Palestine today 151111

The target in the 3rd airstrike (east) was a farm . #Gaza

Another explosion heard in east #Gaza city

r they bombing all Gaza ?! everyone is saying a bomb is thrown beside their area !!!! :S #PrayForGaza

drones – F16s- ANOTHER explosion!! #Gaza #northgaza #israel

BREAKING: Huge explosion just rocked #Gaza

i just heard an explosion! #F16 #Gaza

Confirmed: the sound was the impact of the rocket with the ground…but it didn’t explode #Gaza

the explosion targeted (again) As-Safina building (prev. intelligence building) in north west Gaza

Reports the #israeli warplanes targets site close to Al- Safina north-west #Gaza city

The explosion in north-west #Gaza city.

#NOW #Gaza Israeli warplanes being clearly heard following two huge explosions rocking north gaza #Israel

I didn’t hear the sound of the explosion….just feel the effect of the aftershock #Gaza

2 explosions in the middle of the night in this cold weather? you haramis

#Breaking: Israeli Drones over North of #Gaza

Destroying Palestinian Solar Plant

With international attention focusing on the Palestinian UN bid, the prisoner swap and the absurd US response to UNESCO accepting Palestine, a much smaller event but no less revealing has been largely overlooked: Israel wants to destroy a Spanish-sponsored solar power plant in the West Bank.

The solar plant is not particularly big — as far as solar plants go. This is nothing compared to China’s massive solar farms, but it does provide electricity for 40 Palestinian families, a school and a medical centre in a town called Emnaizel, south of Hebron in the West Bank.

The Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development helped cover the costs of around ¤300,000 and the Spanish association, Seba (Servicios Energeticos Basicos Autonomos), helped with the installation in 2009. Israel claims the trouble has to do with the location.

The solar panels in Emnaizel are located in Area C of the West Bank, which is off limits to Palestinian construction and under complete Israeli military control. Essentially no building permits are granted by Israel there and no connections are allowed with the rest of the West Bank. The repercussions here are significant for the inhabitants of Emnaizel — they will simply no longer
have access to electricity since they cannot connect with the Palestinian grid, being in Area C. But the implications reveal a more endemic strategy used by Israel. Why would Israel want to destroy a peaceful little solar plant?

Areas A, B and C are geographic denominations that emanate from the 1993 Oslo Accords. They were meant to be ‘interim’ steps that would pass over gradual authority and eventual sovereignty to the Palestinians in the West Bank. The problem is Israel has not let go.

Area A includes the main cities of the West Bank under full Palestinian authority — even though Israel would often make random incursions for security reasons. Area B is the land around the cities where security is ‘shared’ with Israel. Area C is the rest, indeed a majority of the West Bank.

Area C is where Jewish colonial growth occurs most predominantly. As part of this modern anomaly — for decolonisation in the rest of the world took place in the post-Second World War decades — this neo-colonial project intends to allow potential only for Jewish homes. As elsewhere in the West Bank, the strategy in the southern hills of Hebron therefore is to deny the local Palestinian population the opportunity to grow or in this case basic access to renewable energy, so that they go to the urban centres, and leave the lands open for Jewish colonists to cultivate.

In the best of all possible worlds, cultivating lands is a rather positive endeavour. Tilling the soil, sowing seeds, harvesting — all these activities common to agriculture — are potential sources of great cooperation between peoples, but also a source of conflict.

The destruction of Palestinian orchards — uprooting, burning or chopping down row after row of olive trees — is a malicious act of initiation almost carried out primarily by young Jewish colonists. Vandalism is quite common; what is uglier is the intention to destroy another person’s livelihood.

What is uglier still is when such intentions have been institutionalised to such a degree that they become banal and boring to most who do not understand what they represent in today’s world. It is embarrassing and shameful that Richard Goldstone saw it in Gaza but refuses to recognise the beast.

