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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Israel is becoming a bullying and violent place

Published 02:35 24.11.11 Latest update 02:35 24.11.11

Without universality, rules of the game and understanding of liberal democracy, Israel is becoming a bullying and violent place.

By Ari Shavit
It's depressing. About two years ago MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima ) proposed banning any national newspaper whose owner was not an Israeli citizen. Although there were certain similarities between Solodkin's bill and the one by MK Ofir Akunis (Likud ) on foreign funding for political NGOs, hers was much harsher. If Solodkin's bill had passed, it would have shut down a newspaper with a large circulation (Israel Hayom ), dealt a fatal blow to the freedom of expression and caused the dismissal of dozens of journalists. 

The law would also have left Israel's center-right majority without a strong medium to voice its opinions. Yet, although Solodkin's proposal was clearly antidemocratic, dozens of Knesset members from the center and left supported it. So did many journalists. No protest rallies were held in the Cinemateque. Silencing us is grievous, but silencing them is just fine. Because there is no universality in Israel, no rules of the game and no deep understanding of liberal democracy. 

It's depressing. This week the Knesset passed on first reading a bill sponsored by MKs Yariv Levin (Likud ) and Meir Sheetrit (Kadima ) designed to make it harder for journalists to publish in-depth investigative reports. Although the legislation emasculates the media and prevents the free flow of information, the prime minister and defense minister supported it. They raised their hands to gag mouths, silence the truth and build a criticism-proof government fortress. 

True, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are scarred. They have both been victims of media attacks, some of which were tainted with distortions and ulterior motives. But this cannot justify the fact that an MIT graduate and a Stanford graduate lent a hand to an expressly anti-Jeffersonian bill. Both they and their parties proved this week that there is no universality in Israel, no rules of the game and no deep understanding of liberal democracy. 

It's depressing. For many months Jerusalem District Court Judge Noam Sohlberg has been fair game. His opponents claim that anyone who lives over the Green Line cannot be a Supreme Court justice. Thus they are trying to turn a political position (which I share ) into a binding legal practice. After all, more than half a million Israelis live beyond the Green Line. The Knesset, cabinet and Supreme Court have ruled that living beyond the Green Line is legal. So anyone who disqualifies Sohlberg is forcibly excluding more than half a million Israeli citizens. 

We are liberals, obviously. Liberals who will not have a conservative on the Supreme Court; who will not have a skullcap wearer on the Supreme Court. Liberals who will not have a person whose ideology isn't ours on the Supreme Court. Because there is no universality in Israel, no rules of the game and no deep understanding of liberal democracy. 

It's depressing. Right before our eyes they are blocking Justice Miriam Naor's way to the Supreme Court presidency. According to the law and custom, Naor was supposed to replace Beinisch this coming February. But Naor is an enlightened, wise, courageous and hard-working justice. She does not belong to any clique. So because she is worthy, she must be stopped. 

The dark forces that are resolved to undermine the rule of law are determined to replace her. So they are pushing a problematic law aimed at affecting one person with scandalous timing. They are pressing, stirring and twisting; contaminating justice with politics. They are trying to degrade an enlightened court by deposing Justice Naor. Because there is no universality in Israel, no rules of the game and no deep understanding of liberal democracy. 

It's the bacterium of the end that justifies the means; the disease of an agenda that bends the rules. The right gags the left in one way, the left gags the right in another. The right tramples on the minority, the left tramples on the majority. Without universality, rules of the game and understanding of liberal democracy, Israel is becoming a bullying and violent place.

Old Palestinian man in front of his house demolished by Israel today – picture

An old Palestinian man infront of his house demolished by Israely Army today beit Hanina Tahta – Nov 24, 2011

Watch: Ethnic cleansing in Palestine…

IOF On Thursday Demolished Four Houses For Palestinians Bedouins Lives Between Bir-Nabala And Biet Hanena Al-Tahta Towns near Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank Video By Fadi Arouri

Israel 'demolishes wells, structures near Hebron'

Published yesterday (updated) 24/11/2011 18:39
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Israeli forces uproot olive trees near Hebron.
(MaanImages/Mamoun Wazwaz, File)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday demolished three wells and part of a home west of Hebron, witnesses said.

Haitham Awwad, a resident of al-Bass near Idhna, told Ma'an that an Israeli force arrived with a bulldozer and demolished a well and three rooms of a home belonging to farmer Abdul Hafith Awwad.

The forces also destroyed two wells belonging to Abdul Rahman Faraj Allah and Ahmad Faraj Allah, he said.

Awwad said the wells were located near Israel's separation wall inside the southern West Bank, in an area with many natural springs. Israel confiscated water from the springs for use by Israeli citizens, he added.

