Saturday, 9 January 2010

IOA: 50,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites to remain outside Jerusalem

[ 09/01/2010 - 03:38 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has decided that all Palestinians living outside the separation wall that isolated eastern Jerusalem from the West Bank would not be considered inhabitants of the holy city.

Hebrew daily Ha'aretz quoted an official responsible for eastern Jerusalem affairs in the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality as saying that those people, although owning the blue IDs allowing them residence in Jerusalem, would no longer be considered inhabitants of the city.

The paper noted that those Jerusalemites were experiencing harsh living conditions after the decision since the Jerusalem municipality stopped extending services to their areas and at the same time the Palestinian Authority is barred from entering the vicinity of occupied Jerusalem and thus could not extend any services to them.

The decision proves that the establishment of the racist, separation wall was based on political and demographic motives and not only for security reasons.

Meanwhile, the IOA police escorted a big number of Jews while performing rituals in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem after cordoning off the entire suburb.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

LIN: Gaza’s shrinking borders – 16 years of the Oslo process

Via Australians For Palestine

 January 10, 2010

by Sharat Lin  -  Countercurrents -  29 December 2009

CAIRO — Forty-two years of military occupation and sixteen years of the Oslo Process have made Gaza a smaller place. Already one of the most densely-populated strips of land in the world, its population has grown during this period from less than 360,000 in 1967 to 1.5 million today. Meanwhile, its borders have not only become more impermeable, but they have been progressively closing in on what some have called “the world’s largest open air prison.”

In the early years following Israel’s seizure of the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in June 1967, Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals routinely crossed the border between Israel and Gaza without much difficulty. Palestinian fishermen routinely sailed as far out to sea as necessary to secure a good day’s catch. International freighters continued to arrive at Gaza Port to unload their goods and take on Palestinian fruits, flowers, and other products. Among the first casualties of the Israeli occupation was the loss of trade and tourism with Egypt, but life went on for most Gaza residents. Over the years, many would eventually find employment in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere inside Israel, mostly in construction and services — 130,000 workers commuting from Gaza to Israel at its peak.

However, owing to the heightened tensions of occupation of both Gaza and the West Bank, illegal Israeli settlement activity, successive breakdowns in the peace process, and the Palestinian Intifadas, the situation of Gaza residents continued to deteriorate. Employment inside Israel for Gaza residents was largely cut off by Israel during the Second Intifada beginning in September 2000, and completely eliminated with the economic siege imposed on Hamas in Gaza in January 2006.

As part of the Oslo Process that began in 1993, the Gaza-Jericho Agreement of May 1994 established a fishing limit for Gaza fishermen at 20 nautical miles from the shore. A “Maritime Activity Zone K” 1.5 nautical miles wide was established as a “security” buffer from the Israeli sea boundary inside Gaza’s territorial waters and extending out from shore to the 20-nautical-mile fishing limit. It would be a “closed area” patrolled by the Israeli Navy. A similar “Maritime Activity Zone M” one nautical mile wide was demarcated as a buffer on the sea border with Egypt. Zone M would be patrolled not by the Egyptian Navy, but exclusively by the Israeli Navy. The offshore area in between these security zones was designated “Maritime Activity Zone L” within which Palestinian fishermen were allowed to fish.

In the context of a surge in suicide bombings inside Israel and the comprehensive Israeli military assault on all the occupied Palestinian territories launched at the end of April 2002, Israel demanded tighter limits on Gaza fishermen, as if unarmed fishermen could be any sort of realistic threat to Israel’s security. In August 2002, the Bertini Agreement restricted Gaza’s fishing limit to 12 nautical miles from shore.

When the Israeli government forcibly evicted thousands of Israeli settlers from Gaza and then withdrew its own troops by September 2005, it labeled the move “disengagement.” Many thought that the occupation of Gaza was coming to an end. But on January 25 2006, the day of Palestinian elections, Israel sealed off Gaza by closing the last open crossing at Erez citing “security concerns” relating to the anticipated strong polling for Hamas. The six functional crossings into Gaza have never been fully opened to anything but a trickle of people and goods since that time.

The final election results gave Hamas an absolute majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council, 74 seats out of 132. After the elections, Israel continued to severely limit the flow of people and goods into and out of Gaza in an attempt to destabilize popular support for Hamas and block Hamas’ participation in the Palestinian government headquartered in Ramallah in the West Bank. It systematically arrested most of the newly-elected Hamas members. By default, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas took the reigns of government as president and appointed a Fatah colleague, Salam Fayyad, as prime minister, despite Hamas having won the parliamentary right to form a new government.

In April 2006, as part of the ever-tightening noose around Hamas-ruled Gaza, the Israeli Navy began enforcing a 10 nautical mile limit on Gaza fishermen. In October 2006, it changed its mind and reduced the limit to 6 nautical miles.

The drastic lack of employment, and the obstacles placed on the supply of food, drinking water, medicines, fuel, and electricity became a chronic collective punishment on all Gaza residents under occupation in full violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

Gaza is a strip of land approximately 40 kilometers long by 7 kilometers wide. It includes cities, towns, 8 major refugee camps and several minor ones, agricultural land, and uncultivable sand dunes and saline intrusion areas. With nearly 1.5 million people, Gaza has an overall population density twice that of a typical suburban U.S. city. Gaza cannot possibly feed itself. It has no developed natural sources of energy — neither fossil fuel extraction, hydroelectric potential, nor alternative energy sources. It has no natural aquifers to provide renewable fresh water. As a relatively unindustrialized territory, it is completely dependent on the outside for nearly all of its consumption needs. Lacking inputs and cut off from export markets, Gaza’s two industrial export zones at the Erez and Karni crossings are now idled.

Israeli “disengagement” from Gaza changed nothing with respect to the wall and fence that completely encircle Gaza from its northern boundary with Israel to its southern boundary with Egypt. Even the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt (primarily for people) is effectively controlled by Israel through remotely-controlled video cameras, European Union monitors, and Egyptian immigration authorities who have acceded to Israeli demands to exercise veto power over any person or baggage moving through the Rafah crossing. The Kerem Shalom crossing for goods from and to Egypt is controlled directly by Israel because trucks must cross Israeli territory to and from the al-Auja crossing far to the south on the Egyptian-Israeli border. The remaining checkpoints not only are opened by Israel very sparingly, but are each opened by Israel for very specific purposes. The Erez crossing in the north is the primary gateway for people, but not for goods. Nahal Oz crossing is the primary entry point for liquid fuels. Karni crossing is the main gateway for food, medicines, and manufactured goods. Sufa crossing was primarily for bulk aggregates and building materials, but like Kissufim and Ele Sinai crossings are now effectively closed.

