Egyptian youth call for million-man marches to support Palestinians

A call for “million-man” marches in support of the Palestinians has been made by Egypt’s Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution. The first march, to be held in Alexandria on 13 May, will also demand the opening of the Egypt-Gaza border for food, medical and humanitarian aid; marchers will head for the Israeli Consulate in the city.

According to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk, the protests will put pressure on the Zionist state by demanding that the Egyptian government stops exporting natural gas to Israel, as the Israelis use it to produce military equipment used against Palestinians. The protesters will also call for a review of the Camp David accords to remove the inbuilt favouritism towards the Zionist state.

The youth coalition said that it will coordinate with various political groups to prepare a number of aid and medical convoys to be sent to Gaza. Care will be taken to ensure that the protests are peaceful, especially any which gravitate towards the Rafah border crossing.

There is a risk, said a spokesperson, of a confrontation between the Egyptian Army, which is protecting the national borders, and the revolutionaries. Such a confrontation would distract participants from their main objective, which is “to pressure the ruling regime in Egypt to take a decisive stance on the issue of exporting natural gas to Israel, which can be important in weakening Israeli military power”.

( / 29.04.2011)

Haniyya Demands PLO To Withdraw Its Recognition Of Israel

Prime Minister of the de Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyya, demanded the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to withdraw its recognition of Israel after Tel Aviv announced its rejection to Palestinian unity.

During talks with reporters following Friday prayers in Gaza, Haniyya said that “there is no need to recognize a country that denies the legitimate Palestinian rights”.

The Hamas leader added that “the presence of the Zionist entity on our land is illegal and cannot be recognized”.

He also downplayed the Israeli threats to foil Palestinian unity and what he called the “hysteria that that spread in Israel” after Fateh and Hamas movement signed a draft unity deal two days ago.

“We act in accordance to what serves our people”, Haniyya said, “We are not interested in what Israel thinks”.

Haniyya also stated that “genuine intentions among the factions and a positive atmosphere, are what ensures the success of reconciliation”.

Two days ago, Hamas and Fateh movements announced signing a draft unity deal that would end internal rifts and conflict. The deal is also meant to be the beginning of a new phase of national unity.

Israel and the United States were angered by the deal while a number of U.S. congress members called for stopping U.S. aid to the Palestinian government.

( / 29.04.2011)

738 Protester Still in Bahrain Prison, 312 Detainees Released

738 Protester Still in Bahrain Prison, 312 Detainees Released(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Bahraini government on Wednesday announced it released 312 of 1050 detainees, including inmates with health conditions and others who took part in anti-government protests.The Information Affairs Authority president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa made the remarks during a meeting with editor- in chiefs and senior media personnel.Bahrain News Agency said that during the meeting the official said authorities also arrested 23 doctors and 23 nurses and paramedics, who are being questioned and will stand on trial next week.

( / 29.04.2011)

PvdA had moslims moeten spreken over onverdoofd ritueel slachten

De PvdA in de Tweede Kamer had moslims moeten raadplegen voordat zij zich uitsprak voor een verbod op onverdoofd ritueel slachten. Dat is niet gebeurd. Dit terwijl moslims een belangrijk onderdeel van de achterban van de partij zijn.

Dat zei Yassin Elforkani, jongerenimam en woordvoerder over dit onderwerp van meerdere moslimorganisaties, vrijdagavond. Hij deed zijn uitspraken tijdens een debat over het dreigende verbod op onverdoofd ritueel slachten, in moskee Ar-Rahman in Hoofddorp. Daar waren zo’n 150 moslims op afgekomen.

‘De grootste verrassing is dat de PvdA, die wij allemaal hoog hebben zitten, daarachter staat’, aldus Elforkani. ‘Het kan niet zo zijn dat de PvdA, die meestal stemmen krijgt van moslims en andere minderheden, zo’n wetsvoorstel steunt zonder de achterban te raadplegen.’

De jongerenimam zei dat een verbod op onverdoofd ritueel slachten voor moslims ‘een groot probleem’ is. Volgens hem is de politiek met het onderwerp omgegaan ‘alsof men boodschappen aan het doen is, alsof het helemaal niet belangrijk is’.

Ook Gohdar Massom, PvdA-Statenlid in Noord-Holland, leverde kritiek op zijn Tweede Kamerfractie. ‘Ik heb alle begrip voor uw teleurstelling’, sprak hij de zaal toe. ‘U heeft de PvdA altijd geholpen. Maar u bent niet de enige die zich overvallen voelt. Ook binnen de PvdA voelt men zich overvallen.’

‘Ik ben tegen het voorstel’, zei Massom verder. ‘Ik vind vrijheid van religie heel belangrijk.’ Hij riep de Tweede Kamerfractie op om zich er sterk voor te maken een stemming over het onderwerp nog twee jaar uit te stellen.

