Israel To Build 872 Homes In “Har Homa” Settlement

The Israeli Housing Ministry declared new tenders for the construction of hundreds of new homes in Jabal Abu Ghneim “Har Homa” illegal settlement, south of occupied East Jerusalem.

Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) Illegal Settlement - Palinfo
Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) Illegal Settlement

Ahmad Mustafa Sob-Laban, and expert in Settlement Affairs in Jerusalem, issued a press release stating that, according to recent bids issued by the Israeli Housing Ministry, 632 units will be built as part of the third phase of construction in Abu Ghneim.

The new units were approved in August 2011 by Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai. A Separate bid will be issued by the ministry for the remaining planned units at a later stage.

Sob-Laban added that the recent Israeli announcement comes parallel with the eviction of settlers from a Palestinian home they occupied in the Old City of Hebron, in order to send a message to extremist right-wingers that the government of Netanyahu is ongoing with its settlement activities.

He further stated that Israel is also ongoing with it activities that aim at isolating Jerusalem from its surrounding Arab areas, by constructing the Annexation Wall and a chain of settlement extending from “Har Homa” in the east to Givat Ha-Matos, in addition to the expansion projects of Gilo settlement and the new “National Gardens” that will be constructed on lands that belong to the Al-Walaja Palestinian village in Bethlehem district.

Sob-Laban said that Israel is also planning to construct “Givat Yael” settlement that will be the gateway for Gush Etzion settlement bloc, south of the West Bank.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, announced on Monday that he wants to promote the construction of a new Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The plan includes the construction of some 200 homes in the new Kidmat Zion settlement on lands that were allegedly purchased by American Millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, well-known for his longtime financial support to Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem.

(www.imemc.org / 04.04.2012)

Palestinian woman detained for insulting president on Facebook

Palestinian security forces arrested Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, accused of defaming the President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook. (AP)

Palestinian security forces arrested Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, accused of defaming the President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.
A Palestinian woman accused of defaming the president on her Facebook page has been detained for two weeks while an investigation is carried out, activists said, in what they say is a growing crackdown on writers who criticize the government.

Palestinian security forces arrested Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, a West Bank university lecturer, last Wednesday after they read a quote on her Facebook page accusing President Mahmoud Abbas of being a traitor and demanding he resigns, said lawyer Issam Abdeen of the Palestinian rights group al-Haq.

Abdul-Khaleq’s detention is the latest in what activists say is the Palestinian authorities’ increasing intolerance of criticism.

“We are genuinely concerned about tightening limits on freedom of expression and on the media,” Abdeen said. “We don’t want reporters to second-guess whether they will be punished or not when they write.”

Abdeen said the Palestinian public persecutor’s office was particularly harsh in ordering the prolonged detention of those accused of defamation. Abdul-Khaleq is a single mother of two children.

Defaming the president and other high-level officials is a crime for the Palestinian Authority.

“These expressions go beyond freedom of expression,” said public prosecutor Ahmed al-Mughani.

“Abdul-Khaleq is also accused of calling Abbas a traitor and saying he partied with prostitutes on the graves of slain Palestinians”, Abdeen said, but she denied it.

(english.alarabiya.net / 04.04.2012)

Abbas Receives Russian Envoy

Visiting Jordan’s Capital, Amman, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, met on Tuesday the visiting special Russian Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process, Sergey Vershinin, and held talks on the situation in the Middle East, and the efforts to resume peace talks.

Abbas And Vershinin - Image Tha'er Ghanayim - WAFA
Abbas And Vershinin

Abbas informed envoy on the latest efforts to achieve comprehensive internal Palestinian unity, and the recent developments in the efforts to resume peace with Tel Aviv.

Abbas’ Advisor, Majdi Al-Khalidy, and Palestine’s Ambassador to Jordan, Atallah Khairy, also attended the meeting.

The Quartet Committee (The United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia), along with several other countries, have been trying to ensure the resumption of the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel claims that the Palestinians are not serious about achieving peace with Tel Aviv, while the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank had to quit talks due to Israel’s rejection to halt its violations against the Palestinians and their property, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and due to Israel’s ongoing construction and expansion of settlements in the occupied territories.