Meanwhile, the border itself has been progressively expanding. What started as a border fence became a wall. A second parallel security barrier eventually enclosed a security patrol zone containing in some places two parallel security roads. After disengagement, a 500-metre-wide buffer zone was implemented by the Israeli Defense Forces on the Gaza side of the border, within which any Palestinian is frequently shot at. This deprives Palestinian farmers holding lands within the buffer zone of the ability to cultivate their lands. After the January 2009 Israeli invasion, the buffer zone was expanded to two kilometers.

Gaza had a commercial airport southeast of Rafah, but Israel severely bombed its runway. All Palestinian air traffic has been banned under Israeli occupation and after “disengagement.” That leaves the sea. The Israeli Navy controls all waters around Gaza and does not allow any vessels in or out of Gaza’s fishing limits. There are over 700 registered boats, mostly fishing boats, registered in Gaza. The boats provide a livelihood for 3000 Palestinian fishermen according to a United Nations survey. The wooden boats operate out of four wharfs at Gaza Port, Deir al-Balah, Mawasi Khan Yunis, and Mawasi Rafah. Of these, only the larger fishing boats at Gaza Port can sail far from shore; the smaller boats at the latter three wharfs are only capable of navigating along the coast. But after the Israeli military assault on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, even the larger fishing boats cannot venture more than 3 nautical miles from shore owing to the Israeli Navy enforcing a draconian new limit.

Not only has Gaza effectively become the world’s largest open-air prison, but the walls of the prison have been progressively closing in on its inmate population. The only way to avert a humanitarian catastrophe is to lift the siege of Gaza and restore the ability to travel freely and engage in viable economic activity — fundamental human rights presently denied.

Sharat G. Lin is president of the San José Peace and Justice Center and writes on global political economy, the Middle East, South Asia, and labor migration.
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 Uprooted Palestinian

struggle for freedom

In Gaza

On the return to Gaza from visiting families living in tents and other families whose lives have been dramatically altered by the Israeli war on Gaza, the taxi driver nonchalantly shares his own problems.
“My son is 18 and deaf. He went to a school for the deaf and, thankfully, got an education. But after high school he had to stop studying. Now he mainly stays at home. He tries to help out, tries to add to our income. Sometimes he’ll bring water to people in the area for 1 shekel a piece. Sometimes he’ll move or carry things for them.|

I ask about his deafness and his answer reminds me of Nidal, who we have just left.

“He was a normal child. He wasn’t born deaf. But during the Intifada we were always under curfew [lockdown: no one leaves their homes, this can last for days, over a week. There are still regular lockdowns imposed on occupied West Bank villages and cities by the Israeli occupying forces].
He was just an infant then, and he developed a fever. The Israelis wouldn’t let us leave our house to take him to a doctor, and wouldn’t let a doctor come to him. He got worse and the fever went to his brain. He lost his hearing as a result.”

The driver bears his family’s suffering as well as most Palestinians do, telling his story as though he were telling that of someone he read about. Whatever parental pain he might be feeling is hidden beneath layers of resilience and resolute persistence under the harsh conditions of an economy-shattered, massacred Strip.

*Tel el Hawa, Gaza City: resistance graffiti, near the Israeli-destroyed Minsistry complex, bombarded multiple times by Israeli warplanes during Israel’s massacre of Gaza one year ago

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
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Egypt allows travel of all Lifeline convoy members after holdup


[ 09/01/2010 - 02:41 PM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- The Egyptian authorities allowed the travel of all members of the international aid convoy Lifeline-3 following a last moment hitch at the Cairo international airport, Zaher Al-Beirawi, the convoy's spokesman, said.

He told the PIC on Saturday that following several obstacles the authorities allowed all convoy members to travel without detaining anyone of them.

Well informed sources told the PIC that a group of British, Malaysian and Turkish activists arrived at the airport at 05.00 am Saturday en route to Istanbul via a plane chartered by the IHH Turkish charitable organization to carry the activists.

They added that the Egyptian airport officers took the passports then claimed that four of them were lost, which prompted their owners, two Britons and two Turks, to contact the Turkish consulate, which promised to follow up the issue with the Egyptian authorities.

Soon afterwards the passports were "found" and all were allowed to travel, the sources noted.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Egypt allows travel of all Lifeline convoy members after holdup

Egypt allows travel of all Lifeline convoy members after holdup

[ 09/01/2010 - 02:41 PM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- The Egyptian authorities allowed the travel of all members of the international aid convoy Lifeline-3 following a last moment hitch at the Cairo international airport, Zaher Al-Beirawi, the convoy's spokesman, said.

He told the PIC on Saturday that following several obstacles the authorities allowed all convoy members to travel without detaining anyone of them.

Well informed sources told the PIC that a group of British, Malaysian and Turkish activists arrived at the airport at 05.00 am Saturday en route to Istanbul via a plane chartered by the IHH Turkish charitable organization to carry the activists.

They added that the Egyptian airport officers took the passports then claimed that four of them were lost, which prompted their owners, two Britons and two Turks, to contact the Turkish consulate, which promised to follow up the issue with the Egyptian authorities.

Soon afterwards the passports were "found" and all were allowed to travel, the sources noted.

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 Uprooted Palestinian


Desert Peace

January 9, 2010 at 11:53 am (Barack Obama, Corrupt Politics, DesertPeace Editorial, Fatah, Gaza, Genocide, Israel, Occupation, Palestine, War Crimes)

Image from Al-Ahram

Something is cooking…. and smelling rather foul! Israel is ‘reaching out’ to Fatah to renew ‘Peace Talks’ on one phone, while on the other is giving orders to bomb Gaza.

Are we seeing the ’final solution’ in the making as far as Gaza is concerned?

The picture seems clear, the Egyptian wall, the unrelenting siege, the war games Israel is playing now to get ready for a new invasion, to this time, occupy Gaza and hand it over to those who work with Israel, Mahmoud Abbas in particular. 

Could this also be a good practice run for a possible upcoming war on Iran. Practice makes perfect you know. Never mind how many Muslims are murdered. And all of this under the watchful eye and approval of Obama and his zionist oriented cabinet.

U.S. President Obama seems to have started his campaign for reelction already by ‘concentrating’ on internal issues and closing his eyes to the slaughter of the Palestinians.