South of Hebron, Israeli authorities on Wednesday ordered the demolition of solar panels and water pipes in a desert area near Hebron, residents said.

Nasr al-Nawaja told Ma'an the projects supplied water and electricity to his village al-Mafqara.

He said five kilometers of water pipes connected to a well provided the only source of water to shepherds and residents. Meanwhile, the solar panels were the sole source of power and provided sufficient electricity for 50 families to use lights and small fridges.

"By canceling the project, the Israeli occupation is confiscating people’s basic human rights," al-Nawaja added.

Israel army 'plans demolition of Hebron schools'

Published yesterday (updated) 24/11/2011 17:57
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities on Wednesday presented demolition orders for the Khirbet Susa primary school south of Yatta village and threatened to close the Zeif primary school south of Hebron, locals said.

Rateb Jabbour, a popular committee official in Yatta, told Ma’an that soldiers and the army's civil administration entered Susa school and handed the principal a demolition notice.

It includes demolishing the school, an under-construction well, the health unit of the school, and three greenhouses near the structure, Jabbour says.

He added that there are 36 students, seven teachers, and the principal at the school. Israeli forces easily demolished the school last year, as it was only made of tents.

The principal of the Zeif primary school told Ma’an that soldiers warned him they would close the school.

The director of the ministry of education’s office south of Hebron, Fawzi Abu Hleil, considered the demolition warnings to be an arbitrary action that would leave children uneducated.

Abu Hleil said the Susa faculty had managed to encourage people to send their children to school for education, allowing them to remain in the area despite difficult living conditions.

Israeli Troops Storm al-Nabi Saleh, Arrest Three, Demolish 60-year-old Hebron Wells

24.11.11 - 19:41

A large number of Israeli forces stormed the central West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh on Wednesday night and arrested Rami Hussein Tamimi, 33, Oday Abdulhafiz al-Tamimi, 20 and Mo’tasem Khalil al-Tamimi, 16.

An Israeli jeep raids a West Bank village (Lo Yuk Fai, PNN).
Eyewitnesses reported to the Palestinian government news wire Wafa that Israeli soldiers also assaulted women and old men in the village. The operation consisted of more than a hundred soldiers and around ten military vehicles. It began around midnight and ended at 3 a.m.

Israeli soldiers have closed the entrances of the village for the last two days.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Popular Resistance Movement in al-Nabi Saleh village said that the operation was proof that the Israelis were worried about the village’s resistance to colonization and said that similar crackdowns would only make the villagers stronger.

In the South Hebron Hills, Israeli forces demolished several water wells dug more than 60 years ago in the village of Idhna. The wells belonged to villagers Na’em al-Jayawi, Mahmoud al-Jayawi, Mohammed Farajallah, Ahmed Farajallah, Abed Mohammed Farajallah and Haytham Awwad.

Israeli military vehicles also blockaded two homes in western Idhna belonging to freed prisoner Shahadeh al-Jayawi and local citizen Hossam al-Jayawi. Until press time they were still forbidding the inhabitants from leaving.

Claiming the homes were unlicensed, the Israeli government delivered demolishing warnings one year ago. Although the al-Jayawi family said it showed valid property documentation to the Israeli court, its plea was refused.

Two days ago the Hebron-based Land Research Center reported that the Israeli army destroyed a water cistern in the village of Sa’eer, north of Hebron, which was serving five dunums of land and a family of twelve people.

The cistern was the product of a partnership between the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) and the Government of the Netherlands.

UN committee approves draft resolution on Palestine

 Published Wednesday 23/11/2011 (updated) 23/11/2011 22:34
 A girl holds a Palestinian flag as she takes part in a protest against a Jewish
settlement in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem Oct. 28, 2011.
(Reuters/Nir Elia)
NEW YORK (Ma’an) -- A United Nations committee on Tuesday approved a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The draft resolution, presented by Egypt, was approved by 166 states in a vote at the UN General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Committee.

Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and the United States voted against the resolution.

The resolution states that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and the right to an independent state. It urges all states, agencies and organizations to support and assist the Palestinian people to realize that right.

It also stressed the urgent need for the resumption of the peace process to achieve a two-state solution which preserved "the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."

Palestinian representative Nadia Rashid spoke after the vote and thanked member states for their support.

Israel Seeks to Shutter UNRWA as Agency Opens New Clinics in Gaza

23.11.11 - 22:29

Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom reported on Wednesday that Israel was seeking to petition the United Nations to close UNRWA in a bid to end debate over Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, the agency announced it had opened two new clinics in the Gaza Strip to provide medical care to more than 175,000 people.