(www.imemc.org / 04.04.2012)

INVITATION TO WELCOME TO PALESTINE PARTICIPANTS

Occupied Palestine, March 29 2012

Dear Friends of the Welcome to Palestine Initiative,

We want to express our gratitude for your solidarity efforts and “welcome you to Palestine”.

As the secretariat of the Palestinian national committee for the World Social Forum “Free Palestine”, we want to invite you during your stay in Palestine after April 15 to a preparatory seminar.

This World Social Forum “Free Palestine” will be held at the end of November 2012 in Porto Alegre, Brazil and will be a historic four day event focused solely on building and strengthening solidarity with Palestine.

This WSF “Free Palestine” is a unique opportunity, challenge and responsibility for all of us. It is exciting to be able to unite people, organizations, movements, unions and networks from across the globe and to discuss, strategize and build together solidarity and more effective and sustainable actions and campaign strategies.

The process towards the WSF “Free Palestine” is almost as important as the forum itself as it will set out our ability to come out of the four days of discussions with concrete and forward looking work plans, strategies and visions. We further believe it is important to develop a truly global preparatory process, including the formation of an international committee. In this context, we would be very happy to be able to organize together with you a preparatory seminar on April 18th.

Looking forward to welcoming in Palestine,

Secretariat of the Palestinian national committee for the World Social Forum “Free Palestine”

(www.welcometopalestine.info / 04.04.2012)

Marwan Barghouti placed in isolation in punishment for call for popular resistance

Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has been severely punished by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) for launching a statement from his cell last week. He called for the launch of large-scale popular resistance and urged people to stop marketing the illusion that there is a possibility of ending the occupation and achieving a state through negotiations.

Maan News Agency reported that, according to Fadwa Barghouti, the IPS responded to her husband’s statement by placing him in solitary confinement for three weeks and denying him the right to see visitors for two months. IPS spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told the press that Barghouti “has been placed in isolation for a week and denied visits and access to the inmates’ canteen for a month” as punishment for his statement.

Solitary confinement should be banned

In my blog “Israel’s cruel practice of isolation of prisoners should be banned”, I reported that Juan Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, had called for an end to the use of solitary confinement as a means of punishment or extortion.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to punish Palestinian political prisoners by keeping them in solitary confinement and isolation.

Marwan Barghouti has been placed in solitary confinement 21 times during the ten years he has spent in Israeli jails and he has spent four consecutive years in isolation, according to Fadwa Barghouti.

Deplorable conditions in Section 4 of Nafha Prison

Israel detains Palestinian political prisoners in Section 4 of Nafha prison in the Naqab (Negev). The Haifa-based human rights organization Adalah has demanded the closure of the prison wing. In a letter to the IPS and the Minister of Public Security, Adalah argues that the conditions endanger prisoners’ health and constitute cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment:

The walls in the wing are covered with wet patches and mold, with windows that do not permit sunlight or the circulation of air. The rooms are infested with cockroaches and insects, to the point that the mattresses that the prisoners sleep on are full of bugs and stink putridly.

In addition, the prison is unbearably overcrowded, with ten prisoners in a room that does not exceed 25 square meters, or 2.5 square meters per prisoner, far below internationally accepted standards. Closet space is insufficient, forcing prisoners to keep their clothing and belongings on the floor, further decreasing the available space. Toilets are not separate from the rest of the bathroom, making their use embarrassing and awkward. As the prisoners in Section 4 are classified as ‘security prisoners’, they are only permitted short recreation breaks in a small courtyard, which itself is not large enough for exercise.

The conditions worsened when Israeli prison guards wounded 61 Palestinian prisoners when they stormed Nafha prison on 1 April. According to a press statement by the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior in Gaza, the prisoners leaked a message which said that the guards stormed the prison’s various wards and assaulted prisoners. The attack followed the prisoners’ refusal to undergo DNA tests.