He’s got to morph into George W. now if he stands any chance of being more than a one term President. With Clinton and other right of centre Democrats on his coat tails and the Republicans foaming at the mouth with their growing “tea parties”, this is what will shape the path of his decision making now.

One of Obama’s biggest mistakes was not focusing on the Middle East and standing up to Israel early on, forcing them to do the deed and make peace early enough in his term as President, so he’d have enough time to recover from the zionist AIPAC fallout and then use the Peace Deal as a victory and proof of his election promises to then focus on his next run for election. He has left it far too late for this term in office. Now any peace deal can only be one that Israel wants, no matter how badly the result is for Palestinians. We are witnessing Obama’s desperate attempt to save his own arse, at any cost. And as always, it is the Palestinians that will suffer.

In America itself, there is a very bleak picture. With Obama’s approval ratings in the basement and heading for somewhere underground. There is no chance of him standing up to Israel or the war mongers within America, not if he wants to have even a remote chance of re-election. All those cross over voters, Republicans and independents, won’t be voting for him again. And what of the Democrats themselves? No harmony there either, judging from the fiasco of Obama’s healthcare package war and ultimate watered down approval.

So as always, Palestine cannot depend on America to help stop the genocide of its people. We are heading into the 62nd year of the most brutal occupation of the century, how much longer must it be before the world at large helps put a stop to it? Do we have to see a replay of a Cast Lead before this happens? Do we have to see the issuance of another report condemning such actions??

Enough with the reports!

We want PEACE!!

We want FREEDOM!!

We want STATEHOOD!!!
N O W !!!!

Hamas asks Palestinian forces to confront Abbas attempt to return to negotiation

[ 09/01/2010 - 09:54 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Hamas has warned of the seriousness of ideas being circulated by the Ramallah authority topped by former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas on the return to negotiations with the Israeli occupation authority (IOA).

Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, the spokesman of Hamas's parliamentary bloc, told the PIC on Friday night that the ideas published in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayam on resumption of the futile negotiations should be confronted by all forces in the Palestinian arena.

He stressed that negotiations over the past two decades only led to more usurpation of Palestinian land and the imposition of de facto situations that allowed the IOA to stabilize its occupation of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Bardawil charged that the return to negotiations would only buy more time for the IOA to evade international prosecution for its war crimes.

The spokesman expressed surprise at the keenness on resuming negotiations while attention should be accorded to reuniting the Palestinian ranks.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Egypt Bars Gaza-Bound Aid Convoys from Its Territory


09/01/2010 Aid convoys bound for the Gaza Strip will now be banned from traveling across Egypt after activists this week clashed with police, the foreign minister said in remarks published on Saturday.

Ahmed Abul Gheit told government newspaper Al-Ahram that members of one convoy led by British MP George Galloway committed "criminal" acts on Egyptian soil on their way to the blockaded Palestinian coastal enclave.

"Egypt will no longer allow convoys, regardless of their origin or who is organizing them, from crossing its territory," Abul Gheit said. "Members of the (Viva Palestina) convoy committed hostile acts, even criminal ones, on Egyptian territory," the foreign minister added without elaborating.

Abul Gheit was speaking to Al-Ahram from Washington where he is on a visit to discuss the Middle East peace process. He said that, from now on aid, to Gaza must be handed over to the Red Crescent at El-Arish who will turn it over to the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim relief organization in Gaza.

The comments come a day after a foreign ministry official told Galloway he was no longer welcome in Egypt as he flew out of the country.

Later on Friday, Galloway told Sky News television he and a friend had been "bundled into a car" and given little choice but to get on a plane out of Egypt. "On the steps of the plane a representative of the foreign affairs ministry in Egypt told me that I was declared persona non grata," he said.

Egypt accused Galloway, who once called at a London rally for the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, of trying to embarrass the country, which has refused to permanently open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

Mosques throughout Egypt took advantage of Friday prayers to criticize Hamas over the killing of an Egyptian soldier by a sniper during riots that erupted earlier this week along the country's border with Gaza.

London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday that most of the 140,000 mosques operating under the auspices of Egypt's Ministry of Awqaf took part in the verbal onslaught on the Palestinian Islamic resistance group.

A cleric said during a televised sermon that Egypt "has sacrificed thousands for the sake of Palestine," apparently referring to Egyptian casualties during its wars with Israel.

According to another imam, Hamas is to blame for the blockade imposed on the Palestinians in Gaza. "Its leaders want to stay in power, even at the cost of their own people's expulsion and starvation," the imam said during a sermon at Cairo's Al-Rahma Mosque. He called the Egyptian soldier a "shahid" (martyr), adding that the sniper who had killed him would be "sent to hell" if he does not repent.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Egyptian soldier was killed by accident after he had opened fire on a group of Palestinian youngsters who were demonstrating near the border.

Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram published an editorial titled, "Killing Egyptians won't liberate Palestine", which claimed that the tension along the Egypt-Gaza border "is exactly what Israel wants."

The editorial read, "Did anyone ever imagine that Egyptian blood would be spilled by a Palestinian?

Kuwaiti columnist Fouad Al-Hashem wrote, "Hamas is under the impression that it can (hurt) Egypt and its leadership with its 3,000 fighters and the pipes it calls missiles. "Just as Egypt's fighter squadrons taught Libya's leaders a lesson in 1977 by bombing them, the gang in Gaza (Hamas) demands the same treatment," Al-Hashem wrote in an editorial published by the Al Watan daily.

On Saturday a Cairo airport security official said heated arguments erupted as authorities were attempting to send home some 500 international activists who were part of the aid convoy to Gaza.

The official said Saturday that many activists could pay for their plane tickets and the Foreign Ministry has asked their respective embassies to foot the bill.

On Tuesday night activists with the Viva Palestina convoy clashed with police in Egyptian the port town of El-Arish, 45 kilometers from the Gaza border. They had been protesting an Egyptian decision to send some of the convoy's trucks to Gaza through the Zionist entity.

Seven protesters were arrested during Tuesday's clashes, but police swapped them for four policemen held by the activists. A prosecutor in El-Arish later issued warrants for the arrest of seven activists, including two Britons and an American woman.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Jesus enters to Gaza.....they be put him on a Cross

A Great Comment

Frustrated Arab Diary

The Jesus of the 21st century !!
in the Massada of the 21st.Century !!

Jesus has entered into Gaza !!
next week they shall be put him on a Cross
Pilate shall blame Nathaniahu
while Nathaniahu shall ask Pilate to execute him
in the name of the

Mary stayed at home and watched it all ,on the TV
she did not like to be beaten by the Egyptian-police.