UNRWA has registered 4.9 million Palestinian refugees in camps like Aida Camp in Bethlehem (Brendan Work, PNN).
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has provided aid, jobs, advocacy and healthcare to the more than 5 million Palestinian refugees worldwide since its establishment in 1949. The initiative to close UNRWA is headed by Israeli Minister of Knesset Einat Wilf, the party currently headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

"This agency is unnecessary," Wilf told Israel Hayom. "Other refugees around the world are not afforded refugee status for generations. I support UN assistance to Palestinians in terms of education and health care, but not through this agency that disrupts the peace process."

The UN rules consider any Palestinian forced from his or her home in 1948 is a refugee, in addition to his or her offspring. Israel is the only nation in the world that disputes the definition, saying there are only 250,000 Palestinian refugees. 

Meanwhile, UNRWA announced on Wednesday that it had opened two new health centers in the Gaza Strip, in the refugee camps of Jabaliya and Nuseirat. According to the UNRWA press release, both centers were funded to the tune of $2 million by the government of Japan, serving over 175,000 people.

UNRWA Health Director Dr. Akihiro Scita said, “I am delighted that amid all the difficulties we are facing in Gaza, UNRWA can announce the opening of these two centers that provided vital services to some of the most disadvantaged people in the Middle East. I give great thank to the people and government of Japan for their generosity.”

Japan is the ninth largest donor to UNRWA, with annual donations of over $20 million. There are about 1.1 million refugees in Gaza's eight camps, or three-quarters of the population.

Summer Camps? When will the UN bring Human Rights to Palestine?

 June 18, 2011 by occupiedpalestine

” Annual UN-backed Summer Games to give Gaza’s children ‘a chance to be kids’  “

This is the headline of an article posted on the News section of the United Nations on 16 June 2011:  The United Nations-backed Summer Games for children have begun in the Gaza Strip in an annual attempt by its organizers to Give the kids of Gaza a chance to be kids

The Nations have United sunk below any level of humanity and display an utterly magnum opus of ignorance for the real suffering. Creating this anual event while stating children will be “allowed” for a while to be a kid.  That is when they are not kidnapped, arrested or bombed at night.

UN, which was founded to achieve it’s missions to ensure peacekeeping, intermediate in conflicts, achieve human rights and possibilities to effectiate them as well,  fight against drugs, crimes, environmental disasters, hence the list seems to be endless but for whom is interested in the exhausting “efforts” of UN a complete list of missions can be found here.

Let’s see what the UN/UNRWA has done for Palestine and lets begin where it started 63 years ago.

The Nakba

To accomplish the “State of Israel” over 800.000 Palestinians have been exiled during the Nakba after 77  massacres. For those who still think this is about Arab, Muslim or Islam, 100.000 Crhistians who were peacefully co-existing with their Muslim countrymen were also expelled. The crimes of zionism do not know any religion. So better forget it is about a Jewish state for even Jews who do not agree with the concept of Zionism are a target themselves.

But no panic! UNRWA is there to supply the homeless and displaced with tents:


After the Palestinians were casted out of their homes and the “State of Israel” ethnically cleansed the villages go here for an Interactive map of Palestine villages destroyed during Nakba   But UN takes care of the homeless.  And they forsee in this need and tents are being supplied. 63 years ago as well as now.

Of course not only tents. People also need food.

The “Feeding”

A soup-line in a Refugee camp, 63 years ago and now. For 800.000 of 1,7 million inhabitants of world’s largest open air prison called Gaza is dependant on relief and food supplied by organisations like UNRWA. For it is almost impossible for Palestinians (as well in Gaza as in West Bank) to do some agriculture themselves, hence, when it is not bulldozered or burned when they do so. Let’s take the shortest turn, forget all details for it is still the same story as 63 years ago and only about Ethnic Cleansing.

This ethnic cleansing forsees not only in massacres, exile, evictions, home demolitions or in immediate targeting of Palestinians  but while the world is wide asleep in ignorance a slow and silent genocide is going on to starve them. Israel does not want you to know this but let’s talk about this “aid” of UN in supplying “basic needs”

The Sacks

For over 63 years now, the “United Nations” support not only the Palestinians with the sacks of food, also the strong Palestinian men keep dragging them to what is left of their homes but mainly, UN forfills the shahawaat (desire) of the “State of Israel” to sustain this situation.

For the status of refugee as well as relief are supposed to be temporary. Not 63 years. In stead of endorsing the law, regulations, higher International Law and Human Rights, they keep avoiding this issue and not bring in the rights and liberties, but more sacks. Nicer sacks. 63 years of sacks.

