Medical care in Palestine

GAZA, (PIC)– An official at the Palestinian health ministry said that the list of medical supplies that ran out in the Gaza Strip rose to 180 types of medicines and 149 of medical disposables.

The ministry’s public relations and information director Ashraf Al-Qudra warned on Saturday that this acute shortage of medical supplies escalates the crisis and constitutes a real threat to the health work in hospitals and primary care centers.

Qudra criticized international human rights and health institutions for not moving swiftly to find radical solutions to the crisis that have plagued Gaza over the past five years and threatened the lives of patients.

He pointed out that the last victim of this crisis was five twins who suffer from lung atrophy and incomplete growth and they are in dire need for a vital injection to save their lives.

(Facebook / 31.07.2011)

Settlers Set Fire to 150 Dunums of Palestinian Land in Nablus

NABLUS, July 31, 2011 (WAFA)- Israeli settlers from the settlement of ‘Shvut Rahel,’ built on Palestinian land in Jaloud, a village south of Nablus, set fire to 150 dunums of the village’s land, Sunday said Ghassan Douglas, Palestinian official responsible for the settlement file in the northern West Bank.

Douglas said, “The fires are still burning in the Palestinian fields. This is not the first time that settlers attack these lands.”

( / 31.07.2011)

Palestinian lady miscarries after choking on tear gas in Al-Khalil


Al-KHALIL, (PIC)– A Palestinian pregnant woman miscarried at dawn Saturday when tear gas grenades fell onto her home in the old city of Al-Khalil.

Local sources said that Israeli troops during a raid on Palestinian neighborhoods in the old city fired without reason a heavy barrage of tear gas grenades randomly and some of them fell on the house of this woman.

They said the woman miscarried after she choked on tear gas and was rushed to hospital for medical treatment.

The incident generated popular outrage among the Palestinians in the city, according to the sources.

( / 31.07.2011)

Syrian Military Attacks Protesters in Hama

Once again, it seems an Assad is trying to make an example of the defiant, religiously conservative Syrian city of Hama. Some three decades after his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad ruthlessly crushed an Islamist uprising in the city in 1982 — leaving at least 10,000 dead and imposing a fear of rebellion so formidable that it was only recently cracked — President Bashar al-Assad’s tanks stormed into Hama at dawn on Sunday, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

The Syrian army, which had been on the outskirts of Hama for about a month, also attacked the eastern towns of Deir ez-Zour and Al-Boukamal, as well as Mouathamiya near the capital Damascus, and the village of al-Harak in the southern province of Dara’a, where the uprising erupted in mid-March. Details continued to emerge throughout the day, but at least 100 people were killed by mid-afternoon on Sunday, activists said. (See pictures of Syria’s bloody protests.)

The security forces tend to attack one renegade city at a time. Sunday’s simultaneous offensives in several parts of the country marked a key departure, several activists said.

“Attacking them all at once would either mean that the regime will utilize more of the army and face defections … or will not have enough troops to fully put down the demonstrations, which will only serve to agitate the demonstrators as more residents behold the regime’s atrocities,” says Ausama Monajed, a leading Syrian opposition member.

Hama, about 200 kilometers north of Damascus, has always been a thorn in the regime’s side. In recent months it has emerged as a key center of anti-Assad dissent. It basically fell outside Damascus’ control in early June, when security forces withdrew to its perimeter after killing more than 60 people in a day. Residents have set up makeshift checkpoints in their neighborhoods, as well as barricades in a bid to prevent the military and its gangs of armed thugs, or “shabiha,” from re-entering, although security forces have conducted nighttime raids. (See protesters’ best chance for toppling Assad’s regime.)

The timing of the ferocious offensive — just a day before the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan — was also hugely symbolic. Although the period is traditionally one of reflection, prayer, feasting and family, Syrian activists expect an escalation in protests during Ramadan, as more people pay daily visits to mosques, which have served as launching pads for weekly demonstrations after Friday afternoon prayers. Numerous activists have said that they expect every day during Ramadan to be like Friday, increasing pressure on the regime and its security forces.

Wissam Tarif, executive director of the rights group Insan, says Sunday’s events suggest the regime is panicked. “It’s a fear of Ramadan,” he told TIME from Beirut. “Assad lost Hama for a month. Hama announced itself to be a liberated city. If it continued to be a liberated city in Ramadan, then they would lose Deir ez-Zour next, and then Damascus, starting in its suburbs. That’s something which makes them panicked,” he said.

