IDF to track foreign anti-Israel groups

New section in Military Intelligence Directorate to collect data, passively probe groups from overseas, Gaza, West Bank aiming to delegitimize Israel.

Israel’s Military Intelligence has launched a new section that will be responsible of tracking foreign organizations located overseas, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which aim to delegitimize the State of Israel.

The IDF was planning to form the new section, inside the Research Department, headed by an officer in the rank of a major, prior to the Gaza-bound flotilla last may, with the intention of collecting information on the Turkish group that organized the sail.

The new section will not track Israeli leftist organizations such as Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch, which regularly criticize the IDF and government policies, and will not engage in active investigations or summon interrogees to Israel.

Instead, the division will be responsible for collecting information and continuously supervising the organizations, while conducting passive investigations.

A recent bill urging the creation of a committee to probe the funding sources of leftist organizations was rejected by the Knesset plenum after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Likud members the freedom of vote.

The initiators of the bill claimed that certain Israeli organizations were cooperating with international coalitions aiming to undermine the legitimacy of the IDF and encourage draft-dodging while branding IDF soldiers and commanders as war criminals.

(www.ynetnews.com / 24.04.2011)

Marokkanen wijzen voorstellen koning af tijdens protestactie

In Marokko vindt voor de derde keer een grote protestactie plaats in verschillende steden. De manifestanten wijzen hiermee de voorstellen van koning Mohammed VI voor een grondwetswijziging af en uiten tevens hun ontevredenheid over de berichtgeving in Marokkaanse media. Ook in Europese steden vinden solidariteitsacties plaats.

Na het voorstel van koning Mohammed VI voor een grondwetswijziging waarbij hij een deel van zijn macht zou verminderen en het Berbers naast het Arabisch als officiële taal van Marokko zou instellen, komen Marokkanen vandaag opnieuw op straat voor een nationale demonstratie. Sinds 20 februari hielden burgers elke week een actie om meer democratie en gerechtigheid te eisen. Deze protestactie was het een intiatief van de Berberbeweging, maar uiteindelijk besloten zowel de 20februari-beweging als de linkse en islamistische bewegingen om ook deel te nemen.

Volgens de organisatoren waren er zondag in Casablanca 35 000 manifestanten. Reuters berichtte over 10 000 mensen. Behalve Casablanca behoren ook Marrakesh en Rabat tot de steden waar manifestanten slogans scanderen gericht tegen ministers, de politie, veiligheidsdiensten, de elite en de Marokkaanse media. Die laatste worden ervan beschuldigd het aantal manifestanten bij de vorige grote demonstaties op 20 februari en 20 maart te minimaliseren. Donderdag slaagden leden van de 20februari-beweging er in om tijdens een live-uitzending op de Marokkaanse staatstelevisie banners te tonen met een oproep om deel te nemen aan het protest op zondag.

In Amsterdam en bij de Marokkaanse ambassade in Brussel houden Marokkanen een solidariteitsactie. Fatima, één van de Marokkanen in Nederland die mee doet met een actie in Amsterdam gebruikt Marokkaanse webblogs en sociale media als alternatieve nieuwsbron. ‘De Marokkaanse staatstelevisie vertegenwoordigt niet de Marokkaanse bevolking maar is een spreekbuis van de staat’, aldus Fatima. In Brussel uit Nordine Saidi, woordvoerder van de partij Egalité zijn solidariteit met de burgers in Marokko. ‘Ook al verwacht ik niet veel mensen, als er vijftien opdagen is dat een succes’, vertelt hij voor het begin van de actie aan de telefoon. ‘De vorige keren was er opvallend veel jeugd aanwezig en dat was op zich al een overwinning.’

‘Marokko is de koning’

Nordine Saidi vindt de voorstellen van de koning niet voldoende. ‘De koning heeft niet gezegd dat Marokko in een slechte toestand verkeert.  Met de wijziging die hij voorstelt zal er niets veranderen. Artikels 19 en 23 van de grondwet blijven intact en daarmee heeft hij nog teveel macht’, aldus Saidi.

