Fatah members visit Egypt to learn how to face Hamas in Gaza

Fatah members in Egypt conference

Fatah wants to learn from the Egyptians how to face up to Hamas in the beleaguered territory

A number of Fatah members led by prominent official Mohamed Al-Rajab from Hebron met Egypt’s Tamarod in Cairo last week in an attempt to transfer the latter’s experience to the Gaza Strip. Fatah wants to learn from the Egyptians how to face up to Hamas in the beleaguered territory.

In a statement, the head of Tamarod’s Al-Istiqlal Current said that the two sides discussed possible cooperation on the issue. Lawyer Ahmed Al-Fedali added that Fatah leaders want to benefit from the experience and policies of his party, which was the first to rebel against the presidency of Mohamed Morsi. “They want to learn more about Tamarod’s ideas in order to apply them against Hamas in the state of Palestine.” The Tamarod official described Hamas as “the Muslim Brotherhood branch in Palestine”.

(Source / 19.10.2013)

Mizher: End negotiations and stop concessions to the occupation

mizherComrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, warned Palestinian officials against accepting any Zionist offer of an “exchange of territory,” saying that this is a mechanism for the occupation to achieve further settlement and colonization. Mizher demanded that Palestinian officials immediately withdraw from all covert and overt negotiations, saying they are absurd, dangerous, and rejected by the majority of the Palestinian people.

The Zionist “land swap” proposal is not new, Mizher said, it is always what the occupation proposes and includes the annexation of settlemements, rendering the West Bank a dismembered array of isolated cantons. Mizher said that it is time for the Palestinian officials to stop making concessions and granting a lifeline to the occupation, noting that whenever Palestinians make concessions, the occupation only demands more. The occupation state claims all of Jerusalem, refuses Palestinian refugees’ right to return, refused to withdraw from the Jordan valley, said Mizher. “So why negotiate?? Why continue in this absurd and harmful farce? It is time to give priority to ending the division, restoring national unity, and building a national strategy based on adherence to resistance in all forms. Making concessions after concessions serves only the occupation. It will destroy the Palestinian national project if not stopped.”

(Source / 19.10.2013)

Hosni Mubarak trial resumes in Egypt behind closed doors

Cairo: Egyptian state media on Saturday said top security officials are testifying behind closed doors in the retrial of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, who faces charges related to the killings of around 900 protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to his ouster.

The 85-year-old former autocrat was previously convicted of failing to stop the killings, but that was overturned on appeals earlier this year.

The state-owned Nile TV says two security officials, including former intelligence chief Murad Muwafi, took the stand in today’s court session.

The presiding judge previously ordered that testimony of security officials take place under a media blackout for reasons of national security.

In addition to Mubarak, six top police officials and the former interior minister, who oversaw Egypt’s feared police for more than a decade, are on trial.

(Source / 19.10.2013)

The Gaza Strip is closed and more besieged than ever

Israel continues to maintain a full, tight closure by land, sea, and air, on the only coastal enclave left to Palestine. This has become even worse since July, as the Egyptian government closes the Rafah crossing on a regular basis and has destroyed many tunnels through which the inhabitants of Gaza could receive food, medicines, fuel and construction materials that Israel bans from entering or allows in insufficient quantities.

Israeli forces bombed and bulldozed Rafah's Yasser Arafat International Airport in 2001. (Photo by Radhika Sainath)

Israeli forces destroyed Rafah’s international airport in 2001.

The Rafah border crossing, through which it was possible to get in or out, is now closed whenever Egypt decides, and open for only a few hours. In fact, from my entry on Saturday until Wednesday, it has been closed. It is not known when they will open it again. We are jailed. Patients cannot travel to hospitals abroad, and some of them have already died. Lots of students, registered in foreign universities, are stuck here. Even Palestinians who have been working in foreign countries for many years have lost their jobs after not being allowed to leave.

I have been lucky enough to be able to come back to Gaza. But a trip that should take four hours from Barcelona to Gaza has taken me four days. The Rafah airport, built with foreign funding, operated from 1998 to 2001, when it was bombed and bulldozed by Israeli armed forces. Gaza has been completely besieged by Israel for seven years, and also by Egypt since July of this year.

From Cairo to Rafah there are some 370 kilometers by road, crossing the Sinai Peninsula. The flights from Cairo to el-Arish, about 50 kilometers from Rafah, were already quite expensive, but now, as el-Arish is considered a war zone, there seem to be no flights.