Judas stayed in Ramallah dividing his reward
between him and the Pharaoh of Cairo.

Jesus is nowadays a British
because humanism has no nationality
neither should it have one.

Gaza is not yet totally free
but Gaza is not alone...
we are all Gazzaens !!

Raja Chemayel
Posted by Тлакскала at 12:09 AM 0 comments Links to this post  
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 Uprooted Palestinian

Flashback: Galloway is no Salah Eddin

Littlewood, Neo-Pan Arabs, Neopatriots On: Viva Palestina, Siege, Wall of Shame, and Liberating all Palestine

Contributed by Nadia

Nadia said...

Awaiting your attack of Redress or Littlewood, for consistency's sake.
Mubarak Creates PR Disaster for Egypt and Himself By Littlewood

8:48 AM, January 08, 2010 


I agree with every word he said here. I wonder what the Queen of Rizzostine would comment?? Awaiting her attack on Littlewood, "for consistency's sake". I wonder why Littlewood's new article hasn't appeared shall appear yet  at Rizzostine site?

I have seen the Irish4Palestines updates on most of Pro-palestinian sites. Has anybody seen any thing other smearing at their sites??

They swallowed their tongues, and stormed their "Free Minds" and here what they reached:

Here is Rizzostine decleration on "Unity" and right to critisize, only her right. Mary forget what she wrote  Haitham's follower for more than 10 years, Who dared to Say:  UP, Jeff and Nahida are right.

"Bilal, as to your comment, of course much of what you wrote was spot on. On the other hand, we had written clearly, and you can see it, that we would no longer allow the comments section to turn into a space for personal insult and if you want it, go to another site that loves that stuff to do it. I see you did, so no harm done, UP is happy. "

Unity of activists, under the leadership of Neopatriots. "What a nightmare for a Palestinian, some of us thought, to have their struggle be co-opted into some other agenda."

Signed by the MODERATOR (Police thought), the two boys, Yousef Abudayyeh, Haitham Sabbah,


 and for the sake of credibility Mohamed Khodr joined. But Were Is Sami Jamil Jaddalla?

Two Quotes, the first is addressed to me.  I painted Haitham and Yousef as pro-Egypt regime, anti-Hamas and anti-resistance.

"If the result was publicity, there was more than enough of that. But for whom? And against whom? ...... Any activist in some way critical of the handling of this, (well not all of them, mainly the Palestinians) were attacked fiercely for “daring” to question the methods and strategy. And they were painted as pro-Egypt regime, anti-Hamas and anti-resistance. As if all of that were programmed somehow, and… oddity of them all, not even the truth."'

Lol, the Neopatriots are reminding US whose the Enemy. Who forgot that Israel is the Major Enemy, and who forgot the US complicity. They Lied and believed their lies.

""Why was it that the enemy, the MAJOR enemy, was shifted to Egypt and only NOW and not all during the siege? How did Israel get let off the hook in less than one day, and WHAT a day!? What is up with that, we asked one another. No one was even talking about US complicity, it seemed as if the whole problem was Egypt, and the whole solution was Egypt. And worse, that the only thing to be liberated was Gaza, and not all of Palestine. What a nightmare for a Palestinian, some of us thought, to have their struggle be co-opted into some other agenda.""

Again they lie and believe their Lies, Hamas, not Egypt, not Abbas, who sold Palestine in Camp David and Oslo. And Hamas is underfire and under siege because, in Israeli and Dayton's Jails because "the only thing  liberated was Gaza, and not all of Palestine"
I would say  ""What a nightmare for Activism to have a ""Palestinian Activist"" as you, the webmaster and editor of Palestine Blogs, "My way or no way""

Here it from the mouths of the LIONS

“The party that indeed poses a national security threat to Egypt and to the entire Arab and Muslim Ummah was the Israeli occupation and Gaza that defends the Arab and Muslim dignity and honor”, Ismael Haneyya,

"For his part, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said that his Movement was not interested in heightening tensions with Egypt, but rather calls for peaceful solutions to pending issues and differences."
What are the pending and  differences and Issues? . I am sure "'Free minds "" know it, and  we now  know where they stand.

Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog

Don't be fooled with Neopatriot's call for unity. Abbas and Pharaoh are also calling for palestinian Unity.  They incited the war on Gaza staved 1.5 m palestinian for Unity.

ATWAN hit the nail talking about Neo-Pan-Arbabs, who used Islam to fight Pan-Arab resistance, and when Resistance become Islamic, they are Using Pan-Arabism slogan to fight Resistance.


I was expecting your visit earlier, to vent. You could have done it there at your site.

A look at the majority of comments of your reader tells why you prefered to do it here, and explains your accusation. Moreover, you are angry fore something else and you found a chance to vent your anger.

Your are welcome, and free. Therefore I moved you comment up here.

"Haitham is not doing Pharaoh's work,"

With full respect to his history and good intentions, he didn't just called Viva Palalestinia to apologize to Pharaoh, he called viva palestina to put pressure on Pharaoh and to "put the blame and the pressure on US, Western Power and the occupation, Israel. Then they will allow PA (Dahlan) to run Rafah border, which in turn will make Egyptians opens it." Period.

As for attacking Redress and Littlewood, for the sake of consistency. Why should I attack him, at least he is not a Palestinian, and you said he "af'ter reading Haitham's report, amended his own report, and he is in agreement with Haitham's questioning.' I shall disapoint you by saying Littlewood spoiled his own report. Thanks to Admeral Haitham.

Littlewood claimed that the viva palestina organizers said "'Nothing has been said about complying with the other two conditions." - the unthinkable Conditions number 1 and 3.


TAKE IT FORM THE MOUTH OF Galloway: I refuse any kind of coordination with Israel

Viva Palestina may fail to deliver the Aid, even so, it did a great work in exposing the TRAITORS, and your guy is paving the way to blaim Viva Palestina for that failure.

Hopfully, Littlewood, haven't read Haitham's "Truth" about the food smuggling used as a "cover to many other businesses", and a "passage for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaedaa and their likes which Gaza are full with these days." and party doing "the trading and were the money goes. Definitely not to buy food for the Palestinians in Gaza"I am not working to smear your Guy, his Sites and History. He is doing that to himselve and his sites. I am trying to stop his attempt to smear both missions of the International Freedom Fighters, and speading Abu Alghaitth propaganda about the wall of shame??

