Israël bouwt huizen in Palestijnse buurt

De uitbreiding van een nederzetting op bezet gebied.

De Israëlische autoriteiten hebben toestemming gegeven voor de bouw van een nieuwe Joodse enclave in het hart van een Palestijnse buurt in het bezette Oost-Jeruzalem. Dat meldde de Israëlische televisie vandaag.

Het gaat om 14 woningen die worden gebouwd in de Arabische buurt Ras al-Amud. De autoriteiten van Jeruzalem keurden de bouw vandaag goed. De bouw van woningen in de bezette gebieden is een van de belangrijkste twistpunten in het conflict tussen Palestijnen en de staat Israël.

(www.parool.nl / 07.12.2011)

Human rights paper exposes Israeli violence against detained children

NAZARETH — Physicians for human rights (PHR)-Israel, Adalah center and Al-Mizan center for human rights issued a joint position paper against the extraction of false confessions under torture and extortion from Palestinian children and adolescents.

This position paper addresses the extreme vulnerability of Palestinian children to specific conditions and practices of detention, and the illegitimate and cruel interrogation methods to which they are subjected by Israeli soldiers and interrogators, which result in extortion and false confessions.

It also analyzes the legal framework as it applies to Palestinian children and adolescents, who are detained by the Israeli occupation forces.

The paper is based mainly on a psychiatric expert opinion written by Dr. Graciela Carmon, a psychiatrist and member of PHR-Israel’s board of directors, which was submitted to the military courts during legal proceedings in the case of a 14-year old Palestinian boy from the village of Nabi Saleh.

According to this paper, some 700 Palestinian children are detained by Israel each year, on average one or two per day. Palestinian children as young as the age of 12 are arrested, interrogated and put on trial in Israel’s military courts.

Based on testimonies provided by 40 children who were detained and sent to military courts in 2010, physical and verbal violence was used against them during detention in 70% of the cases.

Most violent incidents occurred during their presence in military jeeps or during their wait at a military base or a police station, where the children are made to wait for hours often blindfolded, with their hands painfully tied behind their backs with plastic cable ties, and deprived of food, drink, access to a toilet and sleep.

Interrogations of Palestinian children and adolescents by the Israeli occupation forces are, in most cases, conducted without the presence of their parents or a lawyer, and carried out by several regular police interrogators, not by special interrogators for children and adolescents.

The interrogators also use physical and verbal violence in a considerable number of cases, as well as deception and threats of harm against them and their family members.

The paper also noted that there is an almost absolute acceptance shared by almost all judges in Israel’s courts of the abusive conduct of the security and military forces towards Palestinian children and adolescents.

This situation constitutes a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law, including the UN convention on the rights of the child (CRC) of 1989, to which Israel is a state party, the paper underlined.

According to the CRC, the arrest of a child should be the last resort, and the best interest of the child should be the main consideration, the paper read.

(alethonews.wordpress.com / 07.12.2011)

Looking For a Moral Leader

door Fadi Zanayed op donderdag 17 februari 2011 om 17:35

This article was written on March 9, 2001.  It’s message is as relevant now as it was then.

By: Fadi Zanayed (Facebook)

As Palestinians, we lack a moral leader in the likes of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela or Mohandas Gandhi. And because we lack this type of moral leadership, our cause, although moral and just, has not been elevated into a global mass movement powerful enough to shed the injustice of the Israeli brutality, occupation and apartheid perpetrated against us. We need a moral leader

The nonviolent movements of King, Mandela and Gandhi exposed the inequality of the laws that subjugated the African-Americans, Black South Africans and the Indians to that of third class citizens. We need a Palestinian moral leader in the image of those great moral leaders who will present a picture to the world that will reveal the horrors of the Israeli occupation and by so doing finally shed the bondage that has dominated our lives and the lives of our ancestors for over 400 years.