I was lucky not to have chosen 6 October, when a national holiday is celebrated in Egypt, to arrive in Cairo. Because of the clashes there, 51 people died and hundreds were injured and arrested. I did not board any of the flights arriving in Cairo by 2:00 am, either, because there is a curfew after midnight. It was great that two men unexpectedly waiting for me when I got off the plane were really from the Cairo press center. I could not forget that a journalist and a psychiatrist, both Canadian, were arrested by the Egyptian government while going to the Gaza Strip. They were still in prison when I arrived.

As there were no more bus tickets to el-Arish on Friday, I took the bus to Ismailia, some 130 kilometers from Cairo, with the intention of getting the one to el-Arish from there. I could have taken a shared taxi from Cairo, but have always preferred to travel by bus, as I think the danger of being kidnapped is less. Four foreigners had recently been kidnapped while travelling through the Sinai Peninsula. There was news that the Rafah border crossing would be open on Saturday. I could not travel to el-Arish until Friday, as it seemed the military did not want foreigners around, especially if they were journalists. I could stay in el-Arish overnight, since if you take the bus in the morning from Cairo, when you arrive in Rafah via el-Arish, the border will have been closed since 2:00 pm.

But when I arrived in Ismailia, I had to travel on to el-Arish in a shared taxi for seven people. I was the only woman and the only foreigner. The Egyptian student who so kindly and selflessly arranged my trip, and obtained a good price for me, also gave me her telephone number, so that I could call her on my arrival to make sure everything was okay.

I had previously been told that on my arrival to el-Arish, the military would be waiting for us, and that I should show my willingness to make no problems and follow their directions. They were very busy when we arrived there, though, due to some attacks on the zone, and the taxi driver was able todrop me at the hotel. On our way there, we were only asked to show our identity cards and passports twice. Finally, when on Saturday at midday I could cross the Rafah border to the Palestinian side, I couldn’t help shedding tears when I saw a bus full of Palestinians that had just been rejected on the Egyptian side and forced to return to Gaza.

On Monday, the Spanish embassy in Cairo had been unable to reach me. I had not advised them that I had arrived safely, nor told the newspaper for which I am writing, the 3deVuit in Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain. The embassy phoned them, they both kept calling me, and in the end, I could confirm that I had arrived safely to Gaza, to their relief. I am so grateful to them for their concern for me.

In Gaza, I have seen people much more distressed than before. They cannot understand why they have suffered this tight Israeli blockade, now worsened by the Egyptian one, for seven years while the world keeps silent. They feel abandoned by other countries. There are shortages of food, medicines and fuel. There are daily cuts of electricity and Internet for more than 10 hours. Fishermen cannot fish because there is not enough fuel. The Egyptian navy has also fired at them several times. Israeli F-16s hover above our heads, each time lower and lower. Israeli tanks and bulldozers launch incursions into the “buffer zone,” destroying Palestinian land and the work done by Palestinians farmers there, almost every day. But now it is the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. and everything possible is done so that children may feel happy. Their mothers have made cakes for them.

(Source / 19.10.2013)

Lydda en Lidice

By Engelbert Luitsz      ©       (http://www.alexandrina.nl/?p=2670 )



Ruïnes van Lidice, 1942

Lidice, een Tsjechisch dorp, werd in 1942 door de nazi’s volledig verwoest. De meeste mannen werden ter plekke doodgeschoten, de overigen, inclusief vrouwen en kinderen, werden op transport gezet naar Chelmno en Ravenbruck, waar ze werden vergast of door uitputting om het leven kwamen. Het dorp werd met behulp van bulldozers met de grond gelijk gemaakt. Een Duitse soldaat maakte er een – stomme – film van en mede om die reden werd Lidice apart opgenomen tijdens de Processen van Neurenberg. Het werd een symbool van het kwaad dat de nazi’s hadden aangericht.

