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Today in Palestine!

Source: PACUSA + El Taller International (Tunis)

Thursday 13 March 2008

Violation Report Against Palestinian Red Crescent Medical Teams for January and February

Violations include firing on ambulances, preventing ambulances from reaching injured civilians, preventing the EMTs from going with the ambulance, firing tear gas canisters into ambulances, stopping ambulances and detaining the wounded from inside the vehicle, and holding the IDs of medical crews.

Israeli sniper bullet takes 12-year-old girl’s life.

“I put my hand on her chest to stop the streaming blood. She told me that she could not breathe, her body trembled and she closed her eyes,” said Ra’d Abu Saif of his 12-year-old daughter Safa’s last moments after she was shot by an Israeli sniper last Saturday. Safa was shot in the left side of her chest while she was inside her home in Jabaliya, northern Gaza. An ambulance tried to reach her but Israeli soldiers opened fire at it, wounding a paramedic and causing the tires to lose air, and so she bled to death three hours after she was wounded.

Three Palestinians wounded as Israeli army fires at houses in S Gaza

Three Palestinians were wounded at noon on Sunday when Israeli forces, positioned on the border in southeast Gaza Strip, opened fire at their houses, Palestinian witnesses said. They said that Israeli army based at Kissufim commercial crossing, east of southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, showered the heavy machinegun fire mainly at a house of a Palestinian fighter who was killed in the area three days ago.

Israel arrests 30 Palestinians in West Bank incursion

Israeli troops arrested 30 Palestinians in the West Bank, mostly in the town of Nablus, during an overnight incursion, local sources and witnesses said on Monday. In Nablus and its refugee camps, Israel arrested 29 Palestinians who were either members of Islamic Hamas movement or of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Hamas sources said.

ISRAEL-OPT: Barrier turns Nu’man village into virtual enclave

“With the Wall’s route like this we can’t go anywhere,” said Yousef al-Darawi, as he drew a map of Israel’s Barrier which blocks Nu’man village off from both East Jerusalem and the West Bank and leaves it a virtual enclave.

Erekat: Israel’s construction plans humiliate Abbas

Chief Palestinian negotiator strongly condemns Israeli plans to build hundreds of homes in the West Bank and disputed east Jerusalem, says appealed to US to pressure Israeli into halting the projects.

Palestinians concerned over expected Israeli settlement activities

Senior Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, cast doubts on Sunday over Israel’s intentions towards peace with the Palestinians.

Jerusalem plans 400 new homes for Jews in eastern part of capital

The Jerusalem municipality plans to build 400 new homes in the eastern part of the city, a spokesman for the municipality said Monday. “The plan has been completed and is waiting the final approval of a regional planning committee before construction can begin in the neighborhood of Neve Yaakov,” said Ariela Smilinski Deri, a spokeswoman for the Jerusalem municipality. She did not know when construction might begin.

Olmert Reverses Freeze on Settlement Expansions

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, has approved plans to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in a move likely to complicate US-brokered talks with the Palestinians. Israeli officials said new housing units will be erected in the settlement of Givat Ze’ev, which is 8km from central Jerusalem.

Israeli hardliners plan West Bank settlements

Israeli hardliners plan to build a series of new settlements across the West Bank in retaliation for the terrorist attack that killed eight students at a Jewish religious college. Their warning came yesterday as Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, approved the expansion of a settlement near Jerusalem, which will see the construction of 750 new homes.

Fatah: Al-Jazeera is a mouthpiece for Hamas

Several Fatah officials in the West Bank have called on the Palestinian Authority to boycott Al-Jazeera under the pretext that the TV network is serving as a mouthpiece for Hamas. The officials also accused Al-Jazeera of incitement against their party and the PA leadership in Ramallah.

Cairo official: Gaza Strip conflict serves Syrian interests

An unnamed senior Egyptian official on Saturday said that the possibility that Syria is influencing Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad to reject Egyptian offers to mediate a cease-fire between them and Israel, the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported.

Hamas: Abbas’s return to negotiations no lesser crime than IOF crimes

The Hamas Movement on Sunday expressed utter dismay at PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to resume negotiations with the Israeli occupation authority after “all those crimes”, describing the decision as a “crime against the Palestinian people that is no less than occupation’s crimes”.

Barghouthi: Return to negotiations wrong step

Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, the head of the national Mubadara (Initiative) party, has described PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to resume negotiations with the Hebrew state as “wrong” and provides a political cover for Israel’s aggression on the Palestinian people.

Rocket Men, Al Jazeera Video Report

Paul Martin gains unique access to a Qassam rocket launching team in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli helicopter pilots charged with hunting them down.

’New rules of the game’ put restraint on Israeli army actions against Gaza

Israeli media reports said Monday that ’new rules of the game’, have put restraint on Israeli army actions against the Gaza Strip, however, there has been no agreement with the ruling Hamas over there.

Israeli army, Gaza militants in uneasy lull

Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have been holding off from violence that could jeopardise Egyptian efforts to mediate a ceasefire, sources from both sides said on Monday. A truce deal may be key to U.S.-brokered peace efforts and also benefit Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip and oppose the statehood negotiations between Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the secular Fatah group.

Barak: Gaza operations to continue

Responding to recent reports about truce between Israel and armed Palestinian factions in Gaza, defense minister stresses that IDF activity in Strip set to carry on, says ’important trials are still ahead’.

