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Source: PACUSA via El Taller International - Tunis


Mercredi, 6 janvier 2010 - 15h45

Wednesday 6 January 2010


Settlements/Land Theft and Destruction

Settlement Construction Continues in Kiryat Netafim
Israel has informed the High Court of Justice that it will continue construction in a West Bank settlement, despite promises of a settlement freeze for a period of 10 months.

Al-Maqdesee: Israel demolished more than 130 Palestinian homes in 2009
Al-Maqdesee society developing establishment reported Tuesday that Israel demolished more than 130 Palestinian homes in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem in 2009.

Turkey urges Israel to refrain from new settlement bid
ANKARA, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday urged Israel to refrain from a bid to build new settlement units in East Jerusalem. Israel should think about its decision once again and refrain from such actions in Palestinian territories under occupation, the ministry said in a statement.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment

Reclaiming threatened land in Artas
December 30th, 2009— Over 75 local and international activists descended on the town of Artas, to the south of Bethlehem, to reclaim land that has been threatened with confiscation by the Occupation authorities. Israeli policies of colonization have wrecked the Bethlehem district, which has seen much of its land confiscated for the construction of the Wall, settlements and related infrastructure. Presently, only 13% of the land in the entire district is available for Palestinian use.

Gaza Freedom March Update
The Gaza Freedom March was thrown into disarray today after a surprise announcement by the Egyptian government that it would allow 100 march participants to travel to the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday morning. The decision was reportedly as a result of a direct request from Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak to the Egyptian foreign ministry following intense lobbying by marchers and organizers over the last three days. Organisers had two hours within which to accept or decline the offer, and the impossible task of deciding which 100 delegates to send. The quota amounts to a mere 7% of the more than 1,300 people who are registered for the march. After consultation with local organizers in the besieged Gaza Strip, the international steering committee decided that sending 100 delegates as a symbolic show of support was better than having nobody arrive in Gaza.

Activists reject Egypt’s Gaza offer
Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada and a participant in the march, posted to his blog, saying that "it’s not enough and the pressure and protests should be kept up". This is not about getting some or even all into Gaza, its building global support and pressure to end the siege of Gaza," he said. Roqayah Chamseddine, a US student attending the march, told Al Jazeera: "Our mission is not to be divided and sending only 100 of over 1,300 would be doing just that. "For anyone to claim that Egypt was doing us a favour by offering to allow 100 GFM members to go is asinine and baseless. "Those borders must be opened and as long as Egypt continues to seemingly aid Israel in subjugating the people of Palestine we will also continue to resist an protest."

Gaza Marchers Beaten by Egyptian Police
December 29, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- Getting in to the Gaza Strip is no easy feat, but driving across Egypt should not be this hard.
On Sunday, more than 1,000 international activists from 42 countries around the world descended on Cairo to kick off the Gaza Freedom March, a humanitarian convoy and media spectacle organized by US activist group Code Pink.

"American Citizens Detained at U.S. Embassy by Egyptian Security Forces"
Egyptian security forces have detained approximately 25 American citizens inside and 7 or 8 American citizens outside the US embassy compound in Cairo, Egypt. Gathered in Cairo as part of the Gaza Freedom March, a coalition of over 1400 internationals from over 40 countries, the US marchers went to the American embassy to beseech their help to facilitate the negotiations with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in gaining entrance to Gaza with their humanitarian aid. Almost immediately, security forces converged on their position. After calling the American Embassy 5 or 6 times, Gael Murphy, one of the organizers of the Gaza Freedom March, was asked by embassy staff to where the citizens were willing to be moved. Murphy says that this "suggests the American embassy is responsible" for calling Egyptian Security Forces to the compound to protect it from peaceful American citizens.

Norwich councillor in Egyptian house arrest
A Norwich councillor has been placed under house arrest in Egypt after trying to reach the Gaza Strip to deliver art materials to people traumatised by the conflict in the territory. ImagePeter Offord, Green county councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, set off last week to join the Gaza Freedom March, a 1,000-strong international delegation calling for the borders to be re-opened to let in humanitarian aid and mark the first anniversary of a conflict with Israel which saw more than 1,400 people killed.

Santa Cruz art teacher, on way to Gaza peace rally, reportedly detained in Egypt
Egyptian authorities, after warning peace activists of a closed border, have detained a Santa Cruz art teacher and her husband heading to a Gaza Strip rally scheduled for New Year’s Eve. Kathleen Crocetti, an art teacher at Mission Hill Middle School, and Bill Lucas, both of Watsonville, cannot leave their hotel in el-Arish, some 30 miles from the Gaza border, without police escort or with their luggage, said Elizabeth Lucas, Crocetti’s stepdaughter. Neither Crocetti nor her husband appear to be in any danger, nor have they been charged with any crime, Elizabeth Lucas said.

Egypt to allow 100 protesters into Gaza (AFP)
AFP - Protest leaders stranded in Cairo accepted an Egyptian offer on Tuesday to allow only 100 out of about 1,300 protesters into blockaded Gaza after the activists staged demonstrations and a hunger strike.