Looking for a moral leader means that we accept peace. However, seeking the high moral ground and seeking peace does not mean that we should compromise our principles. We still demand an independent, democratic state with Jerusalem as its capital. We still demand the right of return for our refugees. We still demand the dismantling of the settlements. We still demand the release of our political prisoners.

There is a moral majority within the Palestinian community, in and outside of Palestine, which needs to be energized into speaking out for peace; to challenge the Israeli peace camp into joining forces; and to confront the right wing extremists on both sides of the conflict who have stolen the Middle East agenda. The need for a Palestinian moral leader is great and is needed more now then ever before.

While I believe that we have every right to resist occupation with all means at our disposal, including the right to throw rocks at the occupiers of Palestinian land, we need to discuss differ alternatives of resistance. One of those alternatives is to gain the moral high ground, to discuss ways and means of organizing nonviolent resistance activities to capture the minds of peace loving people everywhere much like the South African anti-apartheid movement did.

We need a moral leader who will march from Nablus to Khaleel (Hebron), defying the Israeli checkpoints in a nonviolent manner, just like the Salma to Montgomery Freedom March orchestrated by Dr. King to raise the issue of the right to vote for African-Americans; and just like the 230 mile (320 km) march in India to extract salt from the sea led by Gandhi to protest against the British government’s salt tax.

We need a moral leader who is willing to take risks, to galvanize the masses within Palestine, to speak up for peace and to call for nonviolent actions against the Israeli military occupation. We need a moral leader who will confront the Israel tanks with the moral courage of righteousness just like the famous picture of a very young Palestinian youth confronting an Israeli tank with nothing but a stone.

We need a moral leader.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claims wins in run-off votes

The Muslim Brotherhood has said its political party has won a majority of run-off contests in the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary election.

Official results are not expected until Thursday, but the Freedom and Justice Party said it had won 36 of the 56 seats awarded to individual candidates.

The Islamist group won almost 37% of the vote in earlier polling, which awarded seats according to party lists.

It was the first ballot since President Mubarak was ousted in February.

Voting in the remaining two-thirds of electoral districts is scheduled to take place later this month and in January 2012.

‘Rainbow coalition’

Under Egypt’s electoral system, two-thirds of the 498 elected seats in the lower house of parliament, the People’s Assembly, will be picked through proportional representation, using lists drawn up by parties.

The remainder are decided by a first-past-the-post-system, with individual candidates required to win more than 50% of the votes.

 ———————————————————————————————————————————

“Start Quote

We must live in harmony, not only with the military council, but with all of Egypt’s factions”

Mohammed BadieMuslim Brotherhood General Guide
———————————————————————————————————————————-

Only four seats were won outright in last week’s first round, leaving 52 to be decided in run-offs on Monday and Tuesday.

Twenty-four seats were contested by the FJP and the ultra-conservative Salafist al-Nour Party, which came second with 24% of the vote.

Al-Nour party spokesman Yousseri Hamed told the Associated Press that it had won at least five additional seats in the run-offs.

On Tuesday, the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide, Mohammed Badie, said the FJP would form a broad coalition if it won the elections.

“We will not rule Egypt alone. Parliament will include all the colours of the rainbow that must agree on one direction, one goal,” he told the private television station, al-Mehwar.

Mr Badie also said he would not seek to get into a power struggle with the ruling council over the government, which assumed the president’s powers after Mr Mubarak stood down.

“We must live in harmony, not only with the military council, but with all of Egypt’s factions, or else the conclusion is zero,” he added.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Egypt’s complicated vote

  • Three separate polls over coming months
  • Elections to 508-member People’s Assembly (lower house) – 28 Nov-10 Jan 2012
  • Elections to 270-strong Shura Council (upper house) – 29 Jan-11 March 2012
  • Presidential elections due mid-2012
  • Two-thirds of members for both houses elected by PR
  • One-third chosen by first-past-the-post system
  • Provinces divided into three groups, voting on different dates
  • More than 40 political parties compete, fielding more than 10,000 candidates
—————————————————————————————————————————-

The secular Egyptian Bloc came third in the first round with 13.4% of the vote, followed by the liberal Wafd Party with 7.1% and the moderate Islamist Wasat Party with 4.3%. The Revolution Continues, a group formed by youth activists behind the uprising that ousted Mr Mubarak in February, won 3.5%.