Call from Gilboa prison to stop the transfer of prisoners to Nafha prison

In my blog post “Israel punishes hunger striking prisoners by transferring them to other end of country”, I reported on the transfer of prisoners from Gilboa prison to the horrific Section 4 of Nafha prison. Meanwhile, I have received a message from Palestinian leader Ameer Makhoul who is held in Gilboa prison. He writes:

Over the last two days – 4 and 5 March – department 4 in Gilboa jail has been evacuated. 110 political prisoners were transferred by the prison authorities to Nafha jail in the Naqab. All of them are from the Galilee (in the North), Jerusalem and the occupied Golan. For those whose families live in the North, the families should travel more than 500 kilometers every two weeks in order to visit their son, brother or father. [All prisoners in Gilboa are men.] Families from the occupied Golan have to travel more than 600 kilometers. Many families will get no access to visit their beloved relatives in prison. The plan is not clear yet; prisoners actually feel confronted with a systematic policy of camouflage aimed at preventing them from challenging any act of evacuation to another prison. According to what prisoners heard, all political prisoners will be evacuated to the Naqab in two to three months. It is crucial to urge the European Union, the European Parliament as well as national ministries of foreign affairs to raise their voices and request the Israeli Prime Minister, the Minister of Internal Security and the Prison Commissioner to stop evacuations which make family visits impossible.

The call for intervention can be integrated in the activities that will be undertaken on 17 April 2012, a Day of International Action in support of the Palestinian political prisoners.

(Adri Nieuwhof / electronicintifada.net / 04.04.2012)

Syria War Triggers Rifts in Palestinian Camps in Lebanon

BEIRUT — As Syria’s yearlong conflict has heightened tensions in neighboring Lebanon between groups loyal or hostile to the Syrian regime, discord and factional infighting in Lebanon’s Palestinianrefugee camps have added to the country’s instability.

The country’s camps are becoming “more and more of a battlefield” between those who are for or against the Assad regime in Syria, said Sari Hanafi, a professor at the American University of Beirut.

Lebanon has 12 official Palestinian camps, housing roughly half of the country’s total Palestinian population, estimated to be between 260,000 and 400,000. Life in the camps is mostly marked by poverty, overcrowding, marginalization and limited opportunities for employment, education or a better future.

During Syria’s occupation of parts of Lebanon between 1976 and 2005, Damascus fostered relationships with several Palestinian groups. Links have since weakened but loyalties still linger.

“In terms of issues around Syria, there are lots of different sparks in Lebanon,” said Cale Salih, an analyst for the International Crisis Group. “The Palestinian camps are one of them, and they’re one of the more dangerous ones because you don’t really have a state presence in the camps.”

Ain al-Helweh, the largest of the camps, located on the outskirts of the southern city of Sidon, has a particularly unsavory reputation as a lawless and violent safe haven for extremist factions and people on the run from the government.

In Ain al-Helweh, dire living conditions are worsened by a history of factional quarrels. Assassinations, explosions and gun battles are familiar occurrences for the 70,000 residents. Lebanese security forces maintain a heavy presence at entry points to the camp but do not venture in.

The absence of a single dominant faction, the inability of groups to unite to confront common threats and effective recruitment campaigns by extremist Islamist groups have allowed radical jihadist organizations such as Usbat al-Ansar, Jund al-Sham and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades to take root.

The camp’s potential to disrupt a fragile Lebanese peace came into focus last month when the government said it had uncovered and arrested a cell within the army with ties to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an international jihadist network affiliated with Al-Qaeda. According to the government, members of the cell were planning attacks against military targets. The leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades in Lebanon, Tawfik Taha, is believed to reside in the camp.

A little more than five years ago, Al Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam militants took advantage of organizational weakness and factional divisions in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon to set up an operating base there. In May 2007 after a skirmish between militants and Lebanese security forces in nearby Tripoli — sparked by a police raid on a house used by some of the group’s members — the Lebanese Army laid siege to the camp.

The battle lasted more than three months and cost the Lebanese military 169 lives. When it ended, the camp had been largely destroyed and nearly all who lived there had fled. Nearly half a decade later, much of Nahr al-Bared is still in ruins, despite promises that the camp would be rebuilt.

The Nahr al-Bared episode stoked a climate of mutual distrust with many Palestinians wary of the Lebanese government’s intentions and Lebanese fearful that Palestinian issues could add to instability in the country.

“Instead of encouraging factions to disarm,” Ms. Salih said, the destruction of Nahr al-Bared “has made faction leaders who have arms want to hold onto them even more because they see it as a way to protect their camp.”

After the discovery last month of the militant cell in the army, some politicians called for Lebanese security forces to disarm the Palestinian factions in the camps. Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces, one of Lebanon’s main Christian parties, demanded action, even if it meant a replay of Nahr al-Bared.

