Sunday, 12 May 2013

Churches denounce Israel violence against Christians

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Patriarchs and heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem on Sunday released a joint statement denouncing attacks by Israeli police officers on worshipers and pilgrims during Holy Saturday at the Church of Holy Sepulcher.

Signatories of the statement highlighted that they saw “awful scenes of the brutal treatment to clerics, average people and pilgrims in Jerusalem during Holy Saturday.”

They added: “A day of joy was turned into a day of severe sadness and pain for several of our faithful brothers who were mistreated by a number of Israeli police officers at the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem leading to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”

It is unacceptable, according to the statement, that clergymen and average people “get beaten brutally and indiscriminately and be denied access to their churches under the pretext of keeping order.”

The statement urged the Israeli government to denounce the violence that police practiced against worshipers and clergymen. more

Jalud attacked by settlers again

House set on fire by settlers (Photo by ISM)

12th May 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Jalud, Occupied Palestine

By Nablus Team

At about 11 PM on Sunday, May 5, about 40 illegal Israeli settlers attacked Jalud, west of Salfit, attempting to set fire to two homes with firebombs.

Settler attacks on Jalud started two years ago from nearby illegal settlements of Yahyah (first outpost 13 years ago) and Esh Kodesh (more recent outpost). Attacks are typically on the homes of five families on the furthest edge close to the settlements, not within the village center. All those homes now have several metal protections on all windows to prevent harm based on previous attacks.

Recent attacks have been at night, but have also happened during the day lasting just 5-15 minutes, say locals. The attacks nonetheless cause great damage and are always unexpected. The army arrives within minutes after the settlers and has used tear gas on residents to clear any gatherings due to settler attacks.

This attack fortunately left just scorched ground and walls as Jalud residents put out the fires immediately. However, the previous attack in February this year left a 4-year-old in the hospital with six stitches from a rock thrown at the head. Settlers also attacked a family’s car, breaking windows and causing reportedly 2000 Shekels worth of damage. Furthermore, 17 people in the past year have been hospitalized for injuries; in one instance, young children and a 3-month-old went to the hospital suffocating from a tear gas canister thrown in their home by soldiers arriving at a settler attack from Yahyah settlement near Jalud. more

Gaza ministry: Collaborator campaign a success

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas government in Gaza on Sunday claimed that a recent campaign to target collaborators with Israel was a success, the interior ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan told a press conference that all collaborators who handed themselves in during a month long amnesty are enjoying the guarantees promised at the start of the campaign.

On March 12, Hamas said it had a list of collaborators but offered a one-month amnesty for informers to give themselves up in return for leniency.

The campaign has now officially ended, Shahwan said, adding that a number of collaborators were detained during the crackdown.

"The security services are working on this issue with high focus and in secrecy. We are committed to all promises made by the security services for all collaborators who turned themselves in during the campaign," he added. more

Israeli navy gunboats open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, no injuries reported

GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli navy gunboats opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats working off the coast of central Gaza Strip on Saturday night.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that the gunboats opened intensive fire at the boats that were fishing off the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. more

Despite threats, students to commemorate Nakba at Tel Aviv University

Israeli right-wing protesters burn a Palestinian flag in front of Tel Aviv University during the Nakba day commemoration event last year

Palestinian and Jewish activists will join together to commemorate the ethnic cleansing that led to Israel’s establishment at an event in Tel Aviv University early next week.

This will be the second year that students will mark the Nakba — Arabic for “catastrophe,” the name given to the violence by Zionist forces in 1948 — in this way.

Students will read poetry, including works by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, and a refugee from Tantura, a Palestinian village destroyed by a Zionist militia in May 1948, will recount his story to the audience. more

Hamas, Fatah to meet in Cairo for unity talks

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Delegations from Hamas and Fatah will meet in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss political reconciliation, a senior Hamas official said Saturday.

Moussa Abu Marzouq said that the meeting would discuss ending the split between the rival Palestinian factions, adding that Hamas will do whatever it takes to achieve reconciliation. more