Kuwait increases contribution to UNRWA

UNITED NATIONS: Kuwait, bent on maintaining financial support for the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, increased its annual contribution to it from $1.5 million to $2 million this year, affirmed a diplomat of the Gulf State.

Kuwait joined the consultative committee of the UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, this year, and increased its annual financial aid in line with its strong advocacy of the just Palestinian cause and significance of the UN agency tasks, said Hassan Abulhassan, the Third Secretary of the Kuwaiti Mission at the UN, in an address
on behalf of the Kuwaiti delegation to the UN General Assembly’s Political Affairs and Decolonization Committee, held as part
of the UNGA 66th session, late on Thursday.

Abulhassan, who praised UNRWA General Commissioner Filippo Grandi and his staff for their devotion in the service, expressed
concern at Grandi’s report regarding financial difficulties in the agency. He called in this respect on the international community to continue aiding UNRWA so it could continue its humanitarian missions.

UNRWA deserves to be praised for enormous efforts it has exerted since its establishment in support of health, educational, social and humanitarian services for Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and the host countries, he said. State of Kuwait will continue to back the agency till settling question of the Palestinian refugees, he said, stressing on their right to return home on basis of the UNGA Resolution 194.

Abulhassan re-affirmed Kuwait’s solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest to attain their full rights, as stipulated by the relevant UN resolutions. He also urged Israel to abide by UN resolutions 242 and 338, principle of swapping territories for peace and the road map that all call for Israel’s withdrawal from the territories it has occupied since 1967 to pave way for establishment of the independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israeli forces’ continuing destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure, killing and maltreating unarmed Palestinians have worsened the bad conditions in the occupied territories. Moreover, he said, the Israeli siege that has been imposed on Gaza since four years ago has resulted in deterioration of health services and aggravated psychological suffering among the natives, who have been deprived of freedom of movement.

UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some five million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The international agency is the main provider of basic services, education, health, relief and social services to the refugees.

(www.kuwaittimes.net / 04.11.2011)

News of Palestine 04.11.2011

No word re Irish rugby star Trevor Hogan since this txt “Kidnapped, being held against our will. Boat nearly destroyed by Israeli army..”

Journalists held as Israeli navy boards Gaza peace flotilla | Media

in pic NOW: American Citizens Occupy Israeli embassy for #FreedomWaves flotilla solidarity march. #OWS @OccupyWallSt

pic.twitter.com/98BIMTxs

RT @PALWaves Israeli police say @Majdkayyal has been released from Israeli detention over 10 minutes ago. #FreedomWaves

From prison, @alaa blogs that we was offered an instant release if he stopped criticizing Tantawi; he refused

Writers are currently detained by Israel –> Keeping the @CanadaBoatGaza‘s promise: Freedom Waves are just beginning

RT @bangpound ACTION IN PROGRESS: Activists occupy the Israeli consulate in Boston. Follow @kade_ellis for updates. #FreedomWaves

Immigration Authority: 4 flotilla activists taken to hearing prior to deport…

FREE all #FreedomWaves participants immediately!!

RT @theIMEU: Israel’s Siege of Gaza and Humanitarian Flotillas – Legal Background http://bit.ly/siuyCu #rights #Palestine via @twttimes

France says it will abstain from UN Security Council vote on Palestinian

Israeli Navy boards Gaza protest boats

In the West Bank, a woman’s struggle for change

Father of Scottish journalist abducted aboard #Gaza #flotilla fears for his son: http://ow.ly/7jBd1 #FreedomWaves

Article written by two #FreedomWaves delegates currently detained by Israel http://www.straight.com/article-524346/vancouver/keeping-canadian-boat-gazas-promise-freedom-waves-are-just-beginning #cdnpoli #p2ca #Canada4Gaza

Bahrain security forces clash with protesters

Tear gas and armoured vehicles used to disperse protesters after funeral of father of opposition leader.

Security forces in Bahrain have used tear gas and armoured vehicles to drive back hundreds of protesters advancing toward a heavily guarded square that was once the center of pro-reform demonstrations in the Gulf nation.

Witnesses said hundreds of demonstrators marched to Pearl Square in Bahrain’s capital Manama after a funeral procession on Friday morning for the 78-year-old father of an opposition leader.

According to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Ali Hasan al-Dehi was beaten to death by riot police on Wednesday while returning to his home in the village of Dehi. Opposition groups claim he died as a result of his alleged treatment by police.