Terwijl de meeste demonstranten in Marokko de koning niet aanwijzen als schuldige voor de problemen van het land maar wel eisen dat hij meer macht afstaat, benoemt Saidi de koning wel uitdrukkelijk als een probleem: ‘Marokko is de koning, de wet is de koning en het rechtssysteem is de koning. Hij staat aan de top van het systeem en hij kan de zaken veranderen.’ Maar hij wil benadrukken dat hij niet protesteert uit haat. ‘Ik geef kritiek op Marokko omdat ik van dat land en haar volk hou.’

(www.mo.be  / 24.04.2011)

Gaza wordt in de steek gelaten: van Cairo tot Den Haag

14-1-2010
Een jaar na de aanvallen op Gaza togen 1400 Europeanen naar Egypte om te trachten om via dat land humanitaire hulp te bieden aan de Gazastrook. Voor de Nederlandse delegatie aan de zogeheten Freedom March liep de deelname uit op een regelrechte deceptie. Caïro werd het niet- gewenste eindstation. Ikram Jaballah was daarbij. 

beeld/2010/01/AhmadMeslehFlyingProtester.jpg - Flying protester

Het getal 1400 had een symbolische betekenis en verwees naar het aantal Palestijnse slachtoffers dat viel in de laatste oorlog.  Voor de Nederlandse activiste Ikram Jaballah was het de 2de maal dat zij werd gehinderd door de Egyptische autoriteiten in haar missie om hulp te bieden aan de Gazanen. Daar waar de eerste ervaring al als pijnlijk door haar werd ervaren, was haar 2de ervaring in haar optiek eentje die alle grenzen van het fatsoen overschreed. Extra pijnlijk vond ze, de nul op het rekest die Jaballah en haar reisgenoten kregen van de Nederlandse ambassade.

Jaballah ervoer deze 2de reis als extra indrukwekkend vanwege de confrontatie met de Egyptische autoriteiten. ‘Ik heb het geweld van de Egyptische autoriteiten letterlijk aan den lijve  “mogen” ervaren. De vorige keer werden gevoelens van frustraties en hoop binnenshuis gehouden. Nu waren er 1400 mensen -onder wie ik- op de been tijdens demonstraties waarbij velen van ons de harde hand van de Egyptische autoriteiten hebben gevoeld. Zo heb ik gezien hoe een vrouw op hardhandige wijze werd bejegend door de Egyptische politie en gezien hoe een journalist die de waarheid wilde vertellen op niet mis te verstane wijze werd afgevoerd.’

De Nederlandse ambassade
De Nederlandse met Marokkaanse roots had het helemaal gehad met  ‘politiestaat’ Egypte, maar de behandeling van de Nederlandse ambassade was voor haar een onverwachte, zwaar negatieve bijkomstigheid. Jaballah: ‘Het gesprek met de ambassadeur ging grotendeels over de politieke situatie van Gaza. Over Hamas en Fatah en over Hamas en Israël. Ik was daar persoonlijk niet in geïnteresseerd. Mij ging het er om, dat de Nederlandse ambassade groen licht zou geven en onze tocht zou faciliteren en ons bescherming zou bieden. Helaas bleef die hulp uit, omdat Nederland een pro-Israël houding aanneemt. Het faciliteren van onze tocht zou volgens de ambassadeur betekenen, dat de ambassade namens de regering een pro-Palestina houding zou aannemen en dat kan natuurlijk niet. Zelfs de vraag of hij dan op z’n minst iets kon zeggen in de trant van “het betreuren dat Nederlandse staatsburgers worden belemmerd in hun bewegingsvrijheid”, beantwoordde hij negatief. Hij moest dit eerst bespreken met Den Haag. Hij adviseerde ons om gewoon in Caïro te blijven en geen al te gekke dingen te doen. Als wij toch besloten om richting Al-Arish te vertrekken en zouden worden opgepakt, mochten wij hem uiteraard wel bellen.’