But don’t let them fool you!  The “State of Israel”  even tried  to file an appeals to Supreme Court to prevent exposure of document containing minimal calorie requirements for residents of the Gaza Strip.  So we can conclude there is no discussion about the fact some sick people even calculate what is necessary to make one succomb of hunger. So let’s get into the sacks:

To take care the Palestinians in Gaza don’t get proteins out of the sea, Israel even violated the Gaza-Jericho Agreement of 1994, the Bertini Agreement of 2002 but solely is responsible for rewriting every law by reducing the whole Maritime Laws about territorial waters into a severe brutal seablockade to a 3 mile zone at Gaza shore.  Don’t start thinking fisherman get their sardine out there for IOA takes care numerous naval vessels are present all the time to shoot, attack, sink fishingboats and abduct the seamen as well.

Agriculture in the Gaza strip is a very dangerous occupation. Many have been shot down by snipers while working on their lands or especially near the no-go zone the lands are bulldozered out of “security reasons”.

In the West Bank, lands are confiscated and even crops, olive trees and exploit these. When not able to exploit then demolishing it, or savage settlers throw their waste water over the lands so it is unable to use or harvest.

Of course the “State of Israel” has more cards in Pandora’s Box, for when they are not able to achieve this goal other zionist tactics are numerous in zion’s tactic-box: Starve Them; then Shoot Them; then Give Them Cancer

Denial of basic needs apparently is not enough.

The Ongoing Massacres, Public,  silenced or ignored by the world

As stated before it is about ethnic cleansing, for the main and real goal of the “State of Israel” is never to achieve peace but to create a “Lebensraum” for Zion: The Greater Israel. Here is a  Map of “Greater Israel” Published by Radical Settler Movement which shows without any mercy what the real plan behind these ongoing atrocities are.

It is not like the Nakba ever ended. It goes on even today. No need to get deeply into this issue for the list of Israeli Massacres on Palestinians is self-explaining.

The remaining Palestinians, which not die of massacres or hunger are exposed to daily humiliation, atrocities, violence and apartheid in a way Zionism exceeds even the limits of horrendous behaviour of Nazis. They became exactly and even worse as those they feared once themselves.

But there are some agreements and when ever the “State of Israel” is obeying one, it will make you believe it is taking care of the Palestinians very well, as stated in the obligations of the Occupier in International Law, the Geneva Convention or in the Hague Regulations for armed conflicts etc etc etc. which state the occupier has to take care of the inhabitants of the occupied territories and this means in every basic need. This is not happening in reality though.

When (!) the border is open or not on Jewish holidays, not when the wind comes from the west or the spoiled kid “Israel” does not get what it wants for it is always the Palestinians who need to suffer. No particular reason needed to deny basic rights or liberties. Not even when Palestinians have done nothing at all, illegal colonists cure their frustration our on Palestine mainly called “Price Tag attacks” or any other method is applied to achieve the higher goal of exhausting, expelling and finally extreminating Palestinians. First from their home, than their lands untill they have only a matrass to carry around…that is if they are lucky that is what is left to them.

The Matrass

For 63 years now, Palestinians are dragging around their belongings like these children on the picture. When their homes do not get bombed , they are demolished or not able to be evicted by illegal verdicts of self proclaimed “State of Israel”‘ s racist laws, some settlers come over and take over houses just like that. To achieve a free home in Palestine, to accomodate an art gallery in an ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem home or just to build and expand illegal settlements.

Settlements are a severe violation of International Law which prohibits the occupier to transfer its own people into occupied territories. But the “State of Israel” does not recognize no laws, only violates them, and has a huge record of UN resolutions against it.

But again the world is in silence. And no United Nations nor UN tax supporting  mankind is troubled about this. They pay tax, remain funding these atrocities as well and in the night they  turn relaxed on their matrass while the Palestinians keep dragging theirs around.

Denial to Human Rights

Medical Treatment

Besides the above, the “State of Israel”  denies Palestinians who endure all of this and get tired, homeless or sick at last, even the most basic Human Right : Medical treatment and the right to intergrity of the body and soul. In a report of B’Tselem, an Israeli Human Rights organisation is describes how many Palestinian deaths have followed after infringement of right to medical treatment  2000 -2011| Btselem

Electricity, gas, all is limited.  Those shortage not only are relevant for turning on a lamp, but also to sustain the treatment of patients who for example are dependant of dialysis, breathing appartuses, incubators for babies and so on. A slow motion genocide which only in Gaza cost over 600 people’s lives in just 5 years since it is under Siege.

Violations, Abuse and Torture

Palestine, one big prison itself  seems not enough for the “State of Israel” violating another law: Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that an occupying power must detain residents of occupied territory in prisons inside the territory.