The death toll in Hama continued to spiral throughout the day. If Assad’s show of force was intended to cow the city’s residents, it wasn’t working, according to Omar al-Habbal, a 57-year-old Hama resident who is also a member of the Local Coordination Committees, a leading activist group. “People would see a tank advancing toward them and they’d stand their ground, thousands of them,” he told TIME by phone from the besieged city. Bursts of intense gunfire could be heard during the interview. “The tank would be firing and the people would be attacking it; with stones, with their hands, with sticks,” he said.

Habbal denied reports of military defections in the city. Three or four tank crews did claim to have switched sides, he said, “but it turned out to be a ploy.” The “thousands” surrounding the tanks — two of which reportedly entered from the north and two from the south — started celebrating, Habbal said. “They were chanting ’the people and the army are one’ and ’this is a great victory.’ It was a trick, so that (the tanks) could move deeper into the town. They started firing on the citizens.” (See why Assad’s regime stifles the opposition’s voice.)

“I haven’t heard that, it is possible,” says Monajed, the leading Syrian dissident, “but it conflicts with other reports of deliberations between Hama elders and the army to end the incursion in the section where the army had defected, in around a quarter or a third of the city.”

Syria’s state news agency said Sunday that “two law enforcement members were martyred by armed groups in Hama who set police stations on fire, vandalized public and private properties, set roadblocks and barricades and burned tires at the entrance of the city and in its streets.”

Amateur video posted online showed bloody, presumably dead individuals in civilian garb. In one video, captured from a higher vantage point that provides a panning shot of the city, plumes of thick black smoke can be seen rising above Hama, as faint cries of Allahu Akbar ring out. Residents were burning tires, Habbal said, in a bid to block the advance of tanks and as a way of communicating with other parts of the city. “Whenever we feel or see a threat, we set fire to the tires,” he said. “There’s been intense indiscriminate fire for the past hour or so,” he said, just before noon local time. “I counted at least 50 shells falling on the city in that period, I don’t know where. Listen, the shelling is starting up again.”

( / 31.07.2011)

ICCO wijzigt beleid niet na gesprek met Uri Rosenthal

ICCO wijzigt beleid niet na gesprek minister Rosenthal!!!

ICCO sprak vanochtend met minister Rosenthal van Buitenlandse Zaken over de financiering door ICCO van de website Electronic Intifada. Het was een pittig en openhartig gesprek, maar ICCO ziet geen reden om haar beleid te wijzigen. Voor haar werk is het internationaal recht de belangrijkste leidraad.

Die site biedt volgens de minister een platform aan de oproep voor een boycot van Israël. Het steunen van deze site staat hiermee volgens de minister diametraal tegenover het Nederlands buitenlands beleid. ICCO verschilt hierover van mening met de minister.

Sinds 2005 roepen meer dan 170 Palestijnse en enkele Israëlische organisaties op tot boycot, desinvestering en sancties tegen het Israëlische beleid. Doel is dat Israël zich houdt aan het internationaal recht en de mensenrechten. Omdat de Israëlische bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden voortduurt, is deze druk gerechtvaardigd. Het is een vreedzame en legale manier om de Israëlische bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden te beëindigen en te komen tot een vreedzame en rechtvaardige oplossing.


In 2004 verklaarde het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag dat de door Israel gebouwde muur illegaal is, omdat die voor het grootste deel gebouwd is op Palestijns grondgebied. Het Hof bevestigde verder de illegaliteit van de Israëlische nederzettingen. Het hof riep staten op zich te onthouden van steun aan de bouw van de muur. Deze uitspraak is bevestigd door de Algemene Vergadering van de Verenigde Naties (UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004). Nederland heeft hier vóór gestemd.

Ondanks de uitspraak van het hof en vele VN-resoluties, zet Israël de bouw van de muur en nederzettingen door.


ICCO heeft deze oproep tot boycot niet zelf ondertekend. Wel hebben vrijwel alle maatschappelijke Palestijnse organisaties, en sommige Israëlische, die oproep ondertekend, onder wie organisaties die steun ontvangen van ICCO, maar ook van andere Nederlandse organisaties en het ministerie zelf. ICCO steunt het Kairos-document, waarin Palestijnse christenen oproepen om meer druk uit te oefenen tegen het Israëlische beleid.