The problem with that, said Ms. Salih, is that for many Palestinians the lesson of Nahr al-Bared was that Lebanese intervention in Ain al-Helweh “doesn’t mean you’re going to come in and take out extremist forces: It means you’re going to make 70,000 people homeless.”

Despite calls for the Lebanese authorities to intervene in Ain al-Helweh, analysts said any such action is unlikely: With the military stretched by the need to contain Syria-related tensions, it would be hard-pressed to take on the additional challenge of the camp.

“It’s not about the willingness or the wish, it’s about the feasibility,” said Elias Hanna, a retired Lebanese Army general. “If you want to interfere in a bigger, more armed camp you need more resources that you don’t have.”

In 2007, a few hundred militants in Nahr al-Bared, outnumbered and out-gunned, were able to hold out for months and inflict heavy casualties on the Lebanese military. In Ain al-Helweh, a much larger camp with many more potential combatants, a similar conflict would most likely be a far more difficult fight.

“If they reach a solution it should be an agreement with the intervention of Palestinian political factions,” to apprehend the wanted men, said Mr. Hanafi, echoing what many see as the ideal way out of the current situation.

Palestinian factions, operating in de facto autonomy inside the camps, want Lebanese security forces to stay out — both to maintain their free rein and to avert another Nahr al-Bared. In troubled Ain al-Helweh it remains to be seen if factions willing to act can peacefully apprehend those wanted by the Lebanese state without provoking a conflict in the camp. But in other camps, the will is clearly there.

“We are working not to let what happened in Nahr al-Bared happen in another camp,” said Mustafa Abu Harb, a spokesman for Fatah in Beddawi, a camp in northern Lebanon. “We will fight, strongly, all these parties or members which want to kidnap our camp.”

Before the Al Qaeda-inspired militants set foot in Nahr al-Bared, they initially tried to settle in Beddawi. But factions there united under Fatah leadership in a security agreement to force them out.

“We want to live in peace with our neighbors, with the Lebanese people and the Lebanese Army until we will return to our homeland in Palestine,” he said.

Kazem Hassan, a Fatah official in the Shatila camp in southern Beirut said that the responsibility of turning over wanted men to the Lebanese authorities should fall on the shoulders of the Palestinian groups.

Factions “want to keep security in the camp,” he said, “because we are visitors in this country, we are guests. We are not the rulers.”

“If any disorder happens, where can we go?” Mr. Hassan asked.

(www.nytimes.com / 04.04.2012)

Land dag, het artikel

Afgelopen vrijdag overleed de twintigjarige Mahmoud Zaqout tijdens een vreedzaam protest door een Israëlische kogel. Ondanks het zware bestaan in de Gazastrook laten zijn nabestaanden zich niet uit het veld slaan.

In de Gazastrook is Israel overal aanwezig. Als een schaduw hangt het boven het dagelijks leven en als een betonnen muur sluit het het in. Een altijd aanwezige, maar doorgaans onzichtbare boosdoener die elk detail van het leven beïnvloedt.

Mensen in de strook leven met voortdurende tekorten; elektriciteit valt om de haverklap uit en bij de tankstations staan lange rijen wachtenden. Elk gezin kent een tragedie, elke buurt heeft zijn martelaren. Vlaggen van politieke facties wapperen boven de huizen waarvan de muren zijn versierd met foto’s van strijders en martelaren. Afgelopen vrijdag kwam daar de foto van Mahmoud Zaqout bij, een twintigjarige Palestijn uit het stadje Beit Lahia in het noorden van de Gazastrook.

Vlakbij het stadje ligt de grens, een enorme betonnen muur met om de zoveel meter een wachttoren. Vóór de muur heeft Israel een zogenaamde bufferzone ingericht op Palestijns grondgebied waar landbouw en constructie ten strengste verboden zijn.

Bij die grens werd afgelopen vrijdag gedemonstreerd in het kader van de jaarlijkse Landdag demonstraties, de dag waarop Palestijnen wereldwijd protesteren tegen de voortdurende bezetting van hun land, en zo dicht mogelijk bij Jeruzalem, hun uiteindelijk einddoel, proberen te komen.