Gaza an open air prison, the whole of  Palestine under occupation and restrictions but even in prison rights are violated :  8500 Palestinian Political Prisoners abused, denied medical care, tortured in Israeli prisons of which almost 300 children.

Besides this the racist permit policies of IOA prohibit often visits to detainees. Most of them by the way administrative detainees which is a violation of law as well. IOA knows many prisons filled with people who’s story are all the same: arbitrary arrests, no accusations, the protection of Political immunity for parliamentarians is a no go area for IOA, hence, it just needs no reason at all top arrest, detain and violate. Beyond every imagination for example the arrest of a Mentally handicapped 4 year old child  by IOF  on Mar 29, 2011

More about the violations towards children of Palestine you can read in the special topic and Action Alert for Children of Palestine.  As well as in the topic for Silwan, which is a “hot spot” for targeting minors.

So Image for a Moment… this is YOUR child:

Watch with your own eyes, of these kinds of “Aid”, “Relief” and “United Efforts” of Nations  supposed to be  human at all. In hope you really have the courage and the humanity to read the photostory untill the end and rethink the “United Efforts” and the sustaining policies of UN over again….

A Story in Pictures about the Children of Palestine

Back to the Summer Camps

Palestine is not waiting for summercamps to give Gaza’s children ‘a chance to be kids’

Palestine is not waiting for sacks of food or so called relief which only is sustaining the occupation.
Palestine is not waiting for comdemnations of zionist behaviour and acts, with only slamming but never acting.

Palestine is waiting for the United Nations and Humanity to bring what is deserves justice, integrity and security and a home which remains a home, for Palestinians and the children….

This is what Palestine is waiting for:

UDHR Art 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

UDHR Art 5:”No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

UDHR Art 9: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”

UDHR Art 13:1:”Everyone has the right 2 freedom of movement & residence within the borders of each state”

UDHR Art 13:2: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”

UDHR 15:1: Everyone has the right to a nationality.

UDHR 16(3): “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

UDHR 17:(2): “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”

UDHR 20(1): Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association

UDHR 20(2): “No one may be compelled to belong to an association.”

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all. What do you think after reading this, what is needed, to give the child a chance to be a child. 

I can tell you. It is NOT a summercamp.

Spread the word, for the real sake of the children of Palestine

Universal declaration against besieging nations issued in Gaza

[ 23/11/2011 - 11:31 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– A galaxy of lawmakers from Islamic, Arab and European countries issued on Tuesday evening “the universal declaration against besieging nations” during a ceremony held in the Gaza Strip.

A large multinational delegation of lawmakers, political figures and representatives of the Arab uprisings arrived yesterday in Gaza to declare their support for the Gaza Strip and deliver humanitarian aid.

The lawmakers emphasized in their declaration their rejection of besieging any nation in general and Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip in particular, and demanded the world’s governments and human rights organizations to necessarily utilize all peaceful means to force Israel to end its unjust blockade on Gaza.

For his part, first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Ahmed Bahr stated in the ceremony that the international quartet on the middle east led by the USA imposed an unjust siege on the Palestinian people to punish them for their democratic choices.

Bahr highlighted that the USA still supports the Israeli occupation state’s inhuman and immoral blockade that led to the death of more than 600 patients who either failed to find medicines or were denied travel for medical treatment outside Gaza.

He also appealed to the international community to bring Israel’s war criminals to justice in order to prevent further Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

Source and more at the Palestinian Information Center

Haneyya: The Israeli occupation lives in isolation

[ 23/11/2011 - 02:33 PM ] 

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya said that the Israeli occupation started to live in international isolation and the frequent visits made by dignitaries to the besieged Gaza Strip confirmed that.

Haneyya made his remarks on Monday evening during a ceremony held in honor of the visiting international delegation that came to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid and issue the universal declaration against besieging nations.

The premier stated that the Palestinian people appreciate such visits that have political meanings.

"We do not have to explain the Palestinian cause and the dimensions of the Zionist siege because what these supporters have done reflected their deep awareness of the Palestinian reality," the premier said.
He highlighted that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is the root of the problem and that the Palestinian cause is a political issue par excellence and not humanitarian, despite the importance of the humanitarian aspect in the internal Palestinian situation.

He called for reactivating Goldstone report in international conferences and meetings and bringing Israel's war criminals to international justice.

The premier also urged the representatives of the Arab uprisings who came along with the international delegation to help the Palestinian people liberate their land from the occupation.