Lessons Of Gaza

The Gaza Freedom March has not made it to Gaza. Some might say this is a failure. But Gaza is in the hearts and other lessons will be learned here. There is no question that Egypt faces intense pressure from other powers and forces, including Israel and the European Union. To a lesser extent, Canada whose government is now seen as an international climate change pariah, plays an apologist role for crimes against humanity while deserting, even aiding and abetting, the removal of the rights of Canadians while abroad. As always, the grand player here is the United States, always lurking in the background or appearing in the forefront when needed. The large truck of "human rights abuser for profit" Haliburton parked in the desert west of Cairo two days ago is a fitting symbol of profit, power, and crimes against people and their lands.

Protesters Gather in Cairo for March to Gaza, By MONA EL-NAGGAR
CAIRO — More than 1,000 people from around the world were gathered here on Tuesday for a solidarity march into Gaza despite Egypt’s insistence that the Gaza border crossing that it controls would remain closed to the vast majority of them. The protest, the Gaza Freedom March, was planned for Thursday and intended to mark a year since Israel’s three-week military assault on the territory. On Tuesday, hundreds of the frustrated activists gathered to press their case on the front steps of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate here, holding “Free Gaza” signs and chanting, “Let us go.” Some declared a hunger strike.

No justice, no peace: interview with activist Haidar Eid
On 31 December 2009, one year after Israel’s devastating attacks on the Gaza Strip, activists plan to converge for the Gaza Freedom March. An unprecedented effort, the march draws inspiration from South Africa’s struggle for liberation from apartheid and from Gandhi’s tactics during the campaign for India’s independence. The Electronic Intifada contributor Bianca Zammit recently interviewed the Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee member Dr. Haidar Eid about the effort.

Arresting Peaceful Protesters in Occupied Palestine
For decades, Israel has met peaceful Palestinian protesters disruptively with violence, arrests and at times unprovoked killings. It’s no surprise that targeting them and their leaders is now common practice in cities and villages like Jayyous and Bil’in.

Violence and Aggression/Detainees

Troops Violently Attack Four Palestinian Workers
Israeli soldiers attacked on Tuesday at night four Palestinian workers, broke the legs of three of them and took the fourth to an unknown destination. The attack took place near Al Walaja village, near Jerusalem.

The Israeli military kidnaps four Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
Israeli troops kidnapped on Wednesday four Palestinian civilians during pre dawn military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Humanitarian/Human Rights/Siege

Health Ministry: Gaza has run out of 141 types of medical drugs
The Palestinian Health Ministry reported on Wednesday that its inventories have run out of 141 types of prescription drugs. The Ministry said the shortage of medicine was caused by the continued siege on the Gaza Strip by Israel. Dr. Munir Perch, General Director of Pharmacy in the Ministry of Health, said that the items with a balance of zero include dialysis supplies, items that are necessary for the artificial kidney unit, items related to major operations, special items for bone surgery and nursery items.

Family appeals for baby formula banned from Gaza
Gaza – Ma’an – A man from Gaza, Muhammad Abu Shabab, appealed to the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Tuesday to provide Galactomin 19 infant formula for his 4-year-old nephew. Abu Shabab said in a statement that his nephew Yahiya Ahmad Abu Shabab, has been suffering chronic diarrhea since he was born at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

Rights group: Israel covers up torture
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel systematically prevents accountability over allegations of torture against its Shit Bet security force, a new report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) charges. The group said the 98-page report “exposes an intolerable reality.”

Gaza report finds major powers complicit in Israel’s collective punishment
To mark one year since Israel’s military assault on Gaza, a report by 16 aid agencies has strongly condemned the major powers for failing to end Israel’s illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza. While the report holds Israel primarily responsible for the appalling conditions under which the Palestinian people are living (see “Aid report details social devastation in Gaza”), it holds the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations (known collectively as the Quartet) responsible for allowing the situation to continue.

Gaza’s border must be opened NOW
Too many months have gone by with no change in the crippling isolation of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt, and it was time to risk our privileged access to take our efforts to break the siege up a notch. Our numbers had to be massive enough to threaten the jailers’ growing complacence and broad enough to send the message that this is a global movement that won’t stop until the Palestinian people are given the freedom and justice they deserve. Pam Rasmussen comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Gaza now in "the Mud Age" one year after air strikes
The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains precarious one year after Israeli military air strikes caused widespread devastation. Patrick Maigua spoke on the line to Jerusalem to Chris Gunness, spokesman at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, known as UNRWA.


The walls surrounding the Shifa hospital compound came to life today when students from Gaza’s Al Aqsa University evoked scenes of the Israeli war on Gaza last winter. Some scenes were representative of the destruction, savagery and mass casualties during the Israeli massacre, the desecration and shocking incidents that occured throughout the Strip at the bands of Israeli soldiers.