Het ging uiteindelijk om “slechts” een paar honderd mensen en een vernietigd dorp, maar we zien wel vaker dat juist het kleinschalige leed meer impact heeft dan het hele grote dat niet te beseffen is. Iedereen kan zich nog wel identificeren met de bevolking van een klein dorpje. In de nacht van 8 op 9 april 1948, dus ruim een maand vóór het uitroepen van de staat Israël, vond het bloedbad van Deir Yassin plaats, waarbij tussen de 125 en 200 mensen werden vermoord. Deze gebeurtenis heeft geleid tot een reactie van onder anderen Albert Einstein en Hannah Arendt in The New York Times. Een groot aantal prominente joden beschuldigde de Partij van de Vrijheid van Menachem Begin (later premier van Israël en winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede!) van fascistische praktijken. Ook hier ging het om een relatief kleine gebeurtenis in het licht van de etnische zuiveringen die gaande waren, maar de symbolische waarde was enorm.


Ruïnes van Lydda, 1948

De stad Lydda (tegenwoordig Lod) ligt niet ver van Tel Aviv. Gedurende 1948, toen Israël het ene dorp na het andere zuiverde van Palestijnse inwoners, vluchtten veel Palestijnen naar Lydda. Er waren op een gegeven moment zo’n 50.000 inwoners. Deze mensen werden op last van het Israëlische leger uit de stad verjaagd, slechts enkele honderden Palestijnen bleven achter. De vluchtelingen die in Lydda bescherming hadden gezocht moesten op de heetste dag van het jaar 17 kilometer lopen naar de frontlinie, daarbij kwamen honderden mensen door uitputting en uitdroging om het leven. Daarna werd de stad geplunderd door het Israëlische leger. De achtergebleven Palestijnen werden uit hun huizen verjaagd en de stad werd snel ingenomen door joodse immigranten.

Lydda is onderdeel van wat de Palestijnen de Nakba noemen, hun catastrofe. De Israëlische regering probeert de Nakba kost wat kost buiten de aandacht van het publiek te houden, onder andere door een verbod op onderwijs over de Nakba en door het aannemen van een speciale Nakba-wet, die herdenkingen probeert te blokkeren door middel van sancties. Het zal geen verbazing wekken dat juist door die maatregel de Nakba extra aandacht kreeg, iets wat bekend staat als het Streisandeffect.

Een artikel (fragment hier) van Ari Shavit in The New Yorker over Lydda riep dan ook gemengde gevoelens op. Shavit komt daarin tot de conclusie dat de gebeurtenissen in Lydda de kern vormen van het zionistische project. “Als het zionisme moest bestaan, kon Lydda niet bestaan. Als Lydda moest bestaan, kon het zionisme niet bestaan.” Sharit lijkt hier erg op de historicus Benny Morris, die als onvolprezen archivaris de misdaden van het zionisme in kaart heeft gebracht, maar die misdaden tegelijkertijd als een noodzakelijk kwaad ziet. Het zionisme en de joodse staat staan kennelijk boven de morele overwegingen die een normaal mens heeft. De immer scherpe journalist Yossi Gurvitz noemde Shavit al eens “de laatste kolonialist“. Dat was een paar jaar geleden, maar dit artikel geeft aan dat Gurvitz het goed zag.

Pamela Olson schrijft in een mooi artikel op Mondoweiss dat het een geweldige stap is dat de Nakba via Shavit in de main stream media belandt. Gezien de merkwaardige rationalisaties die verdedigers van het zionisme als Shavit er op nahouden is het een eerste stap, maar toch belangrijk. Na decennia van absolute ontkenning van hun misdaden, alsmede de Nakba-wet en propaganda is het de zionisten niet gelukt hun verleden te doen verdwijnen. Als Shavit beweert: “Wij hebben geen ander thuis en er was geen andere manier”, vergelijkt Olson hem met een alcoholicus die wel snapt dat ie een probleem heeft, maar niet inziet dat hij de fles moet laten staan om daar een eind aan te maken.

Dat de nazi’s of de zionisten geen keuze zouden hebben of hebben gehad in hun manier om het land te ontdoen van ongewenste elementen, is natuurlijk te zot voor woorden. En zelfs al zouden er verzachtende omstandigheden bestaan hebben in 1948, dan hebben de afgelopen 65 jaar wel bewezen dat het zionisme nooit en te nimmer van zins is geweest zich te gedragen naar de morele maatstaven die ze pretenderen te hebben.

