Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Video: shows Israeli public bus driver refusing to let Palestinians ride

A video shows an Israeli public bus driver blatantly refusing to allow some passengers on her bus just because they are Palestinians.

A Palestinian laborer from the occupied West Bank, carrying an Israeli occupier permit to be in Tel Aviv, was trying to ride back home.

The driver refused to allow him to board, saying, “Palestinians don’t ride to the territories with me.”

According to the video, this worker and several others were detained and harassed for two hours before police finally let them board the bus.

The incident was filmed at the Tel Aviv central bus station in October by Eran Vered for the organization Kav LaOved (Worker’s Hotline) which describes itself as a group “committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers employed in Israel and by Israelis in the Occupied Territories, including Palestinians, migrant workers, subcontracted workers and new immigrants,” and which is “committed to principles of democracy, equality and international law concerning human and social rights” (website).

Islamic Jihad warns Israel of confrontation over settlements plan

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad warned Israel on Wednesday against unilateral policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

"The aggressive polices of the occupation require confrontation," the group said, claiming that it would respond to Israeli policies of expanding settlements and displacing Palestinians.

The Islamist group also condemned the Israeli demolition of a mosque on Tuesday in the south Hebron Hills.

Israel announced plans to build thousands of new settler homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday, a day after a UN vote upgraded Palestine's status to that of non-member observer state. more

EU summons Israeli ambassador over settlement expansion

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- The European Union has summoned Israel's ambassador to discuss the bloc's concerns over Israeli plans to expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank, an EU foreign affairs spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"The Israeli ambassador has been invited by the Executive Secretary General of the EEAS (European External Action Service) to meet to set out the depth of our concerns," Maja Kocijancic said.

The Executive Secretary General -- the senior diplomat in charge of policy for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton -- is Pierre Vimont, former French ambassador to Washington.

Several EU countries have already called in Israeli ambassadors for consultations, but EU states have been struggling to agree on a common response to the settlement expansion plans. more

PFLP icon Leila Khaled praises resistance, criticizes UN bid

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, telling a welcoming delegation that she was "proud" of the people of Gaza.

Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's leadership, told reporters in Rafah that Palestinians around the world were in solidarity with Gaza during Israel's assault.

"I am proud of you Gaza people. The Palestinians in the Diaspora heard the sound of the rockets, and we wished we could have been with you during the latest Israeli assault," she said.

Khaled voiced criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas' initiative to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN on Thursday, as it was based on the 1967 borders and recognized Israel.

"No one is allowed to bargain the right of return," she said of the bid.

The Popular Front supports a single, democratic state in historic Palestine and rejects agreements with Israel that would resolve the conflict with two states for Israelis and Palestinians. more

Despite claims, Ikea Israel refuses to deliver to Palestinians in West Bank while serving settlers

Ikea publicly claims its Israeli store delivers to anyone regardless of race, religion or nationality. But new evidence shows that Ikea’s claim is false.

At my request, Iyad Misk, a Hebrew-speaking Palestinian living in the West Bank, called Ikea to ask about home delivery to the Palestinian village of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem.

In a 3 December email I was told the phone call was transferred to the store’s delivery company Moviley Dror. The company’s representative “Sholy” said that while delivery to the checkpoint near Bethlehem would be possible, Moviley Dror would not enter the Palestinian Authority areas because they are dangerous, Sholy claimed.

Sholy clarified that Moviley Dror would not pass the checkpoint, even if the area is classified as Area C under the Oslo accords (part of the village of Beit Sahour is in Area C). This covers over 60 percent of the West Bank, under full Israeli military control.

Around 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In total, over 650,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, including 300,000 in East Jerusalem, reported British newspaper The Guardian in July. It is obvious that the settlers represent a substantial market for Ikea. more