Libya conflict: France air-dropped arms to rebels

France has air-dropped weapons to rebels fighting Col Muammar Gaddafi’s troops in Western Libya, the French military has confirmed.

Light arms and ammunition were sent to Berber tribal fighters in the Nafusa mountains in early June, it said.

Earlier, a report in Le Figaro newspaper said the arms included rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles.

France, a leading force in the Nato operation in Libya, did not inform its allies about the move, Le Figaro said.

“We began by dropping humanitarian aid: food, water and medical supplies,” said Col Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French general staff.

“During the operation, the situation for the civilians on the ground worsened. We dropped arms and means of self-defence, mainly ammunition,” he told AFP news agency.

He said the arms were “light infantry weapons of the rifle type”, dropped over a period of several days “so that civilians would not be massacred”.

UN resolutions

The BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris says the statement is likely to bring further criticism from the likes of Russia and China, who believe Nato and its allies have already gone beyond the remit of UN resolution 1973, which authorised international military action in Libya.

The US has argued that resolution 1973 allows countries to provide arms to rebels despite an earlier resolution – 1970 – that imposed an arms embargo on the whole of Libya.

Resolution 1973 authorises “all necessary measures” to protect civilians, “notwithstanding” the arms embargo in resolution 1970.

France played a prominent role in pushing for military intervention in Libya, and French and British planes have led the air strikes over the country that began in late March.

Qatar, which has supported the Nato-led operation in Libya, has been supplying arms to rebels mainly through their eastern stronghold in the city of Benghazi.

France, the UK and Italy announced in April that they were sending military advisers to Benghazi.

‘Light tanks’

The decision to drop arms to the Libyan rebels was reportedly taken following a meeting in mid-April between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Chief of Staff of the Libyan rebels, Gen Abdelfatah Younis.

France is said to have been concerned at the stalemate in a conflict between the rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces that started in February.

Local media reports say 40 tonnes of weapons were sent to western Libya, including “a few light tanks” that were smuggled in across the Tunisian border.

Le Figaro also reported that it had seen a confidential defence map showing two makeshift airstrips in rebel-held towns, built to receive small aircraft from the Gulf that can move arms closer to the front.

The rebels have recently been edging forward in Libya’s north-west, and are hoping to push on to Tripoli from the frontline, currently on the other side of the Nafusa mountains and about 65km (40 miles) from the capital

(www.bbc.co.uk / 29.06.2011)

Benghazi tonight

#BREAKING Large fire in Alrajma near military base (SE Benghazi), tens of ambulances from Benghazi on the way to the area now

 

29/06/2011 21:19:56 Bahrain launches probe into anti-regime protests (AFP)
29/06/2011 21:19:10 Jordanians demand trial of AFP bureau chief
29/06/2011 20:15:26 Yemen: 48 dead in battles between army and militants
29/06/2011 19:38:25 Report: Jordan to oppose Palestinian statehood bid
29/06/2011 18:52:17 UN office: 200 Palestinians displaced between June 8 -21
29/06/2011 18:24:20 Report: Union for the Mediterranean approves Gaza desalination plant
29/06/2011 18:10:15 French army airdrops weapons to Libyan rebels
29/06/2011 17:54:00 Syrian army kills 7 in northwestern villages
29/06/2011 17:07:05 Saudi Arabia arrests women for driving
29/06/2011 16:31:39 Report: French flotilla ship on way to Gaza
29/06/2011 16:12:23 Activist: Syrian tanks enter northwestern villages
29/06/2011 16:08:54 Lebanese speaker warns of government collapse (AFP)
29/06/2011 14:37:44 US-backed study reviews incitement in Israeli, Palestinian textbooks
29/06/2011 14:36:16 Minister says Israel will ban Hamas prisoners from phone calls
29/06/2011 09:20:39 Activists: Detainee families to protest in Ramallah
29/06/2011 09:00:16 Israeli innovators build new `Silicon Valley`
29/06/2011 09:00:03 Police clash with protesters in Cairo
28/06/2011 19:02:14 Iran fires medium-range missile in war game

(Facebook / 29.06.2011)

 

