Monday, 15 September 2014

US Congressman Danny Davis calls for lifting the blockade of Gaza

US Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) has called for a lifting of the blockade against Gaza. In a September 8th letter to the Chicago Sun Times, one of the City’s two major daily newspapers, Davis urged an end to the blockade on humanitarian and strategic grounds. Congressman Davis now joins the only two other members of Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Barbara Lee, who have spoken out against the blockade.

Davis’ move is the result of a sustained effort by the Committee for Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP), urging the Congressman to advocate for an end to the Israeli occupation and to stop military aid to Israel. For years our community-based organization and other constituents in his district have met periodically with Rep. Davis’ staff to educate them on the issues and to urge action. In this most recent attempt, CJPIP was able to broker a meeting at a local church with the Congressman during the Congressional summer recess. We brought more than 40 constituents with us. The Congressman was visibly moved by our presentations that highlighted the horrific impact of Israeli attacks and siege on Gaza, linked the Israeli military occupation to police brutality and the breach of civil rights in Ferguson, MO, and illustrated connections to other human rights causes amplified by economic activism and divestment campaigns. At the end the meeting, he pledged to write a statement. The Sun Times letter was published about two weeks later. CJPIP will continue to monitor the Congressman’s votes and circulate his statement, so that others may follow suit.

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Gaza awaits floating electricity generator offered by Turkey

The deputy head of the Palestinian energy authority said Sunday the Turkish offers to provide the Gaza Strip with a floating electricity generator for three months was still in the works.

However Fathi Sheikh Khalil said the authorities were still awaiting the necessary permits to send it.

Speaking to a news conference, Khail said that the energy authority did not object to the ship docking in Israel or Egypt and would not insist on it being within Gaza's borders.

Khalil reiterated that the electricity company managed to return to use 80 percent of the grids that were damaged by the latest Israeli assault on the enclave. more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories (4-10 Sept 2014)

·Israeli forces wilfully killed a Palestinian civilian in al-Am'ari refugee camp in Ramallah.

·4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, died of wounds they sustained during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

·A Palestinian child died of wounds he sustained in occupied Jerusalem.

·A child was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Ya’bad village in Jenin and opened fire.

·Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.
- 7 civilians, including a child, were wounded during peaceful protests in Kufor Qaddoum and Selwad villages and the vicinity of Ofer detention facility.

·Israeli forces conducted 60 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
- 56 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children, were arrested.
- 9 of those civilians, including 3 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.

·Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
- Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.
- At least 9 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

·Israeli naval forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza waters.
- Israeli forces arrested 4 fishermen from the sea in the north of the Gaza Strip, and confiscated their fishing boat and equipment.
- Israeli forces opened fire at fishermen thrice and chased them in the sea.

·Efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
- Israeli forces carried out a number of incursions into villages, house raids and arrests.
- 7 Palestinian civilians, including 2 journalists and a cameraman, were wounded in Wad al-Jouz neighborhood, east of Jerusalem’s Old City.

·Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
- Israeli forces closed 4 agricultural roads in the west of Ethna, west of Hebron.
- Israeli settlers moved into Joseph Tomb area, east of Nablus, and performd eligious rituals.
- A woman sustained bruises as settlers stoned her vehicle on a bypass road to al-Bireh.

Abbas to ask France for recognition of Palestinian state

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas will ask his French counterpart Francois Hollande for official recognition of Palestine in an upcoming meeting this week, the Palestinian foreign minister said Sunday.

Riyad al-Maliki told Ma'an that Abbas is due to meet Hollande in Paris on Friday before arriving in New York.

Abbas will urge the French president to support plans to submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding that Israel withdraw from occupied Palestinian territories.

"The world is more convinced now than ever before that Israel has been thwarting international efforts by stealing Palestinian land to build settlements, and that has created a much better atmosphere for a positive international response to Palestinian demands," al-Maliki said.

"We are going there (UN Security Council) to say that it's time the world took a clear position towards occupation which should come to an end after things have reached an impasse." more