The United States, whose Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, called on all sides to exercise restraint. It urged the government to be fully transparent in the investigation of what happened to al-Dehi.

“We, the US, would encourage full transparency as this case proceeds and we obviously call on everybody to exercise restraint,” Victoria Nuland, a US state department spokeswoman, said in Washington.

“It is a fragile time in Bahrain as all sides wait for the Bahraini independent commission of inquiry report.”

The head of the commission, which was set up to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Bahrain during months of unrest, on Monday was quoted as saying that he had found evidence of systematic torture.

But the Bahraini ministry of health denied the accusation, saying that al-Dehi had died from a heart attack after he fell unconscious at his home.

Al-Dehi was the father of Hussein al-Dehi, who is the deputy-head of the main Shia opposition group. Authorities said he died of natural causes.

After his funeral, hundreds of mainly Shia Bahrainis tried to make their way toward the former Pearl Roundabout – the site where anti-government protests first began.

With assistance from troops from other gulf countries, the government ended the protests with a violent crackdown that reportedly killed dozens.

Video and images uploaded on social media websites on Friday appeared to show police cars driving at protesters in several locations.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said the government had blocked roads to try to prevent people from attending the funeral ceremony.

Bahrain is hoping to conclude an arms deal with the United States but the purchase could hinge on the results of the commission investigating this year’s unrest and claims by Shias of abuse they suffered during martial law.

(www.aljazeera.com / 04.11.2011)

‘Eyewitness Gaza’ raises questions

Photographer Skip Schiel collaborated with filmmaker
Tom Jackson on the new short documentary “Eyewitness Gaza,” to be screened
Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Belfast Free Library.

Belfast — “Eyewitness Gaza,” a 50-minute film describing the daily lives of people in the violence-torn, occupied region of Gaza, part of the Palestinian state, will be shown Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St. This is the third feature of the fall third-Wednesday film series sponsored by the Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County.

Photographer Skip Schiel has taken hundreds of photos of the people and happenings in Gaza, especially those of its youth. How does the siege mentality harm the people of Gaza? How is the lack of day-to-day security affect their lives? How can the people in Gaza rebuild their lives, harmed so much by the policies of the Israeli government and military? And how might the Arab Spring influence what happens next in Gaza?

Filmmaker Tom Jackson of Portsmouth, N.H., will present his brand new film, describe how it was made and suggest some of the messages in it. The evening is free and open to the public, with donations appreciated. A discussion of the Palestine/Israel situation and the United States’ role in it will follow the film.

(waldo.villagesoup.com / 04.11.2011)

Keeping the Canadian Boat to Gaza’s promise: Freedom Waves are just beginning

November 4, 2011

By David Heap and Ehab Lotayef

A few months ago, the Greek government acted at the behest of Israel to help enforce its illegal and unjust blockade of Gaza. Freedom Flotilla II was blocked, and the closure of Gaza was extended all the way to the shores of Europe.

We promised then to look for other means and new opportunities to sail to Gaza. We promised not to be deterred by the heavy-handed ways that Israel maintains its blockade of Gaza. We promised to keep working, in memory of those who were massacred on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010, and in solidarity with the Palestinians who suffer brutality and deprivation every single day.

This week we have kept our promise, beginning the Freedom Waves to Gaza with a ‘surprise flotilla’ consisting of the Tahrir, a Canadian boat with international partners, and the Saoirse from Ireland. To keep our promise we had to remain silent about our specific plans, to avoid Israeli sabotage and political interference.

Whatever the Israeli Occupation Forces do to us, this flotilla marks the launching of the Freedom Waves. It is the continuation of many efforts over the years to bring the plight of Gaza and Palestine to the world’s attention. We will keep coming again and again, until the closure of Gaza is ended and Palestinians have been able to achieve liberation and justice.

No amount of violence, oppression and bullying can kill an idea and a cause whose time has come. And it is long past time already for liberation to come to Gaza and all of Palestine.

Everything we have done, since the very beginning of the flotilla movement, has been in response to the wishes and calls for solidarity by the Palestinian people.

Earlier this year, a number of civil society and popular organizations issued a statement to the world: “We the Palestinians of the besieged Gaza Strip, are calling on the world: enough inaction, enough discussion, enough waiting – the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip must end. While attention is focused on the Palestinian bid for statehood in the UN, do not forget that the blockade and the suffering continue in Gaza.”

