Monday, 16 September 2013

Gaza students stage sit-in at Rafah crossing

RAFAH, (PIC)-- Dozens of Gaza students staged a sit-in at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Monday demanding opening the terminal in order to allow them to join their universities.

The Egyptian authorities have been closing the Rafah border terminal since last Wednesday, which exacerbated the suffering of the besieged Palestinians in the Strip especially the sick and the students.

Participants in the sit-in hoisted Palestinian and Egyptian flags along with posters demanding an end to the Gaza blockade and opening the Rafah crossing.

Mumen Baroud, a student, delivered a speech on behalf of the students asking the Arab and Islamic countries and free people of the world to intervene and break the “oppressive” siege on Gaza that has been in force for the past seven years. more

Activists call on Ben & Jerry’s to stop scooping in Israeli settlements

More than 150 activist groups and civil society organizations around the world have signed on to a statement urging the US ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s to discontinue sale or distribution in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The campaign, launched in March by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel — Vermont is where Ben & Jerry’s is headquartered — calls on the company’s chief executive officer to “stand by its Social Mission and to ensure that its products are not sold, catered and distributed in Israeli settlements” in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.” The groups also demand that Ben & Jerry’s release a public statement committing to “end its business ties to Israel’s occupation and settlement enterprise.”

Ben & Jerry’s (which was bought by European multinational Unilever in 2000) has a long history of celebrating progressive causes, and activists say that the company’s operations in illegal Israeli settlements run counter to the company’s stated mission.

But this is not the first controversy surrounding Ben & Jerry’s and Israeli settlements. In 1998, the company angered settler and anti-Palestinian groups by announcing it would no longer use mineral water from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which belong to Syria, to make sorbet. more

Egypt to open Rafah for special cases

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip in a limited way Wednesday and Thursday for special cases, Palestinian sources say.

The Egyptians notified the Palestinian Authority that the crossing would operate four hours a day to allow patients and students to leave. The move came in response to a request by President Mahmoud Abbas, they said.

The Rafah crossing has been closed since last Wednesday for security reasons after the Egyptian army started a crackdown against militants in the Sinai peninsula.

Abbas on Monday telephone chief of the Egyptian intelligence Maj-Gen. Muhammad Tuhami and requested opening the crossing to allow students and humanitarian cases to leave the Gaza Strip. more

Settler in Jerusalem attacks Palestinian children and man defending them

An extremist Israeli settler attacked Palestinian children in Al-Eesawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and was violently beating them before attacking a Palestinian man who tried to stop him.

The resident, Maher Ahmad Abu Leil, 48, suffered various cuts and bruises when he tried to stop the assailant who targeted children playing in the area.

His sister said that he was heading to a Falafel shop when he noticed a settler using an iron bar to hit Palestinian children, and rushed to defend them.

The settler then struck the man to the head with the iron bar, causing severe bleeding, and concussion. more