Tuesday, 22 April 2014

‘NYT’ photo feature on women in Gaza ignores Israel and Palestine


In what might be justified by the New York Times as an attempt to “depoliticize” and “humanize” Palestinian women in Gaza the paper ran a photo essay this past Sunday titled “Female in Gaza.” However the article obfuscates, covering up Israeli oppression and obscuring Gaza’s connection to the West Bank and to Palestinians in general.

The introductory text for the article mentions Gaza eight times, but never uses the word “Palestinian” or “Palestine” and mentions Israel only once, despite mentioning towering concrete blast walls, barbed wire, drones, patrolling soldiers, border controls, etc.. ”I have been photographing in Gaza for several years, initially to cover the conflict with Israel, but over time returning because I am mesmerized by the women, and their strength,” author Monique Jaques explained. Gaza is portrayed as a disconnected disembodied place in conflict with Israel where residents seem to have some undefined interest in the West Bank, “Her dream is to sing in Ramallah, a city in the West Bank.”

The article also avoids mentioning Egypt, except for one photo caption which only appeared online: “A girl completed a jump at Al-Faisal Riding Club in northern Gaza. Horses are brought in from Egypt and are well cared for by elite families.”

In the 14 photos online there is a single mention of the word “Palestinian” in a caption that also appeared in the print edition: ”A girl showed off her nails in the colors of the Palestinian flag.” more

Palestinian prisoners ready for mass hunger strike


Nearly two hundred Palestinian administrative detainees, held indefinitely without charge or trial on Israeli military court orders, have announced plans to launch a mass hunger strike for their freedom this Thursday.

The news came as demonstrations across Palestine and events worldwide commemorated the 40th annual Palestinian Prisoners’ Day

Thousands marched from an exhibition at Saraya square, the former site of Israel’s Gaza central prison, to rally outside the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza office.

After the demonstrations, Ibrahim Baroud, freed from Israeli captivity a year ago, spoke with The Electronic Intifada at his home in the northern Gaza Strip’s Jabaliya refugee camp.

Among hundreds of thousands of former Palestinian prisoners in the Gaza Strip, Baroud is notable not only because of his 27-year detention, which makes him one of the longest-held Palestinians, but also because of his mother’s efforts during his absence.

In 1995, nine years after her son’s capture by Israeli forces, Ghalia — also known as Um Ibrahim — held a sit-in at the courtyard of the International Committee of the Red Cross office with Handoumeh Wishah, or Um Jaber, who had four sons in prison at the time.

Initially small, their presence persisted week after week, year after year, persevering through political transitions and military offensives, and growing into the core of prisoner support activities in Gaza. The sit-ins have now become a local focus of political unity. more

Israel rejects Abbas conditions for extending talks


JERUSALEM (AFP) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that he would extend faltering peace talks with Israel only if it agreed to conditions, including a settlement freeze, which it promptly rejected.

Abbas listed his demands during a meeting with Israeli journalists at his headquarters in Ramallah just a week before a nine-month target for a peace deal.

His comments came as US envoy Martin Indyk went into a new meeting with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in a bid to save the US-sponsored talks from collapse.

Abbas said he would agree to an extension of negotiations beyond the April 29 deadline if Israel frees a group of prisoners as previously earmarked for release and discusses the borders of a future Palestinian state. more

PLO delegation 'to arrive in Gaza Tuesday evening'


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A delegation representing the PLO is expected to arrive in Gaza on Tuesday evening for reconciliation meetings with Hamas, a Fatah spokesman said.

Fayiz Abu Eita said the delegation would be comprised of Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad, Secretary-General of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam al-Salhi, businessman Munib al-Masri, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti, and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Arab Front Jamil Shehadah.

After being denied a permit to enter Gaza through the Erez crossing Monday, Barghouti was granted one Tuesday, Eita said.

The delegation hopes to establish a national unity government with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and to plan future elections and a restructuring of the PLO, he added. more