ISRAEL SABOTAGED THE IRISH SHIP THE MV SAOIRSE

ISRAELI TERRORISTS HAVE SABOTAGED THE IRISH SHIP, THE MV SAOIRSE!!!! ALL PASSENGERS ONBOARD ARE SAFE AND WELL, THE FLOTILLA HAD NOT JOINED TOGETHER YET DUE TO THE SABOTAGE OF ANOTHER BOAT AND PRESSURE FROM ISRAEL ON GREECE…. BUT WHAT THEY ATTEMPTED TO DO WAS MURDER OUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN WHILST AT SEA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AN IRISH SHIP TO GAZA PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD TOMORROW MORNING (THURSDAY) AT 11AM, BUSWELLS HOTEL, DUBLIN, WHERE EVIDENCE WILL BE PRESENTED AND MORE DETAILS RELEASED….. WE WILL KEEP EVERYONE UPDATED ON HERE AS THE SITUATION UNFOLDS…..

(Facebook / 29.06.2011)

Don’t Attack Flotilla: Open Letter to Senator Kirk

(An Open Letter to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, from three constituents, responding to his call for U.S. Special Forces to attack a flotilla of ships that will sail to Gaza.)

Senator Mark Kirk
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

June 29th, 2011

Dear Senator Kirk,

We are Illinois residents writing to you from Athens, Greece. Just before leaving the United States, we wrote to inform your office about our intent to sail on “The Audacity of Hope,” as part of the US Boat to Gaza project.  In our letters, we explained why we were traveling to Gaza.  We told you of our previous experiences living among Palestinians who lack access to basic necessities, such as clean water, because of the blockade. Referring to Gaza as the world’s largest open-air prison, we mentioned how hard it has been for people to rebuild after previous lethal assaults, especially the Operation Cast Lead attack which ended, after 23 days, on January 18, 2009.  According to B’tselem, the foremost Israeli Human Rights Organization, Operation Cast Lead caused the deaths of 1,389 Palestinians in Gaza.  Of those, 344 were children. Of the 13 Israelis who were killed, four were soldiers killed by friendly fire.

Knowing that you and your staff care deeply about the consequences of unemployment, poor education and dangerously limited health care delivery, we pointed out related statistics affecting people in Gaza where 45% of the population is unemployed and hospital administrators are sounding the alarm because they are running out of crucial medicines.  Half of Gaza’s 1.6 million people are under age 18.

As you’ve recently noted, a flotilla of ships plans to arrive in Gaza.  Our ship will carry 3,000 letters addressed to Gazan children and families.  Other boats are carrying humanitarian assistance.

Greek authorities have been checking into various complaints which have stalled the flotilla’s progress. In our case, a complaint was lodged by the Israel Law Center, located in Tel Aviv, suggesting that our boat is not seaworthy.  Two of the boats have been sabotaged while docked in the harbor, causing further delays.

A website, www.military.com, reports that you said the United States should ”make available all necessary special operations and naval support to the Israeli Navy to effectively disable flotilla vessels before they can pose a threat to Israeli coastal security or put Israeli lives at risk.”

You have an unusual opportunity to demonstrate thoughtful reconsideration of your earlier decision.  Op-ed pieces have appeared in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, encouraging the Israeli government to let the flotilla pass.

“There is nearly nothing which more effectively delegitimizes Israel – and makes Israel look more like an uncaring blockhead state – than does the siege of Gaza,” wrote Bradley Burston, Senior Editor of Haaretz and a former Israeli Defense Force medic. “The siege benefits Hamas in a thousand ways and Israel in none.  But there is one thing that does the work of delegitimization even better: attacking civilians in order to protect the siege. Enter the 21st century. Before it’s too late. You’re not young commandos anymore…. Do your nation a favor – act your age. The flotilla is not a terrorist fleet. It is not an arms shipment. The flotilla is, however, a statement about Israel, a judgment of its policies, and, in the end, the verdict will come directly from you.”

Senator Kirk, we are your constituents.  It’s not too late for you to acknowledge that your earlier call for military action against us jeopardizes our safety and to reverse your claim which insinuates that we are dangerous people.  We write with utmost respect for our collective responsibility to secure a better world, breaking the irrational cycle of military aggression and upholding basic human rights of all people.

Sincerely,

Max Suchan, Chicago IL
Kathy Kelly, Chicago IL
Robert Naiman, Champaign-Urbana

(palestinechronicle.com / 29.06.2011)

Al-Aqsa Mosque is under occupation, so in danger.

