Wednesday, 30 April 2014

US students push divestment from Israel at several universities

Four universities in California held lengthy sessions over the past week as their student senates considered divesting from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, while students at the University of South Florida submitted the largest petition in the university’s history calling on the university to divest. Also taking on a major role in the divestment campaign is the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where graduate students recently passed a resolution which calls for the divestment from companies profiting from violations in both occupied Palestine and at the US-Mexico border.

The University of California (UC) Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and San Diego State held simultaneous student senate sessions, last Wednesday, to consider resolutions to divest. The sessions lasted into the night, and the votes were close at all three schools. UC Riverside voted in favor of divestment, while the other two schools voted down the resolution, in very close votes.

When the vote was announced at UC Riverside that the divestment resolution had passed, the room erupted in cheers. Students supporting the resolution were holding signs reading “Don’t make me fund the oppression of my family” and “Divest Now”.

A similar resolution was considered on Tuesday night, April 29th, at UC Davis, where it failed by one vote.

In Florida, students organizing a divestment petition said they drew inspiration from the words of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. engraved on the center of the campus: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

They submitted a petition of more than 10,000 signatures calling on the University of South Florida Foundation to divest from companies complicit in human rights violations in Palestine. more

PA ships medical equipment to Gaza Strip

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health on Wednesday shipped medical supplies and equipment to the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said.

Speaking at a news conference in Ramallah, Hamdallah told reporters that all Palestinian people stand with Gaza and "we will remain united until we end your suffering and establish an independent Palestinian state." more

Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in Hebron-area refugee camp

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers early Wednesday demolished two houses in a refugee camp in the southern West Bank, a local popular committee spokesman said.

Ahmad Abu al-Khayzaran told Ma'an that bulldozers under Israeli army protection entered al-Arrub refugee camp near Hebron and demolished two houses belonging to Hilmi Abu Ghazi and Hasan Abu Ghazi.

The demolitions are still ongoing, Abu al-Khayzaran said.

Clashes broke out between Israeli troops and local youths at the scene, who threw stones as soldiers fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets.

Several residents of al-Arrub suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, Abu al-Khayzaran said.

Locals told Ma'an that three Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets.

An Israeli army spokesman told Ma'an that there was Israeli "Civil Administration activity" in the area. Soldiers were stationed at the scene, he said.

The spokesman said that 200 Palestinians gathered in the area, and that about 50 of them hurled stones at soldiers and Civil Administration officials.

Soldiers "fired a rubber pellet at a main instigator," who was hit and taken to a hospital by the Red Crescent. more