Na een manifestatie van enkele duizenden in het nabijgelegen stadje Beit Hanoun, trokken ongeveer 250 jongeren naar de grens, zo dicht mogelijk bij Jeruzalem, roepend dat ze die stad ooit zouden bereiken. Het Israëlische leger reageerde kordaat en antwoordde in staccato en met dodelijke precisie.

Met een tiental rake geweerschoten maakten de Israëlische soldaten duidelijk dat Jeruzalem die dag niet bereikt zou worden, dat de betonnen muur niet zomaar zou wijken en dat de scheiding zou voortduren. Daarna keerde de rust terug. Het was een kort onderonsje geweest, een contactmomentje van enkele minuten.

Eenendertig Palestijnen raakten gewond bij dit symbolische en vreedzaam bedoelde protest. Voor de twintig jarige Mahmoud Zaqout bleek het protest zijn laatste te zijn. Hij overleed in het ziekenhuis aan zijn verwondingen.

De werkloze Mahmoud was de middelste zoon van een gezin van twaalf dat, net als vrijwel elke familie in Gaza, bekend is met de realiteit van het conflict. De vader van Mahmoud had drie keer een gevangenisstraf uitgediend in Israël en zijn oom verloor het leven tijdens de tweede intifada, de opstand die in 2000 uitbrak tegen de Israëlische bezetting. Tweeënvijftig jaar eerder, in 1948, was de familie Zaqout gevlucht uit het dorpje Majdal, het huidige Ashkelon in Israël.

Op zondag bij een condoleance ceremonie vertelt Nizar, de tweeëntwintig jarige neef van Mahmoud die tijdens het protest gewond raakte aan zijn been maar desondanks het levenloze lichaam van Mahmoud honderd meter naar een ambulance wist te dragen, dat het protest altijd door zal gaan.

“Israël hoopt dat wij door de moeilijke levensomstandigheden in Gaza alleen maar bezig zijn met overleven en dat we geen tijd hebben voor verzet. Dat hebben ze verkeerd. Wij zullen altijd doorgaan, voor onze rechten, de toekomst van ons land en voor Jeruzalem”, aldus Nizar die met zijn schorre stem nauwelijks boven de ronkende generatoren uitkomt die de hal van elektriciteit voorzien.

Met zijn worden geeft Nizar uitdrukking aan de algemene opvatting onder jongeren in de Gazastrook. De situatie is uitzichtloos en er vallen geregeld slachtoffers, maar dat is geen reden om niet te dromen. “We zijn eraan gewend”, grijnst Nizar. “En we weten dat als we doorgaan met ons protest het bloed van Mahmoud niet voor niets zal hebben gevloeid.”

Nizar kust de Palestijnse vlag die zijn neef Mahmoud vasthield toen hij in zijn nek werd geschoten door een Israëlische grenswachter.

 (blogvanuitegypte.wordpress.com / 04.04.2012)

UNRWA deletes 169,000 Palestinian refugees from its records

UNRWA deletes 169,000 Palestinian refugees from its recordsThe organisation for Palestinian refugees and their right of return, Thabet, has expressed grave concern that the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has deleted 169,000 refugees from its records for 2011. Thabet condemned the move.

In a statement sent to Quds Press, the organisation explained that the statistics at the beginning of 2011 noted the details of 4,797,724 registered refugees, whereas the records for 2010 had included 4,966,664. The details of 168,940 registered refugees are missing. Thabet said, “The names of 19,219 refugees from Lebanon, 9,024 refugees from Syria, 19,886 refugees from Jordan, 211 refugees from Gaza and 121,023 refugees from the West Bank have been removed.”

The organisation described this as “a strange phenomenon occurring for the first time since UNRWA was founded in 1949, as the agency has had a census of refugees every year since 1951.” The statistics have always referred to the growing number of refugees who get registered every year in its five areas of operation (Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan and Syria), said Thabet. “There has never been a time when we’ve witnessed a decline in the number of registered refugees.”

This is “dangerous”, claimed Thabet, and questioned the reasons and timing of this change: “What has happened to those thousands of ‘missing’ refugees?” It has demanded that UNRWA clarifies this matter and justifies it’s publication of the data. It also called for urgent action to uncover the background to this unprecedented reduction and the implications for Palestinian refugees and their right of return”.