We, as the Canadian Boat to Gaza, are determined to continue our solidarity efforts with the people suffering under blockade and occupation. Our own governments and the so-called ‘international community’ have failed Gaza and all of Palestine, and that is why we feel that we must act.

We are not the first flotilla, and we will not be the last. No matter the massacres, the threats, the harassments and the propaganda that Israel deploys, Freedom Waves will continue until the blockade of Gaza is lifted.

Whatever nonsensical lies Israel tries to tell, the whole world knows that this is a non-violent, people to people act of solidarity. Israel and its apologists fear us precisely because they know we are unarmed, or rather that we are armed only with medicine and letters of support.

There can be no justification for the way our boats were boarded and we were detained. The Tahrir was intercepted in international waters – this amounts to state piracy. Massive military might was deployed to attack our right to safe passage, denying the people of Palestine’s right to control their own borders.

We are now forcibly being held in Israel. What we are enduring – detention and the denial of our right to freely travel – is just a small taste of what Palestinians endure every day living under the blockade and occupation.

Expect us. Again and again. The Freedom Waves are just beginning.

David Heap and Ehab Lotayef are steering committee members of the Canadian Boat to Gaza, and are among the dozen delegates and journalists on board the Tahrir currently detained by Israel. Rallies are taking place across Canada today demanding their immediate safe release.

(www.straight.com / 04.11.2011)

An open letter from Anonymous to the Government of Israel.

  • Greetings government of Israel,
  • As the world has witnessed today your Navy soldiers boarded the vessels which were en-route to the Gaza Strip, attempting to break the illegal maritime security blockade placed by you to hurt the people of Gaza in the name of counter terrorism.
  • Two Irish-Canadian flotilla ships – Canadian Tahrir (Liberation), and the Irish Saoirse (Freedom) – with 27 passengers from nine countries on board were approaching Gaza in a peaceful and humanitarian mission. They were not inside Israeli territories, and are not carrying any weapons. These boats were captured by your navy exactly at 15:59 Gaza Time; the vessels were about 35 NM outside Gaza, which is INTERNATIONAL WATERS at the time of capture. This is a clear sign of piracy on the high seas. Furthermore, UN resolution 3005 states, that all resources (so also the sea) and natural wealth falls under the control of residents of Gaza.
  • Your actions are illegal, against democracy, human rights, international, and maritime laws. Justifying war, murder, illegal interception, and pirate-like activities under an illegal cover of defense will not go unnoticed by us or the people of the world.
  • We do not tolerate this kind of repeated offensive behavior against unarmed civilians. We along with 127 countries recognize Palestine as a state for people of Palestine and such acts by you and your military are acts of war against another sovereign nation.
  • If you continue blocking humanitarian vessels to Gaza or repeat the dreadful actions of May 31st, 2010 against any Gaza Freedom Flotillas then you will leave us no choice but to strike back. Again and again, until you stop.
  • We are Anonymous,
  • We are legion,
  • We do not forget,
  • We do not forgive,
  • Expect us.

(pastebin.com / 04.11.2011)

Israel to Upgrade Nuke Capabilities

The Planning and Beginning of the Nuclear Resreach Center of the Negev (NRCN), Israel, started in 1958 in this Building in 19 Rue Galvani in Paris 17eme, France

A report says Israel is seeking to beef up its nuclear weapons capabilities despite Tel Aviv’s repeated defiance  of international calls to join global non-proliferation treaties.

Israel is widely believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with over 300 nuclear warheads.

The Israeli regime has never denied or confirmed the existence of its nuclear arsenal as part of its long-held “nuclear ambiguity” policy.

Tel Aviv has rejected all global demands to join the  Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and refuses to allow the International  Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to monitor its nuclear  facilities.

The Tel Aviv regime is planning to extend the range of its Jericho  III land-to-land missiles, developing its inter-continental ballistic  missile (ICBM) capability, according to a report for the British  American Security Information Council (BASIC) published by The Guardian  on Monday.

Israel also has plans to expand the capabilities of its cruise  missiles designed to be launched from submarines. Tel Aviv currently has three submarines, with two more under construction in Germany.

Despite international objections to the Israeli program, the United  Nations and its nuclear regulatory agencies have never taken serious  steps to censure or impose sanctions on the Zionist regime.

(www.mathaba.net / 04.11.2011)

Israel arrests journalists aboard flotilla

Israeli soldiers board a humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza. (AP)

New York, November 4, 2011–Israeli forces arrested an unidentified number of journalists today after a group of soldiers boarded two humanitarian aid ships sailing toward Gaza and forced them to redirect to the Israeli port of Ashdod, according to news reports.