Goldstone claims there is no apartheid in Israel using circuitous arguments that Jews and Arabs do actually live together within Israel proper in relative peaceful relations — granted Arabs are treated as secondary, tertiary class citizens, but they can sit on the same bus as a Jew. In gross contradiction to his argument, Goldstone quotes the 1998 Rome statue on the definition of apartheid as existing when “committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

There should be no mistaking Israel’s intentions — anyone who has visited the occupied Palestinian territories can attest to this — Jewish neo-colonisation of Palestinian land is a remorseless and nasty beast that serves to conquer more territory for Israel. Spain needs to rally other European countries to stand together and denounce the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land and destruction of their projects. This solar power plant is a small but emblematic example of Israel’s recurring impunity regarding international law. Wasted European tax-payer euros are one thing, but worse is the systematic destruction of Palestinian projects and the institutionalised Israeli lie that this destruction is legal. As an Israeli spokesperson, Lior Hayat, said about the solar plant: “Israeli security forces only act within the law.”

All the laughable terrifying lies …

(palestinechronicle.com / 15.11.2011)

Official: Fatah, Hamas reach agreement on key issues

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Fatah and Hamas have agreed on several controversial issues as part of a reconciliation deal signed on May 4, a Fatah official said Monday.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a local radio station that details of the agreements would be released after a meeting set to take place in late November between President Abbas and Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal.

On Friday, the official PA news agency reported that Abbas and Mashaal would meet in Cairo in the last 10 days of November.

Al-Ahmad said both parties had agreed that elections will take place in May, although he stressed that certain conditions must be secured before a vote could take place.

The formation of a national unity government, restructuring the central election committee, creating an election court, and reforming the Palestinian security forces are all conditions which have to be met, he said.

The upcoming November meeting will discuss the status of the PLO, the future of the Palestinian Authority, the stalled peace process, upcoming elections and the nature of Palestinian resistance, al-Ahmad added.

The Fatah official said that he had secretly visited Cairo several times in preparation for the meeting between Fatah and Hamas leaders.

“It will be a meeting for reaching agreement, and not only for the sake of holding a meeting,” he said.

It will be the first meeting between Mashaal and Abbas since they signed a May deal in the Egyptian capital to end years of rivalry between Hamas and the president’s Fatah party that split Palestinians into separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.

The agreement set out a path for the creation of a transitional government of technocrats, but has yet to be fully implemented.

(www.maannews.net / 15.11.2011)

Scale of Control: Israel’s control over the Gaza Strip

Ever since disengagement in 2005, almost every discussion about Israel’s policy toward the Gaza Strip eventually raises the question: Does Israel still control Gaza? On one side of the argument, there are those who claim that Israel no longer controls Gaza and therefore no longer bears responsibility for what goes on in the Strip. On the other, there are those who believe Israel alone is responsible for the situation in Gaza because it continues to exercise full control over the Strip, even after the removal of its permanent military bases and settlements.

In our opinion, the truth is more complex and it lies somewhere in the middle. Israel continues to exercise control over significant aspects of life in the Gaza Strip, but it has relinquished control – and with it, responsibility – of other aspects. “Scale of Control” offers a legal framework for Israel’s responsibility in the Gaza Strip based on viewing the “end of occupation” as a process that takes place over time.

The first chapter of the position paper presents a brief review of the areas over which Israel continues to maintain control in Gaza. We have decided to publish the paper in a series of short posts on our blog with the hope that they will help facilitate an open and informed public discussion of Israel’s policy toward Gaza.

Areas of control:

Airspace »
Territorial waters »
Land crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel »
The land crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt »
The population registry »
The tax system »
Physical control of the Gaza Strip »
Control of civilian infrastructure »
Control over the Palestinian Authority and movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank »

(www.gazagateway.org / 15.11.2011)

Palestinian ‘freedom riders’ board Israeli bus to Jerusalem

(www.montrealgazette.com / 15.11.2011)
An Israeli border guard checks the ID of a Palestinian  activist riding an Israeli bus between a bus stop outside the West Bank Jewish  settlement of Migron, near Ramallah, and a checkpoint leading to Jerusalem.  Palestinian “Freedom Riders” reenacted US civil rights movement’s boarding of  segregated buses in the American south by riding Israeli settler buses to  Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM — Six Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday as they tried to enter  Jerusalem on an Israeli bus in a novel bid to protest what they call Israel’s  discriminatory policies in the West Bank.

The six activists, five men and one woman, said their protest was inspired by  the “Freedom Riders,” American civil rights activists who rode to the south in  the 1960s to carry out work against segregation and racial discrimination.

 

In what appears to be a first, they gathered at a West Bank bus stop by the  Psagot settlement and waited for an Israeli bus to pick them up, then tried to  enter Jerusalem.

