Sunday, 30 March 2014

Amnesty warns Israel against “violent crackdown” on Land Day


Amnesty International has warned Israel against a “violent crackdown” on protests in present-day Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip this weekend as Palestinians mark Land Day.

Despite the warning, Israeli occupation forces and settlers have continued violent attacks on Palestinians in several locations.

Every 30 March, Palestinians commemorate the 1976 killing by Israeli police of six Palestinian citizens who were taking part in mass marches against land expropriation and state-sponsored discrimination in the Galilee.

“Amid news of plans for forced evictions of Bedouin in the Negev/Naqab, demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and the often lethal enforcement of a no-go zone in Gaza, ‘Land Day’ demonstrations will protest ongoing policies as well as commemorate historical events. Israeli forces must not resort to unnecessary or excessive force as they so often have done in the past,” Philip Luther, director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program, said in media release.

Luther recalled that in a report published last month, titled Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, Amnesty revealed that Israeli forces “routinely resort to unnecessary, arbitrary and excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators” in the occupied West Bank and that “dozens of Palestinian protesters who posed no direct threat to life, including children, have been killed there in recent years with near total impunity.” more

Egypt denies Malaysian delegation entry to Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities on Sunday denied entry to a Malaysian delegation seeking to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, Gaza government officials said.

Palestinian officials said eight solidarity activists from Malaysia attempted to cross through to Gaza four times, and that on the fourth time they were deported.

The officials denounced the Egyptian actions, saying the Malaysian delegation was set to provide Gaza residents with humanitarian aid through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Gaza City.

Egypt opened the Rafah crossing to special cases for a three-day period starting Saturday. more