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Today in Palestine!

Source: El Taller International - Tunis

Friday 29 February 2008

Gazans told to boil water as chlorine runs low

The Palestinian water utility urged Gazans on Wednesday to boil their drinking water and said contamination was a risk because an Israeli-led blockade was choking off chlorine supplies.

Israeli undercover force kill one Palestinian in Nablus

A special undercover unit of the Israeli army invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday morning, killing one, wounding three and kidnapping five,local sources reported.

Israeli army kills seven Palestinians in under 24 hours

Both medical sources and eyewitnesses reported that five resistance fighters members of the Al-Qassam Brigades have been killed, with three others wounded in two Israeli air strikes early Wednesday morning.

Two farmers klled in Gaza, death toll reaches 7

Palestinian medical sources reported that two Palestinian farmers were killed, on Wednesday afternoon, during Israeli shelling of farm land near Gaza city in the northern part of the coastal region.

Israel kills Palestinian in air strike - medics

An Israeli air strike killed a Palestinian militant in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Palestinian medical staff and militant groups said.

Palestinian farmer shot dead by Israeli troops in Khan Younis

Palestinian Medical sources reported on Tuesday at night that a Palestinian farmer died of wounds sustained during evening hours when Israeli troops opened fire at him as he was farming his land in Al Qarara town, near Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli army attacks Palestinian societies and schools in Hebron

On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces invaded several buildings belonging to the Islamic charitable Association and Muslim Youth Association in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The Army then confiscated property on the attacked sites based on military orders.

Seven Palestinians kidnapped in Israeli operation in Jenin

Israeli forces kidnapped at least seven civilians in a pre-dawn invasion. Among those kidnapped were relatives of wanted Palestinians on the Israeli list from the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Israel arrests 17 Palestinians in West Bank raids

Israeli forces stormed several towns in West Bank and arrested 17 Palestinians, Palestinian security sources said on Wednesday. In Nablus city, the army detained four residents, claiming they were wanted by Israel.

Activists assaulted during warrantless home invasions in Beit Ommar

Israeli and international Human Rights Workers (HRW’s) from Hebron and Jerusalem were notified at 7pm on Monday Feb. 25 of two home invasions by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at the village of Beit Ommar which has been the location of repeated assaults and curfews by the Israeli military. The two homes were both reported to contain at-risk persons including an elderly man dependent on oxygen and a stroke victim in the other house.

Israeli killed in massive Qassam barrage on Negev

At least one person was killed, several were wounded and many were treated for shock Wednesday as least 30 Qassam rockets slammed into the western Negev town of Sderot and surrounding communities.

Olmert: No one in Hamas will be immune against war we wage

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday said that a war was being waged in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, and vowed that “no one in Hamas, not the low-level officials nor the highest echelon, will be immune against this war.”

Rights group slams IDF probe into deadly Beit Hanun shelling

A prominent Israeli human rights group on Wednesday criticized an Israel Defense Forces probe that decided not to press charges in an errant artillery attack that killed 21 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip in November 2006. The Military Advocate General announced late Tuesday that it was closing the case after its investigation determined the deaths were the result of a “rare and severe” technical malfunction.

Hamas condemns Israeli attacks against Palestinians

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Wednesday said the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people reveal the Israeli and the U.S. intentions towards the Palestinians. Hamas’ spokesman Fawzi Barhoom said that “They also show the fake face of the Americans and the Israeli occupation which always claimed that the problem was at the Palestinian side.”

Fatah armed wing says not committed to the truce with Israel

Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement in the West Bank said on Wednesday that it is not committed to the truce with Israel after its members were arrested.

Report: Palestinian homes are demolished in East Jerusalem, construction is prohibited

A report issued on Tuesday by the Society of the Arab Studies indicated that the Israeli Ministry of interior and Jerusalem Israeli Municipality are actually implementing a daily and systematic policy which prohibits the Arabs for building in the city, and encouraging the demolition of Arab homes in East Jerusalem.

Morgantini calls for transparent inquiry into the death of Barghouthi

EU Parliament Vice President, Luisa Morgantini, called on the Palestinian National Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad to hold an independent and serious inquiry into the death of Majd Al Barghouthi, a political prisoner who died in a Palestinian prison.

Ghoul: Abbas is primarily responsible for the murder of Barghouthi

MP Mohamed Al-Ghoul, the head of the legal committee of the PLC, held the PA chief Mahmoud Abbas legally responsible for the killing of Sheikh Majd Al-Barghouthi in the intelligence apparatus’s jails in Ramallah in his capacity as the top official in charge of this apparatus.

Abbas government accused of torture

More detainees have complained of torture by the Palestinian Authority following the death in custody of a Hamas religious leader in the West Bank. The family and followers of imam Majd al-Barghouthi say he was tortured to death last Friday, an allegation that the authorities strenuously deny.

Inside a Failed Palestinian Police State

The death of Hamas preacher Majed al-Barghouti in a prison cell last week — apparently after being tortured — momentarily shattered the surface calm of news reports from Ramallah. But neither the subsequent rioting nor the fact that the dead man came from one of the most prominent Palestinian families disrupted the ’democracy versus terror’ agenda that has distorted most news reporting out of the West Bank since last June (when Hamas took control of Gaza).

Abrash announces his resignation from his post as PA culture minister

Ibrahim Abrash, the culture minister in Salam Fayyad’s unconstitutional government, announced Monday his resignation from his post in protest at the ongoing separation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the siege imposed on Gaza and the absence of any prospects for the negotiation process.

