Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Major trade union backs boycott of Israel

Meeting in Durban, South Africa last week, Public Services International (PSI) also pledged to participate in Israel Apartheid Week, an annual series of events designed to raise awareness about the discrimination and human rights abuses faced by Palestinians. PSI represents 20 million workers throughout the globe.

A resolution urging support for the Palestinian-led mobilisation for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was proposed to the PSI congress by the South African Municipal Workers Union. Approved by a large majority, the resolution stated:

“We will continue working with our partners in the trade union movement to ensure that worker solidarity is maximized locally and internationally. The slogan of the trade union movement — ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ — rings true for the people of Palestine. The injustices and human rights abuses towards Palestinians, while living under the rule of apartheid Israel, affects us all and we will continue to mobilize for a just resolution with urgency.”

The PSI binds together some 500 public-sector unions, who deliver vital services in 150 countries. Among the major concerns of PSI are bringing union solidarity to migrating workers; violence against women; and improving infrastructures in the areas of road-building, water and sanitation, energy, and waste. The PSI has also called on the US and its allies to cease providing weapons to Israel. And it pledged to develop campaigns aimed at persuading companies who are complicit in the occupation to withdraw from any economic activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. more

Prisoner and human rights groups express concern over condition of hunger strikrs

The Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Ad-Dameer) said that it is deeply concerned regarding the lives of Palestinian detainees who are conducting extended hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, especially due to sharp deterioration in their health conditions.

Ad-Dameer lawyer, Fares Zayyad, visited on Monday December 3, detainees Ayman Sharawna and Samer Al-Esaawy, but was not allowed to visit detainee Odai Al-Keelani who started his strike 45 days ago.

Detainee Al-Esaawy, from Jerusalem, who was released under the Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal, and was rearrested by Israel. He started his hunger strike 126 days ago, and informed the lawyer that he will not end his strike “until he is free or until he receives martyrdom”.

He is in a critical condition and was hospitalized last week after suffering low heart rates, before he was moved back to the Ramla Prison Clinic that lacks basic equipment and supplies.

He then suffered another setback, and was moved to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit after his heartbeat rates reached as low as 36/minute.

He initially rejected any medical treatment, but was informed that he will be forced to receive treatment; he then took certain medications and on Thursday, November 29, was moved back to the Ramla Prison Clinic. more

Video: The Case For Cultural & Academic Boycott Of Israel

A Palestine Solidarity Campaign film. http://www.palestinecampaign.org

The Case For Cultural & Academic Boycott Of Israel with introduction from Ken Loach

Speakers - Ben White, Mike Cushman, Rafeef Ziadah, Ronnie Barkan

More info:




Israel to advance illegal east Jerusalem settlement building plans

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is moving forward with plans for two major settlement projects in east Jerusalem, a spokeswoman said Tuesday, even as a senior Palestinian official warned that his government could pursue war crimes charges if Israel doesn't halt such construction.

International anger over Israeli settlement construction has snowballed in recent days, following last week's U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine — in lands Israel occupied in 1967 — as a non-member observer in the General Assembly.

Israel retaliated for U.N. recognition of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem by announcing plans to build 3,000 homes for Jews in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well as preparations for construction of an especially sensitive project near Jerusalem, known as E-1.

The Israeli reprisal has prompted the country's strongest Western allies to take an unusually strong line with the Jewish state.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Tuesday that the latest Israeli building plans would make the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, "almost inconceivable."

Australia and Brazil summoned the local Israeli ambassadors Tuesday in protest, Israel's Foreign Ministry said, a day after five European countries, including Britain, took the same step. more

Prisoners in Israeli jails launch solidarity hunger strike

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched a one-day hunger strike on Tuesday for the second consecutive week, to show support to long-term hunger strikers, the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners affairs said.

Last Tuesday, prisoners launched a solidarity strike in support of Ayman Sharawna, Samer Issawi and Odai Kilani.

Inmates warned on Monday that "the situation inside prisons will explode if anything bad happens to them," the PA ministry said.

Sharawna, on hunger strike for 157 days, is unable to sleep and has lost 90 percent of eyesight in his right eye.

Issawi, on hunger strike for 126 days, suffers continual fainting and cannot use his right leg and hand, the ministry added. more

Medics: Man killed in Rafah tunnel collapse

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A man was killed late Monday when a smuggling tunnel collapsed underneath the Egypt-Gaza border, medics said.

The body of Muhammad Abu Sableh, 25, was recovered from a tunnel near the city of Rafah, medical sources told Ma'an.

Noman Qudaih, 38, was killed in a similar incident on Sunday and in late October, three men were killed when a smuggling tunnel collapsed.

Medics say that hundreds of Palestinians have died in the network of underground tunnels since Israel tightened its siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007. more