(www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk / 04.04.2012)

Press Release: New Flotilla to Gaza Welcomed – Ireland will participate


Press Release, Wednesday 4th April 2012

The SV Estelle

At a press conference in Finland at 11am today, the steering committee of the Freedom Flotilla, represented by Ship to Gaza Sweden, has announced the purchase of a large sailing ship that will be used to breach the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. The vessel – the SV Estelle – will bring goods to Gaza that are banned or restricted by the Israeli siege, and will also export commercial produce from Gaza on the return journey.

The SV Estelle, a tall ship built in 1922, will stop at several ports in Europe – including DUBLIN – on its way to Gaza and will be joined by other vessels on the final leg of its journey through the Mediterranean.

For details and photographs of the SV Estelle and the Ship to Gaza Sweden, click on the following link: http://shiptogaza.se/en/news/press-release-ship-gaza-buys-estelle

The SV Estelle is an historic ship that has been used in fair trade missions to Africa and has participated in tall ships events.

Welcoming the purchase of the SV Estelle, Dr Fintan Lane, national Coordinator of Irish Ship to Gaza and a member of the Freedom Flotilla steering committee, said: “We are fully behind this effort and look forward to welcoming the SV Estelle in Dublin as it makes its way to Gaza. We hope that Irish citizens will participate directly in this mission and we will certainly be providing logistical and other support.”

He continued: “It is particularly important that this ship, and those that accompany it, will attempt to bring goods back out of Gaza – the local economy has been devastated by the Israeli blockade. Fishermen, for example, are not allowed to fish beyond a tightly controlled three-mile limit.”

On the plight of Palestinian fishermen, see this statement issued today by the PCHR:http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8310%3Aoccupied-lives-no-benzene-no-livelihood-&catid=65%3Anarratives-under-siege&Itemid=209

Dr Lane described inaction by the international community as unacceptable and said, “Palestinians in Gaza don’t require charity, they need an end to the siege, so that they can rebuild their economy and live normal lives. More than 80 per cent of people in Gaza are currently aid-dependent and over 40 per cent are unemployed – this is a disgrace and the world cannot continue to ignore this crisis. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is entirely man-made and Israel could end it tomorrow by lifting its illegal blockade.”

Commenting on Irish involvement, he said: “We want to see a big reception for this ship when it stops in Dublin – it is important that Irish people continue to show their deep solidarity with the ordinary people of Gaza. It is a beautiful vessel and I look forward to seeing it sail safely into Gaza port.”

The ship will dock in Dublin during the summer.

Last November, an Irish ship – the MV Saoirse – was hijacked and 14 Irish citizens kidnapped by Israeli forces in international waters, as it made its way to Gaza as part of the Freedom Waves to Gaza flotilla.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Fintan Lane (national coordinator, Irish Ship to Gaza): 087 1258325
Claudia Saba (spokesperson, Irish Ship to Gaza): 086 3938821

(irishshiptogaza.org / 04.04.2012)

Nederlandse vrouw opgepakt in Hebron

(Novum) – Een Nederlandse vrouw is afgelopen weekeinde gearresteerd in Hebron op de Westelijke Jordaanoever toen ze meedeed met een demonstratie. Ze zou daarbij met geweld door Israëlische soldaten zijn meegenomen.

Een woordvoerder van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken bevestigt dat de vrouw is opgepakt, maar kan niet zeggen in wat voor omstandigheden dat gebeurde. Ook is niet duidelijk hoe het met haar gaat.

Volgens Stop de Bezetting, de stichting van Gretta Duisenberg, voerde de vrouw actie om Palestijnen die uit hun huis waren gezet door Israëlische kolonisten terug hun woning in te krijgen. Toen Israëlische soldaten daar lucht van kregen, maakten zij met geweld een einde aan de actie.

De vrouw is inmiddels weer op vrije voeten, maar heeft haar paspoort nog niet terug. De Nederlandse ambassade heeft contact met haar gehad en probeert haar te helpen.

De situatie in Hebron is al jaren gespannen. In de stad wonen ruim zeshonderd joden in zwaar bewaakte enclaves tussen 170 duizend Palestijnen.

(www.nieuws.nl / 04.04.2012)