PvdA-Tweede Kamerlid Tjeerd van Dekken zou aanvankelijk ook naar het debat komen, maar zag daar uiteindelijk toch vanaf. Dit leidde tot teleurstelling bij veel van de aanwezigen. Zo ook bij Tom Horn, fractievoorzitter van de PvdA in Haarlemmermeer. ‘Het is spijtig dat de landelijke politiek, en mijn partij in het bijzonder, niet aanwezig is.’

In de Tweede Kamer ontstond onlangs een meerderheid die af wil van de uitzondering in de wet waardoor joodse en islamitische slachters dieren zonder verdoving ritueel mogen slachten. Ook de PvdA steunt een voorstel hierover van de Partij voor de Dieren. Dit heeft de fractie de nodige kritiek opgeleverd. Eerder uitte de PvdA in Amsterdam bijvoorbeeld al haar ongenoegen.

( / 29.04.2011)

A circle Discussion on Arrigoni Murder ( By Yousef M. Al-Jammal )

The Center for Political and Development Studies held a circle discussion April 28 in Gaza on the murder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) Italian activist Vittorio Arigoni. The discussion began with a show along with the well-known national song “Anadikom” that Vik used to sing, shedding light on Arigoni’s solidarity with the Palestinian people that started 10 years ago and intensified in 2008 as he arrived to Gaza on the first vessel since 1967.

Dr. Mahmoud Alhirthani, the CPDS chairman, thanked the participants and gave them the chance to talk.

Silvia, an Italian activist, stressed that Vittorio has worked during the last 10 years for Palestinians and he was famous and well known all over Gaza. “His murder will not stop the International Solidarity Movement, and thousands of Italian activists are going to send a convoy to Gaza soon,” she said.

Dr. Asaad Abu Sharekh, a lecturer at Alazhar University, assured that extremism is not a phenomenon in Gaza. “I believe that Vittorio was killed by [the] Mossad that killed Juliano Mer Khamis weeks ago. They took a decision to stop the process of delegitimizing Israel and they did their best to liquidate the Palestinian cause,” said Abu Sharekh.

“The Mossad is behind the murder to tell the world that Gaza is full of extremists and there are no peace lovers,” he added. Abu Sharekh also stressed the fact that “Vittorio” comes from the Latin name Victorious. Thus, Vittorio decided to humanize life when others tried to animalize and dehumanize it. “Accordingly, he behaved according to the connotation and connotation of his name.”

“Vittorio was martyred for Palestine, the killers don’t belong to us and Palestine is a shrine for all freedom fighters like the holy City of Mecca” he assured. “His soul is hovering around us and he was a witness of Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians.”

“He took trouble to come here and stand by fishermen and farmers, paid to make life easier for other people and fought with us for a just tomorrow for our people. For this reason, he was haunted by US and European powers” said Mr. Ahmed Alhaj. He stressed that “the criminals are not Muslims and they use Islam to cover their crime. Western Powers intended to kill him and they have agents here and everywhere.”

Dr. Mosheer Amer, a lecturer at IUG and Media Discourse Analyst expressed his sadness for the loss of Vittorio, calling him “The son of Palestine who sacrificed his life for what he believed in.” Amer agreed that the Mossad is behind the murder for two reasons: to delay the second Flotilla and to cause problems to Hamas with other small groups in Gaza. “The Palestinian society has been very clear in defining the enemy (The Zionist enemy),” he said.

Ramy Almghari, a writer and a journalist based in Gaza, said, “ISM has been in Palestine long time ago. This could not be separated from the murder of Rachel Corrie. ISM activists are freedom fighters and they should not stop working with Palestinians hand by hand.”

“What happened was very shocking. He was fighting against the occupation. The loss of Vik was a tragedy for his family and Palestinians as well,” said Dr. Hani Albasous, CPDS vice chairman. “What happened was a crime that does not represent Gaza and meant to stop the international delegation and portray Gazans as extremists.”

“This will not happen. Gazans will have stronger relations with internationals. It will push many people to come to Gaza, particularly his family and friends,” he added.

Dr. Ayman Alhallaq, a lecturer at IUG in the Literary Criticism Department, stressed the importance of having writers who publish in English to reflect the Palestinian point of view, having our media in the West and providing channels for free, as well as having more social access to people to change public opinion there.

Commenting on Vittorio’s murder, he said, “The killers don’t belong to us and we are supposed to respect internationals. Those who did it are not Palestinians and Vittorio deserves all respect.”

(Facebook / 29.04.2011)

Demonstratie in solidariteit met de derde Palestijnse intifada.

zondag 15 mei · 12:00 – 15:00

Israëlische ambassade, Sterrewachtlaan 40 1180 Ukkel – Avenue de l’Observatoire 40 1180 Brussel (UCCLE)

Gemaakt door:

Het Palestijns volk roept op voor een volksopstand op 15 mei (de derde intifada). Als reactie daarop zullen er op hetzelfde moment in verschillende hoofdsteden van Europa, alsook in Brussel, demonstraties gehouden worden voor de ambassades uit solidariteit voor de Palestijnen. Zolang Israël het internationale recht niet respecteert wordt de uitwijzing van de Israëlische ambassadeur geëist.

