Wednesday, 11 July 2012

'Pirates of Gaza' hackers break into Israeli parliament website

GAZA, (PIC)-- Hackers calling themselves as "Pirates of Gaza, the winds of victory" said they managed to penetrate into the website of the Israeli Knesset on Thursday.

The Hebrew media reported that the hackers defaced the website with a statement reading that they possess many secrets about Israeli leaders.

Their statement demanded an end to all excavations near the Aqsa Mosque, the settlement activities especially around the Mosque and the military aggression against Gaza as well as the release of all Palestinian prisoners.

The hackers also wrote on the website that the resistance, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, will be victorious. more

Hamas says hunger strike against detention of Hamas members behind halt to election preparations

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri addressed a rally against political arrests by students in Gaza City (MaanImages)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Wednesday that the reason his party suspended electoral preparation in the Gaza Strip, effectively calling a halt to reconciliation with their Fatah rivals, was as a direct response to political repression in the West Bank.

Addressing a rally against political arrests by students in Gaza City, Abu Zuhri said recent events in Hebron University were the last straw in a string of events persuading Hamas to call off election groundwork.

Around 10 students are holding a sit-in in the southern West Bank university, and several of them have been on hunger strike for a week, a Ma'an correspondent said. They are protesting the detention of Hamas members by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. more

Israeli blockade takes its toll on mental health in Gaza

(Abu Shawareb and his family outside their home in Gaza, where mental health problems have reportedly been exacerbated by the Israeli blockade. Photograph: Karl Schembri/Oxfam GB)

Stress-related and mental health disorders are on the increase in the Gaza Strip, brought on by loss of jobs and dignity, and lack of freedom under Israel's blockade

For as long as Farah can remember, her father has never worked. Nor, in recent years, has she particularly wanted to spend time with him. She and her three younger siblings love Abu Shawareb, insists their mother, Naima, but they have grown wary of him, particularly of his mood swings and violent outbursts.

"It was like a part of me had gone for ever," says Shawareb, recalling the day five years ago when he suddenly lost his job. "I kept thinking, how am I going to feed my family? How will we live?"

Since the Israeli blockade of Gaza in June 2007, Shawareb has been unable to find another job. "We've been left to die slowly here," he says. "I am just 40 but I feel as if my working life is over."

He has been diagnosed with chronic depression and is on medication. The treatment is helping, but Shawareb still has days when he can barely pick himself up off the floor.

"Today is a good day," he says, trying to smile. "I managed to go outside." The family's housing situation compounds his anxieties, says Naima when her husband goes to make tea. Recently their small, windowless house in Shati refugee camp – home to 87,000 refugees who fled from Lydd, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva and other areas of Palestine – was infested with mice. more

Artistic director of The Freedom Theatre begins hunger strike to protest detention

The artistic director of The Freedom Theatre, Nabil Al-Raee, has declared that he has begun an open hunger strike in protest against his current detention in an Israeli Prison. Al-Raee officially began his hunger strike on the 6th of July, stating "I don't know why I'm here. There is no reason for them to keep me here."

Nabil Al-Raee was arrested on the 6th of June at 3:00 am, during a night raid by the IOF. For the first two weeks of his imprisonment, both his lawyer and his family were not allowed to visit him and no charges were brought against him.

In Nabil Al-Raee's second court case, the military judge declared that there was no evidence of any illegal activity committed by Al-Raee. However, the military judge gave the prosecution a 48-hour time period to appeal, which they did; bringing forward a third accusation. His current charges consist of possessing firearms and assisting a wanted fugitive. Micaela Miranda, Nabil's wife, described the charges as a "farce," and continued on to say that, "It's ridiculous and obvious that they are trying to find justification for keeping Nabil incarcerated for so long."

The arrest and detention without charge of Nabil Al-Raee is just one example of the harassment that The Freedom Theatre has been experiencing in the past year. Since the assassination of the co-founder of The Freedom Theatre, Juliano Mer Khamis in April of 2011, The Freedom Theatre and its staff have been the target of constant harassment by Israeli forces. more

‘IDF Ranks’ transforms pro-Israel Facebook users into ‘virtual soldiers’

The IDF Spokesman's office is trying to make online hasbara an epic battle. The new web application IDF Ranks virtually "enlists" hasbara-ites to become Israel's most revered soldier in only a few clicks by sharing articles about Israel's military. Each share is awarded points, earn enough points and subscribers can move up from a lowly recruit to a Zionist Rambo. From IDF Spokesman:
Have you ever wanted to join the military and fight to defend Israel? Well, now you can, with IDF Ranks — embedded directly in all IDF social platforms!

IDF Ranks promotes YOU for your activities around IDF-related material. Your every action — commenting, liking, sharing and even just visiting — rewards your efforts, as well as helps spread the truth about the Israeli army all over the world.
Lock, stock and load; share, Tweet and email. Do it from your sofa, bed or toilet if you have a smart phone.
Yet the application is basically a dressed up version of a Facebook/Twitter share feature (we have one on Mondoweiss, it's on the upper left side of the page). But what distinguishes IDF Ranks as a "game" with "virtual soldiers" is its bombastic copy that equates selecting an icon in the name of Israel to a venerable activity:

That’'s the spirit, soldier! Welcome aboard. Now get started and score some badges! You can earn badges by completing several specific tasks. For instance, ‘like’ 3 different articles in the front page and you’ll get a brand new badge for that. (Shiny.)"

Hamas leader calls on Egypt to spen South Gaza border for trade

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Egypt to open its border with the Gaza Strip for commercial trade, providing a conduit for imports and exports outside the hundreds of smuggling tunnels dug under the frontier.

Haniyeh’s appeal, outlined to reporters today in Gaza City, follows a doubling in permits for Palestinians to cross into Egypt at the southern Rafah border station to about 1,500 a day since the election of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.

Rafah is Gaza’s only official border crossing to Egypt that bypasses Israel. Haniyeh said the station should be open 24 hours a day with free movement of commercial goods to help revive the struggling Palestinian economy. more