Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Abbas to welcome released prisoners at midnight

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas has asked Palestinian leaders to gather at his headquarters in Ramallah on Tuesday night to welcome veteran prisoners expected to be released by Israel.

Abbas and several leaders will receive the freed prisoners at midnight, the Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh told Ma'an.

Israel has agreed to release 104 prisoners detained since before the 1993 Oslo Accords in stages throughout negotiations with the PLO.. The first group of 26 are expected to be released before peace talks resume in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Israeli media reported that the prisoners would be freed between midnight and dawn on Wednesday to reduce scenes of joy among Palestinians welcoming the returning prisoners. more

Video: Purported IDF video has men laughing as Palestinian is brutally killed

From Mondoweiss - This video, lately posted on Facebook, is said by our source to be a leaked Israel Defense Forces video that shows the killing of a Palestinian civilian carrying a white flag during the assault on Gaza in December '08-January '09.

While it is not clear to us that the target of the killing is carrying a white flag, the video soundtrack includes Israelis observing the killing and laughing at the brutality of the attack-- something like the famous Collateral Murder video from Baghdad in 2007 leaked by Wikileaks.

Our source forwarded an email in Arabic from the person who uploaded it, stating:
his message translates into: the incident took place in an unspecified location of eastern Gaza in the Cast Lead war. it has recently been leaked.

Here is a translation from Ofer of the Hebrew soundtrack on the video at about :50, which he assumed was of soldiers:
First soldier: Now pay close attention to what happens in 3 seconds Second soldier: his head gets severed First soldier: And...beautiful! His head lands [on the ground]

Israel in more land theft with approval of another 942 settlement units

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Jerusalem's municipality has approved 942 new settlement units for occupied East Jerusalem, a local official said Tuesday, on the eve of the scheduled resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

The units are in addition to the more than 1,000 settlement homes approved by Israel on Sunday, in a move that has angered the Palestinians and drawn fire from the international community.

"The Jerusalem municipality has approved a construction plan for 942 homes in Gilo," an existing settlement in East Jerusalem, deputy mayor Yosef Pepe Alalu told AFP.

"This is a terrible decision which is a provocation against the Palestinians, the Americans and the whole world who oppose continued settlement building," the left-wing municipal councilor said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who convinced the two sides to return to the negotiating table after a three-year hiatus, urged the Palestinians "not to react adversely" to Israel's approval on Sunday for new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. more