Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Light sentence for Zionist thugs shows UK double standards on extremism

Two thugs affiliated with the Jewish Defence League UK were sentenced Monday to 150 hours of community service each and £1,140 ($1,700) in fines between them.

Roberta Moore and Robert De Jonge assaulted two people at a Palestine literary festival in London in September.

Last month a judge found Moore guilty on two counts of assault, and one count of possession of an offensive weapon. De Jonge was found guilty of assault.

In addition to the unpaid work, the two must pay compensation to their victims: Andy Simons, an organizer of the festival, and Simon Assaf, who had been running a socialist bookstall that day.

The video below was presented as evidence during the two-day trial in February.

Attack at the Palestine Literature Festival 2014

The relatively light sentence raises questions about the limited scope of the Crown Prosecution Service’s case against the two. A custodial sentence was never likely for a first offense of common assault that caused no lasting physical injury.

But a violent assault by armed extremists invading the platform at a cultural/political event organized by those they see as their enemies raises serious questions about radicalization and prevention of religious extremism.

It is impossible to imagine that, had there been a similar incident involving extremist Muslims assaulting their ideological enemies, officers from Prevent – the UK government’s Islam-obsessed “anti-terrorism” unit – would not have been brought in. more

Gazans protest power outage in front of distribution company

Dozens of Gazans protested in front of the Khan Younis district headquarters of the Gaza Electricity Distribution Corporation (GEDCo) in the Gaza Strip late Monday.

Protesters attempted and failed to reconnect power lines feeding electricity into the city of Khan Younis. Their earlier disconnection caused a blackout across the entire city.

A pregnant woman identified as Azza Youssef Najjar was injured and taken to a hospital during the protest, though it is unclear how she was injured.

GEDCo, which oversees electricity distribution across the West Bank, redirects power supplied by a power station inside Gaza, the Egyptian electricity grid and the Israeli electric company.

However, these supply lines fall far short of the Gazan population's needs. While they provide 230 MW of electricity, Pal-Think, a Gaza-based think tank, has estimated that the Gazan people require 350 to 450 MW.

GEDCo describes itself as a privately owned company, jointly owned by the Palestinian Authority and local authorities.

It lists its responsibilities at the collection of bills as well as the technical supervision, maintenance and improvement of the electricity distribution network.

However, the company has been plagued by supply problems due to the Israeli blockade, in place since 2007 and upheld by Egypt, as well as devastation caused by war. more

Video: Continuing harassment of activists in Palestine

From the International Solidarity Movement - On an almost daily basis Israeli forces in Al Khalil harass and arrest local and international human rights activists as they try to do their tasks. The activists document violence towards Palestinians and act as a protective presence around children who are on their way to school. The volunteers’ feel that accompanying children on their way to school, through various checkpoints, is important because of the risk they face. In the past the children of Al Khalil have routinely detained, searched, arrested or attacked with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber coated steel bullets, shot at them by Israeli soldiers and border police.

Throughout Palestine in general, and in particular Al Khalil, volunteers play an important role documenting day to day life under occupation. With illegal settlements in the heart of the city and daily violence from settlers under the protection of the Israeli forces, the only word to describe life here is ‘apartheid’.

Israeli forces have detained and arrested volunteers many times without reason, declaring only that they wish to prevent them from documenting these human rights abuses. The internationals’ accessibility to city areas are also being restricted by soldiers prohibiting them to pass through checkpoints. more

Farmers again attacked by Israeli soldiers in central Gaza

Israeli occupation forces, Monday morning, opened fire towards Palestinian farmers and agricultural lands east of the central Gaza Strip.

Witnesses told Safa news agency that Israeli soldiers and military vehicles that were stationed along the border and in military towers east of the central of Gaza strip, fired tear gas and live ammunition towards the farmers.

They pointed out, according to Al Ray, that the farmers tried to reach their agricultural lands near the border and that Israel prevented them by opening fire, with no causalities reported. more