  Source and more at the Palestinian Information Center

Bank Signs Deals to Improve Gaza Health and Economic Conditions

24.11.11 - 06:03
On Wednesday, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed eight agreements worth a sum of US $20 million to improve health, water and agricultural projects in the Gaza Strip. The bank was founded in 1975 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to promote development in member countries. Palestine is one of its registered members.

A $1 million donation from the al-Rahma Society for Development went to the improvement of olive groves and other Gazan agriculture (Lo Yuk Fai, PNN).
The IDB’s efforts can go a long way in Gaza, which suffers from dismal health and economic conditions worsened by the Israeli blockade. According to Amnesty International, 95 percent of Gaza water is polluted and unfit for human consumption.
The bank’s biggest agreement was signed with the Charity Committee, amounting to US $5.5 million. The deal aims at rebuilding damaged hospital infrastructure and adding new structures, such as a roof to the al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex.
IDB also signed two deals with Islamic Relief. The first amounts to US $4.2 million and includes the construction of two roofs and an electricity line for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. The hospital will also be given a host of medical supplies.
The second deal, worth US $1 million, focuses on agriculture. Its goal is to improve farming conditions and help farmers acquire necessary resources such as seeds and water systems.
Qatar’s Red Crescent was the third organization to sign an agreement with the bank. The US $1.6 million deal also focuses on hospital conditions. The Red Crescent will supply the European Gaza Hospital with neurosurgery devices and equipment for the hospital’s primary care centers. The resources were chosen based on a list of needs compiled by Gaza’s health ministry.
The non-governmental Qatar Charity Society sealed a fifth deal with IDB, worth $1 million. Its project will develop sea fishing on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast through the improvement of basic facilities, building of 24 rooms in the Khan Younis port, and providing around 20 fishermen with motors for their boats.
The fifth agreement was signed with the al-Rahma Society for Development for the amount of $1.04 million, designated for the improvement of 1,800 dunums of land cultivated with vegetables, 250 dunums cultivated with grapes, 1,400 dunums of fruit and olive trees, and 500 dunums growing onions. 
The bank signed two final deals with the Turkish Red Crescent and the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) for $2.1million each. The Turkish Red Crescent will target agricultural development and the CMWU the sterilization of water systems.

Israeli Air Force Bombards Southern Gaza

Wednesday November 23, 2011 06:47author by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies Report post

Palestinian sources reported on Tuesday night that Israeli war-jets carried out a number of air-strikes in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. They also opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in Rafah and Khan Younis.

Bombarding Gaza - File Palestine-Info
Bombarding Gaza - File Palestine-Info

The sources added that the army fired at least one missile at a former settlement, while Israeli Navy vessels opened up automatic fire at fishing boats in Palestinian territorial waters, also in Khan Younis and Rafah.

No physical injuries were reported; yet some fishermen suffered anxiety attacks while trying to rush back to the shore.

Israeli troops also invaded An-Nahda neighbourhood, east of Rafah, with numerous shots being reported; army choppers also fired flares and no injuries were sustained.

The invasion was carried out by three Israeli tanks and two military bulldozers; the soldiers then bulldozed some lands in the area, and withdrew later on.

Earlier on Tuesday evening, Israeli war-jets bombarded a training centre that belongs to the Salah Ed-Deen Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees in Rafah; damage was reported, no injuries.

France Denounces Israeli Freeze Of Palestinian Tax Money

Thursday November 24, 2011 22:11author by Saed Bannoura

The French government slammed Israel for withholding Palestinian tax and customs money it collects on border terminals on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), and stated that, by law, the money must be transferred regularly to the P.A.
Flag Of France
Flag Of France
The official Palestine News and Info Agency, WAFA, reported that French Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bernard Valero, stated that his government condemns the continued withholding of Palestinian tax revenue, adding that this money is rightfully for the Palestinians, and by withholding them, Israel is violating its own obligations under the 1994 Paris protocol.

Valero said that the Israeli violation is suffocating the Palestinian Authority and making it unable to perform its duties, adding that the Palestinian tax revenue is around $100 Million a month.

The French official further stated that several countries, and United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, are calling on Israel to void its decision as it is considered a punishment to the Palestinians for legal initiatives seeking recognition at the United Nations.

Valero also stated that withholding the money is jeopardizing all achievements and efforts made in the last few years to build strong Palestinian institutions and infrastructure, in addition to security, in preparation for the future Palestinian state.

“We are asking Israel to respect its commitments, France is urging Israel to transfer the funds to the P.A. as soon as possible”, the French spokesperson said, “France wants to ensure that these payments are made regularly”.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated Thursday that the P.A will very soon be completely incapacitated due to Israel refusal to transfer Palestinian tax revenue.

