Sunday, 18 November 2012

Ceasefire talks underway in Cairo but no truce expected soon


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Negotiations in Cairo for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have made progress, but a truce is unlikely in the coming days, PLO official Nabil Shaath said Sunday.

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and his deputy Mousa Abu Marzouq updated Shaath on talks in Cairo between Palestinian factions and an Israeli delegate.

Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas is also in direct contact with Mashaal, Shaath said.

Shaath told Ma'an that a ceasefire "is not likely to take effect in the coming days because Israel is trying to impose its own stipulations ignoring the demands of Hamas and other Palestinian factions."

Palestinian factions are demanding an end to Israel's siege on Gaza and that Israel stops all incursions into Gaza, stops assassinating leaders and stops firing at fishermen off the coast.

Shaath said Israel initially requested that Hamas hand over all its weapons. Hamas refused, and said it would agree to stop targeting civilians in a ceasefire. more

24 killed in Sunday raids on Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli air raids across the Gaza Strip killed 24 people on Sunday, including five women and nine children, as Israel pounded the Gaza Strip for the fifth day.

Since Wednesday, 72 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, tank fire and naval shelling.

On Sunday evening, an Israeli airstrike on Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip killed 54-year-old Atiyyeh Mubarak and 37-year-old Husam Abu Shawish.

Minutes earlier, seven members of the Abu Shehada family were injured when their home was bombed in the al-Maghazi camp in central Gaza.

An Israeli airstrike hit a vehicle in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon killing Suheil Hammad, 45, and his 15-year-old son Muamin. They were driving a water tanker to sell water to residents, a Ma'an reporter says.

Four women and four children were among 10 killed in an Israeli missile attacked that leveled the al-Dalou family home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City. more

Man and child killed in raid on Shati camp - death toll rises to 54


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel bombed al-Shati refugee camp on Sunday killing a man and a 9-year-old girl, bringing the death toll in Gaza to 54 on the fifth day of heavy shelling. Medics said 27-year-old Ahmad Nahhal and 9-year-old Tasneem Nahhal were killed and eight others wounded in the strike on the camp, which lies on the coastline of Gaza City, medics said. In northern Gaza, medics recovered the body of 52-year-old woman, identified as Nawal Abed al-Ali, from the rubble of an earlier airstrike on a police station in the al-Tufah neighborhood. Nahhal was the fourth child killed in airstrikes across the enclave on Sunday morning. A strike on al-Bureij refugee camp killed 18-month-old Eyad Abu Khousa and wounded his brother, a Ma'an correspondent said Earlier, two children were killed and more than 12 people injured as two houses were bombed in northern Gaza early Sunday, a Gaza official Ashraf al-Qidra said. Medics identified the two children as Tamer Abu Asaifan and one-year-old Jumana Abu Asaifan. more

Qassam Brigades claims it targeted Israeli warship with five rockets


GAZA, (PIC)-- Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas said it fired on Sunday morning five rockets directly at an Israeli warship off the coast of central Gaza.

The Brigades stated in a communiqué that its fighters fired five rockets of type "107" at an Israeli warship off the coast of Nuseirat refugee camp, affirming that the rockets hit their target directly.

The Israeli army radio admitted the attack on the warship without saying if the ship was damaged or if there were casualties among the naval forces. more

Five ways to effectively support Gaza through Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions


Here are five BDS ways to effectively express solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and elsewhere:

1. Boycott Israel! Don’t buy Israeli goods!

Profits from exports from Israel help to fund the Israeli government and its crimes against the Palestinian people. Refuse to buy Israeli goods and tell retailers that you are doing it. Persuade friends and family to stop buying any Israeli products too!

Brands to avoid include Ahava, Jaffa oranges, Sabra and Tribe hummus and SodaStream.

2. Join an active BDS campaign or start a new one

Initiate action in your institution, union, group, etc., against the companies and organisations that support and profit from Israel’s system of oppression over the Palestinian people.