Many supporters of liberal and secular parties are concerned that Islamist parties, including the FJP and al-Nour, will have too much power in the next parliament, which will select a 100-member panel to draft a new constitution that will be put to a referendum before a presidential election in June.

Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri revealed the majority of the names in his new cabinet.

Many ministers were set to keep their portfolios, but Mumtaz al-Said was confirmed as the new finance minister, state television reported.

The new interior minister would be announced when the cabinet took the oath of office on Wednesday, it said.

Mr Ganzouri, 78, who served as prime minister under Mr Mubarak, was tasked with forming a government of “national salvation” after deadly clashes between protesters and security forces last month.

The prime minister also said the military council would issue a decree giving him more decision-making powers, “except those concerning the judiciary and armed forces”.

The military has been accused of trying to safeguard its interests from civilian oversight and slowing down the transfer to civilian rule.

(www.bbc.co.uk / 07.12.2011)

Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal, who tried to stifle The Electronic Intifada, sponsors ‘Internet freedom’ conference

The Dutch Foreign Minister, Uri Rosenthal, who attempted to stifle The Electronic Intifada last year by pressuring on one of its donors, and has directly threatened Dutch civil society for defying his pro-Israel policies, is now supposedly an advocate of “Internet freedom.”

The Conference on Internet Freedom (@ifreedom_2011) – sponsored by the Dutch government – tweeted “Min. Uri Rosenthal asks you to support cyber activists” andprovided a link to a Facebook page announcing the Dec 8-9 conference.

@ifreedom_2011
ifreedom_2011Min. Uri Rosenthal asks you to support cyber activists, visithttp://t.co/8ucmy0yu and join in #ifreedom.
Dec 07 via HootSuiteFavoriteRetweetReply

 

@minbuza
MinBuZaRosenthal roept in aanloop conferentie Freedom Online op 6 cyberactivisten/bloggers te steunen http://t.co/fd0zSnqj#ifreedom
Dec 07 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

“How can cyber dissidents be helped more effectively in both accessing the net and enjoying free speech online? What role can states and companies play?” a blurb for the conference on Facebook intriguingly asks.

Needless to say, no one from The Electronic Intifada has been invited since Rosenthal does not support our “free speech.”

Rosenthal publicly attacked The Electronic Intifada based on false claims from Israel

A year ago Rosenthal launched a public attack on The Electronic Intifada after NGO Monitor, an Israeli organization with ties to the government, military and extremist settler groups, published false and defamatory claims among other things that we routinely publish “anti-Semitic” materials.

Rosenthal’s intervention came because The Electronic Intifada received a grant from the Dutch civil society organization ICCO. Instead of contacting The Electronic Intifada to verify whether any of NGO Monitor’s accusations were true, Rosenthal acted as judge and jury and went on the attack publicly, telling The Jerusalem Post, “I will look into the matter personally. If it appears that the government-subsidized NGO ICCO does fund Electronic Intifada, it will have a serious problem with me.

Using financial intimidation to silence criticism of Israel and to control civil society

Rosenthal subsequently threatened ICCO because he viewed its support for The Electronic Intifada as defying his opinions. As the foreign ministry said at the time:

“Rosenthal considers this to be directly contrary to Dutch government policy and has urged ICCO to remedy the situation. ICCO claims that its support for the website is paid from private donations, but the minister dismissed this argument as disingenuous.”

Rosenthal also warned ICCO “that continuing activities that are in conflict with the government’s position could affect funding.”

ICCO rejected Rosenthal’s pressure.

Given his prominence as a government minister, and his promise to intervene in the funding decisions of a civil society organization, Rosenthal’s actions must be rightly viewed as an attempt at government censorship and control of public discourserelated to Israel’s human rights abuses, and interference in the media’s right – regardless of funding – to discuss them freely.

