Arab Spring, Iran, America’s Autumn and Israel’s WMD

On the second morning of Autumn, AIPAC praised the efforts of Sens. Graham (R-SC), Lieberman (I-CT), Casey (D-PA), and 80 additional cosponsors, who passed resolution [SJ41] by 90 to 1, to affirm the “vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

The senators echoed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s nearly yearlong chant that the window for diplomacy is closing; but the senators also urged “increased economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran to come into full and sustained compliance with UN Security Council resolutions.”

Also this morning Reuters reported that a senior Iranian lawmaker accused the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog of passing confidential information about Iran’s nuclear activities to Israel.

Mr. Jahangirzadeh, a member of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, stated IAEA chief Yukiya Amano would be to blame if Iran cut ties with the body.

“Amano’s repeated trips to Tel Aviv and asking the Israeli officials’ views about Iran’s nuclear activities indicates that Iran’s nuclear information has been disclosed to the Zionist regime (Israel) and other enemies of the Islamic Republic.

“If the agency’s actions lead to Iran cutting cooperation with this international body, all responsibility will be with the IAEA director general.”

At a news conference last week in Tehran, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, indicated Tehran would withdraw from the NPT if attacked by Israel.

Iran’s parliament does not decide matters of foreign policy or national security; they are the province of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa, meaning a religious edict, saying that its nuclear development program is not intended to make a nuclear weapon.

 

On 17 April 2010, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement at a conference in Tehran on nuclear disarmament attended by sixty countries [America was not represented.]

He started that nuclear weaponry was “haram” meaning prohibited under Islam and reminded the world that the detonation of nuclear weapons by the US Government in Hiroshima and Nagasaki “created a human disaster of unprecedented proportions in history and exposed human security to a great threat, the global community has reached a unanimous agreement that it is necessary to completely destroy such weapons.

“The use of nuclear weapons resulted not only in large-scale killings and destruction, but also in indiscriminate massacre of people — military members and civilians, young and old, men and women. And its anti-human effects transcended political and geographic borders, even inflicting irreparable harm on future generations.

“Therefore, using or even threatening to use such weapons is a serious violation of the most basic rules of philanthropy and is a clear manifestation of war crimes.

“From a military and security perspective, after certain powers were armed with this anti-human weapon, there remained no doubt that victory in a nuclear war would be impossible and that engagement in such a war would be an unwise and anti-human act.

“However, despite these obvious ethical, intellectual, human, and even military realities, the strong and repeated urge by the global community to dispose of these weapons has been ignored by a small number of governments who have based their illusory security on global insecurity.

“The insistence of these governments on the possession and proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as increasing their destructive power — which are useless except for intimidation and massacre and a false sense of security based on pre-emptive power resulting from guaranteed annihilation of everyone — has led to an enduring nuclear nightmare in the world.

“Innumerable human and economic resources have been used in this irrational competition to give the superpowers the imaginary power to annihilate more than a thousand times their rivals as well as other inhabitants of the world including themselves. And it is due to this reason that this strategy has been known as pre-emption based on guaranteed mutual annihilation or insanity.

“The greatest violators of the NPT are the powers who have reneged on their obligation to dispose of nuclear weapons mentioned in Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. These powers have even surpassed other countries with respect to promoting nuclear weapons in the world. By providing the Zionist regime with nuclear weapons and supporting its policies, these powers play a direct role in promoting nuclear weapons which is against the obligations they have undertaken according to Article 1 of the NPT. These countries, headed by the bullying and aggressive US regime, have posed a serious threat to the Middle East region and the world.

“We believe that besides nuclear weapons, other types of weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons also pose a serious threat to humanity. The Iranian nation, which is itself a victim of chemical weapons, feels more than any other nation the danger that is caused by the production and stockpiling of such weapons and is prepared to make use of all its facilities to counter such threats.