Yes we all do mistakes, and non of us holds the ultimate truth. We have to learn the vitue of admitting our mistakes, instaed of storming our minds to justfy it. Finally, why the mistakes of your guys can be forgiven, and the "mistake" of Galloway is not tolerable??"

Mubarak Creates PR Disaster for Egypt and Himself

Where does Mubarak go from here? (Aljazeera)

By Stuart Littlewood – London

Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, has plumbed new depths and caused deep offence with his shameful bullying of the Viva Palestina convoy bound for Gaza, which had driven for weeks and thousands of miles from many countries to bring medical aid and other relief to women and children cruelly shut off from the world and under endless lethal bombardment by Israel
The dirty tricks resorted to by Mubarak and his lieutenants, which repeatedly delayed the convoy when only a few hours away from its destination, forced it to retrace its steps and take a dangerous and unnecessary sea voyage menaced by Israeli gunboats, heaped massive extra costs on the mercy mission then confronted it with 2,000 riot police, put him and his rotten regime beyond the pale. In other words, far outside acceptable standards of decency.

Mubarak’s misdeeds have shamed the Egyptian people and indeed all Arabs, and will be written indelibly into the history of the Middle East.

Who would have thought that a man of his experience would visibly stoop so low as to invite wholesale ridicule and disgust?

Faced with all those obstacles the splendid men and women with Viva Palestina rose to the challenge in fine style and gave real meaning to the anthem "We Shall Overcome".
[ Yousef Abudayyeh take notes]
They overcame all right. They overcame all the mean-minded chicanery the loathsome vultures of the Middle East could throw at them.

And with their generous hearts, human decency and sense of honour, the Viva Palestina team delivered a master-class in true grit and cross-cultural togetherness in the teeth of unjustified hostility.

Impressive too was the leader George Galloway. The British MP, considered a renegade in Westminster, once again showed himself to be head and shoulders above the pygmies of the British government when it comes to ‘doing the right thing’.

They all received sterling help en route from many authorities that co-operated in exemplary fashion. Egypt please take notes. [Neopatriots at Rizzostine take notes],

Where does Mubarak go from here? He could begin by asking forgiveness not only from the humanitarian convoy and the suffering children they were striving to reach, but from the world community whose eyes have been opened by this epic, blockade-busting expedition and who now view him and his kind with contempt.
And by asking forgiveness from God. [Haitham take notes]

The crowning glory of Mubarak’s evil intent is the construction of the iron wall along the Gaza border, which threatens the Palestinians’ very survival and has been dubbed the ‘Death Wall’. It would go a long way to restoring Egypt’s credibility and his own standing if he were to do a spectacular U-turn and take it down… such a move being a sign of strength not weakness. [Haitham take notes]

- Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to Visit:

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Lessons from the Gaza Freedom March (SOME ARE IMMUNE TO LEARN)

Via South Lebanon

"The first (LESSON) is that the United States and Egyptian governments have been actively colluding with the Israeli government to maintain the siege of Gaza. All three are working together and they do not plan to stop imposing collective punishment on Gazans any time soon."

By Joshua Brollier
When I traveled to Cairo to participate in the Gaza Freedom March, I hoped to enter Gaza to contribute toward ending the siege and preventing future air assaults and invasions, such as the 22-day Operation Cast Lead that Israel launched against Gaza at the close of 2008.

I was also keenly looking forward to meeting a young Gazan who had greatly assisted my co-workers on a Voices delegation to Gaza during last year’s Operation Cast Lead. At considerable risk to himself, this young man met members of Voices at the border, arranged housing, translated, and assisted in bearing witness to the devastation caused by the Israeli military assault. Due to the callousness of the Egyptian authorities, I was not able to meet this man or deliver much needed material aid to his community. Early this morning, my co-workers and I received an email from our friend in Gaza, saying that the Israeli military is once again bombing near the Rafah border. One Palestinian was killed and others were injured.

Given Israel’s continuing siege and bombardment of Gaza, I am eager to learn lessons from our experience in the Gaza Freedom March, regroup and continue in the struggle to end the siege and occupation. Here are several of the lessons which I think are most important to communicate to the wider U.S. public.

The first is that the United States and Egyptian governments have been actively colluding with the Israeli government to maintain the siege of Gaza. All three are working together and they do not plan to stop imposing collective punishment on Gazans any time soon. This punishment is carried out through forbidding Gazans to exchange goods or travel outside of Gaza. What’s more, all three governments are complicit in promulgating Israel’s greater program of apartheid and displacement of the Palestinians.

The second lesson is that the worldwide movement in solidarity with Palestine is alive and growing. The movement is at a critical point where we must apply pressure on all three governments through a variety of nonviolent tactics.

In reference to the complicity of the U.S., Israeli and Egyptian governments, I do not use the word apartheid lightly. I think this word sometimes polarizes people and causes them to self-censor information about the issue being discussed. That being said, I think that the broader international community nevertheless bears responsibility to recognize the plight of the Palestinian people and work to end Israel’s oppression. Throughout the Gaza Freedom March presence in Cairo, our sisters and brothers from the South African delegation dynamically articulated the connections between injuries that indigenous Africans suffered under the white supremacist regime in Pretoria and the inequalities that Palestinians now face at the hands of the Israeli government.

The delegation informed us that just as blacks in South Africa were forced to live in Bantustans and provide cheap labor for industry controlled by whites, so the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are caged in smaller and smaller areas controlled by Israeli military checkpoints. The economic livelihood of the Palestinians is reliant upon free movement through these checkpoints and Israel often only grants access for Palestinians when it is financially useful for Israel. Similar to the situation in South Africa, Israel controls all the beneficial natural resources and siphons the productivity and profit of the resources away from the people of Palestine.

The state of Israel has not only exploited Palestinian labor, it has often attempted to forcibly relocate Palestinians in its quest to annex Palestinian lands. Palestinian resistance and international public opinion have thwarted Israel from successfully achieving its goal to appropriate all of Palestine. But given Israel’s persistent thrusts for expansion and defense of illegal settlements, most Palestinians doubt Israel’s commitment to an actual “peace process.”

When analyzing the history of the conflict, The Israeli government’s practice of apartheid and displacement of Palestinians seems almost too sinister to be true. But to further understand the situation, U.S. citizens might look to an analogy from our own history. The indigenous people of North America were first considered by colonizers to have great potential as slaves, but when the Europeans realized that the Native American tribes were not easily subjugated, they moved swiftly into a national policy of relocation and, at times, annihilation. Our supposed national heroes like Andrew Jackson practiced ethnic cleansing with a belief that they acted in the name of God and country. When seen in this light, the ideologies of Manifest Destiny and Zionism look like two sides of the same coin. For the United States, the endless “peace process” of double-crossing treaties was not considered complete until the indigenous peoples were either banished to a reservation, safely out of sight and out of mind, or killed outright.