Gaza in een wurggreep
Jaballah houdt onder meer via MSN nauwgezet contact met inwoners van Gaza. Hoe ziet zij hun situatie, aan de hand van haar gesprekken met de Gazanen: ‘De huidige situatie is zeer schrijnend te noemen. Mensen hebben weinig water, het beetje water dat zij hebben, is grotendeels vervuild. Zij hebben met geluk slechts 7 tot 10 uur elektriciteit per dag. Ze zijn afhankelijk van Israëlische toevoer van stroom. Soms zitten ze 2 dagen zonder water en elektriciteit. Gas is zeer spaarzaam. Tienduizenden huizen zijn tijdens de invasie verwoest waarvan er maar een paar honderd zijn gerenoveerd. Mensen slapen nog steeds in tenten. Cement komt niet binnen, omdat dat wordt tegengehouden door Israël. Vrouwen hebben het zwaar, omdat zij hun kinderen moeten voeden en kleden, maar vaak niet weten hoe ze dat voor elkaar moeten krijgen. Hun mannen kunnen niet werken, omdat er geen werk is waardoor zij depressief geraken. Kinderen zijn getraumatiseerd door alles wat zij hebben gezien. Hulpgoederen komen niet of nauwelijks aan, medicatie is moeilijk te verkrijgen. Daarnaast zijn de prijzen voor allerlei producten door het tekort zeer hoog terwijl het inkomen zeer laag is. Naast al deze problemen is er ook nog de bouw van de stalen muur door Egypte. Gaza zit in een wurggreep, de mensen sterven een langzame en pijnlijke dood en de wereld kijkt stilzwijgend toe.’

‘No Hamas, No Fatah’
Ze vervolgt: ‘Gazanen hebben behoefte aan vrijheid. Zij willen net zoals de rest van de wereld in een vrij land wonen. Een land waarin zij zich veilig voelen, waarin zij handel kunnen drijven en voor zichzelf en hun gezin kunnen zorgen. De blokkade moet worden opgeheven en het land dat zo is verwoest door Israël moet opnieuw worden opgebouwd.  Zij vragen aan de wereld om hen niet te vergeten. Het leven van dieren in Europa is zelfs nog beter dan het leven van een Gazaan in Gaza . Zij roepen de regeringen en machthebbers op om op te staan en gerechtigheid een stem te geven. Gazanen zijn niet bezig met politiek bedrijven. Zij hebben het gevoel dat Hamas en Fatah andere belangen hebben dan zij. Zij zijn slechts bezig met overleven. Een Gazaanse jongen zei laatst tegen mij: No Hamas, No Fatah, Yes Palestine, opdat Palestina en haar volk wordt bevrijd!’

Media pro-Israël?
Een veelgehoord kritiekpunt naar de Nederlandse media toe is het pro-Israëlische standpunt dat ze zouden innemen. Hoe ziet Jaballah dat? ‘Nederlandse media zouden de misère waarin Gazanen verkeren meer onder de aandacht moeten brengen. Waarom? Om de waarheid te laten zien van wat zich daar afspeelt en zo ook meehelpen de publieke opinie te veranderen. Menigeen weet niet wat zich afspeelt in die gebieden. En als ze er zogezegd iets van afweten dan zijn het vaak pro-Israëische uitspraken. Die gedachtegang wordt voor het grootste gedeelte gevormd door wat “de media” laten zien. Er wordt zeer eenzijdig bericht alhoewel het de laatste tijd iets genuanceerder eraan toe gaat.
Helaas laten de “grote spelers” zich niet zien. Zij hebben andere prioriteiten en vinden het linken van een Somaliër die de Deense cartoonist (Kurt Westergaard, red.) wilde ombrengen aan Al-Qaida en moslimterrorisme veel belangrijker dan een bezetting en een blokkade van een land waar miljoenen mensen onder de armoedegrens leven. Terwijl het Internationaal Gerechtshof een aantal jaren geleden heeft geoordeeld dat bijvoorbeeld het bouwen van de muur, evenals de bouw van de nederzettingen, illegaal is en moet worden gesloopt. Het is de verantwoordelijkheid van “de media” om de waarheid van deze mensen te laten zien aan de rest van de wereld.’’