Fayyad said that the Israeli violations are causing hardships to the P.A in paying salaries and pensions, and in maintaining the infrastructure in the Palestinian territories.

“The money we are referring to is ours, our right”, The Prime Minister said, “This has nothing to do with the transfer of money from donor countries and international support to the P.A”.

Fayyad made his statements during a conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, who also stated that Israel must freeze the Palestinian tax revenue.

Norway is the current head of a committee of donors to the Palestinian Authority. The committee includes The European Union, the United States and Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, stated that Israel will not transfer any Palestinian tax revenue to a Fateh-Hamas Unity Government, Haaretz reported.

His statements came during a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Montenegro; Lieberman stated that "Israel will not recognize the unity government (that has not been formed yet), will not negotiate with it, and will not transfer it even one dime" if this government doesn't accept the principles outlined by the Quartet Committee.

MK Aharonovitch Warns Of New Political Assassination In Israel

Thursday November 24, 2011 12:31author by Saed Bannoura

Israeli Internal Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home), warned of the possibility of a political assassination in Israel, and stated that the Police and the Security Services must seriously deal with all information on such threats.

Peace Protest By Peace Now Movement Israel
Peace Protest By Peace Now Movement Israel
The official Israeli TV and Radio Agency – Arabic version, reported on its website "Arabil" that Aharonovitch stated that the Police and the Security Services in Israel must remain alert and examine all related information.

He claimed that intelligence information “obtained from the left and the right wings" in Israel must be taken seriously.

His statements came during a Knesset hearing session called for by Labor Member of Knesset, Yitzhak Herzog, following Israeli settler attacks known as “Price Tag”, targeting not only Palestinians, including Muslim graves in Jerusalem, but also target Israeli peace groups and leftist groups, such as Peace Now.

A few days ago, an Israeli man whose father is a senior officer in the Shin Bet (secret service) was charged with issuing a death threat against members of Peace Now in Israel.

When the accused was brought before a judge, he requested a ‘gag order’ be issued in the case, preventing the peace group from engaging in further contact with the media about the incident.

Earlier this month, the Peace Now movement reported that the home of the director of the movement’s Settlement Watch Project, Hagit Ofran, was targeted for the second time in recent months.

The act was perpetuated by extremist right-wing settlers who blame the group for Israel’s dismantlement of several illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Following the attack, Peace Now issued a statement blaming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners for the escalating Price Tag attacks, and stated that “incitement and the harsh words of the coalition members in favor of illegal outposts and against the justice system and left-wing organizations, are seeping into the ground, and giving support to the price tag vandals.”

Peace Now stated that the Israeli Police have not even made one arrest, adding that the authorities in Israel are “indifferent about these threats.”

On November 4, 1995, former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated by an extremist Israeli right-winger, identified as Yigal Amir, who shot him dead at the end of rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo peace agreement with the Palestinians.


Related Link On Americans for Peace Now; “Peace Now responds to attacks”

Israeli Military Destroys Wells Near Hebron

Thursday November 24, 2011 15:25author by Adam Kerry - IMEMC & Agencies Report post

Israeli forces have used a bulldozer to destroy three wells and part of a home in the village of al-Bass, west of Hebron.


The Ma'an News agency reported that three rooms of of local farmer Abdul Awwad's house were destroyed in addition to three drinking wells close by. The wells were located just inside the separation wall, an area where Israel has confiscated water from the natural springs to be used by Israeli citizens.

In the village of al-Mafqara, Israeli authorities demolished solar panels and water pipes that were used to supply electricity and drinking water to the local community. Local resident Nasr al-Nawaja told Ma'an “"By canceling the project, the Israeli occupation is confiscating people’s basic human rights,"

Israel Won't Release Funds To Fateh-Hamas Unity Government

 Thursday November 24, 2011 11:30author by Adam Kerry 

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has said that his government will not transfer any Palestinian tax revenue to a Fateh-Hamas Unity Government, as reported by Haaretz.

Israel Foreign Minister Source:
Israel Foreign Minister Source:
During a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Lieberman stated that "Israel will not recognize it, will not negotiate with it, and will not transfer it even one dime," if the Unity government doesn't accept the principles outlined by the Middle East Peace Quartet. The principles in question state that any Palestinian government respect any past peace agreements and recognise Israel's right to exist, reports Haaretz.

Liberman's comments appear to pre-empt the upcoming meeting between Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas and Khalid Mashal, the head of the Hamas political bureau in Cairo. The purpose of the meeting is to implement the Unity agreement that was signed in May this year.

In recent days Israel has felt pressure from both the United States and the United Nations to release the funds, including being urged by Tony Blair, the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East. He called on Israel to transfer the money without any further delay saying that withholding the funds benefits “only those who oppose peace.”