28 kilometers of distilled apartheid, Gideon Levy

How many have observed the inhabitants trudging over the rocky ground to get to the neighboring village? It’s 28 kilometers of distilled apartheid: the Jews on top on the freeway becoming of the lords of the land. Palestinians down below, going on foot to the Al-Tira village girls’ school, for example, through a dark, moldy tunnel. I, too, have deliberated more than once whether to take Highway 1 with all of its traffic jams or 443 with all of its injustices. In my transgressions, sometimes I have opted for the injustices. It’s like shooting and crying. First you kill and then you are struck with grief over what you have done. I have driven and cried.

Gaza One Year Later

Riz Khan - Holding Israel to Account - 29 Dec 2009 Part 1
In the year since the Gaza war, activists have stepped up their calls for sanctions on Israel. They include appeals to withdraw investments in Israel (divestment); to boycott Israeli goods and services, cultural institutions and universities; and to prosecute the top political and military leaders behind the war But generally the diplomatic fallout of the war has been manageable for Israel, so what do the supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) hope to achieve?

Riz Khan - Holding Israel to Account - 29 Dec 2009 Part 2
In the year since the Gaza war, activists have stepped up their calls for sanctions on Israel. They include appeals to withdraw investments in Israel (divestment); to boycott Israeli goods and services, cultural institutions and universities; and to prosecute the top political and military leaders behind the war But generally the diplomatic fallout of the war has been manageable for Israel, so what do the supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) hope to achieve?

A year on, war memories linger for Gaza paramedic
GAZA, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — Palestinian ambulance driver Khaled Abu Saada still remember the moment when an Israeli tank shell tore apart his vehicle with three injured teenagers and his colleague on board a year ago. "All of them were killed," he said.

Gaza a year ago: My father says the Israelis are doing this to win an election
Khulood Ghanem, 27, kept a Gaza diary a year ago. Its full text (as adapted by Edward Mast in the U.S.) is here. What follows is Ghanem’s entry from the the fourth day of the onslaught, Dec. 30, 2008. (Thanks to Linda Frank.)

Cruel onslaught on Gaza
Sunday, the 27th of December, marked one year since Israel’s military launched Operation Cast Lead that robbed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including 318 children, leaving 5,300 wounded. The cruel onslaught on Gaza that relentlessly continued until Jan. 18, 2009, destroyed United Nations facilities, hospitals, schools, ministerial buildings and 3,500 houses, leaving 20,000 homeless. By contrast, Israel lost three civilians as well as nine soldiers; three of whom succumbed to “friendly fire.” The disparity in casualties aside, the fact that the region’s most powerful military unleashed sophisticated weapons on a captive population is nothing short of a massacre. Yet, once again, the cowardly international community has chosen to avert its gaze. The 550-page UN Human Rights Council’s report on the Gaza conflict, which found that Israel is potentially guilty of war crimes and should be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, has virtually been filed away.


Egypt to open Gaza border if Shalit deal succeeds
Zaki, who was quoted in the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry al Youm, did not make it clear whether this Egyptian position was coordinated with Israel. Nor was he clear on whether the emerging deal for Gilad Shalit is indeed a comprehensive one that would not only bring the abducted soldier home, but would also grant a normal life to Gaza’s inhabitants. Perhaps this was one of the things Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed at their meeting Tuesday.

Mubarak to allow Jewish pilgrims to visit famous rabbi’s tomb
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Tuesday acceded to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to allow hundreds of Jewish pilgrims to visit the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira near Alexandria at the end of next week.

The road to Jerusalem passes through Cairo
Local and international activists demonstrating in front of the Press Syndicate, downtown Cairo, against Mubarak’s Wall of Shame. In the pic above, an activist is carrying a banner that reads: The Liberation of Jerusalem starts with the liberation of Cairo.

Egypt’s bigger problem, Marwan Bishara
The ongoing tragicomedy on the Gaza Egypt borders will not have a happy ending. A year after Israel’s war left Gaza in ruins, Egypt is hampering international aid convoys from entering this impoverished refuge camp of 1.5 million and is erecting an ’iron wall’ under the guise of preserving its national security and sovereignty. But it could be doing the opposite. As Egypt distances itself from the problems of Gaza as if it were a strategic liability, instead of championing the humanitarian and political cause of occupied Gaza, it is arguably missing an opportunity to regain its long lost regional leverage.

Other News

Lebanese analyst: Hamas as strong as pre-war Hezbollah
Editorial in Al-Akhbar newspaper says Islamist group gunmen trained to fire anti-aircraft missiles, simultaneously detonate large number of explosives, and ’bomb Israeli communities located up to 100 kilometers from Gaza’.


IDF colonel filmed stealing game console
Modiin store owner amazed to see senior officer rob device on security cameras. Army launches investigation into incident.

Analysis/Op-ed/Human Interest

Ben Stein Accuses Ron Paul of Anti-Semitism on Larry King: Tactics of Desperation
Using false accusations of “anti-Semitism” as a weapon to silence criticism of Israel’s behavior.

Israel Rules

On Christmas eve when Christians were celebrating the Prince of Peace, the New York Times delivered forth a call for war. “There’s only one way to stop Iran,” declared Alan J. Kuperman, and that is “military air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.”