For example, in the US, campaigners have pressured major pension funds to divest from Caterpillar, a company that provides bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes.

Public bodies across the world have been successfully pressured to stop awarding contracts for public services to Veolia, a company that provides infrastructure to illegal Israeli settlements. Veolia has lost contracts worth more than $14bn following BDS campaigns.

Campaigners recently persuaded a major bank to divest from G4S, a private security firm involved in Israel’s crimes against Palestinian prisoners, including children.

You can find out more about campaigns taking place in your area by contacting your local Palestine solidarity organisation. There’s a great online database of Palestine solidarity groups here or contact us for advice on whom to contact or on how to start a new BDS campaign.

3. Organise a BDS protest action

Demonstrations, banner drops and flashmobs are great ways to raise awareness of the boycott of Israel. Some actions target particular products, like the actions against Israeli cosmetics company Ahava, while others take place in supermarkets and remind shoppers not to buy Israeli goods or to target complicit companies.

There’s a useful guide to planning a BDS action here. The guide is written specifically for the Ahava campaign, but it’s full of useful ideas for similar campaigns too.

4. Urge organisations that you are a member of to divest from Israel

Trade unions, student unions, faith groups and other organisations all over the world have passed BDS-related resolutions calling for divesting from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation.

The US Quakers’ investment entity recently sold its shares in Hewlett Packard and Veolia, two companies supporting and profiting from Israeli violations of international law, after having divested from Caterpillar a few months ago for the same reasons.

Student unions around the world have voted to support divestment and have successfully campaigned to have companies like Sabra Hummus and Eden Springs removed from their campuses.

Trade unions can participate in BDS campaigns and sell any investments they may hold in Israeli companies or raise rank-and-file awareness about Israeli products to boycott.

Ask organisations that you’re a member of to hold a meeting to discuss education about and support for the BDS campaign, and find out if it’s possible to pass a resolution to support BDS when the time is right.

5. Pressure your elected officials to impose a military embargo on Israel

Military ties with Israel feed and encourage further Israeli violence. Israel wouldn’t be able to maintain its occupation and apartheid system over the Palestinian people if it wasn’t for the military aid it receives from the US or the military trade it conducts with countries around the world. Urge your government and elected representatives to support a military embargo on Israel. BDS Movement

Israeli sites including Bank of Jerusalem still down after Anonymous hacker attack


Online activist group Anonymous says it has downed the websites of dozens of Israeli state agencies and a top bank in protest over the Jewish state’s deadly air assault on Gaza.

The hackers said their operation “OpIsrael” had either damaged or completely erased the sites of more than 650 private and public institutions that included the Bank of Jerusalem — one of the country’s main finance houses.

“Bank of Jerusalem database has been deleted,” the group said in a tweet next to a link to the lender’s non-functioning website.

It also claimed to have briefly downed the foreign ministry website in protest over an alleged Israeli threat to cut the Gaza Strip's Internet communications.

“For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so called ’Occupied Territories’ by the Israel Defence Force,” Anonymous said in a statement. more

Airstrikes slam Gaza, 3 children dead, journalists targeted


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian infant was killed in an Israeli airstrike on central Gaza Sunday morning, medics said.

The strike on al-Bureij refugee camp killed 18-month-old Eyad Abu Khousa and wounded his brother, a Ma'an correspondent said

He was the third child to die in a morning as airstrikes continued unabated in the Gaza Strip.

Two children were killed and more than 12 people injured as two houses were bombed in northern Gaza early Sunday, a Gaza official Ashraf al-Qidra said.

Medics identified the two children as Tamer Abu Asaifan and one-year-old Jumana Abu Asaifan.

Witnesses said Israel's aerial bombardment of Gaza continued with intensity overnight.

Airstrikes hit two media headquarters in Gaza City, including Ma'an's office, injuring six journalists. more