The flotilla sailed from Turkey on Wednesday, carrying US$30,000 worth of medical aid to the Gaza Strip, according to news reports. CPJ has confirmed the identities of at least three detained journalists: Lina Attallah, managing editor of the Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry al-Youm‘s English edition; Jihan Hafiz, correspondent for the U.S.-based syndicated broadcast program Democracy Now!; and Scottish journalist Hassan Ghani, who worksfor Iran’s Press TV. Al-Masry al-Youm said the ship’s 27 passengers will be handed over to Israeli police and immigration authorities.

“Israel must immediately disclose the names of all journalists aboard the ship and allow them to work freely,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Israel should also refrain from confiscating any journalistic material as it has done in past raids.”

In May 2010, Israel engaged in a raid in which they stormed a convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and arrested at least 20 journalists, confiscating their equipment and seizing and editing their footage of the raid, CPJ reported.

(www.cpj.org / 04.11.2011)

UK army chief secretly visits Tel Aviv

British military chief General Sir David Richards has secretly visited Tel Aviv earlier this week, the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post quoted the regime’s military sources as saying.

Richards who is Britain’s Chief of the Defense Staff reportedly held several meetings with the senior commanders of the Israeli regime’s army though there are no details on the subject of his talks.

He also visited the northern parts of the Israeli occupied territories at the regime’s borders with Lebanon.

The secret visit comes as Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are reportedly making efforts to rally enough support in the cabinet to launch a military attack on Iran though an Israeli minister has dismissed a conflict as imminent.

“This issue [of military attack on Iran] should be discussed by the cabinet and put to the vote. But this event has not been taking place yet,” said the minister, who is a member of the eight-member ‘intracabinet’ group opposed to an attack on Iran.

Moreover, after it emerged that Richards secretly met with Israel’s military and intelligence senior staff, Barak arrived in London on Wednesday to meet with Richards and Britain’s Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and National Security Adviser Sir Peter Ricketts.

The British media have also reported that Britain is developing plans for military action against Iran through deploying cruise missile-armed submarines and warships near the country’s waters to help a possible US strike.

This comes as it is widely believed that the media hype about an imminent attack on Iran is part of the psychological warfare over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Nevertheless, Iran has categorically announced that its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never been able to provide any evidence indicating that Iran’s nuclear activities are military oriented.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials have repeatedly pledged that any attack on the country will be costly to the aggressors.

(www.presstv.ir / 04.11.2011)

Israel intercepts Gaza-bound aid flotilla

Greek coastguards stand in front of Canadian boat “Tahrir” after forcing the Gaza-bound ship to return to the port of Agios Nikolaos, July 4, 2011.
Israeli naval vessels have intercepted a Gaza-bound international aid flotilla seeking to break the crippling blockade of the Palestinian territory.

According to a Press TV correspondent on-board one of the ships, the two vessels were shadowed by Israeli warplanes and naval vessels in international waters on Friday as they approached the besieged Gaza Strip.

Eight Israeli warships made radio contact with the ships, calling on them to change course towards Egypt or to turn around.

Israeli marines boarded the vessels about 50 nautical miles from Gaza after pro-Palestinian activists refused to turn back. There were no reports of violence.

Organizers had earlier said that ”those on board (the two aid vessels) have been instructed not to put up any resistance to the Israeli navy when it tries to intercept them”.

According to the Israeli military, the aid boats were towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, north-east of Gaza.

The mini aid flotilla, called Freedom Waves to Gaza, left the Turkish port city of Fethiye on Wednesday and was scheduled to reach the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The Canadian ship, Tahrir (Freedom), and the Irish ship, Saoirse (Freedom) are carrying 27 activists, including journalists and crewmembers, along with 30,000 dollars worth of medicine.

Activists on the Freedom Waves to Gaza are from Canada, Ireland, Egypt, US, and Australia. They say their international humanitarian mission is “to challenge Israel’s ongoing criminal blockade of the territory.”

Israeli has intercepted Gaze-bound aid flotillas before. On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring dozens of others.

Ankara-Tel Aviv relations soured following the attack. Israel refuses to apologize for the attack on the Turkish-flagged ship.

Turkey says relations between the two sides can only be restored if Tel Aviv apologizes for the attack, compensates the families of those killed and the injured, and lifts its deadly years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip.

(www.presstv.ir / 04.11.2011)