Palestinians in the West Bank ordinarily require a special permit to enter  the Holy City, unlike Israeli settlers living in the territory who can reach  Jerusalem on Israeli buses that travel on Israeli-controlled roads.

Israel says this measure is necessary to prevent suicide bombers or other  would-be attackers from entering Jerusalem, but Palestinians accuse the Jewish  state of an “apartheid” regime that includes “segregated” bus and road systems,  open to settlers but not Palestinian West Bank residents.

“These buses and this whole system is discriminatory to Palestinians,” said  activist Fadi Quran, as he waited at the bus stop, surrounded by a scrum of  journalists and bemused Israeli settlers and soldiers.

Clutching a sign reading “We shall overcome,” he said the goal of the protest  was “to desegregate the whole West Bank.”

The protest presented an unusual scene — six Palestinians wearing  black-and-white chequered keffiyeh scarves and T-shirts emblazoned with  “freedom” and “justice” — surrounded by dozens of journalists and a few Israeli  commuters.

The first few buses simply refused to stop for the group, though it was  difficult to tell whether they drove on because of the media mosh-pit or to deny  the Palestinians service.

Eventually, after the arrival of border guards and police, who stood by  without intervening, a bus stopped and let the activists on.

Inside the coach, operated by the Egged public transport provider, a handful  of Israeli passengers looked on as the activists took their seats and unfurled a  Palestinian flag.

“They say they can’t ride the bus, but you see it’s not right because they  are in the bus now,” said 70-year-old Abraham, a Psagot resident who declined to  give his last name.

“If they don’t want trouble, why not let them? But if I want to go in a bus  in Beit Hanina (in Arab east Jerusalem), I will find a knife in my back,” he  added.

“We have to be careful, we have the experience of the bombs, the knives, the  terror. But if they are good, we like them, why not let them ride the bus?”

Other passengers avoided interacting with the activists, despite their  attempts to engage them, but grew increasingly annoyed as the coach reached the  Hizme checkpoint, where dozens of border guard and police officials were  waiting.

With the bus pulled over, the Israeli passengers got off, leaving the  activists to try to explain themselves to the police who got on.

“This is Palestinian land, not Israeli land, we are Palestinians going to  Jerusalem and we will not get off this bus,” Quran said, as police told him his  Palestinian identity card would not allow him entry.

“Why don’t you ask the settlers for a permit?” said activist Badie Dweik.

“I am the law, you are not the law,” one officer replied, giving the  activists a chance to walk off the bus, which they refused, before ordering them  forcibly removed.

Before the protest, the activists said they expected to be arrested, but  pledged the action would be repeated.

“We expect this to be the first of many waves,” activist Huwaida Arraf said.  “We have many more people who want to ride.”

Ex-voorman Mossad: ons grootste probleem is joods extremisme

Israëls grootste dreiging komt van binnenuit. Joods extremisme is gevaarlijker dan de nucleaire plannen van Iran. Dat zegt Efraim Halevy, voormalig leider van de geheime dienst Mossad.Ultra-orthodox extremisme zou de levens van Israëli hebben ‘verduisterd’. ‘De radicalisering van charediem-joden vormt een grotere bedreiging dan Ahmedinejad’, vertelde Halevy vorige week tijdens een toespraak. Charediem leven volgens strenge religieuze voorschriften. De mannen zijn te herkennen aan hun zwarte kleding en pijpenkrullen.

Lusten
In september trokken negen kadetten van de Israëlische officiersopleiding landelijke aandacht toen ze weigerden naar zingende vrouwen te luisteren. Vrouwelijk gezang zou bij mannen onreine lusten opwekken. Halevy staat niet alleen in zijn kritiek. De vroomheid van de charediem zou onderwerp van een maatschappelijk debat.

Ultra-orthodoxe joden zijn de laatste tijd regelmatig in het nieuws. Het hooggerechtshof besliste onlangs dat vrouwen tijdens busritten niet op de achterste banken hoeven te zitten. Ultra-orthodoxen houden geslachten in het openbaar graag apart.

Scheiding
Met name in de Jeruzalemse wijk Mea Shearim laten ze zich gelden. Tijdens het jaarlijkse loofhuttenfeest scheiden ze mannen van vrouwen door doeken op te hangen.

