srour affirmed that the visitors are not coming to cause trouble at the airport or congest airport traffic, however, they are determined to declare to the airport authorities that they are coming to visit Palestine.

On his part, Mayor of the city of Bethlehem Dr. Victor Batarseh endorsed the campaign and issued a welcoming message to all those who would like to visit Palestine.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, media coordinator of the campaign said that Palestinian people have the right to have visitors and the fact that all visitors have to go through Israeli border-crossing points should not prevent those who want to visit Palestine. Dr. Qumsiyeh, said that the Palestinian people live in a large jail made by the Israeli military forces that controls it, however, “even those in jail have the right to be visited.”

Asked if the expected visitors are going to participate in anti-wall and settlement protest, if they are granted entry, Dr. Qumsiyeh said that they are going to participate in humanitarian and voluntary work activities including help in building a school in Bethlehem, and some agricultural activities with Palestinian farmers and they will be hosted by Palestinian families in the Bethlehem region. more

Film: the symbol of Nakba - Deir Yassin Remembered

From Mondoweiss

"I wish I had died before what happened in Deir Yassin," said Zeinab Akel, a survivor of the village whose oral history is filmed by Zochrot, an Israeli group that teaches the Nakba to schoolchildren. Akel was just 20 years old when Zionist forces threw her from her home, on April 9, 1948. The building is now an Israeli hospital and part of larger mental health clinic.

Akel's history narrates the film "Deir Yassin: Remembered," which describes the Zionist para-military massacre of over 100 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The attack began in the early morning with the more extremist sects of the Zionist militias, the Irgun and Stern Gang, and by the afternoon, the Palmach and Haganah, had joined. more

Israel navy opens fire at Gaza fishing boat - no injuries reported

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israel's navy fired live ammunition at a fishing boat in the Gaza Strip on Monday, witnesses said.

Several shells were fired into open areas off the Gaza coast, locals told Ma'an.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that a fishing boat had deviated from the designated fishing area, and after failing to respond to orders to return, warning shots were fired.

No hits were identified and the boat returned to the designated fishing area, she added. more

Video: Shocking footage of Israeli soldiers abusing elderly shepherd near Hebron

A volunteer with the Israeli Information Center in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) documented on film a group of Israeli soldiers abusing a Palestinian shepherd and his sheep, after the soldiers claimed that he refused to remove his herd from the outskirts of Otniel illegal settlement, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The incident took place on the morning of April 2nd, when a local shepherd, identified as “Abu S.”, in his 60’s, took his flock to graze on land that belongs to Om Al-Amd village; Israeli soldiers arrived at the “scene” and ordered him away from the area, and when he refused one of the soldiers started pushing the shepherd and sheep; fifteen minutes later, the Shepherd and his herd were let go. more

- Filmed by B'TSELEM's volunteer