Saturday, 6 October 2012

Israeli settlers attack farmers in West Bank town of Qalqiliya

QALQILIA, October 6, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Saturday attacked Palestinian farmers in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, near the northern West Bank town of Qalqilia, while on their way to pick their olive trees, said witnesses.

They told WAFA that more than 100 settlers gathered in an abandoned house southeast of the village and hurled stones at the farmers under the eyes of Israeli soldiers and police who intervened only to stop the farmers from reaching their land.

Meanwhile, settlers from Maon, south of Hebron, and Israeli soldiers chased after Palestinian farmers on their way to pick olives in their land east of the Yatta. more

Mishaal discusses alternatives to Rafah tunnels with Egyptian officials

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal discussed with Egyptian officials alternatives to the closing of Rafah tunnels that supply besieged Gaza Strip with vital supplies.

Mishaal met with Egyptian intelligence chief Ra’fat Shehada along with other officials over the past two days in Cairo and discussed Arab and Palestinian developments.

Well informed Palestinian sources told the PIC reporter in Cairo that Gaza developments topped the agenda of Mishaal’s talks in light of the continuation of the siege and the scarcity of medicines and food supplies.

The Hamas leader called for opening the Rafah border crossing on permanent basis.

The sources said that Mishaal discussed reactivating inter-Palestinian reconciliation and means of alleviating repercussion of the siege on Gaza. more

Security services in Gaza hold drills

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The ministry of interior in the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip conducted a field drill for all the security services including police and national security on Saturday.

A ministry statement said the maneuver was part of “normal drill” for all the ministry’s security services and in line with the ministry’s efforts to maintain security and stability in the Gaza Strip.

The statement explained that security services and other governmental bodies would offer the Gaza Strip citizens any services in case of any emergencies during the drill. more

Why Israel’s "refugee day" is a smokescreen to deny Palestinian rights

In the shadow of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s theatrics at the United Nations, armed with his cartoon Iranian bomb, Israeli officials launched a quieter, but equally combative, initiative to extinguish whatever hopes have survived of reviving the peace process.

For the first time in its history, Israel is seeking to equate millions of Palestinians in refugee camps across the Middle East with millions of Israeli citizens descended from Jews who, before Israel’s establishment in 1948, lived in Arab countries.

According to Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, whose parents were originally from Iraq and who has been leading the government campaign, nearly a million Jews fled countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Morocco and Yemen (“Israel demands compensation for Jews who fled Arab countries,” Globes, 23 September 2012).

That figure exceeds the generally accepted number of 750,000 Palestinian refugees, uprooted during the Nakba (catastrophe), the wave of ethnic cleansing that led to Israel’s foundation in 1948.

Transparent goal

Israel’s goal is transparent: it hopes the international community can be persuaded that the suffering of Palestinian refugees is effectively cancelled out by the experiences of “Jewish refugees.” If nothing can be done for Arab Jews all these years later, then Palestinians should expect no restitution either.

Over the past few weeks that has been the message implicit in a social media campaign called “I am a refugee,” which includes YouTube videos in which Jews tell of being terrorized while living in Arab states after 1948. Ayalon has even announced plans for a new day of national commemoration, Jewish Refugee Day. more