3x is scheepsrecht
Op de vraag of haar ‘Palestina-honger’ nu is gestild, antwoordt de activiste, die tevens columniste is voor de website Wijblijvenhier, resoluut: ‘Nee, en 3 maal is scheepsrecht zeggen we in dit land.’
Saillant detail is dat gelijktijdig met de Freedom March een ander konvooi,Viva Palestina, onder aanvoering van een Palestina-hardhitter en Brits MP George Galloway wel met ‘succes’’ de Gazastrook wist binnen te komen. Dit ging wel ten koste van het leven van een Egyptische grenswachter en 53 gewonden.

(www.stopdebezetting.com / 24.04.2011)

US weapons to Israel deter peace

Israel may be forgiven for failing to realize the current fiscal woes of the United States. After all, US military aid to Israel not only sailed unscathed through last week’s passage of the 2011 budget, but reached the record level of $3 billion.

The United States additionally provided Israel $415 million for procurement, research and development of joint US-Israeli missile defense projects, including $205 million to fund Israel’s newly-deployed Iron Dome system.

This anti-missile battery already has altered significantly the strategic balance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when Israel successfully shot down incoming rockets fired from the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

With the assured diplomatic backing of the United States to prevent Israel from being held accountable by the international community for its illegal blockade, the Iron Dome will embolden Israel to tighten its siege and escalate its attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip by providing its citizens with additional protection against retaliatory fire.

Washington’s funding of Iron Dome is but one example of many of how US weapons transfer to Israel privileged military dominance over Palestinian freedom and create perverse economic disincentives for Israel to defy US policy goals such as halting Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land, ending its collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and negotiating in good faith a lasting peace agreement.

As long as US weapons continue to flow, Israel will feel free to disregard Obama’s administration’s mild blandishments and half-hearted attempts to bring Israel to the negotiating table. Unfortunately this disincentive structure is set to be reinforced over the coming years.

Under a Bush-era agreement, US weapons transfers to Israel are scheduled to total $30 billion from 2009-2018, an annual average increase of 25 percent above previous levels. With this 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, the United States solidified Israel’s position as the largest recipient of US military aid this decade. In line with increases proposed under this arrangement, President Barack Obama asked for a record-breaking $3.075 billion of weapons for Israel in his 2012 budget request.

A new online database — “How Many Weapons to Israel?” — casts doubt on whether the United States can afford, either morally, financially or politically, to continue transferring weapons to Israel at taxpayers’ expense without examining the ramifications of this policy.

From 2000-2009, the US licensed, paid for, and delivered to Israel more than 670 million weapons and related equipment, valued at nearly $19 billion, through three main weapons transfer programs (Foreign Military Sales, Direct Commercial Sales, and Excess Defense Articles).

These weapons-transfer programs accounted for nearly 80 percent of the more than $24 billion in military aid appropriated to Israel during these years. The bulk of the remaining money was spent by Israel on its own domestic arms industry, a unique exemption written into law for Israel. All other countries receiving US military aid are required to spend the whole sum within the United States.

Military aid to Israel ran the gamut from the patently absurd — one used food steamer valued at $2,100 — to the lethal –93 F-16 fighter jets valued at a total of nearly $2.5 billion. With nearly 500 categories of weapons transferred to Israel, the United States is pervasively, intricately, and comprehensively involved in arming its military.

These weapons transfers also make the US deeply complicit in almost every action the Israeli military takes to entrench its illegal 43-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and the apartheid policies that underline its government’s stance toward Palestinians.

From September 2000 to December 2009 — roughly the same period during which the US transferred these 670 million weapons to Israel — the Israeli military killed at least 2,969 Palestinians, of whom 1,128 were children who took no part in hostilities, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

For example, Israel killed 446 unarmed Palestinians, including 149 children, with missiles fired from helicopters. The Pentagon classifies the number, types and value of missiles transferred to Israel. However, the United States gave Israel nearly 200 AH-64D Apache, Sikorsky CH-53 and Cobra helicopters from which at least some of these lethal missiles were fired.

