Monday, 10 June 2013

National conference focuses on West Bank boycott efforts

by Asa Winstanley
Reports on Saturday’s fourth national Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference in Bethlehem tended to focus on the shaming of Palestinian Authority minister Jawad Naji (including my own initial one). But the conference itself was a bigger story.

The main reason the audience was so angry with Naji was that the focus throughout the day was on local boycott initiatives. The PA undermines these through its many contacts with Israeli officials and institutions.

Despite the minister’s walk-out and his thugs’ subsequent bloody attack on Nizar Banat (the man who supposedly “insulted” PA leader Mahmoud Abbas), the conference was a vibrant and exciting event.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights today called for an investigation into the attack on Banat.

Normalization slammed

Several speakers from the platform [PDF] denounced efforts by Israel and its collaborators to normalize the occupation. Many of those who spoke from the floor demanded the PA make laws to punish normalization. Several said the PA was undermining boycott efforts through joint initiatives. An-Najah University economist Yousef Abdul Haqs said of such efforts: “We have breached our boycott movement.” more

PLC welcomes Saudi activists in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Legislative Council in the Gaza Strip on Monday welcomed a delegation of activists from Saudi Arabia.

The group arrived in Gaza as part of a "Miles of Smiles" convoy. Jamal Dahdah, head of the delegation, told Ma'an that the group aimed to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

"We joined Miles of Smiles, and another group from Saudi Arabia arrived a few months ago. The goal (of such visits) is to maintain interconnection between Saudi Arabia and Palestine, especially Gaza which embraces resistance and insists on the right to defend the Palestinian cause," Dahdah added. more

Gaza govt plans to execute more collaborators

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-run government in Gaza plans to execute a number of collaborators with Israel in an attempt to "eradicate" collaboration this year, a security official said Monday.

Salah Addin Abu Sharkh, director of internal security at the Interior Ministry, said the government had "a clear goal and several means to eradicate this dangerous epidemic," including executing convicted collaborators.

Abu Sharkh said the anti-collaboration campaign, which ran from March 12 to May 12, achieved most of its goals and resulted in a number of arrests. He said legal procedures against the suspects were ongoing, in an interview on the ministry's website.

"Social networks are largely useful in educating our people, though the Israeli occupation makes some attempts to recruit collaborators through these social networks. However, these attempts are incomparable with the huge benefits these networks achieve in raising awareness about the dangers of collaboration," Abu Sharkh added. more

Israeli forces shoot, injure farmer in southern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a farmer in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, a medical official said.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for Gaza's health ministry, told Ma'an that a 21-year-old farmer was seriously wounded after being shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers stationed near the border.

The incident took place east of Khan Younis and the man was transferred to hospital and is said to be in a critical condition.

An Israeli army spokesman did not return calls seeking comment. more