Following the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, some taxes in the Palestinian Territories are paid directly to the P.A., where as some, such as V.A.T. on Israeli products are paid to the State of Israel before these funds are released, in part, to the P.A..

Prior to this arrangement, all tax revenue was paid to Israel. The amendment to this arrangement was intended to aid state building efforts set forth in the Oslo Accords, but also removed the possibility of a total tax resistance such as that initiated during the First Intifada in the town of Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem.

Tunisian Medical Convoy Arrives In Gaza

Wednesday November 23, 2011 07:44 by Saed Bannoura
A Tunisian convoy, loaded with medical supplies and equipment, was allowed into the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday evening, via the Rafah Border Terminal, between Gaza and Egypt.
Aid Convoy - Gaza, Palestine-Info
Aid Convoy - Gaza, Palestine-Info
Convoy members carried tons of medical supplies that will be handed to several hospitals, and medical centers in the coastal region.

Dr. Jalal Ayyad, head of the Tunisian Al Amal (Hope) Society for Social Development, stated that this visit comes in solidarity with the people of Gaza, and to challenge the illegal Israeli siege.

Convoy members will remain in Gaza for a week, and will be touring several areas heavily affected by Israeli bombardment and shelling. On Monday evening, the Freedom Spring solidarity convoy made it into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Border Terminal. Convoy members will be holding meetings with political and social figures in Gaza.

Siegel files harassment charge against local rabbi

 Wednesday, November 23, 2011    Last updated: Thursday November 24, 2011, 1:50 AM
Teaneck Suburbanite
A well-known local activist for Palestinian causes has filed harassment charges against a River Road rabbi, who allegedly stood in front of his Elm Avenue home shouting obscenities.

The complaint filed by Rich Siegel against Rabbi David B. Schwartz is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in Teaneck Municipal Court on Dec. 7 at 9:30 a.m.

Police responded to a call from Siegel at 7:55 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 complaining that a man in his 60s, walking a large grey dog, was standing in front of his house yelling at him.

Police stopped a man, later identified as Schwartz. who matched the description. According to the police report, Schwartz acknowledged that he had been yelling at Siegel's home, but said he was exercising his right of free speech. He said he has the same right to yell at Siegel's home as Siegel has to display pro-Palestinian bumper stickers on his car.

Siegel's car has two rear bumper stickers: "Free Palestine: End the Occupation" and "Stop US Aid to Israel."

In an interview, Siegel said after receiving the police report, he did an Internet search of Schwartz and discovered that he is a rabbi who serves on the board of directors of the Union for Traditional Judaism located on American Legion Drive.

Reached by phone on Sunday, Schwartz declined to comment. Rabbi David Bauman, executive director of the Union for Traditional Judaism, did not return a voicemail message seeking comment.
Siegel said that he has frequently observed Schwartz standing outside his house.

"It became clear that he was coming to stare at the house and the bumper stickers," he said.

On one occasion, Siegel's wife and 6-year-old daughter were outside when Schwartz walked by with his dog.

"My daughter asked if she could pet the dog. He stood there and glared at them," Siegel said. "There is a segment of the Jewish community that is simply unwilling to tolerate free speech on the Palestinian issue," Siegel said said, noting that his car has been vandalized on numerous occasions and hostile notes have left on it. "Obviously these people disagree with me, but they use violent means to attempt to stop me from expressing my point of view."


Israeli Government Starts Huge Silwan Tax Collection Campaign

 22.11.11 - 21:40


On Tuesday the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality began a widespread campaign in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan designed to collect outstanding property and income taxes, a move Palestinians have denounced as "a campaign of revenge."

Palestinians pray in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan before a weekly protest against settlements (Brendan Work, PNN).

Fakhri Abu Diyab, a member of the Committee to Defend Silwan, described told Palestinian government news wire Wafa that the tax collectors had been accompanied by Israeli soldiers and police officers who closed the entrances to Silwan with military checkpoints and issued high-priced tickets to outgoing vehicles.
"If they find someone with debt to the Israeli government, they will check his car and find any way to punish him," Abu Diyab told PNN. "Even if he doesn't owe a debt, they will punish him by detaining him for a few hours. It's part of a plan to humiliate Arab Jerusalemites and strangle them economically."

Abu Diyab said that the timing of the campaign was not coincidental: it comes as Israel continues to evacuate Palestinians from their houses to make room for Israeli settlers. He said the tax collection campaign was an operation to keep the citizens distracted.

Abu Diyab warned that Silwan specifically and Jerusalem generally would be targeted by the Israeli government in the next few days and asked citizens to pay careful attention.