It was likely one such US-supplied missile from a US-supplied helicopter that Israel fired in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on December 29 2008, which killed five sisters, Jawaher, 4, Dina, 7, Samar, 12, Ikram, 14, and 17-year-old Tahrir Baulusha during an attack on a nearby mosque.

Israel’s misuse of US weapons to commit human rights abuses like these against Palestinian civilians should trigger sanctions against Israel, rather than an increase in its military aid. The Arms Export Control Act limits the use of US weapons to “internal security” and “legitimate self-defense.”

Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip is defined by the US government as a foreign military occupation, and the killing of thousands of unarmed civilians in support of a military occupation cannot be justified as legitimate without distorting the meaning of self-defense.

In addition, the Foreign Assistance Act strictly prohibits US foreign assistance to any country that “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” The State Department’s recently-released 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices documents imply, if not comprehensively, Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians.

As Washington now considers raising the debt ceiling and making even more substantial cuts to the 2012 budget, the moral, financial and political costs of arming Israel can no longer be ignored.

If the Obama Administration is serious in its efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and genuine in its stated commitment to the universality of human rights, then it must utilize the significant leverage the US wields over Israel through its military aid program.

By terminating weapons transfers at least until Israel upholds its obligations under US and international law, ends its illegal military occupation of Palestinian land and negotiates in good faith a just and lasting peace with Palestinians, the US can create an incentive structure to achieve its frustrated policy goals.

(www.maannews.net / 24.04.2011)

Palestine on 24th of April

24/04/2011 22:07:52 Gaza group says factions talked in Cairo on truce with Israel
24/04/2011 22:07:33 Kuwait gives $180 million to Libyan rebels (AFP)
24/04/2011 21:38:57 Report: Settlers say tens of thousands sneak into Nablus tomb yearly
24/04/2011 20:57:09 5 injured by settler stones in northern West Bank
24/04/2011 12:02:19 Symbolic funerals for Vittorio Arrigoni held in Gaza, Ramallah
24/04/2011 12:01:09 Vittorio Arrigoni to be buried in Italy on Sunday
24/04/2011 11:11:57 48 Palestinians return to Gaza from Libya
24/04/2011 11:10:52 PA: Police questioned over Nablus shooting, none detained
24/04/2011 11:10:26 Palestinian Authority forms committee to investigate Nablus shooting
24/04/2011 11:08:55 Sole operating Gaza crossing opens for limited entry of goods
24/04/2011 08:52:27 Israel, PA open investigations into deadly Nablus shooting
24/04/2011 08:51:34 Settlers say Palestinian police fired on cars leaving Nablus
24/04/2011 08:49:42 PA security: Settlers entered Nablus without coordination
24/04/2011 08:48:06 Israeli settler shot dead in northern West Bank; 3 injured

Palestine: Humanity will triumph over barbarism

“Dear Mary,” wrote Italian justice activist Vittorio Arrigoni to a friend. “Do you (know who) will be on the boats?… I’m still in Gaza, waiting for you. I will be at the boat to greet you. Stay human. Vik.”

“Mary” is Mary Hughes Thompson, a dedicated activist who braved the high seas to break the Israeli siege on Gaza in 2008.

Vittorio Arrigoni, or Vik, was reportedly murdered by a fundamentalist group in Gaza a few hours after he was kidnapped on Thursday April 14. The killing was supposedly in retaliation for a Hamas crackdown on this group’s members. All who knew their victim will attest to the fact that he was an extraordinary person, a model of compassion, solidarity and humanity.

Arrigoni’s body was discovered in an abandoned house hours after he had been kidnapped. His murderers didn’t honour their own deadline of 30 hours. The group, known as the Tawhid and Jihad, is one of the fringe groups known in Gaza as the salafis. They resurface under different names and manifestations for specific, often bloody purposes.

