Sunday, 23 February 2014

Gazans set up sit-in tent near Rafah crossing to protest blockade

GAZA, (PIC)-- The higher national committee for breaking the siege on Sunday set up a sit-in tent near the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip to protest Egypt's involvement in the Israeli blockade on the Palestinians in the Strip and the passivity of the international community towards the suffering of the population.

In a news conference held outside the tent, senior Hamas official Hammad Al-Raqab stated that Egypt's closure of the Rafah border crossing does not befit its historical positions towards the Palestinian people.

Raqab added that the blockade hit all service sectors in Gaza and exacerbated the suffering of patients due to an acute shortage of medical supplies.

He urged the Arab League to execute the resolution it had taken in 2006 to break Gaza siege, and demanded the international community to assume its humanitarian role in alleviating the suffering of the population in Gaza. more

Israeli Apartheid Week 2014

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
UK and US: February 24-March 2
Europe: March 1-8
Palestine: March 8 – 15
South Africa: March 10-16
Brazil: March 24-28
Arab world and Asia: TBA

Check out for the full call out, to find out more about how to participate and check out the list of events

Israel’s water apartheid embraced by Italy

Israel’s policy of “water apartheid” made a rare appearance in the mainstream media over the past few weeks.

Martin Schulz, the European Parliament’s president, drew a furious response from some Israeli politicians when he spoke during an address to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset of how Israeli settlers receive far more water than indigenous Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Although Schulz cited figures mentioned to him by young people in Ramallah that were not accurate, the underlying problem is a very real one. A report published by the United Nations Human Rights Council last year stated that the average Israeli settler consumes as much as 400 liters per day, whereas a Palestinian in the West Bank has to make do with 73 liters and — in the case of many Bedouins — just 10 liters.

Despite that evidence, the Italian authorities have been happy to embrace Mekorot, the Israeli firm which diverts most of the water extracted from Palestinian springs to Israeli settlements.

Amnesty International has documented how Palestinians face severe rationing of water, particularly during the summer months, in order to ensure that Israeli settlers can still enjoy their swimming pools and floral displays (“Troubled Waters,” 27 October 2009 [PDF]).

At the Italy-Israel summit in Rome during December 2013, a cooperation agreement was signed between Mekorot and Acea, Italy’s largest water utility. Both firms undertook to examine how “cutting-edge technologies” for water management could be exchanged.

Palestine solidarity and public water campaigners have joined forces to oppose the agreement. more