Bahrain slammed for arresting medics

Bahraini authorities have arrested more than 70 medical professionals since March.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized the Bahraini regime for arresting medical professionals and injured anti-government protesters, calling for an investigation into the violations.

In a report published on Monday, HRW urged Manama to immediately end its campaign of arrests of medical personnel and injured anti-regime protesters, saying the arrests have been part of an official policy of retribution against government critics and that Bahraini authorities have so far failed to provide any convincing reason for their actions.

The 54-page report, “Targets of Retribution: Attacks against Medics, Injured Protesters, and Health Facilities,” also documents serious government abuses since the beginning of anti-government protests in Bahrain in mid-February 2011, which include attacks on healthcare providers, denial of medical access to injured protesters, the siege of hospitals and medical centers, and the detention, ill-treatment, torture, and prosecution of medics and anti-regime patients.

“The attacks on medics and wounded protesters have been part of an official policy of retribution against Bahrainis who supported pro-democracy protests,” said Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East director.

“Medical personnel who criticized the severe repression were singled out and jailed, among the more than 1,600 Bahrainis facing solitary confinement and ill-treatment in detention and unfair trials before a special military court,” he added.

“The royal family in Bahrain is trying to punish all those people who were very visible and very vocal during protests, and that includes doctors and other medical staff.”

According to the report, Bahraini security forces attacked ambulances and prevented them from picking up injured anti-government protesters, some of them critically wounded. It also said that Bahraini forces prevented ambulances, patients, and medical staff from entering or leaving health facilities.

The report also documents one incident on March 27 in which security forces forcibly removed a 22-year-old injured anti-government protester from a clinic. The patient, who needed immediate surgery to remove more than 100 pellets that had penetrated his pelvic area and damaged internal organs, was taken by security forces.

HRW has been unable to obtain information about his subsequent well-being or whereabouts.

According to HRW, Bahraini authorities have arrested more than 70 medical professionals, including several dozen doctors, and suspended or terminated more than 150 medical workers from their jobs since March, when the country declared martial law as part of a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The medical professionals appeared before a military court for trial in June, in which they were charged with crimes that included participation in efforts to overthrow Bahrain’s monarchy, taking part in illegal rallies and refusing to help persons in need.

But activists and human rights groups say the medical personnel were arrested and are being prosecuted for treating anti-regime protesters.

Bahraini doctors have repeatedly said that they were under professional duty to treat all and rejected claims by the authorities that helping anti-regime protesters was akin to supporting their cause.

Some of the doctors recently released say they were intimidated, abused and forced to sign confessions while in detention.

(www.presstv.ir / 18.07.2011)

Israel issues threats as lone flotilla ship set to land in Gaza within 24 hours

 

GAZA, (PIC)– Israeli naval forces would never allow the lone ship which managed to slip past the flotilla ban to arrive at the Gaza coast, Israeli political sources said on Monday.

Some ten of the flotilla’s ships were impounded in Greece after Israel used political pressure to prevent the flotilla from breaching its unilateral siege of the Gaza Strip and delivering much needed aid.

A French yacht carrying 17 passengers managed to evade Greece’s ban on all ships joining the flotilla and eventually ended up in Kastellorizo island on Saturday night, where the passengers were welcomed by locals.

The yacht, dubbed Dignite – Al-Karama, set sail from that island on Monday and disseminated news that it was nearing the occupied Palestinian territories and that it would land in the Gaza Strip within 24 hours.

Israeli officials issued threats through media outlets as the ship draws in on its destination. They said they would prevent the ship from reaching the Gaza coast.

On board the Dignite – Al-Karama are mostly French activists. Also among them are correspondents for a few leading news outlets, including Al-Jazeera and Israel’s Haaretz.

Organizers said the yacht was intercepted by Greek coast guards on 7 July. It evaded authorities by officially saying they were sailing to the Egyptian port city of Alexandria. But the group was in fact determined to land in Gaza, organizers have announced.

“The boat should be off the Gaza coast on Tuesday afternoon,” spokesman Maxime Guimberteau told AFP by phone from Paris on Monday.

“It is travelling slowly, mainly to conserve fuel,” he said.