The forensic report said that Arrigoni had been strangled. His friends said that he was tortured.

Arrigoni’s murder was an opportunity for Israel’s supporters. Most notorious among them was Daniel Pipes. He wrote, in a brief entry in the National Review Online, “Note the pattern of Palestinians who murder the groupies and apologists who join them to aid in their dream of eliminating Israel.”

Pipes named three individuals, including the Palestinian-Israeli film-maker Juliano Mer-Khamis and Arrigoni himself, and then proceeded to invite readers to “send in further examples that I may have missed.”

Pipes’s list, however, will have no space for such names as Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller, for these individuals were all murdered by Israeli forces. Pipes will also fail to mention the nine Turkish activists murdered aboard the Mavi Marmara ship on its way to break the siege on Gaza in May 2010, and the nine activists abroad Irene – the Jewish Boat to Gaza – who were intercepted, kidnapped and humiliated by Israeli troops before being deported outside the country in September 2010.

Reuben Moscowitz, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, was one of the activists aboard the Irene, as was Lillian Rosengarten, a US citizen “who fled the nazis as a child in Frankfurt,” according to a New York Times blog.

The people Pipes failed to mention represent a rainbow of humanity. Men and women of all ages, races and nationalities have stood and will continue to stand on the side of the Palestinians.

But this story is selectively ignored by pseudo-intellectuals intent on dismissing humanity to uphold Israel. They refuse to see the patterns in front of them because they are too busy concocting their own.

The group that murdered Arrigoni, like others of its kind, existed for one specific, violent episode before disappearing altogether. The mission in this case was to kill an International Solidarity Movement activist who had dedicated years of his life to Palestine. Shortly before he was kidnapped, Arrigoni wrote of the “criminal” Israeli siege on Gaza. He also mourned the four impoverished Palestinians who had died in a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border while hauling food and other goods.

Before his murder, Arrigoni was anticipating the arrival of another flotilla, carrying activists from 25 countries boarding 15 ships, that is scheduled to sail to Gaza in May. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told European representatives in Jerusalem that it would be in their mutual interests for the flotilla to be stopped.

Israeli officials are angry at the internationals who are “delegitimising” the state of Israel by standing in solidarity with the Palestinians. Arrigoni has done so much to harm the carefully fabricated image of Israel as an island of democracy and progress. Along with other activists, he has shattered this myth through simple means of communication.

Vik signed his messages “Stay human.” His book, detailing his experiences in Gaza, was entitled Restiamo Umani (Let Us Remain Human). Thompson shared with me some the emails he sent her. “I can hardly bear to read them again,” she wrote.

This is an extract from one of them. “No matter how (we) will finish the mission … it will be a victory. For human rights, for freedom. If the siege will not (be) physically broken, it will break the siege of the indifference, the abandonment. And you know very well what this gesture is important for the people of Gaza.

“That said, obviously we are waiting at the port! With hundreds of Palestinians and ISM comrades we will come to meet you sailing, as was the first time, remember? All available boats will sail to Gaza to greet you. Sorry for my bad English…big hug…Stay Human. Yours, Vik.”

Vik’s killers failed to see his humanity. But many of us will always remember, and we will continue trying to stay human.

(www.morningstaronline.co.uk / 24.04.2011)

Israeli Genocide On Pesach

Zionist colonists celebrating Pesach and drinking wine on Palestinian roof

Welcome to the big unknown prison in the occupied city of Hebron, watch this short video which was recorded during the zionist colonists celebration of Pesach, the jewish Passover holiday where they also celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). Forty thousand Palestinians live in this prison for the crime of being Palestinians and owning the houses and the land. The life of the human beings in Hebron is hostage to the whims of zionist soldiers who originate in the USA or the EU, unknown armed dregs, pillagers who control the lives of the Palestinians in heart of my homeland, Hebron.