“We consider the use of such weapons as haram (religiously forbidden) and believe that it is everyone’s duty to make efforts to secure humanity against this great disaster.” [1]

 

In 1987, Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu, wrote from Ashkelon Prison:

“No government, not even the most democratic, can force us to live under this threat. No state in the world can offer any kind of security against this menace of a nuclear holocaust, or guarantee to prevent it. This is why the citizens must confront their government and warn it that it has no right to expose them to this danger. Because, in effect, the citizens are being held hostage by their own government, just as if they have been hijacked and deprived of their freedom and threatened. When governments develop nuclear weapons they are violating the basic rights of their citizens, the basic right not to live under constant threat of annihilation.”

The Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory and Israel is not, gives members the right to enrich uranium for fuel reactors and use for medical research and other civilian uses.

Every single nuclear reactor around the world is a potential nuclear bomb factory.

The NPT doesn’t prohibit any NPT signatory or member of the International Atomic Energy Agency to build the components that would make a nuclear weapon if they were all put together.

American intelligence doesn’t agree with Israeli that Iran has achieved the technological breakthrough to make a nuclear weapon or missile launching technology, yet Netanyahu yaps persistently that Iran is only months away of such breakthroughs.

Last week, Egypt’s first democratically elected and former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Morsi spoke with The New York Times and cautioned if Washington expects Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, Washington must also live up to its own Camp David commitment for Palestinian self-rule.

Mr. Morsi, explained that “Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians.

When asked if he considered the United States an ally, Mr. Morsi retorted, “That depends on your definition of ally” but added he envisioned the two nations as “real friends.”

He praised Mr. Obama for moving “decisively and quickly” to support the Arab Spring revolutions. He believes that Americans supported “the right of the people of the region to enjoy the same freedoms that Americans have” and also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord.

That agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule and he stated, “As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled.”

The founding brothers of America were not conservatives or republicans but rebels, dissidents, visionaries and revolutionaries who essentially told the King of England to back off this homeland for we the people will NOT be an occupied people, but masters of our sovereignty-as should all people be!

The two greatest dangers to liberty meaning freedom is that the states would give up [or have it taken away] their powers to the Federal government; and the people would loose their liberties to either because of failing to seize rights as obligations and hold these truths to be self-evident:

“That all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among [people] deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the RIGHT of the people to ALTER or to ABOLISH it.” -The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 177

1. http://www.juancole.com/2010/04/khamenei-us-only-nuclear-criminal-for-hiroshima.html

(Eileen Fleming  / www.deliberation.info / 23.09.2012)

Mursi: Egypt-Israel peace depends on justice for Palestinians

Mursi: “As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled.”

CAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi told US media the country’s peace deal with Israel depends on fulfilling its commitments to Palestinians, in comments published on Sunday.

Speaking before traveling to New York for the UN General Assembly, Mursi said Washington needed to change its approach to the Arab world, show greater respect for its values and help build a Palestinian state to reduce pent up anger in the region, the newspaper said.

“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said in an interview with the New York Times, referring to Egypt’s US-brokered peace treaty with Israel that was signed in 1979.

Mursi, who travels to New York on Monday, is not scheduled to meet Obama during his US trip.When asked whether he thought of the United States as an ally, Mursi said: “That depends on your definition of ally.”

Egypt was a close ally of the United States under Hosni Mubarak, whose 30-year rule was ended by a popular uprising last year. The US government, a major aid donor to Egypt and long wary of Islamists, only opened formal contacts last year with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that propelled Mursi to power.

US President Barack Obama told a Spanish-language network this month that the United States did not consider Egypt’s Islamist government either an ally or an enemy.

The New York Times also said Mursi indicated Egypt would not be hostile to the West but would not be as compliant as Mubarak.

“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, referring – according to the newspaper – to backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians.

A spokesman for Mursi could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could a US embassy official.

Ahead of Mursi’s trip,Obama thanked the Egyptian president for securing the US Embassy during protests against a film made in the United States that mocked Prophet Muhammad and sparked worldwide demonstrations and violence.

In a letter, Obama repeated Washington’s condemnation of the film and said he looked forward to working with President Muhammad Mursi to build on the “strategic partnership”, Mursi’s official Facebook page said on Sunday.