Many observers in The Netherlands viewed Rosenthal’s heavy-handed actions as a threat to democracy.

Putting Israel and trade before human rights

Under the current government, the Netherlands has embraced Israel ever more tightly, at the expense of any concern for human rights.

While Rosenthal is now posing as a champion of Internet freedom, he himself has stated that “you cannot always, constantly be concerned with human rights,” because sometimes trade and “security” are just more important.

(electronicintifada.net / 07.12.2011)

UN Resolution Demands That Israel Signs Up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Truth does not matter for “Israel”. Buttons Do. To mute.

UN Resolution demands that Israel signs up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the UN General Assembly has adopted two new resolutions submitted by Egypt regarding nuclear disarmament and the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

In a press statement issued by the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo, Amr Rushdie, it was said that the first resolution, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly, called on concerned parties to take urgent practical steps toward the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. It also calls on all countries which are still not signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to place all their nuclear activities under the Atomic Energy Agency’s monitoring and safeguard system. Such countries are also called upon to halt all nuclear development, production and testing, and bring an end to activities towards the acquisition of nuclear weapons and their storage, in the territories under their control.

The second resolution put forward by Egypt on behalf of the Arab bloc and adopted by an overwhelming majority of the General Assembly, warns of the dangers of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and stresses the need for Israel to sign up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also stresses the non-development, production or testing of any nuclear weapons in the region and demands that all nuclear facilities should be placed under the comprehensive safeguard system of the Atomic Energy Agency. The Resolution calls on the UN Secretary General to submit a report to the General Assembly on the extent of the implementation of this resolution, and further stipulates that the General Assembly continue to follow up on the issue.

This move by the UN General Assembly has been made just as reports have surfaced that “a US-based research institute will soon publish what it says is ‘indisputable’ evidence that Israel stole weapons-grade uranium for its still-undeclared atomic weapons programme from a nuclear reprocessing plant in western Pennsylvania”. It is claimed that the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) is due to release its findings on research which looked into the “disappearance of highly enriched uranium from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (Numec) in Apollo, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and 1960s.”

According to the Director of IRmep, Grant Smith, “there is no one smoking gun; there are many smoking pistols lying all over the place”. However, when Kristin Dailey of Lebanon’s Daily Star contacted Zalman Shapiro, the founder and former president of Numec, the 91-year old “strongly denied that any diversion of materials to Israel had ever taken place at the plant”.

Nevertheless, a retired commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said that if claims are true that the “isotopic signatures” of “uranium samples picked up by the CIA outside Israel’s nuclear installation in Dimona” are the same as material produced by the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in the US state of Ohio (which supplied Numec), such findings would be “very significant”.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 07.12.2011)

Gas canister lands at mosque amid clashes near Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces fired tear gas Wednesday afternoon near a mosque in Dura, near Hebron, locals said, after a clash erupted with stone-throwers earlier in the day.

Part of the gas canister burned carpets inside, preventing prayer.

Soldiers had taken over a still under contruction home in the same area hours earlier, and forbade workers from continuing their work. The soldiers then clashed with stone-throwers who gathered in the area.

(www.maannews.net / 07.12.2011)

South Africa official says support for Palestine firm

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — South Africa’s deputy minister of international relations and cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, stressed Wednesday his country’s unchanging position in support of the Palestinian cause.

South Africa stands beside the Palestinian people until they accomplish all their goals and aspirations, Ebrahim said during a meeting with a Palestinian delegation in Durban, officials said.

He told the delegation, at the COP 17 conference, that his country is committed to accomplishing internal Palestinian reconciliation. He says it will “support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people”.

The minister of environmental authority, Yousef Abu Safia, has informed the deputy minister with the latest efforts to end the internal division and achieve national reconciliation, the officials said.

Among the members of Palestine’s delegation at COP17 are Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour, ambassador to South Africa Ali Halima, and environmental minister Abu Safia.

(www.maannews.net / 07.12.2011)