The israeli war criminal Ehud Barak who is always honored by the US government, the Pentagon and other serfs of zionism, is the criminal who issued the military orders to seal and block all roads and entrances to the inner city with iron gates and cement. The criminal left the keys of the metal doors of the city in the pockets of his riff-raff in uniform. Only these soldiers are allowed to open and to close the entrances of the city where the 40.000 Palestinians live. The soldiers close and open the doors according to the instructions of the military headquarter, now led by the war criminal Guy Hazut under command of Ehud Barak and the zionist organization, the so-called “state of israel” in Tel Aviv.

Certainly you have not heard before about human beings living in a city with closed streets, with cement walls and iron gates at all entrances, because this abnormal measure is a war crime, even the middle ages such criminal measures were unknown, but in Hebron they are implemented while US President Obama, who fawns before the war criminal Ehud Barak during his visits to the US, again and again, has not been telling Americans anything about this jail in Hebron while he send billions of US tax moneys to the zionist state.

I leave you to watch this small video made by Americans from CPT. The champion of the video is a little boy, “Yoseph”, of not even five years of age. In this film he symbolizes the suffering of the forty thousand Palestinians trapped inside their homes in the heart of Hebron. You will see its streets completely empty as if the city was not inhabited, as if it was a ghost town. This is GENOCIDE pure and simple, these are measures with the only purpose of destroying, impoverishing and slowly killing all Palestinians in hebron, and they are part of the daily life of every Palestinian, in Hebron and in other cities and towns where similar measures are implemented by the jewish invaders.

This image shows what the zionist colinsts did to the Palestinian market in Hebron

The video shows “Yusuf” when he tried to walk home from school on the first day of the jewish Pesach on April 20 2011, when the israeli occupation presence in Hebron was heightened. The checkpoints (the iron gates in front of Yusuf’s house and around it, which he usually passes whenever he steps out of the house) were closed, so the boy tried some alternate routes before making it home. Watch this video to see a glimpse of the daily life for school kids in Hebron, occupied West Bank.

Under the film you can read the CPT press release. Click on the picture below to see how riff-raff in uniform close the entrances of the city).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 24.04.2011)

Libya: western leaders call for Nato to assassinate Gaddafi

Senior western leaders called for Nato to adopt an assassination policy against Col Muammar Gaddafi to salvage the bombing campaign in Libya from a descent into stalemate.

The calls came as Col Gaddafi was reported to have strengthened his grip on power by repatriating billions of dollars in overseas assets that should have been frozen by UN sanctions.

On Sunday, there was growing pressure on Coalition forces to directly target Col Gaddafi with military strikes.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said that the quickest way to end the emerging stalemate was to “cut the head of the snake off”. He said: “The people around Gaddafi need to wake up every day wondering, ‘Will this be my last?’

Senator John McCain, who visited Libya at the weekend, also said that the Libyan dictator should be targeted but argued that it was more important to increase American firepower over Libya. He said: “It’s pretty obvious to me that the US has got to play a greater role on the air power side. Our Nato allies neither have the assets, nor frankly the will – there’s only six countries of the 28 in Nato that are actively engaged in this situation.”

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, also on Sunday refused to rule out using remote-controlled American drones to assassinate Col Gaddafi. Mr Hague said “who and what is a legitimate target depends on their behaviour.” However, he denied that there was a stalemate in Libya and ruled out proposals to partition the country.

Mr Hague said he was still hopeful about sanctions beginning to undermine the regime, despite the reports of Libya circumventing the UN-led financial crackdown.

The European Union and United States have barred access to more than $60 billion in Libyan bank accounts and funds but other nations have done little or nothing to prevent Col Gaddafi and his associates sustaining themselves.

Col Gaddafi has moved billions of dollars back to Tripoli since the rebellion began in mid-February, according to European, American and United Nations officials who spoke to the Los Angeles Times.

The full scale of sanctions-busting is unknown, partly because many investments in companies and financial institutions hide Col Gaddafi’s identity.

Libya’s circumvent of the sanctions has complicated Nato’s efforts to end Col Gaddafi’s four decades in power. His ability to siphon off cash has also hampered attempts to persuade his advisers and military commanders to flee.