PM: There’s no cease-fire agreement with Hamas
IDF ordered to exercise restraint in the Strip; Barak: IDF will continue to operate against Hamas.

Heads to the right

Some of the praise of the yeshiva is certainly well deserved, and nothing, of course, can justify the horrible killing of young boys in a library. Still, it would be appropriate to recall, even at this difficult hour, what this yeshiva has brought forth. Mercaz Harav is the flagship of the last group in Israeli society still operating in the realm of ideas. Religious Zionists are the only group, aside from the ultra-Orthodox population, whose members are willing to lay down their lives for the collective and its worldview. It is a group that responds faithfully to its leaders - a group that even has leaders - and idolizes them. It is also a fairly homogenous group in terms of its thinking: Some 80 percent of its members define themselves as right-wingers. None of this is true of Israel’s complacent, individualist secular public. And so we end up with a minority, 12 to 15 percent of the population, whose influence in certain areas is crucial and far exceeds its own relative size.

Feature: Palestinian women pay higher price in face of Israeli actions

Um Yehia Dardouna, 34, of Jabalia town in northern Gaza Strip, divides her time between Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where her son Yehia lays, and her house which is close to the border between Israel and northeast Gaza Strip. Um Yehia said she doesn’t care about the International Women’s Day which falls on Saturday, adding that her only concern is Yehia, her nine-year-old boy who survived an Israeli airstrike near herhouse on Feb. 28.

Israeli foreign minister dismisses creation of a Palestinian state for the time being

Israeli foreign minister, Tzibi Livni, dismissed Sunday possibility for creation of a Palestinian state for the time being, citing what she called ’ continued attacks on Israelis and the situation in Gaza’.

Poll: 51% of Israelis want separate secular, religious neighborhoods

Gesher-Ynet survey shows majority of Israeli public feels religious, secular Jews ought to live separately, with only a third of Israelis endorsing ’mixed’ neighborhoods.

The Silent Violence of Gaza’s Suffering, That Candidates and Congress Ignore, by Ralph Nader

The world’s largest prison—Gaza prison with 1.5 million inmates, many of them starving, sick and penniless—is receiving more sympathy and protest by Israeli citizens, of widely impressive backgrounds, than is reported in the U.S. press.

How Israel Taught Hamas All It Knows

’Why doesn’t Hamas join the peace talks and end its armed resistance as a method of liberating the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel?’

The World As It Is, By Chris Hedges

War creates a world without empathy. Those who have empathy cannot, as did Palestinian gunman Alaa Hisham Abu Dheim, coldly murder students in a Jerusalem library. Those who have empathy cannot drop tons of iron fragmentation bombs on crowded Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza, killing more than 120 Palestinians in a week, of whom one in five were children and more than half were civilians. Those who have empathy do not, as Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai did, thunder at the Palestinians that they face a shoah, meaning catastrophe or holocaust. Those with empathy are unable to rejoice, as many leaders of Hamas did, over slaughter, as if the murder of the other’s innocents is justified by the murder of your innocents.

The Nakba generation
This year, it will sixty years since the Nakba, the catastrophe of expulsion of Palestinians from historic Palestine. Generations have been born, have grown up, and have died in refugee camps, but the international community still continues to ignore the political rights of the Palestinian refugees. What makes it sad for me as a refugee — one who was born and grew up in a refugee camp, and struggling not to die in a refugee camp — is that the Nakba generation is dying. Ziad Abbas writes.

Hegemony through free trade: Interview with Daoud Hamoudi

Italian solidarity with Palestinian filmmaker on trial in Israel

At the end of last November, filmmaker Mohammad Bakri furiously left a press conference organizaed at the Library of the Auditorium of Rome. He was present because of the performance of the opera Al Kamandjati based on the story of Palestinian musician Ramzi Aburedwan and his music school in Ramallah. The reason for his anger was that not a single journalist asked him any questions when he announced that he would soon be tried in Israel because of his 2002 film Jenin Jenin.

How Do You Prove You’re a Jew?

One day last fall, a young Israeli woman named Sharon went with her fiancé to the Tel Aviv Rabbinate to register to marry. They are not religious, but there is no civil marriage in Israel. The rabbinate, a government bureaucracy, has a monopoly on tying the knot between Jews. The last thing Sharon expected to be told that morning was that she would have to prove — before a rabbinic court, no less — that she was Jewish. It made as much sense as someone doubting she was Sharon, telling her that the name written in her blue government-issue ID card was irrelevant, asking her to prove that she was she.

In show of modesty, Haredi women make up in private

In Bnei Brak there is a woman who wears too much makeup. Bright red lipstick that can be seen from a distance, eyes emphasized with dark eye shadow. For years they’ve been gossiping about her as she walks down the street.

Imad Mughniyah - The Movie

Weeks of media articles on the assassination of Imad Mughniyah left the public without authoritative information of the assassins and the murdered man’s relevance in world terrorism. The reports of the assassination of Imad Mughniya in Damascus exposed media ineptness and inconsistency. Adding the dubious writings of “intelligence experts” and “reporters” to the controversial media reports provokes a demand for more accurate reporting and rigorous definitions for terrorism, terrorist and terrorist activities that will clarify the violence that confronts the world.

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