Winkels die niet aan de strengste religieuze voorschriften voldoen, lopen het risico vernield te worden. Vorige maand sloopten Sikrim-joden, een bijzonder radicale groep, een ijswinkel omdat het likken van ijs zou uitnodigen tot promiscuïteit.

(www.trouw.nl / 14.11.2011)

Yemen’s Saleh says ready to step down in 90 days

Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses a meeting of the ruling
General People’s Congress party leaders in Sanaa October 19, 2011.

 

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali
Abdullah Saleh said on Monday he was ready to step down within 90 days of
reaching a deal on a formal process for implementing a Gulf initiative aimed at
ending the nine-month-old crisis in his country.

Saleh, who has so far refused to sign the accord proposed by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council in April, told France’s Channel 24 television in an interview that he had given his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, authority to negotiate a deal with the opposition.

Asked when he would leave office, Saleh said: “When an agreement on the Gulf initiative is reached, and when it is signed, and (it is agreed) on the operational mechanism and when elections are held, the president will leave.”

Asked if there was a time frame for his departure, he said: “It is defined. It is within 90 days (of an agreement).”

“I have 33 years of experience in power and I know the difficulties, I know the negatives and positives. The one who clings to power is mad,” he said.

An opposition official said on Sunday that Saleh was trying to thwart a mission by U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar to implement the U.N.-backed Gulf initiative, by insisting on staying in office until new elections are held.

“Saleh wants to preserve all his powers until the election of a new president and that is rejected by the opposition and because of this the U.N. envoy’s mission is going to fail,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

Benomar urged all Yemeni factions on Monday to reach an agreement “to save the Yemeni people from the sufferings of the current crisis,” the Yemeni Defense Ministry’s website said.

“I am in nearly daily contact with all political sides in Yemen and efforts are continuing to reach a peaceful end to the crisis,” he added.

Under an “operational mechanism” proposed by Benomar, Saleh would step down immediately, triggering the formation of a national unity government ahead of early presidential elections. A body would be set up to restructure the armed forces.

Saleh said he had no objection to restructuring the armed forces, which split after the protests against his rule began in February. “Restructuring the army, I have no problem with that. The army belongs to the homeland and is not a personal property,” he said.

Saleh also slammed the Arab Spring protests, calling the demonstrations “Arab anarchy.”

He said support for these protests had come from a “small and weightless state” — an apparent reference to Qatar, a wealthy Gulf Arab state and home to the Al Jazeera satellite TV channel, which gave sympathetic coverage to the Arab Spring uprisings, particularly those in Libya and Syria.

(www.reuters.com / 14.11.2011)

Freedom Rides highlight the lack of Palestinian rights, and the unjust system attempting to keep it that way

Bill Fletcher Jr., Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies and past president of TransAfrica Forum, comments on tomorrow’s Freedom Rides in the West Bank:

When I first heard about the planned Freedom Rides scheduled for Tuesday, November 15th  to take place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories I realized that  this was a brilliant tactic. Much as with the Freedom Rides that were  used in the USA to dramatize the violence of Jim Crow segregation in the  South, and later the Immigrant Freedom Rides to dramatize the plight of  immigrants, the Palestinian Freedom Rides are about dramatizing  violence—the violence that the Palestinian people face every day as a  result of the Israeli Occupation.

In  my visit to Palestine this past June, the problem of transportation was  discussed in virtually every conversation. The limits on transportation  for Palestinians tell you virtually all that you need to know about the  racist Occupation. One graphic example is that there are different  license plates for Israeli settlers from those of the Palestinians. A  car with Palestinian plates cannot travel into Israel. And, in fact,  there are roads within Occupied Palestine, on which Palestinian vehicles  are prohibited. Another graphic example, which relates directly to the  matter of the Freedom Rides, was explained to me at a border crossing  where Palestinian workers were going into Israel for their jobs. I was  informed that once in Israel they had to ALREADY have their  transportation arranged. Naively I assumed that they could simply hop on  a bus and go to work. Not so fast, it turns out. The Israeli buses will  not stop to pick up Palestinian workers.