1. Al-Aqsa Mosque is under occupation, so in danger. If you kurtulamazsa invasion, the danger will continue, and tries out the danger, but will end the Israeli occupation.

2. Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to be occupied with the heart and is in danger. Today, Jerusalem is no longer the danger which surrounds the Al-Aqsa Mosque, there is a difference between the surrounding danger. Indeed, the danger is one and the same source, that the Israeli invasion. Objectives pursued in this occupation and the last one, but all of a legendary venue where the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the temple Yahudileştirilir (!) If built will be realized.

3. Therefore, Israel’s occupation of the historical and strategies of the Zionist project, which is one of the architects I Gorion David says: “There is no value Kudüs’süz Israel. Mabed’siz in Jerusalem can not be of any value. ”

4. Yahudileştirilme plan of Jerusalem, according to the accounts of the Israeli occupiers are isolated from the Masjid al-Aqsa yalnızlaştırılıp intended target. Yalnızlaştırılması Al-Aqsa Mosque, the need to take to her on the absolute sovereignty of Israel is a mandatory step. In this way, any Muslim who wanted to establish sovereignty over the Aksa structure will be disabled and then the land will be built on the legendary temple.

5. We need to understand the matter well: Al-Aqsa Mosque will be built instead of the legendary temple in America, “the Zionist Protestants” (Evangelicals) are also accepted by conservatives, known as the new. They are, instead of the Masjid al-Aqsa Mosque demolished the temple was to perform the legendary “Battle of Armageddon,” They believe that that’s accelerating.

6. This is true also that the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the new conservatives, the Zionist policy was announced by the enemy. Therefore, under the Aqsa clamp, then it is a sign of your stay subject to more and greater dangers.

7. In addition, the following must avoid the mistake that, today, the attack on the Masjid al-Aqsa, and only a certain group of hostilities-as claimed-Jews are not the work overload. On the contrary, it sustained the attacks, Israel’s official institutions of the occupying himself.

8. So far, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem are the occupying authorities. Also Judaize Jerusalem and land, homes, sacred method of destruction and all kinds of institutions, the aim of occupying the plan to put their hands is they who make those who stay at practice.

9. Masjid al-Aqsa, the attack planners and practitioners of all kinds for the young people themselves. For example, from 1967 to the present day, the Masjid al-Aqsa digging tunnels under the interconnected networks to build their business conducts itself.

10. Which is part of Al Aqsa Mosque “John Wall” to the various lies, “Do not cry area” out there, according to whether the name of the takeover by Emelie on 11.06.1967 as a preliminary step, it is they who destroyed the neighborhood of al-Meğaribe.

11. Al-Aqsa Mosque as the beginning of a plan to seize all of its gates is considered one of the keys to the Gate of al-Meğaribe hand since 1967 by putting in question the administration of the door is they who are truly the dominant ones.

12. Later, all the doors of the Masjid al-Aqsa and seizure of the administration, day-night guard that attaches to his soldiers in front of the doors, and nearly al-Aqsa Mosque as their own private mülküymüş engelleyenler whom He wills and it is they allowed to enter.

13. After taking control of all the gates of Al Aqsa Mosque and the rampant xenophobia of everything going on today in that area in the effort to control literally felt as an obligation to Al-Aqsa Mosque, even inside the reception of the restoration materials çıkartan obstacles, do not allow oruçluların iftariyeliklerine , a part of preaching in the mosque, and even some Muslims who arrested davetçileri, to arrest the grounds that they have to pray near the Gate of al-Meğaribe They were also exceeding his limitations.

14. The last one, which took place in early 2007 it is they who commit several murders of Al Aqsa Mosque for his harem.

15. Those who build tunnels under Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Jewish Synagogue ones.

16. Al-Aqsa Mosque in the tunnels below the ones who founded a museum in Israel.

17. After 1967, one of the premises of the Masjid al-Aqsa Aqsa namazgâhlarından Tenkiziye Madrasa, one of confiscated later evolved into the madrasa namazgâhını havrasına in a Jewish ones.

18. Each side of the Masjid al-Aqsa mosque in secret or open all the movements of ahalimizin placing surveillance cameras is they who are the employees.