“In his letter, President Obama thanked the Egyptian president for Egyptian efforts to secure the mission of the United States in Cairo,” according to the site.

Obama’s rival in the US presidential race, Mitt Romney, called for a tougher line with Egypt after protesters scaled the compound wall and tore down the US flag on Sept. 11.

Police clashed with demonstrators for four days after that incident and barriers were erected to stop them getting near the compound.

(www.maannews.net / 23.09.2012)

Israel and PA discuss Gaza offshore gas plans

Foreign ministry says talks held with Palestinian Authority over plan to develop gas field off coast of blockaded strip.

Egypt was formerly the supplier of 40 per cent of Israel’s natural gas imports
Israel has held discussions with the Palestinian Authority (PA) over plans to develop a gas field off the coast of the blockaded Gaza Strip, Israel’s foreign ministry said in a report.

Prepared for a gathering of donors to the PA in New York, the report released on Sunday said initial negotiations have begun on the controversial issue.

“Following an approach by the Palestinian Authority, Israel confirmed its intention to engage in a meaningful discussion with the aim of developing the Gaza Marine gas field,” the report said, according to the AFP news agency.

“In this context, official letters were submitted and meetings took place between Israeli representatives and the Palestinian leadership.

“These were followed by initial negotiations between the relevant parties regarding the development of the Gaza Marine gas field.”

The report did not say when or where discussions between the PA and Israel took place, nor does it mention if negotiations are ongoing.

Moving ahead

“We’re ready to move ahead on this,” an Israeli official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

“From our point of view this could be a big gain for the Palestinian Authority, and Israel’s willing to move ahead on this quickly,” he said.

As envisaged in the exploratory gas talks initiated by peace envoy Tony Blair, the PA would alone levy tariffs on any eventual revenues from private pumping in Gazan waters, though breakaway Hamas Islamists govern the coastal enclave.

Internal divisions among Palestinians have made the long sought after gas deal difficult.

Israel refuses to negotiate with Hamas, the movement which controls the Gaza Strip.

The PA, which is in charge of the West Bank, granted British Gas and the Consolidated Contractors Company group exploration rights in 1999, but Israeli objections and various disputes have held up development.

In 2007, British Gas ended negotiations with Israel on the sale of Gaza Marine gas to Israel, and subsequently closed its office in the country.

British Gas drilled two wells in the area in 2000, estimating resources at 1 trillion cubic feet.

It is unclear how sovereignty and financial disputes will be negotiated over waters off the Gaza Strip and a timetable for new drilling has not been announced.

Israel has been vigorously developing its own Mediterranean gas fields in a hope for energy independence partly spurred by political instability and pipeline sabotage in neighbouring Egypt, which once supplied 40 per cent of its gas.

(www.aljazeera.com / 23.09.2012)

notes on Palestine’s preventable water and food crises

*Gaza City life issues graffiti

Gaza is an ancient centre of habitation that has survived for 4,000 years, at various times in the face of marginalisation and destruction. Today it represents an essentially urban economy, isolated and kept alive through external funding, the illegal tunnel economy, and the ingenuity and persistence of its people.” –UN press release, Aug 2012

Water facts from the Aug 2012 UN report (Gaza in 2020: a livable place?) on the steady decimation of Gaza and its rapid plunge to being an (even more) “unlivable place”:

-Gaza’s coastal aquifer may become unusable by 2016 and damage to it irreversible by 2020

-With no perennial streams and low rainfall, Gaza relies almost completely on the underlying coastal aquifer, which is partly replenished by rainfall and runoff from the Hebron hills to the east (but Palestinian and international NGOs, as well as Palestinian farmers themselves, have said that the runoff from east of the caged Gaza Strip has for years been cut by Israeli wells and containment pools strategically placed to deprive the Strip of water replenishment)

-90 million litres of sewage is dumped into the sea every day: only 25% of waste water, or 30 million litres per day, is able to be treated and re-infiltrated for use in green areas and some forms of agriculture.