Nodig al je vrienden uit op dit evenemen…t om duidelijk te maken aan het Palestijnse volk dat onze regering ons niet vertegenwoordigt, en dat we hen volledig steunen in hun strijd voor vrijheid.

Alle organisaties worden uitgenodigd om de demonstratie te ondersteunen. Stuur ons een bericht !

In response to the call of the Palestinian people for a popular uprising on May 15th, we will demonstrate outside the Israeli embassy in Brussels on the same day, to demand that the Israeli ambassador is expelled from Belgium, in light of Israel’s continued disregard for international law.

Please invite all your friends to this event. We must show the Palestinian people that our government does not represent us, and that we fully support them in their struggle for freedom.

All organisations are invited to support the demonstration. Please send us a message if you would like to do so.

Volunteer in Gaza with the ISM

The International Solidarity Movement is appealing for activists to join our team in the besieged Gaza Strip. We are hoping that this coming month’s Freedom Flotilla along with the Italian Stay Human convoy will bring an influx of activists into Gaza who will help carry on the important work that Vittorio Arrigoni was an essential part of before his death.

After being barred from Gaza in 2003 following the murders of Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008 when ISM and other volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first FreeGaza Movement boat. ISM has maintained a constant presence in Gaza since that time, for over two years of Israel’s crippling siege.

ISM volunteers refused to leave when Israel began bombing Gaza in December 2009. During the devastating 23-day assault, activists accompanied ambulances and provided vital testimony to the international media.

Daily life in Gaza is a harrowing struggle. Israel’s siege has made rebuilding bombed structures virtually impossible, and thousands of Gazans continue to live in tents. The siege deeply restricts Gaza’s food supply, but Israel also prohibits Gazans from producing their own food. In stark violation of international law, Israel enforces a three-nautical-mile fishing blockade. The Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ swallows up a third of Gaza’s farmland, which lies along the Israeli border. Farmers are routinely shot and killed simply for working their land well inside Gaza’s borders.

ISM Gaza volunteers accompany farmers and demonstrators in the ‘buffer zone’, as well as working to strengthen the link between Gazan students and the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit to watch videos and read reports by ISM Gaza.

As the international community becomes more critical of Israel’s policies, it is vital to have individuals on the ground that can attest to the conditions inside the open-air prison of Gaza. Their voices lend strength to efforts abroad, as BDS campaigns gain momentum and freedom flotillas become pandemic.

Those interested in joining the ISM Gaza team are required to attend a preliminary training in their home country and have communicate with the volunteers in Gaza prior to arrival. Entering Gaza is an arduous process that requires some time to be spent in Egypt.

Also recommended:
– Previous experience with organizing / activism, preferably in the Middle-East
– A historical understanding of the Palestine and some knowledge of the current political situation
– Arabic language skills
– respect for Palestinian traditions and values
– Ability to stay in Gaza for an extended period of time (over a month)

For more information about where to attend a preliminary training or other questions, please email

( 29.04.2011)

Libya: Nato intercepts boats laying mines outside Misurata

Nato warships have intercepted several boats laying anti-shipping mines outside the harbour of the Libyan city of Misurata, according to a senior military officer.

Libya: pro-Gaddafi forces cross into Tunisia

Tunisian army soldiers stand guard near overturned car which belongs to forces loyal to Gaddafi after clashes in Dehiba
Misurata has been under siege by forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi for several weeks and though rebels have managed to expel regime forces from the city itself, the enclave is isolated and remains dependent for much of its food and supplies on the sea link with the rebel capital Benghazi.

It appeared to be the first time sea mines have been used in the Libyan conflict.

“We have just seen Gaddafi forces floating anti-ship mines outside Misurata harbour today,” said British Brig. Rob Weighill, director of Nato operations in Libya.

“It again shows his complete disregard for international law and his willingness to attack humanitarian delivery efforts.

He added that Nato crews were disposing of the mines.

It has been a month since Nato assumed control of the US-led military operation in Libya.

Since then, alliance warplanes have conducted a total of 4,242 sorties and 1,766 strike sorties. In addition, a total of 19 Nato ships are patrolling the central Mediterranean.

Forces loyal to Gaddafi yesterday meanwhile for the first time crossed into neighbouring Tunisia and fought a gun battle with Tunisian troops in a frontier town as Libya’s conflict spilt beyond its borders.

Pro-Gaddafi forces shelled the town of Dehiba, damaging buildings and injuring at least one resident, and a group of them drove into the town in a truck, according to witnesses.

The Libyan government troops were pursuing anti-Gaddafi rebels from the restive Western Mountains region of Libya who fled into Tunisia in the past few days after Gaddafi forces overran the border post the rebels had earlier seized.

In response Tunisia summoned Libya’s ambassador to protest against the incursions.

“We summoned the Libyan envoy and gave him a strong protest … because we won’t tolerate any repetition of such violations … Tunisian soil is a red line and no one is allowed to breach it,” said Radhouane Nouicer, the deputy foreign minister.

( / 29.04.2011)