Voor ICCO zijn internationaal recht en internationale humanitaire verdragen de belangrijkste leidraad. Ook artikel 90 van de Nederlandse grondwet stelt: ,,De regering bevordert de ontwikkeling van de internationale rechtsorde.”

ICCO maakt zich sterk voor mensenrechten en internationaal recht in alle landen waar ze werkt, of dat nou Soedan, Congo, Guatemala of het Midden-Oosten is. ICCO roept dan ook zowel de Palestijnse als Israëlische autoriteiten op de mensenrechten te respecteren. ICCO streeft samen met haar Palestijnse en Israëlische partners naar een duurzame en rechtvaardige vrede voor iedereen: Palestijnen en Israëliërs.

Het is in Nederland goed gebruik dat maatschappelijke organisaties zelfstandig hun beslissingen nemen. ICCO ziet dan ook geen reden haar beleid te wijzigen.

(Facebook / J. Jansen / 31.07.2011)

Report: Israel plans to build separation wall in Golan


GOLAN, Syria (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities plan to build a wall in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported Friday.

The wall will separate the town of Majdal Shams in Israeli-occupied territory from the suburb of Al-Oude and Ain Al-Tinah in Syria, SANA reported.

SANA said the cement wall would be four kilometers long and eight meters high.

Earlier this year, Israeli forces killed at least 27 people in the area during demonstrations against the Israeli occupation.

On May 15, about 4,000 mainly Palestinian demonstrators gathered at the Golan heights to mark the Nakba, or catastrophe, in which two thirds of the Palestinian population were displaced during Israel’s creation in 1948.

Protesters tried to cross the ceasefire line into Israeli-occupied territory and broke through Israel’s security fence. Israeli forces fired tear gas, warning shots and then opened fire on the marchers, killing at least four.

On June 5, Palestinians again gathered at two places along the Golan Heights ceasefire line. Israeli forces again used tear gas and then live fire to deter the demonstrators. The UN said up to 23 people were reported killed and many more wounded.

Despite a 1949 armistice agreement, Israel and Syria remain technically in a state of war.

( / 30.07.2011)

Israel sues Bedouin villagers for cost of repeated evictions

Residents of a Bedouin village in Israel’s Negev desert are facing a lawsuit for the cost of Israeli government agencies repeatedly destroying their homes and other structures.

Israeli authorities filed a claim for 1.8 million NIS (more than US$500,000) with a court on 26 July for the expense of destroying the structures and evicting the residents of al-‘Araqib village as many as 28 times over the past year. The most recent eviction took place on 25 July.

Bedouin residents claim that the village of al-‘Araqib lies on their ancestral lands, but the authorities say they are squatting illegally in an “unrecognized” settlement.
“This lawsuit beggars belief – the Israeli authorities cannot reasonably expect the Bedouin villagers to fund the repeated destruction of their own homes and livelihoods,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director.

“Israel must end its policy of demolishing ‘unrecognized’ villages in the Negev and take steps to officially recognize al-‘Araqib and similar villages, at least until there is a resolution to the land claims and a solution which takes into account the needs and rights of the residents.”

Repeated demolitions

According to local NGOs, a community festival and children’s summer camp organized by al-‘Araqib residents and activists was interrupted on 25 July when Israeli authorities entered the village with at least 20 vehicles and a bulldozer to demolish makeshift structures.

Some 250-300 people lived in al-‘Araqib before the demolitions began last year. As an agricultural community, many of them rely on the land for their livelihoods. 

The Israeli authorities want to use the land in and around al-‘Araqib village for a forest. The Jewish National Fund – a semi-governmental organization – has landscaped the surrounding area and is continuing its forestation work.

Over the past year, Israel has repeatedly deployed scores of security forces to destroy village property. On the first occasion, Israel Lands Administration (ILA) officials and more than 1,000 police officers entered the village on 27 July 2010. They razed at least 46 homes and other structures, including animal pens and water tanks, as well as olive trees.

In another incident in February, bulldozers and around 40 riot police forced local families into the cemetery, the only area as yet unaffected. Bulldozers approached the cemetery gate and police repeatedly fired sponge-tipped bullets and tear gas into the area. Three women and two children were hospitalized after the incident.