Many people who study and discuss issues related to Palestine are aware of the South African and North American analogies, but the general public in the United States doesn’t seem to notice that we are subsidizing these bloody policies with 3.5 billion dollars of military aid per year. Just last year, the Israeli government killed approximately 1,400 Palestinians in one campaign waged against Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, using weapons supplied by the United States. And according to the UN Humanitarian Monitor, food insecurity in Gaza this year has spiked to over 60 percent. So it’s likely that more Gazans have died as a result of the heightened blockade that has been imposed by Israel and Egypt since the attack. Now Egypt and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are building a massive underground metal wall to prevent Palestinian access to tunnels under the Rafah border with Egypt, a last resort for importing much needed aid and commodities.

The complicity of these major world powers became very clear to those of us who participated in the Gaza Freedom March.

The Egyptian government, most certainly with an arm twisted by the Israeli and U.S. governments, did not welcome us into their country as they initially indicated they would. (Next to Israel, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US military aid. So maybe this factored into their decision.) Within one week of the March’s scheduled start date, Egyptian authorities notified us not to come.. When we arrived anyway, we were frequently detained. Our meetings were spied on and infiltrated. The vast majority of us were denied entry to Gaza. When we sought support at the U.S. Embassy, Egyptian police forcibly corralled us into a penned area outside the Embassy. U.S. officials in the embassy reiterated that we should not have come to march in solidarity with the Palestinians. When we decided to march in spite of this, we were met with riot cops, barricades and scores of secret police. Many of us were assaulted and a few suffered serious injuries.

This treatment was only a small taste of the Palestinian experience. The daily suffering caused by the separation of Palestinian families was highlighted by the drama of having persons from the Palestinian Diaspora with us on the march. Because of the siege, many of these Palestinian marchers, now relocated to other countries, had been separated from their families for great lengths of time and others had not even been able to meet their relatives living in Palestine. It was heart wrenching to see
Additionally, Palestinian activists in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem risk indefinite incarceration for organizing non-violent demonstrations and resistance activities. Many are arrested on trumped charges, like Abdallah Abu Rahmah, an organizer for the “Stop the Wall” campaign. Abdallah has been incarcerated and charged with weapons possession for collecting used tear gas canisters shot at him by the Israeli Defense Forces during a peaceful protest. Many others like Mohammad Othman, have been held for months without charges being brought at all. Mohammad was arrested while returning from addressing the Norwegian national pension fund about divestment from Elbit Systems, a major Israeli military contractor. Beyond detentions, Palestinians regularly face extra-judicial killings from air strikes, similar to last night’s attacks near the Rafah border, carried out by the Israeli Air Force.

The Gaza Freedom March also gave us a sense of the Egyptian political experience. It’s quite farcical for the United States and Israel to talk of advancing human rights in the region when they are allied with Hosni Mubarack’s regime in Egypt. We witnessed first hand how the Egyptian government treats freedom of speech and assembly, especially when it comes to Egyptian citizens. Many Egyptian activists joined us in our demonstrations and they were singled out by plain-clothes police officers and forcefully made to leave. Often times they were followed home.

On one occasion, a young Egyptian-Palestinian woman was pulled out of our meeting by a senior officer who sent an undercover policeman after her. We formed a group to accompany her and made sure she made it home safely and without harassment.

Every Egyptian activist I spoke with assured us if that had it not been for the international presence and attention around the Gaza Freedom March, they would have immediately been arrested, taken to a secured center and likely tortured for publicly demonstrating in support of Palestine.

Still, Egyptians were eager to organize and wanted to hold meetings about how to further the movement. Much of the content of these clandestine meetings centered around forming a campaign of direct action to stop the underground wall being built between Egypt and Gaza. As a first step, international members of the march signed on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit with our Egyptian counterparts to challenge the legality of the underground wall.

With all the difficult decisions and unexpected frustrations surrounding the march, I was still very encouraged by the project. I found strength in Cairo among the marchers and the international movement they represented. The worldwide movement in solidarity with Palestinians is obviously alive and growing. Roughly 1300 delegates from 43 countries participated in the march, and those whom I met were some of the finest and most dedicated people I’ve come across. Not only that, I know the participants were only a fraction of the people from their communities concerned about Gaza who were not able to make it to the march. Each delegation brought its strengths. It was exciting to see the different organizing tactics employed, such as the French contingent’s decision to hold an encampment for nearly one week in front of their embassy.

The Cairo declaration was formed and the South African group gave us insight to further focus the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement (BDS) through “campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries.” They suggested very specifically targeting companies in our areas that both enable and profit from the occupation. For instance, Boeing, based in Chicago, exports Apache helicopters and F16 Eagle fighter planes to Israel that are regularly used in Israeli military operations in the Occupied Territories. Tactically, it makes a lot more senses to focus a campaign on Boeing than to randomly avoid an Israeli product at a supermarket, though you may want to do that too.

This siege may not have been broken on December 31st, but this year started much differently for the people of Gaza when contrasted with the devastation of last year’s Operation Cast Lead. Organizers, activists and people in Gaza expressed their gratitude for the efforts of the Gaza Freedom March. International attention was focused on Gaza and there were solidarity marches all around the world.

With this attention, the international community has reached a critical point to put pressure on the U.S, Egyptian and Israeli governments to stop the siege. Despite being embarrassed by the bad press, Egypt and the United States are going ahead with construction of the underground the wall. Furthermore, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is threatening to launch more operations like Cast Lead. The attacks launched this morning lend ominous credibility to these threats. Our friend in Gaza has said in the past that he longs for a chance to live a normal life, unencumbered by siege and constant fear of bombings. He understandably believes that there is very little chance that his voice will be heard in the halls of powerful governing bodies. But we can and must join our voices with his. Our urgent task is to widely announce the Cairo Declaration’s call for BDS and to steadily build a stronger worldwide movement of non-violent direct action, inclusive of civil disobedience, to end the siege and occupation.