De kans dat de Palestijnen eindelijk hun eigen Processen van Neurenberg zullen krijgen lijkt minimaal. Aan de laatste ronde “vredesbesprekingen” waren maanden van overleg voorafgegaan, de situatie was dus volkomen duidelijk voor de Israëlische regering. En toch is de constructie van nederzettingen in bezet gebied dit jaar met 70% toegenomen vergeleken met vorig jaar. Een duidelijker teken dat het Israël nooit ernst was is er niet zou je zeggen. Daarnaast zijn de agressie en repressie zowel in de Gazastrook als op de Westelijke Jordaanoever dit jaar ook toegenomen. Pessimistische geluiden zeggen dat Israël aanstuurt op een nieuw grootschalig conflict, zodat ze wat ze nu dagelijks mondjesmaat doen, in één keer groots kunnen aanpakken.

Pamela Olson heeft het over haar Palestijnse vrienden van wie velen nooit toestemming kregen hun thuisland te bezoeken, maar die glunderen bij de verhalen van hun grootouders over de schoonheid en het intellectuele klimaat van Jaffa, waar ze elke steen en boom kenden. Ondanks alles blijken de Palestijnen over het algemeen zeer vergevingsgezind te zijn, ze willen vooral in vrede en veiligheid leven, geen overdreven wens zou je denken.

Dat maakt het des te schrijnender dat ze tegenover een steeds radicaler en racistischer Israël staan, waarin zelfs linkse intellectuelen niet de moed hebben hun eigen geschiedenis onder ogen te zien en daar de consequenties uit te trekken.

Israeli army veterans admit role in massacres of Palestinians in 1948

Israeli army veterans admit role in massacres of Palestinians in 1948

Mr. Neumann admitted that he took part in displacing Palestinians from their villages.

Dozens of Israeli army veterans have admitted their involvement in massacres against Palestinian civilians in 1948, and acknowledged that Zionism misled them and is a catastrophe for both Jews and Arabs. The details have been revealed by the Yazkern organisation, which was founded in 2001 and seeks to unveil the truth and spread the Palestinian narrative of the country’s history among Israelis and convince them of Zionism’s false account. The organisation believes in a one-state solution and in Palestinians’ right to return to their land and homes.

Israeli army veteran Amnon Neumann is 82 and from Haifa. He said that he was a member of the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yeshuv Jewish community during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. Neumann joined the Palmach in 1946 after he came to Palestine from Poland at the age of 16.

He said that there were no real battles due to Palestinian poverty and lack of organisation, training and arms. The official Israeli account of that period claims that the displacement and killing of Palestinians was the normal result of a war.

Mr. Neumann admitted that he took part in displacing Palestinians from the villages of Simism, Najd, Kawkaba, Burayr and other places which were fully inhabited by their owners; this runs contrary to Zionist claims. Confessing to his participation in the massacre that was committed against the people of Burayr, Neumann noted that they had Czech-made guns which they used to expel the local inhabitants towards the Gaza Strip.

The Haganah forces were surrounding the village on three sides, he recalls, and firing in the air before entering and expelling its people forcefully. The houses were burnt down, as per the orders the armed forces had received. According to the veteran, he heard a confession by a Haganah officer after the occupation of Burayr that he had shot a Palestinian girl in the head after raping her. It was later revealed, said Neumann, that the girl had indeed been raped.

Another veteran, Arhamel Khnovitc, also 83 years old, now lives in the settlement of Daghania. He confessed that he took part in the massacre in the Dahmash Mosque in Al-Lydd in July 1948; he also took part in the ethnic cleansing of the villages of Jamzu and Dan’el.

“I headed to the mosque, as per an order from the command, and I kept my ears and eyes open after I quietly opened the door,” said Khnovitc. “Then I fired a Fiat missile, following orders. Many corpses flew and got stuck to the walls due to the severity of the blast.”

Benyamin Eisht, 85, who lives in Bilhaym, said that he saw the Palestinian survivors of Al-Lydd and Ramla after the massacre, walking in lines toward Ramallah, with dead bodies scattered on the sides of the road.

The testimony of 83-year-old Yitzhak Tishler, who lives in Mafsirt Tsyon, confirms the accounts provided by other veterans who spoke of looting houses and stores. He also said that he took part in the killing of dozens of villagers in the village of Al-Sheikh near Haifa in revenge for the Jewish workers who were killed in a quarrel near Rifyanry.

(Source / 19.10.2013)

Palestinian prisoners in Rimon anxious after admin threatens raid

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prison Rimon said that there is a state of high anxiety and fear in the prison after the warden threatened to storm their rooms last Wednesday.

Sources in the prison said that prisoners have promised to oppose the threatened operation, and will respond with force and burn their rooms down if the prison administration launches a raid.