Historical land claims

Al-‘Araqib’s Bedouin residents claim their ancestors have owned the land since Ottoman rule, before Israel was established.

In the early 1950s, the Israeli authorities ordered the village’s residents to leave temporarily, saying that the land was needed for military training and promising that they would be allowed to return within six months.

The residents complied with this military order but they were not allowed to return. Instead, various government agencies transferred ownership of the lands to the state.

Throughout this period of forced absence, the families maintained their connection to the land through grazing, agriculture, and the village cemetery, and sought to have the government recognize their land claims.

In the 1990s, the Bedouin families returned to their lands. At the same time, it became clear that Israeli authorities had plans to build a forest on the village. Residents filed fresh land ownership claims in Israeli courts, some of which are still pending.

“Israel needs to find long-term solutions to address the irregular situation of al-‘Araqib and the dozens of other villages like it,” said Philip Luther.

“Repeatedly demolishing these villages is not working – progress can only be made through formally recognizing the villages or genuine and meaningful consultations with the residents to find alternative adequate housing which guarantees their safety and enables them to continue their traditional Bedouin lifestyle.”

( / 30.07.2011)

NAVO bombardeert Libische staats-tv uit de lucht

NAVO-vliegtuigen hebben met precisiebombardementen drie satellietschotels van de Libische staatstelevisie uitgeschakeld, meldde het militaire bondgenootschap zaterdag. Volgens de staatstelevisie zijn bij de aanval drie journalisten omgekomen.

De NAVO zegt zo ’terroristische uitzendingen’ van leider Moammar Kadhafi het zwijgen op te willen leggen. Volgens de NAVO kan hij niet langer ‘het Libische volk intimideren en ophitsen tot geweld tegen het volk’.

‘In het licht van ons mandaat om de bevolking te beschermen, moesten we wel optreden’, aldus een verklaring van de NAVO, die spreekt over zorgvuldige voorbereiding om het aantal slachtoffers en langetermijnschade te beperken. Door alleen deze schotels te vernietigen, denkt de NAVO dat er na het conflict genoeg apparatuur is om opnieuw uit te zenden.

Terroristische daad
De omgekomen Libische journalisten werkten voor de Engelstalige dienst Al-Jamahiriya, meldde het hoofd van de dienst. Hij noemde de aanval een terroristische daad en in strijd met de resoluties van de VN-Veiligheidsraad.

De aanval ging gepaard met een tiental explosies in het centrum van hoofdstad Tripoli, zo hoorden journalisten ter plaatse. Een presentator van de Libische tv had eerder op de avond gemeld dat het hoofdkantoor was geraakt. Hij gaf geen details.

( / 30.07.2011)

Europe’s Right-Wing Populists Find Allies in Israel



The Likud Connection

Europe’s Right-Wing Populists Find Allies in Israel

By Charles Hawley

A woman in a headscarf walks past a campaign poster for the Freedom Party of Austria depicting party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.

A woman in a headscarf walks past a campaign poster for the Freedom Party of Austria depicting party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.

Islamophobic parties in Europe have established a tight network, stretching from Italy to Finland. But recently, they have extended their feelers to Israeli conservatives, enjoying a warm reception from members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition. Some in Israel believe that the populists are Europe’s future.

Anders Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto is nothing if not thorough. Pages and pages of text outline in excruciating detail the ideological underpinnings of his worldview — one which led him to kill 76 people in two terrible attacks in Norway last week.

It is a document which has led many to question Breivik’s sanity. But it has also, due to its myriad citations and significant borrowing from several anti-immigration, Islamophobic blogs, highlighted the deeply entwined network of right-wing populist groups and parties across Europe — from the Front National in France to Vlaams Belang in Belgium to the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ)

But recently it has become clear that Europe’s populist parties aren’t merely content to establish a network on the Continent. They are also looking further east. And have begun establishing tight relations with several conservative politicians in Israel — first and foremost with Ayoob Kara, a parliamentarian with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party who is also deputy minister for development of the Negev and Galilee districts.

The reason for the growing focus on Israel is not difficult to divine. “On the one hand,” Strache told SPIEGEL ONLINE in a recent interview, “we are seeing great revolutions taking place in the Middle East. But one can’t be totally sure that other interests aren’t behind them and that, in the end, we might see Islamist theocracies surrounding Israel and in Europe’s backyard.”