19. Masjid al-Aqsa intelligence each day, the occupation troops and special troops, organizing raids and recognizes no bounds of the Rock-Sahara, al-Masjid al-Aqsa Marwanid namazgâhına believing in and praying, and even the men and women pray in front of the reckless They were also the part that makes detaining Muslims.

20. Masjid al-Aqsa, the people of Israel, albeit forced and encouraged to participate in religious ceremonies is they who are there to do all kinds of security measures in the fields.

21. Every day, thousands of tourists from the half-naked men and women in the Masjid-i Aska’ya fütursuzca sokanlar ones.

22. Again, the beginning of 2007, al-Masjid al-Aqsa Mosque is considered one of the premises and started the destruction of al-Meğaribe Gate Meğaribe way to break down the solid on the road in question is a clearly expressed intention of making military bridges and tanks, trucks and construction equipment in this easily pass through solid bridge those who declared they who will enter Aqsa.

23. Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of John Namazgâhını namazgâhlarından clearly stated that it is they who are intending to convert a Jewish havrasına.

24. Likewise, the premises of the Masjid al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the world’s largest havrasını Tenkiziye Madrasa built on the wreckage of the inner courtyards of this great synagogue in the Aqsa courtyard, those who indicated clearly that it is they wish to make ownership.

25. In addition, the inner courtyards of Al Aqsa Mosque, lies and trickery, such as that introduced in public areas and those areas-is an integral part of the Masjid al-Aqsa Mosque despite knowing very well-connected to their claim that the management of the municipality of Jerusalem to the people themselves beginners.

26. Al-Masjid al-Aqsa Marwanid Namazgâhına and the former has already opened and closed the outer doors kept opening a number of plans for the conversion of those who havralarına namazgâhların They were also the Jews.

27. Old Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa, under all the Selva district, extending to the network of tunnels is they who sustained the continuous digging activities.

28. I must emphasize, however, the Israeli occupying authorities are doing today, activities, planned to be built instead of just the temple in front of the Masjid al-Aqsa adımlarıdır.

29. For this reason, the Israeli occupying authorities, land, wealth, and despite having all the means they are not so far had built a temple. Because their goal, rather than just the legendary Al-Aqsa Mosque is to build a temple.

30. All of these institutions, as well as the Israeli occupation, the Masjid al-Aqsa Surround format also strives to build a series of Jewish Synagogue.

31. On the other hand, Israel, the occupying Israeli institutions in the destructive efforts of Judaizing Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa instead of combining the legendary shrine built over the Jewish organizations in an effort to provide security. A large number of organizations, the most famous ones in this hand-Name, Atrat Mütevellileri’dir Kuhenim and sanctuary.

32. All this means that the Masjid al-Aqsa is in danger. This Quds mosque, and to help-u-Sharif shows that each of us a task for the immediate and inevitable. No one has an excuse for avoiding it can not be dismissed. The weakest point of faith, in occupied Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa, is to go with. In this case, until after the invasion of Israel on the never-ending them in a similar case.

[*] Sheikh Al-Aqsa Mosque Raid Salah’ın International Symposium on the notification was presented.

(Facebook / 29.06.2011)

Hundreds of Yemen troops defect to rebels

Sanaa/Aden: More than 300 members of Yemen’s security forces have defected, opposition sources said on Wednesday, which could bolster opponents demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh end his 33 years in power.

The defections come amid intensified military attacks by the Yemeni air force and ground troops on what the government says are Islamist militants affiliated with Al Qaida in south Yemen.

Yemen has been shaken by months of protests against Saleh’s three-decade rule, a resurgent Al Qaida and a separatist rebellion in the south.

“From the podium of the Square of Change in Sana’a, an announcement has been issued that 150 soldiers from the Republican Guards, 130 Central Security soldiers and 60 policemen have joined the rebellion,” an opposition message said.

The defections also included 150 members of the Republican Guards led by Saleh’s son, Brigadier General Ahmad.

If confirmed, the mutinies would represent a major blow to Saleh, who has spent the past three weeks receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia after he was injured in an attack on his palace on June 3.

The defections are the latest in a series by security forces since an uprising against Saleh’s rule began in February. Most prominent was the defection in March of Brigadier General Ali Mohsen, who has since sent in his troops to guard protesters in Sana’a.