-Current abstraction of water from the aquifer, at an estimated 160 MCM (million cubic metres)per year to meet current overall demand, is well beyond that. As groundwater levels subsequently decline, sea water infiltrates from the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

-Salinity levels have thus risen well beyond guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO) for safe drinking water (the WHO reported 95% of Gaza’s fresh water was undrinkable). This pollution is compounded by contamination of the aquifer by nitrates from uncontrolled sewage…

-UNEP recommends ceasing abstraction immediately as it would otherwise take centuries for the aquifer to recover. Even with remedial action now to cease abstraction, the aquifer will take decades to recover. The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) expects demand for fresh water to grow to 260 MCM per year by 2020, an increase of some 60% over current levels of abstraction from the aquifer.

-Longer-term solutions to the challenges of clean water and sanitation for the people of Gaza include large-scale seawater desalination plant(s), completion of strategically placed treatment facilities, construction and rehabilitation of water and sewerage networks, the wholesale availability in homes, schools and health centres of water and sanitation systems, and a regime for the management of solid and medical waste that is able to cater for the needs of an urban population.

The water problem in Gaza is dire, at the least, but also throughout occupied Palestine the Zionist Occupation’s unfair policy of water usage by Israelis and denial to Palestinians is prevalent and dangerous:

Water in Palestine: Not a Scarcity but a Distribution Problem

Even though there is enough water to go around in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the discriminatory laws implemented on the ground by Israel mean that Palestinians are left with a trickle. According to the report “Troubled Waters: Palestinians denied fair access to water” published by Amnesty International in 2009, Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the OPT, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent. While average Palestinian daily water consumption barely reaches 70 litres a day per person, Israeli daily consumption is more than 300 litres per day. In some rural communities, like in the Jordan Valley, Palestinians survive on barely 20 litres per day and don’t have access to the water that flows in the pipes leading to Israeli settlements which are illegal under international law.

   

*Fishing trawlers just off the coast of Gaza, scouring sewage water for stock fish. Palestinian fishing trawlers used to delve as far as 20 nautical miles, or more, guaranteed under the Oslo accords. The Zionist navy now violently, unilaterally enforces a 3 mile limit by shooting on, shelling, water cannoning, and abducting Palestinian fishers, including children, from well within the illegally imposed 3 mile restriction.  The Zionist army does uses similar violent tactics to enforce their deadly unilateral no-go zone on Palestinian farmland.

*United Nations map of Gaza’s “off-limits” areas—areas unilaterally and violently rendered no-go areas by the Zionist Israeli navy and army

(ingaza.wordpress.com / 23.09.2012)

‘Ouderen moeten langdurige zorg zelf betalen’

Mensen die langdurig zorg nodig hebben, zouden de kosten voor huisvesting, welzijn en voedsel zelf moeten betalen. Ook als ze in een instelling wonen.

Dat staat in een voorlopig advies van een commissie van de Sociaal-Economische Raad (SER). De AWBZ, een verplichte collectieve verzekering tegen kosten van onverzekerbare medische risico’s en langdurige zorg, moet zich beperken tot de kosten van de zorg zelf.

Versneld advies door formatie

In verband met de kabinetsformatie wordt het advies versneld uitgebracht. De commissie doet ook andere voorstellen om de zorg betaalbaar, toegankelijk en van goede kwaliteit te houden.

Grens tussen lichte en zware zorg

Zo moet er in de ouderenzorg een onderscheid komen tussen lichte en zware zorg. Mensen zouden lichte vormen van persoonlijke verzorging en begeleiding zelf moeten betalen. Zwaardere vormen blijven collectief gefinancierd. De overheid moet de grens tussen lichte en zware zorg bepalen, aldus de SER-commissie onder leiding van oud-staatssecretaris Jet Bussemaker (Volksgezondheid).

Ook moeten patiënten zich bewuster worden van de zorgkosten. De maatregelen moeten voorkomen dat mensen een onnodig beroep op de zorg doen.