In other words, in the battle against what right-wing populists see as the creeping Islamization of Europe, Israel is on the front line.

‘More Sensitive to the Dangers’

Many in Israel see it the same way. Eliezer Cohen, known in Israel by his nickname “Cheetah,” says that leftist parties in both Europe and Israel have lost their way. Cohen, a decorated Israeli air force colonel now in retirement, is a former member of the Knesset with Yisrael Beiteinu, the hardline nationalist party led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that currently governs together in a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“Right-wing politicians in Europe are more sensitive to the dangers facing Israel,” Cohen, who gave a keynote address during Dutch right-wing leader Geert Wilders’ visit to Berlin last October, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “They are talking the exact same language as Likud and others on the Israeli right. I’m too old for bullshitting — we hope the right wing wins out in Europe.”

Kara sounds no different. “I am looking for ways to lessen the Islamic influence in the world,” Kara told the Israeli daily Maariv in June. “I believe that is the true Nazism in this world. I am the partner of everyone who believes in the existence of this war.”

At first glance, the European populists’ relationship with Israel would hardly appear to be a marriage built on love. Many see the FPÖ as being just one tiny step away from classic neo-Nazi groups and the same holds true for their partners throughout Europe. While such parties insist that they are not anti-Semitic — Strache claims that he takes a close look at populist parties’ stances toward Israel and Jews before he enters into partnerships with them — it is not difficult to find indications of extreme, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic vitriol from within the populist party membership rolls.

Andreas Mölzer, for example, a member of the European Parliament for the FPÖ who has recently changed his tune to defend Strache’s approaches to Israel, edits a weekly called Zur Zeit which is replete with attacks on Israel. Following its incursion into the Gaza Strip in late 2008, the paper accused Israel of acting in “the Talmudic spirit of annihilation” and that it was trying to “finally annihilate the open-air concentration camp of the Gaza Strip in the spirit of the Old Testament.”

‘Neo-Nazi Millionaire’

Indeed, when it comes to the FPÖ, observers of the party say the embrace of Israel, however far to the right it is taking place, is an insincere effort to establish foreign policy credibility. “The strategy is clearly that of normalizing itself, of becoming socially acceptable,” Heribert Schiedel, an expert on the FPÖ with the Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance, a foundation which monitors right-wing extremism, wrote in an e-mail. “We presume that anti-Semitism remains a fundamental part of the party’s ideology.”

Many in Israel would tend to agree. And Kara was blasted in the Israeli press for a recent meeting in Berlin he held with Patrick Brinkmann, a German right-wing populist. “Deputy Minister Meets Neo-Nazi Millionaire,” read a headline in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth earlier this month, noting that Brinkmann, while now insistent that he is not anti-Semitic, once had close ties with the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). Following a visit to Vienna in December to meet with Strache, Vienna Jewish community leader Ariel Muzicant published an open letter in which he demanded that Netanyahu fire Kara.

The primary focus of the FPÖ’s political message, however, is — like that of populist parties from the True Finns in Finland to the Lega Nord in Italy — one of extreme skepticism of Muslim immigration. The groups are opposed to the construction of minarets, convinced that Europe’s future is threatened by high Muslim birth rates and certain that the Christian West must defend itself from Islam

“For decades, politicians in Europe have ignored demographic developments and we are now in a situation where we have to warn that we are experiencing the Islamification of Europe,” Strache says. “We don’t want to become an Islamic society.”

Geert Wilders, who hit the headlines in 2008 with his virulently anti-Muslim film “Fitna” in 2008, pioneered the European populist-Israeli connection that same year. He has been back to visit Israel several times since.

( / 30.07.2011)

Palestine 30.07.2011

Maan News Agency: 5 killed in Egypt clashes between Islamists and army

Syndicate Warns Against Rise in Israeli Attacks on Journalists –

Israeli Soldiers Open Fire, Injure Farmer North of Gaza

Rights Group Accuses Israel of Using Violence against Peaceful Demonstrations

Israeli Forces Declare Iraq Burin Closed Military Zone

Israelis Attack Arab-Jewish Protest Tent

Miles of Smiles to enter #Gaza Sunday bringing urgently needed medicines & baby milk [alresaleh]

Israeli forces shoot farmer in northern Gaza

Clashes reported in Irraq Burin

Palestinian Christians are protesting the Anglican chief’s occupation blindspot, but have been given the cold shoulder