Abbas accuses the rival Hamas movement of aiding Al Qaida

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement accused their rivals Hamas of providing aid to Al Qaida to establish a base of operations in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Hamas denies al-Qaida exists in Gaza

Interior Ministry of the deposed Hamas administration on Wednesday denied a claim by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that fighters related to al-Qaida had infiltrated into the Gaza Strip. In a statement sent to the press, the ministry said Abbas’ claim that al-Qaida exists in Gaza was “meant to give Israel pretext and cover to target the civilian residents” in the Hamas-ruled Gaza.

UN expert: Palestinian terror ’inevitable’ result of occupation

A report commissioned by the United Nations suggests that Palestinian terrorism is the inevitable consequence of Israeli occupation and laws that resemble South African apartheid - a claim Israel rejected Tuesday as enflaming hatred between Jews and Palestinians. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=958358&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1

UN official: Situation in Gaza threatens prospects for peace process

The current situation in Gaza is not sustainable and is extremely damaging to the prospects for the current peace process, said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes on Tuesday. “I found conditions for the people of Gaza grim and miserable, and far from ’normal,’” said Holmes in a briefing to the UN Security Council on his recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.

Captured Israeli’s lawyers say will meet Hamas

Two French lawyers representing an Israeli soldier held by Hamas will travel to Gaza this week to discuss his fate with the militant group, a member of the family’s legal team said on Tuesday, but Hamas denied any talks. The lawyers told a Paris news conference that Hamas had forwarded a letter from Sergeant Gilad Shalit, who also has French nationality, to his family in recent weeks and he appeared to be in reasonable health, mentally and physically.

Haaretz-Dialog poll: Most Israelis back direct talks with Hamas

Sixty-four percent of Israelis say the government must hold direct talks with the Hamas government in Gaza toward a cease-fire and the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit. Less than one-third (28 percent) still opposes such talks.

No investigation into deadly shelling of Beit Hanoun in 2006

Military advocate general rules death of 21 Palestinians in November 2006 incident in which errant IDF shell hit residential homes was the result of a rare malfunction in the artillery control mechanism used in the strike. No legal action to be taken against those involved.

Yes, Canada, there is torture in Israel

Israeli Ambassador Alan Baker recently expressed his indignation over Canada’s listing of Israel as a state that engages in torture in a training manual for diplomats. The ambassador asserts that torture is not practiced by Israel and based on this it seems that the Canadian Foreign Ministry will reevaluate this manual and “correct” it. The problem, however, is not the manual but the fact that Israel continues to regularly practice torture. Louis Frankenthaler comments.

Video: This is how Israelis Deal With Peaceful Palestinian Resistance. Bil’in demonstration 22.2.2008

Hamas: Abbas’s statements in Egypt abort efforts to break siege on Gaza

The Hamas Movement has unequivocally accused on Tuesday PA chief Mahmoud Abbas of aborting all Palestinian and Arab efforts to break the two-year-old economic blockade on Gaza Strip. The sanctions took their toll on the Palestinian patients, mostly children and elderly people, as number of the victims crossed the line of 100.

Palestinians should seek reparations from Germany

In the early months of the Aqsa intifada against the Israeli occupation, an Israeli officer in the Nablus region told dozens of handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees that “we are treating you like the Nazis treated us, and maybe when you are free from our grip, you will find another people whom you will treat the same way we are treating you.”

Gaza flower producers watch their industry die

When Hassan Sheikh Hijazi first opened his flower farm in 1991, it flourished. “We had a very good family business,” he says. “We exported hundreds of thousands of flowers to Holland and from there our flowers were sold across Europe. The traders knew our flowers were good quality — and Gaza was open for business.” With its mild coastal weather and well-drained soil, the Gaza Strip is an ideal location for commercial flower farming. There are more than a hundred small flowers farms across the Gaza Strip, and they employ some 7,000 farm workers between them.

Isolated by the wall: The case of Nu’man village

The village of Nu’man lies at the southeast edge of the Jerusalem Municipality, a few hundred meters north of Beit Sahour, a Palestinian town near Bethlehem. Northwest of Nu’man, in East Jerusalem, lie the villages of Umm Tuba and Sur Baher and the Har Homa settlement. Nu’man’s 170 residents live in almost total isolation from Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Crossing the Line interviews activist Neta Golan

This week on Crossing The Line: The ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues. As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government expand settlements in the West Bank while asserting that “painful concessions” are being made, what is really going on behind the scenes? Host Naji Ali* speaks with Ramallah-based activist Neta Golan.

The breakthrough that did not happen

For an entire day, the Israel Defense Forces raised the level of hysteria in Israel by announcing they were preparing for the possibility that thousands of Gazans would try to break through the checkpoints. It is easy now for the army to say that the breakthrough did not occur only because of the warnings that Hamas would be held responsible for the blood that would be shed. But anyone who is attentive to the Palestinians as an occupied people rather than as “an intelligence objective” (which openly provided the information that women and children would demonstrate against the siege on Monday), was aware they did not have a plan to topple the barriers at the Erez and Karni crossing points.

Jordanian police arrest five they suspect of being Hamas spies

The BBC reported on Wednesday that the Jordanian police arrested five men, believed to be spies for the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Obama: I’m a ’stalwart friend’ of Israel, its security is ’sacrosanct’

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday stressed his “stalwart” support for Israel and his ties to American Jews, during a presidential debate with rival candidate Hillary Clinton.

A Nightmare World of Torture and Prison Guard Suicides, Confessions of a Gitmo Guard

A psychiatrist who has treated former military personnel at Guantánamo prison camp is telling a story of prisoner torture and guard suicide there, recounted to him by a National Guardsman who worked at Guantánamo just after it opened.