The prison administration recently sent a prisoner named Mohammad Abu Khatla from the Gaza Strip into solitary confinement for seven days, and restricted his visitation rights for two months after they found that he was trying to smuggle sperm out of the prison, sources added.

Rimon prison is located in the Negev Desert and hosts a large number of Palestinian prisoners Israel has imprisoned for reasons related to “security.” It is the scene of frequent clashes between detainees and prison guards, and Israeli forces sometimes stage raids on the prison that have left prisoners wounded, most recently in June.

In February the prison witnessed collective hunger strikes by detainees protesting inhumane living conditions and the large numbers of Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial, a state Israel refers to as “administrative detention.”

(Source / 19.10.2013)

British consul: Settlement construction ‘killing’ chances for peace

Sir Vincent Fean speaks to Ma’an Chief Editor Nasser Laham at Ma’an’s Bethlehem headquarters on Friday, Oct. 18
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — British Consul General to Jerusalem Sir Vincent Fean said Friday that Israel’s continued construction of settlements on Palestinian lands throughout the peace negotiations is “killing opportunities” for peace.

In an exclusive interview with Ma’an, Fean expressed optimism about the possibility of a comprehensive political agreement being reached with Israel in spring 2014 that could lead to the establishment of “Palestinian statehood.”

However, he added that the continued construction of Israeli settlements within the West Bank despite ongoing negotiations between Israel and the PLO was dampening possibilities for peace.

Fean said that the potential comprehensive solution would involve Jerusalem as the joint capital of both states, with a limited exchange of lands on either side of the Green Line.

Finding a solution for refugees outside of Palestine is different from finding a solution for refugees inside Palestine, he added.

Fean also called on the Palestinian Authority to launch negotiations with Hamas and to conduct new elections.

The proceedings of the negotiations between Israel and Palestine are “confidential,” he said, and are supported by American and European financial investments.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the United States after nearly three years of impasse.

Israel’s government has announced the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements since peace talks began.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The UK on regional developments

Speaking about the civil war in Syria, Fean – a former ambassador to Damascus – told Ma’an that the United Kingdom does not support an armed European intervention. A political solution is the only solution, he said.

Additionally, he revealed British plans to reopen their embassy in Tehran, which has been closed since 2011.

Fean, who also worked as an ambassador in Libya for four years, said that it was better for the West if Libya stayed united in the face of ongoing instability.

“Libya has petrol and it has a small population of less than 6 million people,” he said, adding that the West could help Libya solve its militia problems by supporting those who won parliamentary elections.

(Source / 19.10.2013)

The disappearance of Palestine

Two recent images encapsulate the message behind the dry statistics of last week’s report by the World Bank on the state of the Palestinian economy.

The first is a poster from the campaigning group Visualising Palestine that shows a photoshopped image of Central Park, eerily naked. Amid New York’s skyscrapers, the park has been sheared of its trees by bulldozers. A caption reveals that since the occupation began in 1967, Israel has uprooted 800,000 olive trees belonging to Palestinians, enough to fill 33 Central Parks.

The second, a photograph widely published last month in Israel, is of a French diplomat lying on her back in the dirt, staring up at Israeli soldiers surrounding her, their guns pointing down towards her. Marion Castaing had been mistreated when she and a small group of fellow diplomats tried to deliver emergency aid, including tents, to Palestinian farmers whose homes had just been razed.

The demolitions were part of long-running efforts by Israel to clear Palestinians out of the Jordan Valley, the agricultural heartland of a future Palestinian state. Ms Castaing’s defiance resulted in her being quietly packed off back to Europe, as French officials sought to avoid a confrontation with Israel.

The World Bank report is a way of stating discreetly what Castaing and other diplomats hoped to highlight more directly: that Israel is gradually whittling away the foundations on which the Palestinians can build an independent economic life and a viable state.

This report follows a long line of warnings in recent years from international bodies on the dire economic situation
facing Palestinians. But, significantly, the World Bank has homed in on the key battleground for an international community still harbouring the forlorn hope that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will end in Palestinian statehood.

The report’s focus is on the nearly two-thirds of the West Bank, known as Area C, that is exclusively under Israeli control and in which Israel has implanted more than 200 settlements to grab Palestinian land and resources.

The World Bank report should be seen as a companion piece to the surprise decision of the European Union in the summer to exclude entities associated with the settlements from EU funding.