The  Palestinian Freedom Rides aim to dramatize that there is no freedom of  movement for Palestinians. They are a population suffering from an  on-going occupation that has become, as I have asserted previously, a  slow-motion annexation. Discriminatory transportation policies which  privilege the freedom of movement of Israelis, and Israeli settlers in  particular, are part of the low-intensity violence experienced by the  Palestinians on a daily basis aimed at further and further marginalizing  them until they feel forced to abandon their own land.

The  Freedom Rides conducted by African Americans in the USA, particularly  after World War II, brought the attention of the world onto Jim Crow  segregation. These were not only demonstrations for rights, but were  demonstrations to illustrate that the absence of rights was tied to a  regime of violence and oppression. To put it another way, Jim Crow  segregation was not solely or mainly the separation of African Americans  and whites, but instead was the violent separation  and subjugation of African Americans by a white supremacist system.  This is not a matter of semantics. Apologists for the Jim Crow South  attempt to portray it as simply a matter of social separation rather  than a system that aimed at dispossessing the African American, thereby  subverting any possibility at democracy. That this was to the advantage  of the white ruling elite in the South is critical to grasp, but it  cannot be overlooked that masses of whites, even contrary to their own  interests, allied themselves with this system of racial subordination.

The  Palestinian Freedom Riders are also displaying that the travesty of  transportation in the Occupied Territories is not simply a matter of  lack of rights. Instead it is illustrative of the manner in which the  larger Occupation system operates with the aim of suppressing the  Palestinian population in perpetuity. For this to work, not only the  Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories, but the Israeli population  within Israel proper have to decide that the system of racial violence  must be supported, if not reinforced. This is the challenge being thrown  down by the Palestinian Freedom Riders and in doing so they need  solidarity from those of us committed to global justice.

(mondoweiss.net / 14.11.2011)

Syria maintains international support

In the midst of hostility, Syria continues to receive international support

Amid an escalation of hostility, Damascus especially found confusing the statements of Arab leaders, Syria continues to receive the support of countries and polítical leaders. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, reported here, urged the opposition in Syria to abandon all ties with armed groups that are equipped from outside causing the authorities to respond to their acts of terror.

In this context, statements of concern appear from western states, such as the U.S. government, which called on armed groups not to surrender their weapons not endorsing a general amnesty decreed by President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia reiterates its support for the plan proposed by the Arab League (AL), accepted by Damascus to resolve the crisis, and a willingness for Damascus to take it over. For example, Russia details, was the decision on November 4 to release 553 prisoners, besides the general amnesty.

In the opinion of Moscow, the implementation of these measures and other Arab League initiatives pave the way for a constructive and tangible political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.

In this sense, opposition sectors were criticized for refusing dialogue proposed by the Arab League, which would help contribute to normalizing the situation in Syria, thus distancing themselves from the spirit of the Arab initiative.

The statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry comes after the secretary-general and under-secretary of the Arab League on Sunday affirmed that Syria did not comply with the agreement and called for a new meeting Saturday to review the issue.

Damascus criticized this attitude and wondered if it were not a power game being played by the centers of power in the West, serving the intention to intervene in Syria as they did in Libya.

Moscow knew that the Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, called a number of colleagues and leaders of international organizations to support the Arab initiative and allow the Syrians to move forward in solving their problems.

As the news spread by some Arab and Western media about acts of violence that have caused victims, particularly in Homs, Russia believes that it is a natural duty of the Syrian authorities to ensure the safety and rights of its citizens and the overall stability “against the vandalism of armed groups.

Speaking to the Syrian news agency, SANA, the general secretary of the Russian Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, condemned the provocations of the United States that encourage and stimulate acts of terrorism in Syria, such as their call to armed groups to reject the amnesty.

He also recalled that Washington and its allies who now besiege Syria are and have been the perpetrators and / or supported the brutal crimes against Libya, and warned that the only purpose of this campaign is to overthrow the Syrian government.

In turn, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recognized that Syria is being besieged by the West because it has been the bastion of Arab resistance, and therefore they create pretexts to push and interfere in Syria’s internal affairs.

Speaking to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Akhbar, relayed in the Syrian press, Ahmadinejad suggested that the Syrians be allowed to solve their problems through understanding and dialogue without foreign interference.

On the attempts of the United States to break the relationship between the countries he called the axle resistance, the Iranian president said that behind Washington’s maneuvers is their interest in rescuing and protecting the Zionist state.

(english.pravda.ru / 14.11.2011)