Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Estelle activist: Pro-Palestinian boat en route to reach Gaza in a week

JERUSALEM (AP) — A boat carrying pro-Palestinian advocates from eight countries is en route to Gaza in the latest attempt to break Israel's naval blockade on the coastal territory, an activist on board said Tuesday.

Dror Feiler, an Israeli on the boat, said it left Naples on Sunday and aims to reach Gaza in mid-October. He said the boat is carrying items such as cement, basketballs, musical instruments and theater lighting equipment.

Israel imposed the blockade after the militant Islamic Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from their rival, the more secular Palestinian Fatah.

Palestinians and their backers consider the blockade illegal collective punishment against the people of Gaza. A September 2011 U.N. report upheld the legality of the naval blockade, calling it a "legitimate security measure," although it criticized land restrictions. Other legal experts at the U.N., along with the Red Cross, have said the blockade is illegal.

Under heavy international pressure, Israel eased the closure in 2010 after a naval raid killed nine Turkish activists on board another Gaza-bound flotilla. more

Freedom Bus project completes its first West Bank Freedom Ride

The Freedom Theater said in a press release that the Freedom Bus project has just completed its first Freedom Ride, bringing together Palestinians and internationals on a tour to communities all over the West Bank of occupied Palestine.

During the ride, The Freedom Bus visited some of the most besieged areas in the West Bank. Palestinian actors and musicians enacted personal accounts of community members, touching on issues such as home demolitions, land confiscation, army invasions, arbitrary arrests, settler violence, water shortage, the effects of the Wall and much more. Interactive theatre and music performances were complemented by university seminars, community tours, hip hop concerts, giant puppet shows and marches.

The Freedom Bus made its first stop in Faquaa, where although the village's name means spring water bubbles, the villagers are struggling to get access to clean water due to Israel's separation barrier and land confiscation. The performance was watched, from a distance, by Israeli soldiers looking through binoculars and photographing and filming the crowd over the barbed wire. more

Palestinian resistance warn Israel not to invade Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian resistance factions on Tuesday warned Israel not to invade the Gaza Strip, as an Israeli military commander spoke about the possibility of another war on the coastal enclave.

A senior Israeli commander told the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv on Tuesday that a large-scale military operation into Gaza was "inevitable" due to continued rocket fire into Israel.

The commander said Israel's only option to stop rockets was to launch another military offensive similar to Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 3-week war on Gaza launched in Dec. 2008 that killed around 1,500 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes.

Abu Ahmad, a spokesman of Islamic Jihad's military wing, warned Israel against another war.

"It seems the [Israeli] occupation has misinterpreted the resistance' quietness, but the Zionists should be aware that we can trouble them and terrify them every time and in every place," the Al-Quds Brigades spokesman said in a statement. Meanwhile Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, said the resistance was ready to respond to any Israeli military action in Gaza. more

Palestinian man shot and injured by Israeli soldiers near Bethlehem

Palestinian medical sources in Bethlehem reported that a young Palestinian man was shot and injured, on Monday afternoon, by Israeli military fire near Beit Jala city, northwest of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Local sources reported that undercover soldiers of the Israeli military opened fire at Sakhr Hussein and Al-Allamy, 26, while he was heading to work at the Gilo nearby Israeli settlement, the Maan News Agency reported.

Mohammad Ayyad, media spokesperson of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, told Maan that the soldiers shot Al-Allamy, and chased him after he was wounded but did not arrest him. more

Gaza hackers breach Israeli national theatre's website

Hours after a rocket barrage rocked southern Israeli communities, hackers breached the website of the Habima National Theater on Monday, temporarily replacing the homepage with a message: "Hackers from Gaza were here".

An official at the theater, however, said that experts who looked into the malfunction noted that it is possible the site was hacked by individuals based in Turkey.

"As a national theater we have become a target for those wishing to undermine Israel by various means," Habima General Manager Odelia Friedman said in a statement. "Due to this incident, we were forced to shut down the site for a short period. The theater's computer staff is making efforts to restore normal activity on the site." more

Video: Activists disrupt JNF fundraiser in Berlin, protest Israel’s “ethnic cleansing”

A group called Direct Action Berlin disrupted a fundraising event for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in the German capital Berlin on 4 October, leading to scuffles with some of the attendees in the hall.

A video posted on YouTube shows the activists entering the hall where the fundraiser was taking place, shouting slogans, throwing leaflets and carrying banners condemning JNF complicity in “ethnic cleansing.”

One banner read “Stand with al-Araqib,” a reference to the Bedouin village whose land is being taken with the complicity of the JNF.

The video shows some attendees scuffling with protestors and knocking at least one to the ground.

A statement accompanying the video, posted on the group’s Facebook page says in part:
On the 4th of October a fundraising event in favor of the JNF (KKL) took place in Berlin. The JNF is one of the oldest and most effective instruments of Zionist apartheid and oppression in Palestine. Through the founding and funding of illegal settlements, the removal and displacement of non-jewish population and exploitative buying or taking away of land from its habitants, the JNF is implementing the zionistic ideals of discrimination and segregation “on the ground.” The JNF is not “just” an official israeli organization, it is one of the main executors of the racist policies of Israel against non-jewish people living in its territory.