Friday, 21 December 2012

Official: 5 injured by Israeli fire in Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured five Palestinians on Friday in the northern Gaza Strip, a health ministry spokesman said. Ashraf al-Qidra said five Palestinians were hospitalized with moderate wounds after being shot near the border with Israel.

Medics told Ma'an a number of injured Palestinians were brought to the Kamal Udwan and al-Awdah hospitals.

An Israeli military spokesman said several Palestinians "approached the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip.

Soldiers acted "according to the rules of engagement," the spokesman told Ma'an, declining to comment on whether or not live fire was used.

Israeli troops have shot at Gazans near the border at least 10 times since the end of an eight-day offensive last month. Some 30 people have been wounded in the incidents, Gaza officials said. more

UK lawsuit challenges college union’s right to boycott Israel


In October and November, a London court heard a case with potential consequences for the Palestine solidarity movement and for trade unions’ gradual adoption of the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

The director of Academic Friends of Israel is suing his own union in an employment tribunal. Ronnie Fraser accuses the 120,000-member-strong University and College Union of “institutional anti-Semitism” after its congress passed motions calling for members to discuss the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli universities.

But according to one court document seen by The Electronic Intifada, Fraser follows a definition of anti-Semitism that seems to include any criticism of Israel. It says he considers “anti-Semitism” to include comments “targeting specifically the State of Israel which was conceived as a Jewish state.”

The suit is part of a “lawfare” strategy that anti-Palestinian groups are resorting to, having effectively lost the debate around Israel boycott measures in the unions several years ago.

Sue Blackwell, a University and College Union activist and former national executive member who has been vocal in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, said Fraser would lose because “there is not a shred of evidence” to support his claims. Even so, “he will have caused UCU a huge headache in terms of money and resources,” she said. more

Official: Israel lets 557 Christians out of Gaza for holidays


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israel will allow 557 Christians from the Gaza Strip to leave to the West Bank to participate in holiday celebrations, Palestinian officials and the Israeli army said.

A Palestinian official told Ma'an that the Israeli side delivered 557 permits to Christians seeking to temporarily leave Gaza to join religious celebrations in the occupied West Bank.

They will be allowed to leave Gaza from Dec. 24 until Jan. 8. The time period covers the two main Christmas observances for Catholic and Orthodox, on Dec. 25 and Jan. 7. more