Both in turn reflect mounting frustration in European capitals and elsewhere at Israeli intransigence and seeming US impotence. Europeans, in particular, are exasperated at their continuing role effectively subsidising through aid an Israeli occupation with no end in sight.

With Israel and the Palestinians forced back to the negotiating table since July, and after the US secretary of state, John Kerry, warned that this was the “last chance” for a deal, the international community is desperate to exercise whatever small leverage it has on Israel and the US to secure a Palestinian state.

The World Bank’s concern about Area C is justified. This is the location of almost all the resources a Palestinian state will need to exploit: undeveloped land for future construction; arable land and water springs to grow crops; quarries to mine stone and the Dead Sea to extract minerals; and archaeological sites to attract tourism.

With access to these resources, the Palestinian Authority could generate an extra income of $3.4 billion a year, increasing its GDP by a third, reducing a ballooning deficit, cutting unemployment rates that have reached 23 per cent, easing poverty and food insecurity and helping the fledgling state break free of aid dependency. But none of this can be achieved while Israel maintains its chokehold on Area C in violation of the 1993 Oslo accords.

Israel has entrenched its rule in Area C precisely because of its wealth of natural resources. Israel neither wants the Palestinians to gain the assets with which to build a state nor intends to lose the many material benefits it has accrued for itself and the settler population in Area C.

It is its treatment of Area C that gives the lie to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that he has been pursuing “economic peace” with the Palestinians in lieu of progress on the diplomatic front. Rather, the Palestinian description of Israeli policy as “economic warfare” is much nearer the mark. During the Oslo period, the disparity between Israel’s per capita GDP and that of the Palestinians has doubled, to $30,000. And the World Bank says that the Palestinian economy is rapidly shrinking: the 11 per cent growth that Netanyahu took credit for in 2011 has crashed to 1.9 per cent in the first six months of this year. In the West Bank, GDP has actually contracted, by 0.1 per cent.

Despite its resources, Area C is being starved of Palestinian funds. Investors are averse to dealing with Israeli military authorities who invariably deny them development permits and severely restrict movement. The image of the French diplomat in the dirt is one that symbolises their own likely treatment if they confront Israel in Area C. Palestinian farmers, meanwhile, cannot grow profitable crops with the miserly water rations Israel allots them from their own acquifers.

Aware of the many obstacles to developing Area C, Palestinian officials have simply neglected it, concentrating instead on the densely populated and resource-poor third of the West Bank under their full or partial control.

The hope was that this would change when Kerry announced in the run-up to the renewed talks a plan to encourage private investors to pour in $4 billion to develop the Palestinian economy. But the reality, as the report notes, is that there can be no serious investment in the economic heartland of Area C until Israel’s control ends.

In effect, the World Bank is saying that Kerry’s plan – and the role of the international community’s envoy Tony Blair, the so-called Quatet Representative – is not only misguided, it is positively delusional. The Quartet has been trying to revive the Palestinian economy to usher in the conditions for statehood; the World Bank’s view is that there can be no Palestinian state, let alone economic revival, until Israel is forced out of the territories. The international community has it all back to front.

The idea that a financial lifeline – whether Kerry’s plan or Netanyahu’s economic peace – is going to smooth the path to the conflict’s end is an illusion. Peace, and prosperity, will come only when Palestinians are liberated from Israeli control.

(Source / 19.10.2013)

Settlers Occupy 20 Dunams Of Palestinian Lands in Nablus

Settlers Occupy 20 Dunams Of Palestinian Lands in Nablus

Nablus – [Friday October 18, 2013] A group of armed extremist Israeli settlers illegally occupied 20 Dunams (4.94 Acres) of Palestinian lands that belong to residents of Aseera Al-Qebliyya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of Israeli Settlements File at the Palestinian Authority in the northern part of the West Bank, has reported that the settlers fenced the lands and started leveling and bulldozing them.

He added that the settlers also installed a number of electric poles. The lands belong to residents Issa Suleiman Makhlouf, and Mohammad Suleiman Makhlouf.

On Friday evening, Israeli soldiers kidnapped one resident identified as Mustafa Saleh Qabha, 43, from Toura Al-Gharbiyya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

His family said that the soldiers invaded their orchard, near the Annexation Wall, as family members were picking their olive trees, and kidnapped him before taking him to an unknown destination.

(Source / 19.10.2013)