- Joshua Brollier is a Co-Coordinator for Voices For Creative Non-Violence. He contributed this article to Visit:
Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 9:33 PM
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A victory for Viva Palestina- Obstacles in face of aid convoy had positive impact

 victory for Viva Palestina

Eric Ruder reports on Viva Palestina's success in bringing humanitarian supplies to Gaza, despite a harrowing assault by Egyptian police.
George Galloway and other members of Viva Palestina at a press conference after reaching Gaza
George Galloway and other members of Viva Palestina at a press conference after reaching Gaza

EXACTLY ONE month after departing from London on December 6, the Viva Palestina convoy to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza finally reached its destination, crossing in from Egypt with 518 people, 156 vehicles and all the relief supplies it brought.

The day before, with the convoy gathered in El Arish, Egypt, negotiations with Egyptian authorities broke down, and some 100 men in civilian clothes wielding police batons--backed up by hundreds more riot police--were set loose on the convoy, which had been forced to barricade itself in the port area as a defensive measure.

There was a three-hour standoff, followed by a 15-minute bout of brutality unleashed by the Egyptian police. Even the presence of 10 Turkish members of parliament and British member of parliament George Galloway wasn't enough to avert the Egyptian assault.
As Viva Palestina organizer Kevin Ovenden reported via telephone from Gaza:
We had 55 injured, mostly by rocks and broken bricks that the plainclothes men threw and tear gas fired at us by the riot police. Four suffered fractures, and 10 were hospitalized with fairly serious head wounds, one particularly serious. All 10 required sutures. They also arrested six people and held them overnight.
The plainclothes threw sand at people with cameras to sow confusion, and then the police opened up with tear gas and some sort of acidic liquid from what looked like a fire engine. It was entirely premeditated. They had made themselves an arsenal of rocks and bricks, and then opened up on us. But as we retreated, we grabbed one of the riot police and took him with us. That gave us some leverage.
The attack wasn't sufficient to break the resolve of the convoy, and the repression only sparked more media coverage. Meanwhile, the Turkish government began applying some diplomatic pressure, and thousands of Palestinians began protesting on the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing, demanding that the convoy be allowed in.

Finally, the growing public spotlight on Egypt's collaboration with Israel's inhumane siege of Gaza persuaded Egyptian officials that they should allow the convoy's passage.

When negotiations resumed, Viva organizers demanded the release of the six arrestees, and safe passage of all 518 people and all the humanitarian aid they had brought. The Egyptians barred 43 vehicles from entering Gaza, but Viva organizers arranged to have them shipped to Turkey, where they will be distributed to 43 cities and made the focus of fundraising efforts for Palestine, then ultimately delivered with relief aid to Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon.
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THE SUCCESS of the convoy marked a significant victory in ongoing efforts by activists to break Israel's siege, which continues with the blessings of the U.S. and active participation of the Egypt government.

A week earlier, Egyptian authorities stopped some 1,400 people from around the world from getting into Gaza--the group had planned to participate in a planned Gaza Freedom March in Gaza City on December 31. Egyptian police blockaded participants in their hotels, canceled buses that were chartered to take people from Cairo to El Arish, and stopped those who found other transport at military checkpoints on the road to the Sinai Peninsula.

The Viva Palestina convoy drove all the way from London, through Europe, Turkey, Syria and Jordan, before Egypt threw up a series of bureaucratic hurdles to thwart its progress.

First, Egyptian officials insisted that the convoy couldn't enter Egypt from the Aqaba, Jordan, border crossing, instead requiring it to travel to the Mediterranean port of El Arish, Egypt. The entire convoy backtracked to Syria, and chartered a car ferry and airline flights to bring the vehicles, aid and people to El Arish. Then the standoff and police violence began.

But finally getting to cross into Gaza--with the vehicles and humanitarian aid--made the entire effort worthwhile. According to Ovenden:
It was an amazing experience. Virtually the entire length of the road from Rafah to Khan Younis to Gaza City was lined with people. Many had been waiting 10 hours to see us, and we were delayed because it took time for us to get our prisoners released, but I'm pleased to say we didn't leave a single person behind--either on our way into Egypt or after the arrests.
When they forced us back to Syria, I think they thought that we wouldn't have the nerve to get it together and get back to El Arish. But within 15 hours, we organized to get the necessary transport. In just 72 hours, we have raised nearly enough money to cover the extra cost, which amounts to about $300,000. But we still want to get more aid in, and I anticipate that we'll now raise even more for future aid efforts.
We had aimed at highlighting Israel's siege of Gaza, but due to the Egyptian posture from beginning to end, they themselves highlighted the Egyptian role in the siege. They've isolated themselves within the Muslim world. And after 10 Turkish MPs faced Egyptian riot police in El Arish, it's now a major issue in Turkey also.
It was really a major success all around. George Galloway appeared on Al Jazeera's most watched news program and ripped into the Egyptian regime for 60 minutes, we were on the flagship BBC radio show today, and we've received about 1,800 e-mails in the last 12 hours. And because Egypt viciously attacked the Gaza Freedom Marchers, that attracted attention which flowed to us later.
This has internationalized the whole issue, and we are looking to launch Viva Palestina efforts in even more countries. Already, we've had an encouraging meeting of 200 in South Africa interested in the effort.
About a year ago, just days after Israel launched its brutal assault on Gaza, we launched Viva Palestina with a strategic outlook that we could crack open the siege by fusing aid, a savvy understanding of the political context and campaigning. We think this effort is working and can contribute to the growing international movement in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 10:47 PM 1 comments

[ 09/01/2010 - 09:50 AM ]

ISTANBUL, (PIC)-- Turkish writer Ahmet Varol has expressed his delight for visiting the Gaza Strip as member of the international aid convoy Lifeline-3, adding that obstacles in the face of the convoy left positive impact on its members.

He explained in a statement to the Timeturk network published on Friday that all members were now more adamant on participating in future convoys.

The prominent writer, however, criticized Egypt for putting hurdles in the way of the Lifeline convoy instead of assisting it.

Varol said that he saw results of the Israeli brutality and savagery in south Lebanon before and now in Gaza where destruction was rampant in schools, mosques and public utilities.

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Islamic Jihad: Israel Wants another War; Resistance Groups Are Ready


09/01/2010 A spokesperson from Al-Quds Brigades warned early Saturday morning that armed Palestinian groups would not hesitate to confront Israel if strikes on the Gaza Strip continue saying that Palestinian resistance factions are prepared to face any attack on the coastal enclave.

Speaking to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency, Abu Ahmad said, "Israel's escalation in Gaza is part of an ongoing effort by the occupation forces to provoke us into renewed violence."

"The occupation's attempts will fail in weakening the spirit of resistance, and that could change the equation of the circumstances in the region," he added.