Officials said the case was a cautionary one about the limits of sanctions and could be compared with Saddam Hussein’s success at getting around international sanctions in the years before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Kenya and Turkey are among the countries with strong economic ties to Libya that have resisted carrying out the freeze, mandated by UN Security Council resolutions in February and March. A number of other African countries have also been reluctant.

China, India and Russia, three of the world’s biggest economies, have resisted European and American attempts to expand the sanctions. They argue that such actions could damage their own industries.

A UN diplomat told the “Los Angeles Times” that “only a handful” of governments had reported back to the Security Council enforcement committee, which oversees the sanctions, that they had blocked access to Libyan assets.

“We’ve done pretty well,” the diplomat said. “But when you’re dealing with somebody as sophisticated as Gaddafi, with such sprawling commercial interests, this has been an uphill struggle…. It’s been hard.” Under UN rules, governments don’t have to report their efforts to comply with sanctions until late June.

This four-month delay “is a major weak flank in the system”, the diplomat said, and Gaddafi “understands the system”.

(www.telegraph.co.uk / 24.04.2011)

Red Cross: No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” So states categorically Mathilde Redmatn, the deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.

“If you go to the supermarket, there are products,” she said, as reported on the IDF website. “There are restaurants and a nice beach.  The problem is mainly in maintenance of infrastructure and in access to certain goods such as concrete. Israel has the legitimate right to protect [its] civilian population, this right should be balanced with the right of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip.”

She acknowledged that Israel has eased its closure on Gaza and has partially lifted export bans.

“Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is against international law because it is directed at civilians,” the Red Cross official said. “We conduct confidential or bilateral dialogue with Hamas on the matter. As time passes, the dialogue also develops.”

She said that the Red Cross has also asked to meet with captive soldier Gilad Shalit: “When a person’s freedom is taken away, he deserves at least contact with his family. We will continue to ask but we do not have the capability to force anything on Hamas. Hamas’ refusal is based on security reasons. Hamas is afraid of the IDF’s advanced technological capabilities and believes that allowing contact will lead to the location of Gilad.”

(www.israelnationalnews.com  / 24.04.2011)

Israel opposes Palestinian Easter

Palestinian Christians of various denominations celebrated Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday) in the ‘Old City’ of al-Quds (Jerusalem) amid tight Israeli security measures this year.
Watch video here: http://bit.ly/hw1qLq

Tens of of thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world annually flood the city of al-Quds during Holy Week (the week preceding Easter,) to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, an ancient structure built over the spot Christians believe to be the tomb of Jesus Christ and one of the most sacred spots in Christendom.

This year, however, a heavy Israeli police presence has prevented the vast majority of Christian pilgrims, including West Bank-based Palestinian Christians, from reaching the church to pray and attend the ceremonies within, a Press TV correspondent reported on Saturday.

Palestinian Christians from the West Bank rarely make the pilgrimage to al-Quds because Israel does not allow them into the holy city.

Christian pilgrims anxious to reach the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were met instead by a phalanx of Israeli police check points — both at the gates of the Old City, and inside.

The Israeli checkpoints, manned by at least a thousand Israeli policemen, imposed even more restrictions than usual on the crowds of worshippers, preventing many of them from attending the ceremonies.

Israel has denied free access to holy places of worship to both Christians and Muslims, on several important occasions.

Holy Saturday follows Good Friday and precedes Easter Sunday. According to mainstream Christian beliefs, Holy Saturday commemorates the day when the body of Jesus was laid in the tomb, after his crucification and death on the preceding day, which is known as Good Friday. They maintain he was resurrected on Easter Sunday.

The Holy Saturday vigil culminates with the lighting of a taper kindled by the sacred fire — an eternal flame, which burns over an altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The priest’s taper is then used to light the thousands of individual candles held by the worshippers. The lighting of the taper symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The light from the sacred fire is then sent to Amman, Damascus, Beirut and capitals throughout Europe.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 24.04.2011)