(www.rtl.nl / 23.09.2012)

Israeli forces confiscate livestock in Jordan Valley

TUBAS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces confiscated dozens of livestock in the northern Jordan Valley on Sunday, the local governor said.

Troops seized around 100 cows from Palestinians in Ein al-Hilweh and al-Maleh, Tubas governor Marwan Tubassi told Ma’an.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.

In August, the local council told Ma’an that forces had confiscated livestock from shepherds and farmers and imposed a fine of 15,000 NIS for them to be returned.

The villages lie in an area of Israeli control in the Tubas governorate.

In March, Bedouin village council head Aref Daraghmeh said that Israel’s Nature Authority was threatening Palestinian residents with fines of more than 5,000 shekels for picking tumbleweed in the area.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 23.09.2012)

Prisoners Safadi, al-Barq end months of hunger strike

People hold posters supporting hunger-striking prisoners in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail have halted their long-term hunger strikes expecting upcoming release, officials from the Palestinian prisoners society and Israeli prison officials said Sunday.

Society lawyer Jawad Bulus said he visited Samir al-Barq and Hasan Safadi, and they are both beginning to take food. Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed the two prisoners had ended their strike.

Samir al-Barq has spent 125 days on hunger strike. He remains in Israeli civilian hospital Assaf Harofeh and will soon be transferred to Ramle prison clinic, Bulus said.

Al-Barq ended his strike after learning Egypt and Israel had agreed he would be transferred for jail into exile in Egypt, Bulus said.

PA prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe said al-Barq would be freed within hours on Thursday, but Israeli prison spokeswoman Sivan Weizman denied his release was imminent.

Head of the prisoners society Qaddura Fares said both Israel and Egypt claim they are waiting for the other side to respond to confirm the final date and transit point in order to carry the deal through.

Al-Barq told Bulus if he is not freed to Egypt shortly he will resume his hunger strike and additionally refuse to take any liquids.

Another hunger-striker, Hassan Safadi, has been returned to Ramle prison clinic after he ended his strike due to Israel’s assurance he will be freed at the end of his current administrative detention term on Oct. 29, Bulus said.

Safadi has been on hunger strike for 95 days, and on Thursday prisoners group Addameer said he had refused to drink water for three days.

The Prisoners Society has also appealed to the Israeli High Court asking for Safadi to be released immediately.

(www.maannews.net / 23.09.2012)

Siemens denies selling any nuclear equipment to Iran

People walk down stairs in front of a building of Siemens Schweiz AG Building Technologies Group, a Swiss unit of German Siemens AG in the central Swiss town of Zug September 20, 2012. (Reuters)

People walk down stairs in front of a building of Siemens Schweiz AG Building Technologies Group, a Swiss unit of German Siemens AG in the central Swiss town of Zug September 20, 2012.

Siemens denied Sunday that it had sold any nuclear equipment to Iran, after a prominent Iranian lawmaker accused the German firm of selling the country gear that was laced with explosives.

The lawmaker, Aladin Borujerdi, who chairs the parliamentary national security and foreign policy commission, said Siemens had sold Iran equipment for its nuclear program that contained mini-explosives, Iranian media reported Sunday.

“Intelligence-security apparatus succeeded in discovering explosives in equipment which were provided to us for our nuclear activities,” Borujerdi said in an interview with parliament’s ICANA news website (www.icana.ir/NewsPage.aspx?NewsID=206727).

“The explosives were to blow up when activated to disrupt the whole system. Domestic experts nullified the plot of the enemy, however,” he was quoted as saying by ICANA.

“The company Siemens, which provided this equipment, must answer for its action,” he said.

Siemens spokesman Alexander Machowetz categorically denied the charge, telling AFP: “Siemens maintains no business dealings in connection to the Iranian nuclear program and delivers no equipment to this end.”

Iran’s Press TV carried the story on its website, but no other state media reported on the claim.

Iran often alleges sabotage attempts by Western or Israeli intelligence services, but provides little in the way of evidence.