The spokesman from Islamic Jihad's armed wing also commented on successful tests of the Iron Dome missile defense system, saying that Israel "can't cope with our rockets."

The comments came hours after Palestinian resistance fighters fired three Qassam rockets, into the western Negev.

On Thursday night, Israeli Air Force struck four targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the firing of a Katyusha rocket which landed near Ashkelon earlier in the night.

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18 wounded in IOF quelling of five anti wall marches


[ 09/01/2010 - 09:01 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used force to quell five peaceful marches organized in five villages in the West Bank on Friday to protest the Israeli occupation authority's (IOA) construction of the separation wall that confiscated vast areas of Palestinian lands.

Local sources said that the IOF troops quelled the march organized by Qaryut village inhabitants south of Nablus along with the foreign activists who marched in protest against threats to confiscate their lands.

IOF soldiers in ten armored vehicles fired tear gas at the demonstrators, seven of whom fainted as a result.

Two citizens in Ma'sara village, south of Bethlehem, were wounded when IOF soldiers beat them along with hundreds others for participating in the march against the racist, separation wall.

A similar march was organized in Um Salamona village, also south of Bethlehem.

Three citizens were wounded and tens were treated for breathing difficulty in Bilin, Ramallah district, when the IOF soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated bullets to disperse the anti-wall demonstration.

In Deir Nizam village, to the north of Ramallah, IOF soldiers violently quelled a peaceful march against the wall and settlement expansion in nearby Halmish settlement injuring six citizens.

Meanwhile, nine Palestinians were wounded in Al-Khalil late on Thursday in separate incidents.

Medical sources said that the IOF soldiers wounded and arrested a 16-year-old boy at the entrance to Halhul village, north of Al-Khalil city. They added that he was hit with two bullets in his stomach and hand and his injures were described as "Serious".

Two others were wounded at the hand of IOF soldiers at the entrance to Sa'ir village, north of the city, and six members of one family were hurt in an IOF assault on their family homes after which one of them was taken away by those forces.

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OPT - Cast Lead Aggression 1st Anniversary, Day 13: Child Human Shields

Via south Lebanon

Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

On 8 January 2009, ‘Ala, 15, his brother, Ali, 16, and their cousin Hussein, 13, were released from the cold wet pit in the ground where they’d been detained by Israeli forces for two days and two nights, bound, blindfolded and semi-naked. These children had been used as human shields, a practice which constitutes a war crime and may amount to a crime against humanity. Upon their release, they were ordered to walk, under heavy fire, to Jabalia in the north of Gaza. ‘Ala and Ali’s older brother, Nafiz, 17, who had also been held in the hole, was transported to Israel and detained for eight more days. Al Mezan interviewed Hussein, ‘Ala and Ali (now 14, 16 and 17 respectively) a year after their ordeal.

The Hole in the Ground

“The pit was really big, maybe a dunam (i1,000 square meters) or more, and there were about 60 people in it,” recalls Ali. “We were blindfolded most of the time and handcuffed. The soldiers kept shooting near our legs and above our heads to make us more afraid. Shrapnel was falling into the hole. It was really terrifying.”

Text Box: Ali, Hussein and ‘Ala (left to right). (Photo Credit: Al Mezan)The boys, along with other civilians from their north Gaza neighbourhood of Al-Atatra had been detained on the morning of 5 January 2009, after Israeli forces stormed the house they were sheltering in. Before being taken to the pit that night, the boys were stripped to their underwear, blindfolded, tied in a human chain and marched around their neighbourhood to check civilian homes for booby traps or fighters.

Cold, Wet and Hungry

“We hadn’t eaten breakfast that day, when the Israelis detained us,” says Ali. “When we were put in the hole, we kept signalling for food and water but they didn’t respond. They only gave us food on the third day and just one piece of pitta bread for four people. They made us drink water out of dirty cans. One of us tried to signal that he needed to go to the toilet, but they wouldn’t let him; they made him do it on himself. While we were in the hole, we were thinking about our families and about how worried they would be. We were shivering with cold and fear and we were too scared to talk to each other. We didn’t know why we were being kept in the hole; we thought they were going to bury us in it.”

On 8 January, ‘Ala, Hussein and Ali were released and ordered to go to Jabalia. Nafez, along with several other boys and men, was transferred to a detention facility in Israel where he was held for a further eight days. Ali explained the journey, “It was difficult to walk because of all the destruction. The planes kept shooting near our legs. We only made it about a kilometre before deciding to go back to the hole. We didn’t understand where the Israelis wanted us to go and we thought we were going to be killed.” When they got back to the hole they were told to take another route, and eventually made it to Jabalia.

“We saw a relative when we got to Jabalia,” Ali says. “He told us that our family were sheltering in a UN school and we found them there. A doctor was giving my mother injections because she was so distressed we’d been taken.” Hussein continues, “It was also really tough in the school. By the time we arrived there wasn’t any room and we had to sleep in the corridors. We only had one thin blanket each and it was really cold. Sometimes I put it over me and sometimes under me. We stayed there for 22 days.”

Prospects for Justice

In July 2009, in a rare step following the filing of a complaint by Al Mezan, Al-Haq and Adalah , the Israeli military police investigation branch requested a meeting with Ali, Hussein and ‘Ala at Erez crossing to investigate their allegations. “We were really scared about going,” says ‘Ala. “I just kept thinking; how can we go there after what they have done to us already? Our lawyers at Al Mezan explained that this time they wouldn’t detain us. But I was still really afraid and when I was speaking to the Israeli officer I was shaking with fear.”

“I won’t go again,” Hussein declares. “It was too scary last time and you have to walk a long way on foot. My legs hurt the whole way because I was so scared.” Nevertheless, at just 14, Hussein has put his trust in the Israeli judicial system. “I want the officers to know what the soldiers did to us; how they tortured us and kicked us. I expect they’ll go to jail now that they know.” Ali smiles and shrugs, his cynicism perhaps not misplaced. Despite the documentation of serious international humanitarian violations by a United Nations Fact Finding Mission, not a single Israeli soldier has been charged with a war crime a full year after Operation Cast Lead.

Hussein has already made plans for the next invasion, “I won’t stay here next time,” he explains, “I’ll run away as soon as I hear the first Israeli bullet. I’ll go and stay at a hospital. The Israelis don’t attack hospitals.”

According to the documentation of Al Mezan, the UN and international NGOs, during Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces damaged or destroyed 15 out of 27 hospitals in Gaza and attacked three UN premises being used as shelters for the displaced, including with white phosphorous.

Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 10:36 PM 
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