The protests have culminated in gunbattles between Saleh loyalists and gunmen from the powerful Hashed tribal federation in Sana’a that brought the country to the verge of civil war.

Yemen has been largely quiet with a ceasefire in place since Saleh was injured in the attack, which investigators say was caused by explosives planted in the palace mosque where he and several senior government officials were praying

Saleh, 69, who has not been seen in public since the attack, has resisted pressure from the United States and Saudi Arabia to hand over power to his deputy, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, under a Gulf nations’ initiative to end the crisis.

(gulfnews.com / 29.06.2011)

Deutsche Teilnehmer der »Free Gaza«-Flottille entsetzt über Gerüchteküche

Korfu/Berlin. Deutsche Teilnehmer der bevorstehenden »Free Gaza«-Flottille haben sich in einem Leserbrief an die Tageszeitung Neues Deutschland über die öffentliche Dramatisierung ihrer internen Diskussionen beschwert. »Die einigen Mitgliedern zugeordneten Aussagen sind weder authentisch noch autorisiert«, so die Gruppe in dem Schreiben, das auch jW vorliegt.

Der mitreisende ND-Korrespondent hatte in seinem Artikel den möglichen Ausstieg friedfertiger Teilnehmer aufgrund von Gerüchten über die Beteiligung gewaltbereiter Araber geschildert. Diese wollten angeblich »von Akaba aus nach Gaza auslaufen«, was mit Blick auf die Landkarte keinen Sinn ergibt und nach Meinung der »Free Gaza«-Aktivisten schon viel über die Qualität des Gerüchts aussagt. Israelische Zeitungen hatten am Montag von Militärs verbreitete Gerüchte über Chemikalien zitiert, die von Aktivisten an Bord der Schiffe gebracht werden sollten, um sie gegen israelische Soldaten einzusetzen. Die Informationsquellen dieser Militärs wurden nicht genannt. Die Organisatoren und Unterstützer des Schiffskonvois fühlten sich dadurch an frühere Kampagnen und Falschmeldungen erinnert.

Die Flottillenteilnehmerin Elfi Padovan sagte am Mittwoch telefonisch gegenüber jW, es habe unter den deutschen Mitreisenden eine Diskussion über die aktuellen Gerüchte gegeben. »Wir waren alle übermüdet«, so Padovan. Auch sei der Journalist völlig überarbeitet gewesen. Die Diskussionsteilnehmer hätten spontane Einschätzungen abgegeben, wobei ihnen nicht klar gewesen sei, daß der anwesende ND-Korrespondent sie namentlich zitieren und gleich die bevorstehende Spaltung an die Wand malen würde. Die deutsche Teilnehmergruppe wehre sich gegen diese Darstellung. Die Mission der »Free Gaza«-Flottille basiere auf Gewaltfreiheit, erklärte die Gruppe in ihrem Leserbrief. Interne Diskussionen würden basisdemokratisch, offen und vertraulich geführt

(www.jungewelt.de / 29.06.2011)

Drama on the high seas as Israel prepares to attack 12 ships with aid to Gaza

Israeli pirate commandos attack the Freedom Flotilla I murdering 9 and injuring 55 humanitarian aid volunteers.

Los Angeles, Alta California – June 28, 2011 – (ACN) The waters of the Mediterranean may again turn red with blood if the criminal state of Israel repeats what it did to the Freedom Flotilla on May 31 of last year. On that day heavily armed Israeli commando pirates brutally attacked peaceful humanitarian volunteers taking medicine and food to suffering Palestinians in Gaza. The murderous Israelis boarded the largest of the flotilla’s 6 ships called the Mavi Marmara and routinely killed in cold blood 9 volunteers and injured 55 others, 36 of these seriously. The crime took place on international waters. The six ships of the aid flotilla were attacked by 4 battle ships, 3 helicopters, 2 submarines, and 30 zodiac boats of the Israeli navy paid largely with USA tax dollars. ( See full report of this horrific incident at http://www.aztlan.net/Mavi_Marmara_Report.pdf )

One of the victims of the Israeli killers on the Mavi Marmara. The Zionist pirate shot point-blank destroying half of the volunteer’s head.