The Islamic republic, however, has suffered the assassination of four of its nuclear scientists in the past two years, attacks it has blamed on Israel, the United States and Britain.

It has also been targeted by sophisticated computer viruses, such as Stuxnet and Flame, that have spied on its activities or wiped out data related to its controversial nuclear program.

Tehran maintains the program is for peaceful purposes, but Western powers accuse it of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

(english.alarabiya.net / 23.09.2012)

Freedom to Syrian Fighter Mohammad Kara Damour

Freedom to Syrian Fighter Mohammad Kara Damour

He is a great,young man who has devoted his life to serving people and helping those who are in need. He tried everything within his power in order to do good and contribute to the development of his country and the progress of his people selflessly without expecting any kind of reward; not even a word of encouragement. He volunteered in several initiatives and several charities. Perhaps the most important are:Safety Initiative,Empowerment of women and children,The Association of Aleppo,Society for Education and Literacy,The Association of Charity,The Association of Future,Islamic charity.He was arrested for his involvement in saving victims and he had his car taken!He has been moved to a number of security services, including a service for criminal, military and air security in the city of Aleppo, and to the Damascus Service 248, at a Ohhdha torture place.

Why this is important

We are very afraid for his life and we do not know his fate because the above sections deny his existence and they refuse to give any information about him.
We demand freedom for activist Muhammad Kara Damour, a person who had a big heart and fought for goodness and righteousness and we also ask for everyone’s right to freedom and peaceful coexistence.

We call upon international organizations and the humanitarian community to assist in finding Mohammed and his liberation from detention. We ask for his safe return to his family and friends, God willing.
Mohammed Kara Damour needs us … Freedom to Syrian people and Humanity … Freedom to Mohammed.

(www.avaaz.org / 23.09.2012)

Palestinian olive farmers once more under threat


Back in May, Ann Davison wrote a blog about the orders that Palestinian farmers in Deir Istya had received from the Israeli authorities to uproot their olive trees. Many of you signed apetition set up by the International Women’s Peace Service which is based in the village and is monitoring the situation. The farmers went to court to appeal against these orders and managed to secure a suspension until further notice.

Unfortunately notice has now been given and the suspension expires today (Wednesday 19 September) and in addition, orders to uproot trees were posted in a further four olive groves in the same area towards the end of last month. Just weeks from harvest time and not for the first time this year, Fairtrade olive farmers, including Riziq Abu Nasser who was here during Fairtrade Fortnight 2012, are living in fear of losing their livelihoods.

Earlier this year, I was in Palestine for a few weeks visiting farmers, including Riziq, who told me all about the problems he and the others in his cooperative face on a day to day basis. As in so many areas of Palestine, the uprooting of olive trees (some of which are 2,000 years old) has been a huge problem in Deir Istya, a village of around 4,000 people southwest of Nablus. Together we visited the fields and I saw the stumps of olive trees that had been chopped down by the Israeli Army.

Many of these olive trees were in the Wadi Qana – a lush and fertile valley close to Deir Istya. The valley is rich in groundwater and planted with olive and citrus trees with most of the land here belonging to farmers who live in Deir Istya. The Israeli Occupation Forces declared it a nature reserve in 1982 meaning that Palestinians who have land here are subject to further restrictions, such as not using machinery. However, in contrast to this, sewage and waste water from the settlements have been disposed of in the valley and in the past farmers with trees there have been unable to sell their olives because of the contamination.

The mayor of Deir Istya, Nazmi Sulman, told me about numerous barriers to Palestinian olive famers including land confiscation, the building of illegal settlements and depriving Palestinians of access to their land. Many people in the region rely on agriculture for a living and the economic and social impact on families in the village is huge.

Every day is a struggle for the people of Deir Istya, but today in particular, these farmers face a severe threat to their livelihoods. Palestinians and international solidarity volunteers will be in the fields today to see what action the Israeli authorities take and to defend their trees against the bulldozers – please sign this petition to demonstrate your solidarity with them and to try and prevent the destruction of their trees.

(fairtradeblog.tumblr.com / 23.09.2012)