Wednesday, 29 April 2015

One person shot at protest against cancer-causing chemical plants in Tulkarem

Around fifty Palestinians and international activists gathered today in Tulkarem, east of Nablus, to protest the presence of 11 Israeli chemical plants located in the city. The protest took place outside the Gishuri chemical plant on what is locally referred to as the “death road” due to the health problems caused by the Israeli plants.

The protesters were carrying signs demanding a clean environment and an end to the Israeli occupation, while Israeli soldiers deployed to guard the plant quickly responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

On one occasion Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters aimed directly at peaceful demonstrators and the press. As the protest continued, a 22-year old Palestinian man was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet, hitting him in the abdomen. He was later taken to the local hospital and appeared to have suffered superficial damages only, although he was in great pain. The protest quickly subsided after this event. more

Palestinians in Israel stage general strike over home demolitions

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Palestinian citizens of Israel observed a general strike on Tuesday that was to climax with a rally in Tel Aviv to protest against a wave of demolitions of Palestinian homes.

In Palestinian towns in the north of Israel, schools, colleges, public institutions, banks and most shops were closed, media outlets reported. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which represents Palestinian communities in Israel, said the strike was a protest against growing racism as well as the acceleration of house demolitions.

"This strike is a response to the increased action by the Israeli authorities against Arab homes and the ongoing harsh policy of incitement to hatred against Arabs which was launched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the elections," it said.

It was referring to an incident on March 17 when Netanyahu warned right-wing Jewish voters to turn out because Palestinian citizens of Israel were going to the polls "in droves."

The remarks from Netanyahu -- who won a surprise victory in the polls -- drew a rebuke from US President Barack Obama and were widely criticized in Israel and abroad.

The decision to hold a rally in Tel Aviv rather than in one of the Palestinian cities was aimed at bringing the crisis to the attention of Jewish Israelis.

The demonstration was to take place in Rabin Square from 1400 GMT. more