“The fact that the Dignite – Al Karama is at sea is a setback for the Israeli government which by force or by pressure is trying to perpetuate an illegal and criminal blockade and to silence civil society movements around the world,” a statement issued from the boat said.

Greek authorities blocked nine of the flotilla’s ships carrying 300 activists from 22 countries from departing from its ports and going to Gaza, threatening to use force if orders made under Israeli pressure were not obeyed.

The authorities say the measure was taken for the “safety” of the ships’ passengers and also to prevent a repeat of what happened in May 2010, when Israeli commandos intercepted the original six-ship Freedom Flotilla and killed nine activists on board.

(www.palestine-info.co.uk / 18.07.2011)

Brega in handen van Libische rebellen

Libische rebellen, vandaag in Brega.
Het bewind van de Libische leider Muammar Kaddafi en de rebellen hebben beweerd dat ze de strategisch belangrijke havenstad Brega in hun macht hebben. In de afgelopen dagen werd er hevig gevochten tussen de strijdende partijen in Brega en omgeving.

De opstandelingen en het Libische leger vechten sinds donderdag om de stad, die erg belangrijk is voor de olie-export. In de afgelopen dagen zouden enkele tientallen strijders om het leven zijn gekomen.
Een woordvoerder van Kaddafi sprak zelfs van 550 doden. De rebellen zouden verreweg de meeste slachtoffers te betreuren hebben, ongeveer 520. De strijders van Kaddafi zouden 30 manschappen hebben verloren.

Andere informatie

De rebellen gaven totaal andere informatie. Zij stelden dat ze Brega onder controle hebben. De meeste Kaddafi-getrouwe troepen zouden zich hebben teruggetrokken. De dictator zou nog 150 tot 200 strijders in Brega hebben. Die zouden zijn omsingeld op een aantal plekken.
Maandagavond werd bekend dat Amerikaanse diplomaten onlangs gesprekken hebben gevoerd met afgevaardigden van Kaddafi.

Washington dringt al langer aan op het vertrek van de dictator. Die weet echter van geen wijken, ondanks maandenlange bombardementen door de NAVO op zijn commandocentra.

Bommen

Vanavond lieten gevechtsvliegtuigen van de NAVO nog bommen vallen op de belangrijkste luchthaven van de Libische hoofdstad Tripoli. Doelwit was een radarinstallatie, die zou worden gebruikt voor het traceren van vijandelijke vliegtuigen en helikopters.
Opstandelingen veroverden sinds begin dit jaar een aantal steden en regio’s, met name in het oosten van Libië.

(www.parool.nl / 18.07.2011)

Norway backs Palestinian bid for UN recognition in September

Norwegian FM says ‘it is perfectly legitimate’ for Palestinian president to turn to the UN with a proposal for statehood.

Norway, host of the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli peace accords, said on Monday it was “perfectly legitimate” for Palestinians to take their case for statehood to the United Nations for voting in September.

“We will consider very carefully the proposed text that’s to be put forward by the Palestinians in the coming weeks,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas beside him at a press conference.

“Norway believes it is perfectly legitimate for the Palestinian president to turn to the United Nations with such proposals,” Stoere said, adding that continued negotiations with Israel will be required in any case.

The United States and Israel have opposed Abbas’ plan, backed by the Arab League, to bring the Palestinians’ long quest for statehood to a vote in New York.

Abbas said on Monday the plan was still on.

“We will seek to go to the UN next September in order to obtain membership for the state of Palestine,” he said.

He added: “Our way is to go to the Security Council. If we fail we will go to the General Assembly.”

Norwegian diplomats said UN membership would require approval by the Security Council, where the United States holds veto power, but that a resolution on statehood could go straight to the UN General Assembly.

Stoere said Norway would decide how to vote after reading the exact proposal but left little doubt about his inclination.

“I don’t think that any Palestinians or anybody around the world are in doubt that Norway supports Palestinians’ right to statehood,” he said. “That has to be accompanied by a process of negotiation, which at the moment is stalling.”

He and Abbas signed a document upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s representative in Norway to ambassadorial rank, as several other European nations have done.

