Friday, 20 July 2012

Gaza prisoner families to visit Monday

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday that a second group visiting Palestinian detainees in Israel's Nafha prison will be admitted Monday.

Red Cross spokesman Ayman al-Shehabi told Ma’an that the visit would be for 40 detainees for the first time since Israel began to prevent families from Gaza from visiting their loved ones. more

Palestinian salary crisis diminish Ramadan consumption

RAMALLAH, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Samer Mohamed is calculating carefully not to spend all his 60-percent-salary that he received this month in buying things his family needs for Ramadan, fearing that he might not get paid at all next month as a fiscal crisis is pinching his employer, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

However, a large smile appeared on his face as he received a text message saying he could get the rest of his salary. "we received June's salary in two phases, 60 percent and then 40 percent, but who knows if we will receive our salaries for July."

After a 14-day delay, the PNA paid only 60 percent of its 150, 000 employees' salaries. A shortfall in the PNA budget has reached to more than 1 billion U.S. dollars according to official figures.

The crisis was partially resolved after Saudi Arabia paid the PNA an urgent financial donation to pay the rest 40 percent. Samer and other PNA employees in the West Bank and Gaza decided to reduce their spending.

While he was wandering at the central market in the West Bank city of Ramallah and carrying a few bags, he told Xinhua "my wife usually prepares a shopping list for Ramadan, but this time I didn 't follow her list and I was obliged to reduce our purchasing." more

BDS at 7! – Celebrating, reflecting and further mainstreaming

Seven years after the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was launched, the global BDS campaign has become stronger, more widespread, more effective and certainly more diverse than ever—a true cause for celebration by all those groups and conscientious citizens of the world who contributed to this success. However, Israel’s intensifying violations of international law and basic Palestinian rights, the direct threat Israel poses to the freedom of peoples across the region, and the impunity that Israel still enjoys are cause for reflection and the continuous fine-tuning of our strategies to further spread BDS and further isolate Israel as a world pariah, just as South Africa was under apartheid.

Thanks to the BDS movement, the struggle for the basic rights of the entire Palestinian people has taken a major leap during these last seven years, reaching wide audiences and achieving concrete achievements in major European countries, South Africa, Latin America, India, the Arab world, Australia, New Zealand and even North America. Following on from a similar round up published to mark five years of BDS, the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the broad Palestinian civil society coalition, has put together the following selection of highlights gives a taste of the spectacular growth of BDS over the last two years.

The global reach of the BDS movement is maybe best highlighted by this year’s edition of the BDS Global Day of Action which took place in 23 countries and the fact that the 8th annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) was organized this year on campuses in 202 cities across the world, causing near panic in the Israeli public diplomacy ministry, which scrambled 100 envoys to counter IAW around the world.

Popular consumer boycotts of Israeli products and campaigns against companies that export and sell Israeli products, particularly those implicated in Israel’s illegal colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory, have not only raised awareness among ordinary citizens in countless cities across the world but led to significant damage to complicit Israeli companies: more