Today, another Freedom Flotilla, this time with 12 ships, is rendezvousing at an undisclosed location on the Mediterranean to again attempt to deliver essential humanitarian supplies to Gaza. The new flotilla dubbed “Freedom Flotilla II” is truly international in nature with ships and boats from the US, Canada, Ireland, Cambodia, France, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Italy. The passengers consists of over 1,000 pro-Palestinian activists hailing from 22 countries and includes Bill “Jimbo” Simmons (Choctaw) of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

The ships and boats have left undisclosed ports in Greece, France, Italy and other secret locations and are now on their way to the rendezvous point. Organizers are not disclosing locations for security reasons. Zionist Israel is making great efforts to sabotage the effort. Last year, they even planted Zionist Jews as passengers in the ill-fated flotilla. These Zionist agents were then able to sabotage the engines of two of the ships and in addition provided strategic information to the Israeli pirate commandos before their attack.

Palestinian baby burried in the rubble after Israeli “Operation Caste Lead” bombing strike

La Voz de Aztlan is happy to announced that we will have a reporter on the Freedom Flotilla even though the Israeli government has made serious threats to all journalists aboard. The Zionist official Oren Halman of the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) has issued stern warnings to reporters and journalists on the Freedom Flotilla II. He said any journalist they arrest will face stiff fines and have their cameras and equipment confiscated. In addition, Halman warned that arrested reporters will be barred from entering Israel for 10 years. La Voz de Aztlan previously sent a reporter on an aid mission to Gaza. This was with Viva Palestina USA in 2009. See his report at http://www.aztlan.net/viva_palestina_gaza_report.htm

Hard line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized the IDF to utilize all force necessary to stop the Freedom Flotilla II from reaching the Gaza shore.

We must not underestimate the grave danger that the over 1,000 international humanitarian volunteers are in. There is great potential for a massacre of incalculable proportions to occur. The Zionist Israeli regime has proven to be merciless killers of innocent people and children as during Operation Caste Lead that began on December 27, 2008 and lasted for 22 horrible days. The military attack on Gaza resulted in the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian civilians including over 400 children. There are many other war crimes atributed to the murderous Zionists. These include the massacres of Sabra and Shatila in 1982 and the massacre of USA sailors during the USS Liberty incident in 1967.

If Israel attacks the Freedom Flotilla II and again commits murder on the high seas, we must act to end these continuing Zionist travesties once and for all . We must hold members of the US Senate and House of Representatives that are puppets of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) accountable. We must also refuse to send our tax dollars amounting to billions yearly to Israel and instead use these funds to feed and cloth our ever growing homeless population and provide some comfort to families who are now going hungry in America and are on the streets because of unemployment and foreclosures.

(www.aztlan.net / 29.06.2011)

Israel passes draft law requiring Palestinians to pay for their own home demolitions

A Committee of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) passed a first draft of a law that will require that Palestinians whose homes are destroyed by Israeli forces pay the Israeli government for the demolition costs.

Home demolition in Hebron (image from anticap.wordpress.com)
Home demolition in Hebron (image from anticap.wordpress.com)

The law will now be passed to the full Knesset for a final reading, where it is expected to pass due to the current makeup of the Knesset.

Since 1967, Israeli forces have demolished 24,813 Palestinian homes. 90% of these homes were destroyed for ‘administrative’ reasons – because they either lacked a permit or were in an area designated for expansion by the Israeli military. No permits have been issued by Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction in the Occupied Territories since 1967. The remaining 10% of the demolitions have been ‘punitive’ demolitions of the homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israel, or of their families’ homes.

In the first five months of 2011, Israeli forces demolished more Palestinian homes than in the entire year of 2010, rendering homeless 706 Palestinians, including 341 minors. This is according to the most recent numbers released by the Israeli Civil Administration.

If the law passes the full Knesset, any Palestinian whose home is destroyed by the Israeli military will have to pay thousands of dollars to cover the cost of the demolition. Already, many Palestinian homeowners, mainly in Jerusalem, have been forced to pay for the forced demolition of their homes.

Israeli forces use US-made armored D9 bulldozers, manufactured by the Caterpillar Corporation, to carry out the demolition of Palestinian homes. This has led US and international activists to call for a boycott of the Caterpillar corporation, saying that the use of the bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes is a violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(www.imemc.org / 29.06.2011)