Norway chairs a group of Palestinian donor nations, some of which have contributed to a funding crisis for Abbas by not fulfilling funding pledges. Stoere implored them to pay up.

(www.haaretz.com / 18.07.2011)

Jewish settlers are terrorising Palestinians, says Israeli general

General Avi Mizrahi Born in Haifa in 1957, General Avi Mizrahi was drafted into the IDF in 1975. He has been head of Israeli Central Command since October 2009

A senior Israeli army commander has warned that unchecked “Jewish terror” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatens to plunge the territory into another conflict.

In unusually outspoken comments, Major General Avi Mizrahi took aim at extremist Israeli settlers, and said the yeshiva, or religious seminary, in Yitzhar, one of the most radical Jewish strongholds in the West Bank, should be closed, calling it a source of terror against Palestinians.

The general’s comments are likely to put him at odds with Israel’s pro-settler government, which has resisted US-led efforts to curb settlement expansion in a bid to revive stalled peace talks. The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, himself lives in a West Bank settlement. All settlements are regarded as illegal under international law.

The army has anxiously watched an upsurge in violence by hardline settlers, who in recent months have set fire to a West Bank mosque, burned Palestinian olive groves, and vandalised Palestinian property. Settlers have killed three Palestinians this year.

“What’s happening in the field is terrorism,” General Mizrahi told Channel 2’s Meet the Press, and it “needs to be dealt with.” The Israel Defence Forces (IDF), he said, fears “terrorism against Palestinians is likely to ignite the territories.”

The general’s criticism points to frustration within the army’s high command at their ability to check violent settlers.

Palestinians and Israeli NGOs frequently accuse the army of siding with settlers in conflagrations with Palestinians, prompting the army to respond that it is obliged to protect its citizens and does not set policy.

The number of violent incidents has spiked in recent months, partly because of the murder earlier this year of five members, including three children, from one Jewish family in Itamar, a settlement near Nablus. Two Palestinians were charged with the crime.

Human rights groups suggest that the more radical settlers, many of whom oppose a two-state solution on the premise that the whole of Israel is bequeathed to them by God, are agitating against Palestinian moves to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations in September.

Some fear that the surge in violent attacks against Palestinians could compound rising frustrations with the stalled peace process and trigger more violent riots.

“The army is very afraid that [action by settlers] at a critical moment could set off a Third Intifada,” said Adam Keller, spokesman for Israeli human rights body Gush Shalom, referring to a mass Palestinian uprising.

“The fact that the army is nervous is making the settlers more aggressive,” he said

The Israeli commander General Mizrahi blamed the courts for failing to rein in the most radical of the settlers – a small proportion of the roughly 500,000 Israeli settlers who are living beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

(www.independent.co.uk / 18.07.2011)

Palestine, forgive us-2

 

Palestine, forgive us;

for we forgot who we are, and what we are.

We forgot who you are and what you are.

We allow others to speak in our name,

be our voice and we forget that you gave birth

to Ibrahim Touqan, to Ghassan Kanafani,

to Naji Al-Ali, to Mahmoud Darwish and so many others.

We allow bias Zionist-run media to talk for us,

to talk of us and to use us the way it chooses

in return for the fame and publicity that is promised us.

We allow them to paint our past, present and future

as if we had no saying in it,

as if we had no identity.

We talk, write and sing of Mohammad Jamjoum,

Fu’ad Hijazi and Ata Al-Zeer,

of Lina Nabulsi and Dala Al Mughrabi

and the thousands of your children

whose body is mingled with your sacred earth,

but we forget that they remained loyal to you

till the last breath, that they chose death over betraying you.

Palestine, forgive us;

 

for we the children of Canaan

allow the Zionists to erase our identity,

our history, our roots in the land of Canaan.

We allow them to turn your paradise into a desert,

we allow them to uproot your ancient olive trees,

we allow them to kill your poppies.

We stand still while you are being disfigured

by distorted structures that are alien to you,

while your forests are being destroyed,

while your natural wealth is being stolen,

while your fields are being razed.

The beauty of you

that was the scene of our childhood

fades away and your body

is infected with colonial cancer,

and we stand still as it eats your body

and console ourselves with the few tiny bits

here and there where we are still allowed to touch you.

 

Palestine, forgive us;

for forgetting your pain

and thinking only about our pain,

for justifying our acceptance

of your desecration and

for using your children as excuse

for accepting any “peace” that is forced upon us.

Forgive us for not wishing to know,

for not wishing to acknowledge,

that any peace other than a just peace

won’t bring a decent life to our children.

Forgive us for hiding behind our children,

and claiming we want a future for them.

Forgive us for choosing to ignore the fact that

as long as there is an occupation,

our children, your children,

will have no peace and no future.

Forgive us for accepting concessions with the excuse:

”this is the best offer we will ever get”,

as if we were discussing a watermelon

or a used car we are about to buy.

Forgive us for forgetting that the land is OURS

and that no fake history,

no flown-in immigrants

and no Apache, Merkava or Demona

should make us ever forget that!

Forgive us, for we demanded explanations

from your children who were forced out of their homes

under Zionist gun threat as you were raped in 1948

and blamed them for our current state,

and today we are participating in this rape

in the name of negotiations,

a statehood and a president.

 

Palestine, forgive us;

for we forget what you are,

where you begin and where you end.

We draw you complete as you should be;

from the river to the sea,

but we define your borders

according to the will of your usurper.

We define Palestine as East Jerusalem,

Ramallah, Gaza, Nilin and Bilin,

and choose to forget your Jerusalem,

Haifa, Yaffa and Acca and

every single millimetre of your precious soil.

We replace Palestine with Palestinian Territory,

Jerusalem with Abu Dees and the

Aqsa with the Muqata’a. Palestine,

forgive us, for we are negotiating

with your murderers and

we are selling your body to the highest bidder.

(Nadia Al Alami / Facebook / 18.07.2011) 

 

 

FRANSE BOOT DIGNITÉ ALSNOG OP WEG NAAR GAZA.

Stuur een steunbetuiging!

17/07/2011
De Franse boot Dignité heeft op zaterdag 16 juli het Griekse eiland Kastellorizo verlaten en is op weg naar Gaza. Het schip maakt deel uit van de tweede Flotilla.

16 July 2011

For Immediate Release

French boat Dignité of the Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece

The French boat “Dignité/Karama” (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla’s ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.

The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left– so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.

Among the delegates on board is Jacqueline Le Corre, member of the French Communist Party, Jean Claude Lefort, former French Member of the European Parliament, as well as representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish initiatives within Freedom Flotilla II. Onboard the Dignité are also renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting for Haaretz, and a team from Al-Jazeera TV. (Full list of passengers below).

Kastellorizo, in the far east of the Greek archipelago, is only miles from Turkish mainland. A substantial part of Kastellorizo’s population fled during the Second World War to Gaza, where they stayed for years [http://www.empirepatrol.com/camplife.htm]. The present mayor of the island, Paul Panigiris, was born in Gaza, and feels strongly, as do many other people from Kastellorizo, for a population that once hosted them and is now under siege.

The action of Dignité is not a mini-version of Freedom Flotilla 2, but a first wave that will be followed by others. It is a message to the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II are not giving up, until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is lifted.

Gaza, we are coming!

STUUR EEN STEUNBETUIGING NAAR http://www.unbateaupourgaza.fr/index.php/Nouvelles/Envoyez-un-message-aux-passagers-du-Dignite-Al-Karama

Bekijk ook de website www.Nederland-Gaza.nl voor de laatste ontwikkelingen!

De haven van Kastellorizo

www.freegaza.org

www.witnessgaza.com

www.freedomflotilla.eu

And see Amira Hass’ report: www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/gaza-bound-ship-carrying-pro-palestinian-activists-sets-sail-from-greece-1.373601
http://www.unbateaupourgaza.fr/index.php/Videos-Photos/A-bord-du-Dignite-Al-Karama

Syria recognizes Palestine on pre-1967 borders

“DAMASCUS, July 18 (KUNA) — An official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Monday Syria recognizes the State of Palestine on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital on the basis of preserving the legitimate Palestinian rights.
The source said that Syria will view the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Damascus as an embassy as of Monday”

(networkedblogs.com / 18.07.2011)